Welcome to the first issue of a brand new volume of our newsletter, the Seven Times. This newsletter features articles from our Jurisdictional Officers about a wide variety of topics - from leadership, to retention, to the best ways we can live our seven Cardinal Virtues. If you have any suggestions for future content, please let us know by writing us at news@modemolay.org.
Important Notice: Conclave is almost upon us! There is less than a month before biggest event of the year kicks off. We're excited to deliver a Conclave that exceeds your expectations, and to create a weekend filled with fun, joy, and memorable moments. If you haven't already, visit moconclave.org and register your Chapter as soon as possible. We've got plenty of new, fun, and exciting activities and events in store; this is a Conclave you will NOT want to miss!

One of the easiest ways to new bring members into your chapter is simply to talk to your friends. With the success of the joining ceremony programs in Missouri over the past couple of years, it is easy to forget the importance of organic recruitment and getting your friends involved. Whenever I say this, DeMolays ask me how to best communicate to their friends and sell them on DeMolay, so here’s my advice: when talking to your friends, tell them about the activities you do with your chapter. You probably know what your friends like to do, so if they like to play sports, talk about the sports we play at Conclave. After you get them interested in the exciting activities of your chapter, invite them to an event, whether that be a Sweetheart Dance or Putt-Putt golf. It is important that you always try to have new prospects attend fun events; having them attend an event that they enjoy will further encourage them to join. After having them attend a chapter event, you should give them a petition. You should read and vote on the petition at the meeting, and once it is voted on, it is you and your chapter’s job to obligate them in a week. This is one of the most effective ways of retaining new members.

Another way to bring in members is by using the Missouri DeMolay Membership Program, which is available on the Missouri DeMolay website at www.modemolay.org. This program has been utilized to successfully start new Chapters, revitalize dormant ones, and bring a resurgence of members to others. It is very important when using the program to follow everything step by step. Your Jurisdictional Officers are here to assist you, so please reach out for any assistance.

Membership is key in keeping every chapter open and growing the organization. There are numerous unique and effective ways to grow the membership of your chapter, these are just a couple of examples. Discuss these strategies with your chapter and determine what the best course of action is. It is up to every DeMolay in every chapter to ensure a bright future for our Order by reaching out to our friends in the community and sharing our DeMolay experience with them.

Fraternally,
Bradley Pitman
bpitman@modemolay.org

On Sunday, January 17, 2016 I had the honor to help Sullivan Chapter initiate a new young man into our wonderful Order and also had the honor to help with the installation that was conferred afterwards. The installation was well attended by many Senior DeMolays and Rainbow girls. Which is a statement to the strong foundation of Senior DeMolays Sullivan Chapter has. After a very impressive installation; I had the honor of watching newly installed Master Councilor Brother Matthew Ryan and Brother Joshua Traxel become elevated to the degree of Chevalier. Many Senior DeMolays traveled far distances to celebrate the elevation of these two honorees. After the Installation we were all invited for a fantastic dinner that was full of brotherhood and camaraderie.

After the eventful day I went home and thought about how much each of us can do to benefit our chapters and other chapters by visiting our brothers in different parts of the state.

Fraternally,
Richard Ables
rables@modemolay.org

Boy, is it great to be a DeMolay. That's the thought running through all of our minds here in Missouri DeMolay as we take an incredible leap into the start of a busy, but extraordinary year for our Order. The Chapters have been pumped up and ready to go since the great Interactive Symposium event in Columbia this past January, where we all had the chance to come together as a state and rally each other up for a great year. We discussed many important topics, such as fundraising ideas, membership drives, and goals we want to see accomplished here in Missouri.

The Order is on the right track, and as the first quarter of the year draws a close and we start to hit our stride for 2016, we can tell this year will be full of brotherhood, growth, charity, and gratitude. We are honored to be a part of this Order. Making it better and more accessible to those around us is our primary goal, and I have no doubt we will achieve this goal in 2016. We’re off to a great start, and are all looking forward to the year to come.

Fraternally,
Grant Applegate
gapplegate@modemolay.org

In the modern landscape of DeMolay, membership is one of the most important aspects of running a successful Chapter. A Chapter must focus on recruitment and retention to have strong membership. Unfortunately, it is all too often that recruitment is seen as the most important part, and retention gets overlooked. Here are the strategies that I’ve seen work really well at the chapter level:

Get in touch with anybody in your Chapter (whether it’s a brother, advisor, or Sweetheart) who misses a meeting. Give them a call, shoot them a text, get in touch with them in a personal way. Let them know that they were missed at the meeting, and ensure that everything is alright. They will feel cared for and be more invested in coming to meetings as a result.

