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What is the Order of the Eastern Star?
The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world to which both men and women may belong. Worldwide, there are currently more than 1.2 million members. Chapters are located in the United States, Canada, Peru, Brazil, Germany, Italy and other countries around the world. Minnesota Grand Chapter currently has 5,500+ members.
The degrees of the Order of the Eastern Star teach us lessons to live by. They are presented in a beautiful ritualistic ceremony designed to not only teach the lesson, but also to portray the noble principles which should adorn the personal lives of Eastern Star members. Eastern Star strives to take good people and through uplifting and elevating associations of love and service, and through example, build an Order which is truly dedicated to charity, truth and loving kindness. Business meetings are conducted with an open Bible on the altar and the flag of our country displayed.
The stated purposes of the organization are: Charitable, Educational, and Fraternal. To this end, The Grand Chapter of Minnesota proudly supports the statewide community by raising funds for cancer research at the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota; our Masonic Home at Bloomington which is a retirement community and assisted living center open to the public; and our three scholarships: ESTARL (Eastern Star Training Awards for Religious Leadership), M. Josephine Rusham Scholarship fund for high school seniors and Pat Rasmussen Continuing Education Scholarship.
We volunteer where we best fit. Some deliver lap blankets to cancer patients at the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota and others make the lap blankets. Many volunteer at our Masonic Home to assist the residents and patients for bingo and birthday parties or entertainment programs. We have also assisted at the Minnesota Masons Kids ID Booth at the Minnesota State Fair. Many support their local community projects such as Meals on Wheels, or help at Alzheimer’s Units, etc.
Local Eastern Star chapters select their own charities and places of service in their respective communities. We actively support young women’s organizations such as Job’s Daughters, the Order of Rainbow for Girls, along with the Order of DeMolay for Boys. Collectively, hundreds of thousands of dollars are raised each year to support our various charities and community service projects.
The women and men who join our Order make friends and enjoy the fellowship of fraternal Sisters and Brothers who share similar goals, while being afforded the opportunity to utilize their charitable nature to benefit others. In addition, the Order provides structure, resources and support for accomplishing benevolent objectives.