State Deputy's Message

November 2017

Our Fraternal Year is now officially one-third of the way completed.  Your Council should have its’ Forms 185 (Report of Officers), 365 (Program Personnel Report Form), and 1728 (Semi-Annual Council Audit) completed and submitted to both the State and Supreme Offices.  Your Council should have scheduled its’ Programming Activities throughout the Fraternal Year.  Your Council should have a Membership Director, Membership Team, Retention Chairman and a Retention Team in place to handle membership recruitment and retention efforts.  Finally, your Council should have established an Action Plan to both grow and retain its’ members.

I often get asked “why do you guys put so much emphasis on membership?”  The answer is really simple:  if you are not growing, you are shrinking.  If you aren’t inviting “new” membership, your membership will get old.  If you don’t recruit, encourage and include new members in any and all activities, including Council offices, your “old” membership will drop out, get out, or burn out.  Our Supreme Programming and Membership Consultant, Levi Leyba, often talks about a “phantom” council in his home state, that decided it had enough members and decided not to recruit any new members.  This strategy worked great, until the existing membership got tired of playing musical chairs with the Council leadership positions.  Eventually, these men dropped out of all activities and council offices.  Even though this Council doesn’t meet anymore, complete forms, recruit, or participate in any programming activities, the entire membership of the Council had insurance. Because of this, the Council is still on the books!

I am frequently told that “we have recruited every man in the Parish.  “There is no one left to recruit.” That may be true, but it usually isn’t.  I am reminded of the town of Axtell, home of Past State Deputy Tom Rottinghaus.  While the town of Axtell has a population of about 400, the Axtell Council #1163 had 253 members at the end of last year.  I am told that every High School Senior in the Parish is recruited. Brother Knights, I promise that there is always at least one guy out there that isn’t a member because he either hasn’t been recruited, hasn’t been asked to join, has said no because he hasn’t been sold on the benefits of membership, or maybe, just maybe, his life situation has changed.  He has gotten married or has a new family member and his insurance needs have changed.  Maybe he needs some financial planning or needs to set up a retirement income strategy.  While the Knights offer these benefits, is your Council aware of these benefits?  Are your members aware?  If not, invite your Field Agent and host a Fraternal Benefit Night.  I am sure that every Field Agent in the State is prepared to present the benefits of insurance to members and prospective members alike.  Most importantly, be not afraid to “Become the Cornerstone.”

Finally, November 7 is Election Day.  Make certain that you vote.  We have an obligation to vote. Our Religious Freedom is at stake during every election.  This year is no different.  Inform yourself on the views of the Candidates and make your vote count.

November is also special in a couple of other regards.  Veterans Day will be celebrated on November 11, and Thanksgiving is Thursday, November 23.  We should certainly thank the Veterans who have made many sacrifices to fight for and defend our Country, and we should honor the blessings that have been bestowed on each of us. My wife, Barb, and I wish each and everyone in the Order in Kansas a blessed Thanksgiving. Vivat Jesus

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