Get back in touch with anybody who has been gone for awhile. We all have members of our chapters who have missed meetings because there was nothing motivating them to come back. Members of DeMolay are often well-rounded individuals involved in many activities, so make sure they know there is always a place for them in your chapter. Continue to send updates and information to brothers you haven’t seen in awhile - if they want you to cease communication, they’ll probably let you know.

Hold regular monthly fun events and prospect parties. You must keep the fun side of DeMolay fully in-view at all times, and keep members engaged in the activities, or they can potentially lose interest and drop out.

Make friends with new members. It’s common for new members to enter a Chapter who don’t have existing ties of friendship to any of the members. When this happens, it is imperative that every member makes their best effort to be friends with the new members. Make sure they’re being included at all times. Invite them to sit next to you when you eat after a meeting, and initiate conversations with them so they don’t feel unwelcome. If they leave their first meeting feeling like they’ve made good friends, they’re far more likely to return.

Most importantly, remember that your brothers are your brothers, even outside of DeMolay. Don’t make the mistake of compartmentalizing your life to the point where DeMolay exists in its own separate bubble. These people are your friends! Invite them to things that have nothing to do with DeMolay. Have a few of your DeMolay buddies over for dinner, go see a movie together, do whatever it is you already do for fun with your outside-of-DeMolay friends. This is an important strategy for retention, because anyone who is friends with the other members of their chapter will be much more likely to stay involved and stay interested regardless of the chapter activities. But it’s more than just a retention strategy. Building those bonds of brotherhood, and facilitating those friendships, will enrich the DeMolay experience of every single person in the chapter. The bonds of DeMolay brotherhood extend far beyond the borders of the chapter room!

To make it even simpler, the keys to retention are having strong communication, and putting in the effort to foster friendship between you and your brothers. These are strategies that I have seen work very well, and as a DeMolay who has been involved with five chapters in four different states, I have seen both sides of the coin; I’ve seen chapters that handle retention exceptionally well, and chapters that don’t. It’s up to you - no matter your office, your age, your time spent in the Order - to put your best foot forward, and do all you can do to share the full DeMolay experience with as many of your brothers as possible.

Fraternally,
Lawson Smead
lsmead@modemolay.org

I have recently concluded my term as Master Councilor for William F. Kuhn Chapter. I had a great term, and looking back, I see that I have learned many valuable lessons. I learned that it takes a lot of patience to lead a group of people effectively. If any of you are looking forward to leading your own chapter, I strongly recommend focusing on patience and tolerance, as these traits are imperative to being a strong and successful Master Councilor.

One of the most important things I learned was the value of time management. With pre-existing responsibilities at school, athletics, and work, I had to adjust swiftly and ensure that my time was managed properly. I strongly encourage you to work on sharpening your time management skills should you have aspirations to lead your chapter, or any other group of individuals.

As a Master Councilor you must be able to communicate ideas effectively with others. It is important for you to not only be a source of new ideas and strategies for your chapter, but also to share these ideas and strategies with your brethren in a way that they can fully understand. Communication skills are a necessity for success in nearly every field of work, and the chance to develop and deploy them through DeMolay is one of the most valuable experiences you can have in your young life.

Fraternally,
Wolf Wheeler
wwheeler@modemolay.com

As DeMolay, we knelt at the Altar and dedicated our lives to the seven cardinal virtues of DeMolay: filial love, reverence for sacred things, courtesy, comradeship, fidelity, cleanness, and patriotism. Many DeMolay know the meanings of these virtues very well, as they are ingrained in our minds through every initiation and Ceremony of Light we witness. However, in order to truly represent DeMolay, you must also take these virtues into your daily life, and not everyone fully knows how to do so. Here are all of the ways that we can live the cardinal virtues.

Filial love: We all love our parents and understand how much they truly sacrifice for us every day. As DeMolay, we can easily show our love by telling our mothers and fathers that they are loved, and how much they are loved. It’s as simple as embracing your parents and thanking them, or giving them a card to remind them you’re thankful. In the chapter room we can celebrate our mothers through the Flower Talk ceremony. Our parents are the reason we are here, and we would not be able to have the opportunities we have without them.

Reverence for Sacred Things: If you are to truly represent DeMolay, you must acknowledge the existence of a higher power and believe in the goodness of God. You can carry this into your daily life by attending services at your preferred place of worship, and living in accordance with the principles of your faith. However you choose express your religious beliefs, anything you do to enhance your connection with God is a way for you to be a living example of the second cardinal virtue.

