Freemasons have been supporting families and family values since our inception. We have organizations open only to men, only to women, for couples, for boys and for girls. For further information on some of our various organizations, scroll down.
For Men Only
Masonry is the world's oldest and largest fraternity for men. Although the details of Masonry's beginnings are lost, it is certain that in 1717 four lodges met in a London coffeehouse and formed the first Grand Lodge or association of lodges.
Masonry entered this country early in our history. Benjamin Franklin, an active Mason, printed the first Masonic book published in the United States. George Washington and other American leaders were active Masons.
As Masons moved across the continent, they brought Masonry with them. The first recorded Masonic meeting in Colorado was held in the middle of the nineteenth century; the first Rocky Mountain News contained a notice of a Masonic meeting. The Colorado Grand Lodge was formed in 1861.
Masonic lodges have three separate degrees or ceremonies: Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason, given in that order. These ceremonies, in which all parts are delivered from memory, use symbols and allegory to teach lessons about brotherly love, relief, and truth. Many of the symbols are tools used in the stonemason's trade, which explains why a common Masonic symbol is the square and compasses. The square teaches that a Mason should relate honestly and fairly with his fellow men; "giving a square deal" is a phrase in everyday use. The compasses are used to teach Masons to moderate or circumscribe their passions and desires.
Teaching by treating common-place things symbolically is an old technique; and because Masons use this system of communicating their lessons, their lodges are often given the name "Symbolic Lodges." The color blue is associated with these lodges, and Symbolic Lodges may be called Blue Lodges. Because the tools of the stonemason's craft are used symbolically, another name for these lodges is Craft Lodges. Masonry--or Freemasonry, the terms are used interchangeably--is often called The Craft by initiates.
The Scottish Rite is one of the two Appendant Bodies of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason my proceed after he has completed the Three Degrees of Blue Lodge (or Craft) Lodge Masonry. Any Master Mason in good standing may Petition for Membership. He must be judged of good moral character and be approved by the Members. Neither Scottish in origin nor a Rite in the religious sense, the Scottish Rite has as its ultimate goal mankind's moral and spiritual development. The local Scottish Rite organization, called a "Valley," confers the 4th through 32nd Degrees in Degree-conferring Meetings. The Scottish Rite is sometimes called the "College of Freemasonry" because it uses extensive allegory and drama to emphasize the message of its Degrees.
The Scottish Rite is said to have been brought to the New World in 1761. In 1801, the first Scottish Rite Supreme Council was established in Charleston, South Carolina, becoming known in 1813 as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America, the Supreme Council 33rd Degree, Mother Council of the World.
In 1813, this Council authorized the formation of a second Council in New York City, known as the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America. The Supreme Council of the Northern Jurisdiction with headquarters in Lexington, Massachusetts, consists of 15 states north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River.
The Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction includes the other 35 states, plus the District of Columbia, Canal Zone, China, Japan, Okinawa, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Korea, and Taiwan. The Southern Jurisdiction has its headquarters in Washington D.C. In addition, Canada's Scottish Rite is governed by the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of Canada, headquartered in Hamilton, Ontario. Mexico also has its own Scottish Rite Jurisdiction.
All Supreme Councils and their Subordinate Bodies acknowledge the Supremacy of Symbolic Grand Lodges. Termination of Symbolic Lodge Membership automatically terminates Scottish Rite Membership.
What has attracted so many brethren to seek further light in Royal Arch Masonry? In your journey through the three degrees of Symbolic masonry and as you have learned the proficiency lecture for each degree, no doubt many questions have arisen concerning the meaning of the ritualistic ceremonies, the historical implications and the "why" of the legends of Freemasonry.
Many believe the Sublime Degree of Master Mason to be the ultimate degree of Freemasonry and all others to be added and explanatory. Most students of Freemasonry agree that the story of the Craft as presented in the three degrees is incomplete and that the degrees of the Royal Arch complete the story and answer many of the questions in the mind of the newly made Master Mason.
Councils of Cryptic Masons form the center body of the York Rite of Freemasonry. A Master Mason may join a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons and receive the four degrees of that organization. After which he may seek further knowledge in Freemasonry and join a Council of Cryptic Masons.
