The Order of 'The Eastern Star of New Jersey'
Order of the Eastern Star is one of the largest fraternal organizations in the world to which both men and women may belong. Worldwide, there are more than one million members. Eastern Star is a social order comprised of persons with spiritual values but it is not a religion. Its appeal rests in the true beauty of the refreshing and character building lessons that are so sincerely portrayed in its ritualistic work. A deep fraternal bond exists between its members. It is the wholesome relationship of sisterly and brotherly love brought about through high principles exemplified in our lives, which make us near and dear to each other. While this Order is composed of people of deep convictions, it is open to all faiths. The personal welfare of our members is vital to all those in the Eastern Star and it is considered a privilege to help another member.
The stated purposes of the organization are: Charitable, Educational, Fraternal and Scientific; but there is much more to it than that. Dr. Robert Morris, the Poet Laureate of Masonry, founded the Order on October 20, 1870 using beautiful and inspiring biblical examples of heroic conduct and moral values; namely fidelity, constancy, purity, faith and charity. The five heroines of our order portray these noble principles, which should adorn the lives of all 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.
It is the individual Chapter that issues petitions (applications) for membership and also initiates the candidates into the beautiful and fulfilling Order of The Eastern Star. Just as each individual is the foundation of Society, the chapter is the fundamental organization of the Grand Chapter. It operates and functions under the Laws, Rules and Regulations prescribed by the Grand Chapter, which is the highest authority, and by a code of By-Laws framed by itself.
The Order of The Eastern Star is not a secret organization, Anyone can examine the laws, rules and regulations by which the Order is governed. The Masonic Temples and various other buildings where meetings are conducted are located in plain view of the public in hundreds of towns and cities throughout the state. The symbols of the order are never hidden. The charitable and educational assistance given to so many individuals, both inside and outside of the Order, could hardly be kept secret. It is true that we have certain signs, passes and modes of recognition that distinguish our organization from other institutions or bodies. It is also a fact that from the beginning of time, from the very primitive level to our modern day society, there have been and always will be subtle glances, a touch of the hand or a spoken work, by which the door will be opened to members of an organization or fraternity.
Our Chapter rooms contain many inspiring symbols; the Holy Bible, The American Flag, the Christian Flag and our Emblematic Star. The American Flag bears witness to our allegiance to our country. The Emblematic Star shows that we strive to be faithful and helpful to all our sisters and brothers. The holy Bible and Christian Flag show that we are Christian, and extend our hands in friendship and brotherly love.
We have been a charitable organization, helping those in need. Our beautiful Eastern Star Home is located in Finderne (Bridgewater Township), NJ. It was dedicated on February 14, 1959 and presently accommodates 94 residents: truly a Beacon of light to our aging members. We maintain our own Charity Foundation which assists our needy sisters and brothers. Our educational Loan Fund gives needed support to young people for their highest education. We also contribute to and support community charities which reflect a genuine concern for our fellow man.
The first requirement for membership in The Order of The Eastern Star of New Jersey is a relationship to a member of the Masonic Fraternity. The only persons eligible to membership in the Order of the Eastern Star of this Jurisdiction are the wives, widows, mothers, daughters, legally adopted daughters, step-daughters, sisters, half-sisters, grandmothers, granddaughters, great-granddaughters, step- granddaughters, aunts, nieces, step-mothers, step-sisters, mothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, daughters-in-law, of a Master Mason in good standing or in good standing at the time of his death, Master Masons in good standing, anyone recommended by a Master Mason in good standing, or certified Majority Members of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls who are sponsored by a Master Mason in good standing. Master Masons (As noted above) are welcome to membership, but in New Jersey they need not hold membership in the Order to visit a chapter. Applicants must be 18 years of age, and of good moral character. The Order of The Eastern Star is not a religion.
It is religious in nature and embraces members of many faiths. It is essential to membership that one must acknowledge a belief in the existence of a Supreme Being and the Acceptance of the factual statement contained in the second chapter of the Gospel according to Saint Matthew, second verse. A petitioner must be recommended by two members of the Chapter, who have known her/him for at least six months, be investigated by a committee of inquiry and pass by unanimous ballot. Faithful members have joined our fraternity for sociability and lasting friendships, and to be of service in our many charitable activities.
The objectives of The Order of The Eastern Star of New Jersey are to promote through the association of its members, a bond of Christian love and fellowship and a sincere concern for our fellow man; to teach a moral way of life, to provide for the welfare of our members in the time of need, and to enjoy a social environment where we may find new and lasting friends. Our members may share with the Masonic Brotherhood in advancing the qualities of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. And finally, we would be governed in word and deed by The Golden Rule, "Whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets."
© New Jersey Order of the Eastern Star, 2012