Courtesy: The best way to make positive first impressions and maintain interpersonal relationships is through being courteous. Whether you’re holding a door open for someone or allowing someone to step ahead of you in line, courtesy always makes a difference. In the chapter, you can make sure all guests are escorted in and out of the room, and make sure they feel welcome. At events, let guests and sweethearts go first in line. These are just some of the ways you can show courtesy in your daily life.

Comradeship: The brotherly love we all share runs deep within every DeMolay, and our organization would not be the same without it. This is where we find our best friends, the ones that will be here through thick and thin, the ones you can call at 3 am and they would be there for you without question. We show our comradeship at every event, meeting, and Conclave. During sporting events, be as competitive as you need to be, but in the end, remember that everyone is a brother, and were all family. Extending this comradeship to your friends outside of the chapter room will bring this sense of brotherhood to every part of your life, enriching your life and many others in the process.

Fidelity: Staying true to the promises and obligations we make is one of the most important things a DeMolay can do. Without this trust between all DeMolays, there would be no way to rely on your brothers to help you in a time of distress. Fidelity can shine through everything you do. Be on time to your chapter’s meetings and events, do the work that was entrusted to you to the best of your ability, and never lie to anyone for your own gain or to defame someone’s character. We have taken Jacques DeMolay’s name because of his unfaltering fidelity to his brothers, so we must live by his example.

Cleanness: We must think and act with cleanness if we are to reach the potential of moral uprightness we all share. Cursing, taking the name of God in vain, or otherwise participating in unclean activities will damage our mind, body, and soul. We should not only show the highest degree of character, but also prove to ourselves and others that we are upstanding men with high respect and regard for the wellbeing of all people.

Patriotism: Last and certainly not least. We all love our country and honor our flag by pledging our allegiance to it at every meeting and installation we hold. Our country has been through many wars in which young men have sacrificed their lives to defend its honor, and our country still stands tall. Going into the military isn’t the only way to show how much we love our country; following the law, pledging allegiance, and showing respect to our nation and its history are all ways that we can show our patriotism every single day.

I urge you not to lose sight of the vital importance of living the precepts. DeMolay is a fraternity that exists to develop our skills so that we may reach the years of manhood with the highest quality of character. It is your responsibility to develop yourself by living in accordance with these cardinal virtues throughout your daily life.

Fraternally,
Bryan Tracy
btracy@modemolay.org

DeMolay is an organization that teaches everyone involved how to take the first step to greatness. Our members plan events, run meetings, make important decisions, and learn many valuable leadership skills along the way. However, I’ve found that if you want to reach your true potential in this organization, you absolutely must be willing to step out of your comfort zone.

As a DeMolay, it is your responsibility to go the extra mile. When I was carrying out my term as Master Councilor of Joplin Chapter, there were several obstacles I had to face. I needed to make sure attendance was always high and ritual was always memorized. When these challenges arose, I knew that I had to step forward and work with my Chapter on fixing these problems. A leader is only as good as the people on his team, and a team is only as strong as their weakest link. Being a leader means growing your team, and making it stronger and better than it was before. If your chapter is having issues with ritual, set up a ritual practice day to focus on it. If your chapter needs more members, create an incentive program to encourage members to recruit their friends. The key is to always be solving problems, wherever they may arise. It is your job as a leader to see that this happens, and that your team is capable of showing everything that makes DeMolay great. Always remember: if you’re becoming overwhelmed, don't be afraid to reach out to your State Officers for help, because that is what we are here for.

Just because you’re not a Councilor of your chapter does not mean you can’t be a leader. Leaders are the kind of people who ask to be on every committee they can because they want to lead the chapter to success. Leaders are the kind of people who volunteer to plan events and help newer members learn the ropes. As a DeMolay you have an opportunity to develop and deploy these leadership skills, and you must not let this opportunity pass you by. If you take on responsibilities to serve your chapter, you will be surprised how fulfilling and rewarding it can be. Remember that DeMolay is the first step to greatness, and it is up to you to put in the effort and make yourself into the greatest leader you can be.

Sincerely,
Melvin Bowman
mbowman@modemolay.org

Comradeship, both in thought and action, is the most powerful virtue a DeMolay can claim. It is easy to forget the exact words of the oath we take in our obligation, but what we cannot forget is that, as brothers, we must stand together, arm-in-arm, to be successful. We are called upon daily to defend our Order’s precepts and virtues, and comradeship stands symbolically at the center of all seven of our cardinal virtues. Only with the respect and admiration of each one of our brothers can we hope to succeed as a fraternity, and as individuals, throughout our lives.