The Cryptic Degrees are a set of three degrees controlled by the Select Masters Council. The degrees get their name from the reference to a hidden or secret vault in the degrees, hence the term Cryptic. Only the first two degrees are regularly worked, the third degree, that of Super Excellent Master, is worked as an honorary degree, not being required as a requisite for membership in the Council. It is also somewhat peculiar in its association with the Cryptic degrees, as it is more closely allied in theme and character with the Royal Arch and the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross. The history of the body as a whole is also shrouded in uncertainty and controversy. Though there is early evidence of Councils of Royal and Select Masters being worked in the United States, the degrees were worked variously by their own Councils, Royal Arch Chapters, and even Lodges of Perfection of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Though the Scottish Rite has long relinquished any claim to these degrees, several Grand Jurisdictions still confer them as a part of Capitular Masonry. In England, the degree of Most Excellent Master is grouped with this body. In the United States, all business is conducted in the Select Masters Council, the other two bodies only being opened for the conferral of degrees.
The Knights Templar is a Christian-oriented fraternal organization that is based on the history and mythos surrounding the 11th century Order. Originally, the Knights Templar were laymen who protected and defended Christians traveling to Jerusalem. These men took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and were renowned for their fierceness and courage in battle.
The Chivalric Orders are a set of three Orders culminating in the grade of Knight Templar, and controlled by that body. This body is markedly different from its foreign counterparts, in that it exhibits a paramilitary structure and outlook on Masonry, being the only branch of Masonry in the world that is a uniformed body. Its requirement that its members be professed Christians has led to calls of condemnation from other Masonic bodies and organizations both inside and outside the United States, claiming that the body is more of a Christian organization rather than a Masonic body. These have had little effect on the body, however, as many of the organizations criticizing the body have similar degrees among themselves.
The Shrine is a Fraternal Organization composed of Masons. Its purpose is the teachings of the broad principles of Toleration, Charity, Benevolence, and Unselfish Friendship. Emphasis is on fellowship and each Shriner is encouraged to become active in one or more of the various "Units" operating under the auspices of the Temples.
Collectively the 191 Shrine Temples, with many thousands of members, support 22 Shriners Hospitals providing orthopedic, burn, and spinal cord injury care.
This is a network of pediatric specialty hospitals providing free quality medical care. The quality of life of over 530,000 youngsters under 18 years of age, has been improved by these hospitals. Since 1922, when the first Shriners Hospital opened more than $50,000,000 have been spent on this endeavor. This is a very large private benevolent action.
Without question, the Shrine is the most widely publicized and best known Member of the Masonic Family.
The National Sojourners is an organization comprised of current and former military members who are also Master Masons. It advances programs that promote love of country and respect for its institutions.
High Twelve International
High Twelve is an assemblage of Blue Lodge Members meeting at noon for lunch (or, if more convenient, for an evening meal) accompanied by wives, friends, or neighbors, Masonic or non-Masonic, in a social and yet Fraternal association. Guest speakers are often invited from the local Civic, Fraternal, or Social-Professional Groups within the immediate community.
No attempt is made to hide the purposes of the Club; the Little Red Schoolhouse is passed for voluntary contributions, which are forwarded at regular intervals to the Wolcott Foundation and the local DeMolay Chapter, to assist the Chapter Members in attending Leadership Training Sessions, DeMolay Conclaves, or other similar activities.
Through the International Organization, High Twelve maintains the Wolcott Foundation, which provides scholarship funds for students who have completed their undergraduate studies and have been accepted at George Washington University to pursue their studies in the Elliott School of International Affairs, the School of Business, or Public Administration. These individuals are easily recognized on Campus, wearing their distinctive Wolcott Fellow Badges. Many of them take only a few credit hours of work per semester and are employed at part-time positions in various Federal Agencies while in Washington D.C. Their goal: assist the cream of our youth who are interested in government and international affairs as a profession.
International Order of 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 approximately 1 million members under the General Grand Chapter.
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 makes us near and dear to each other.
While this is an Order composed of people of deep spiritual convictions, it is open to all faiths, except no faith. The personal welfare of our members is vital to all of those in the Eastern Star and it is considered a privilege to help another member whenever we can. For membership information, click here.
