Last weekend I attended a meeting of the Order of the Eastern Star in Yongsan. I visited Elect Lady of the East Chapter #54, Prince Hall Affiliated Washington and Jurisdiciton.
The Order of the Eastern Star is a Freemasonry-related fraternal organization open to both men and women. It was established in 1850 by Boston, Massachusetts lawyer and educator Rob Morris, a former Freemason official. The order is based on teachings from the Bible, but is open to people of all religious beliefs. 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. Originally, a woman would have to be the daughter, widow, wife, sister, or mother of a Master Mason, but the Order now allows other relatives as well as allowing Job’s Daughters and Rainbow Girls.
The emblem of the Order is a five-pointed star with the white ray of the star pointing downwards. 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; a daughter, a widow, a wife, a sister and a mother, the whole of which represent each point of the star:
|Adah, The Daughter: Jephthah’s daughter was perfectly willing that her life should be sacrificed and thus fulfill her father’s obligation unto Jehovah.
|Ruth, The Widow: This story is the classic example of true and tried friendship between two women. It is the passionate love of a girl for her mother-in-law|
|Esther, The Wife: One of the Jewish exiles, who rises from the most humble walks of life to become a queen, and thereby ultimately rescuing her people from wholesale destruction.|
|Martha, The Sister: The patron saint of all good housewives, careful mothers, and skilful and efficient nurses of the present generation.
|Electa, The Mother: She professed her faith to the whole world, although she knew what reproaches, persecutions even unto death, that she must undergo for the stand that she took.
I was happy to attend the meeting and look forward to future visits.
Order of the Eastern Star. Wikipedia.
Peace Chapter #116. (2002). The Heroines – Order of the Eastern Star. Bowie, MD.