We have a duty to place our brothers and the well-being of our organization above our own selfish wants and desires. The fabric of today’s society is comprised mostly of youth, and we have a responsibility to reach out to our communities and spread the message of fidelity and faithfulness to our brethren, in our quest to follow the examples of the martyred hero whose name we have taken as our own. Through this community outreach we can also impact the lives and minds of millions of young men. We must be sure that our work not only betters us and our brethren, but the rest of our community as well.

Fraternally,
Ukiah Camp
ucamp@modemolay.org

 

Hello again! The State Sweethearts are back with their traveling reports. We can’t wait to share with you our experiences of DeMolay. 2016 has been filled with brotherhood and love. There have been so many events, we can barely keep track! We’re so glad that you all are active and driven to help make DeMolay the best it can be.

On February 13th, Carondelet Chapter had an awesome installation of officers. Congrats to Dalton, we know that you will do great things! We are so incredibly proud of you. And congrats to all the officers! We hope to see you soon.

On February 26th, George L. Walters Chapter had a beautiful installation where Grant Applegate was installed as Master Councilor. Congrats to Grant and the chapter! We know you all will do an amazing job!

And we would also like to congratulate William F. Kuhn Chapter for a marvelous installation on the 27th. We know that you will continue to be a great chapter. Keep up the great work!

We hope that you'll reach out to us and let us know when your chapter is holding an event. We would love to attend and support you on your endeavors! See you soon

Brittany Pomilee
State Sweetheart
statesweetheartbrittany@gmail.com

Amanda Aiken
State Associate Sweetheart
statesweetheartamanda@gmail.com


The following are reports on visitations to installations, chapter meetings, and other special occasions. We wanted to share these as a way to spread the love and keep everyone in-the-know on how things are going at chapters around the state. Be sure to let us know of your upcoming events so we can join you!

A DeMolay Legacy
On April 21st I had the immense pleasure of joining William F. Kuhn chapter for a very special meeting. A 'Senior DeMolay' meeting, this occasion featured opening and closing ceremonies performed exclusively by Senior DeMolay. The guys at William F. Kuhn and I had a great time watching as many of our fathers, Chapter Dads, and majoritied friends performed the ritual. It was a unique experience with plenty of humor and fun, but even more than that, it was a great learning experience for everyone in attendance. We were able to get some much-needed clarification on many simple, common floor-work errors, and we were challenged to pick out any mistakes made by the participants. We all walked away with more ritual knowledge, all of which I was sure to share with my Chapter at our next meeting. I highly encourage every Chapter to consider the educational (and entertainment!) value of hosting a 'Senior DeMolay' meeting in the near future, and I thank all of my great friends and brothers at William F. Kuhn Chapter for the opportunity to be a part of it. 

Lawson Smead
lsmead@modemolay.org

 

The Value of a Visitation
It is so good to see brothers come together for a common purpose. That is exactly what I saw when I visited Farnsworth Chapter in Springfield Missouri. I was pleased to see that many boys there were eager and willing to work with each other to make important decisions on topics such as fundraising, charity, and chapter events.

It is an amazing time for Missouri DeMolay and I am excited an hopeful to see what else we, as brothers, can accomplish as a Jurisdiction.

Ukiah Camp
ucamp@modemolay.org

 

Crestwood Chapter Installation
Crestwood Chapter held their Installation on Saturday, April 30th at Crestwood Anchor Lodge. Brother Conner Westermayer was elected to the position of Master Councilor of his Chapter. Conner is 15 years old and has been a member of DeMolay since he was twelve. Before that, Conner was a member of the Squires, where he served as Master Squire. This isn’t the first Westemayer to serve in the east at Crestwood; his brother Christian is a three-time Past Master Councilor of Crestwood Chapter. With there being such a long history of serving DeMolay in the Westermayer family, it was great to see Christian perform Installing Officer for his younger brother. Crestwood Chapter installed 14 new officers for the ensuing term, and I have no doubt that every one of them will do a great job in their new positions. I had a fantastic time there and could not be more proud!

Bradley Pitman
bpitman@modemolay.org

 
In closing, thanks for joining us for our first issue of Volume 5. We hope you enjoyed our articles, and we look forward to bringing you our next issue.

Fraternally,
The Jurisdictional Officers of Missouri DeMolay