We are the largest Fraternal Organization where men and women can join. The stated purposes of the organization are: Charitable, Educational, Fraternal and Scientific; but there is much more to it than that. Dr. Rob Morris, the Poet Laureate of Masonry, founded the Order in 1850. It is based on teachings from the Bible, but is open to people of all theistic beliefs. It has approximately 10,000 chapters in twenty countries and approximately 500,000 members under its General Grand Chapter using the beautiful and inspiring biblical examples of heroic conduct and moral values. These 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 precept and example build an Order which is truly dedicated to charity, truth and loving kindness.
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, Rainbow Girls, Members of the Organization of Triangle (NY only) and members of the Constellation of Junior Stars (NY only) to become members when they become of age.
There are 18 main officers in a full chapter:
- Worthy Matron – presiding officer
- Worthy Patron – a Master Mason who provides general supervision
- Associate Matron – assumes the duties of the Worthy Matron in the absence of that officer
- Associate Patron – assumes the duties of the Worthy Patron in the absence of that officer
- Secretary– takes care of all correspondence and minutes
- Treasurer– takes care of monies of the Chapter
- Conductress – Leads visitors and initiations.
- Associate Conductress – Assists with introductions and handles ballot box.
- Chaplain – leads the Chapter in prayer
- Marshal – presents the Flag and leads in all ceremonies
- Organist– provides music for the meetings
- Adah – Shares the lesson of Duty of Obedience to the will of God
- Ruth – Shares the lesson of Honor and Justice
- Esther – Shares the lesson of Loyalty to Family and Friends
- Martha – Shares the lesson of Faith and Trust in God and Everlasting Life
- Electa – Shares the lesson of Charity and Hospitality
- Warder – Sits next to the door inside the meeting room, to make sure those that enter the chapter room are members of the Order.
- Sentinel – Sits next to the door outside the chapter room, to make sure those that wish to enter are members of the Order.
Traditionally, a woman who is elected Associate Conductress will the following year be elected to Conductress, then the next year Associate Matron, and the next year Worthy Matron. A man elected Associate Patron will usually the next year be elected Worthy Patron. Usually the woman who is elected to become Associate Matron will let it be known who she wishes to be her Associate Patron, so the next year they will both go to the East together as Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron. There is no male counterpart to the Conductress and Associate Conductress. Only women are allowed to be Matrons, Conductresses, and the Star Points (Adah, Ruth, etc.) and only men can be Patrons or Associate Patron.