Monday, November 22, 2010

Symbolic Monday - Order of the Eastern Star

The Order of the Eastern Star is a fraternal organization that both men and women can join. It was established in 1850 by Rob Morris, a lawyer and educator from Boston, Massachusetts, who had been an official with the Freemasons. It is based on teachings from the Bible, but is open to people of all monotheistic faiths. It has approximately 10,000 chapters in twenty countries and approximately 500,000 members under its General Grand Chapter. Members of the Order are aged 18 and older; men must be Master Masons and women must have specific relationships with Masons.

The emblem of the Order is a five-pointed star with the white ray of the star pointing downwards towards the manger. In the Chapter room, the downward-pointing white ray points to the West. The character-building lessons taught in the Order are stories inspired by Biblical figures:

    * Adah (Jephthah's daughter, from Judges)
    * Ruth, the widow
    * Esther, the wife
    * Martha (sister of Lazarus, from the Gospel of John)
    * Electa (the "elect lady", from II John), the mother

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