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 using 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.
For Women Only
The decision in 1889 to hold the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar at Denver in 1892 placed a real challenge on the 200 plus Sir Knights residing in this western cow and mining town. Their loving wives rose to the occasion and responded through the S.O.O.B Society (Some Of Our Business) to make this Society an attractive center from which shall radiate bright, joyous, and happy influence, that life be made purer, better, and sweeter for others.
This native Colorado Member of our Masonic Family limits Membership to the wives and widows of Knights Templar.
Their purpose is to aid the Commanderies when requested. This includes the Knights Templar Eye Foundation to which many of the Members contribute.
Daughters of the Nile
Utilizing their skills in handiwork, they produce gifts for the children in Shrine hospitals and support their fund-raising projects to provide braces, orthopedic shoes and prostheses for the outpatients of the Shriner's Hospitals. Over the years more than $15,000,000 has been donated to this cause.
The Ladies' Oriental Shrine of North America was formed as a fun group for the Ladies of Shriners. They extend and promote good fellowship among families of Nobles of the Shrine. However, each Court assumes an obligation to extend financial support and assistance to the Shriners Hospitals for Children with emphasis on the hospital fund, hospital sewing, and special projects. In an average year the Ladies will donate in excess of $1,6000,000 and work over 365,400 hours.
To become a member of LOSNA you must be related to a Shrine Member in Good Standing, or a deceased Shrine Member who was in Good Standing at the time of his death. You must be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
The Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem is a Masonic Affiliated Organization. Both men and women can belong. It was incorporated in 1894 in Illinois. The Order has a three fold purpose; Charitable, Social, and Fraternal. It aims to bring together women and men with high moral and social character. These members are interested in sharing their desire to create enjoyable experiences for themselves and to provide aid to those less fortunate. The Order is based on the Christian Religion.
The Order operates a Benevolent Program titled "Material Objective." Through this Benevolent Program they assist those in need of rehabilitation regardless of race, creed, sect, or age.
For Youth Only
DeMolay is an organization dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives. Basing its approach on timeless principles and practical, hands-on experience, DeMolay opens doors for young men aged 12 to 21 by developing the civic awareness, personal responsibility and leadership skills so vitally needed in society today. DeMolay combines this serious mission with a fun approach that builds important bonds of friendship among members in more than 1,000 chapters worldwide.
DeMolay alumni include Walt Disney, John Wayne, Walter Cronkite, football Hall-of-Famer Fran Tarkenton, legendary Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne, news anchor David Goodnow and many others. Each has spoken eloquently of the life-changing benefit gained from their involvement in DeMolay.
Job's Daughters is an organization of young women between the ages of 10 and 20 who are related to a Master Mason, and share a common bond. We have members in the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, and the Philippines We have fun together at activities such as swimming parties, dances, family picnics, slumber parties, miniature golf, marching in parades, travel . . . well, you get the picture. By working closely together, you will make new friends that will last a lifetime. We also help others. Throughout the year, we perform service projects to help our community, the less fortunate, and other charities. We actively support the Hearing Impaired Kids Endowment (HIKE) Fund, which purchases hearing assistive devices for hearing impaired children. We learn leadership. By holding various offices in Job's Daughters, you will gain valuable leadership experience, be a part of a team, and learn democratic principles. Job's Daughters can qualify for various scholarships that are offered on a state-wide and a national level. All Job's Daughters are members of a local chapter called a Bethel. Members of a Bethel elect their own officers, decide their own activities, and plan their own events. In short, Job's Daughters International offers the qualities that today's young women want and need from organizations that earn their commitment . . . fun, friendship, helping others, and the chance to learn organizational and leadership skills.
International Order of Rainbow for Girls
Rainbow is a non-profit character building, service oriented organization. The main goal is to help its members become more than they dreamed possible. Involvement in Rainbow teaches girls three basic virtues: to have faith in a Supreme Being, other people and themselves; to have hope in all that they do; and to be charitable, for to live a life of service is the most rewarding life of all.
Rainbow is open to girls between the ages of 11 and 20, regardless of race, creed, color or national origin. You do not have to be Christian to be a member. You can be assured that the values promoted by Rainbow are strong and basic to many religions.