INTRODUCTION: The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world to which both women and men may belong. Worldwide there are over 500,000 members under the General Grand Chapter. Eastern Star is an adoptive rite of Freemasonry and a social order comprised of persons with spiritual values and whose teachings are charitable and benevolent, but it is not a religion. Its appeal rests in the true beauty and character building lessons that are so sincerely portrayed in its ritualistic work inspired by Biblical examples of heroic conduct and moral values.
While the Order is comprised of people with deep spiritual convictions, it is open to people of any faith who believe in a 'Supreme Being'. A deep fraternal bond exists between its members and we consider it a privilege to help another member whenever we can.
MEMBERSHIP: There are several thousand Subordinate Chapters located in the United States and many countries around the world. Requirements for membership are outlined in the General Grand Chapter website.
GOVERNMENT: The government of the Order is vested in three bodies, named respectively in the order of rank, General Grand Chapter (International), Grand Chapter (State) and Subordinate Chapter (local). The General Grand Chapter (Washington DC) has total authority within its defined limits of its Constitution and Ritual. The Grand Chapters (.e.g. Connecticut) have authority within their respective jurisdiction (State, Province or Territory) except matters controlled by General Grand Chapter. The Subordinate Chapters, of which Connecticut currently has 25, operate under the authority of the Grand Chapter within their jurisdiction.
PURPOSE: The stated purposes of the organization are charitable and fraternal. The membership of the Order supports many charitable projects such as ESTARL (Eastern Star Training for Religious Leadership), Cancer Research, Robert Morris Relief ((financial assistance to needy members) as well as Arthritis Fund, Heart Fund, Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Shriner's Hospitals and many other local charities within each jurisdiction.
The Connecticut Grand Chapter also supports many residents of Masonicare Healthcare Center in Wallingford and Ashlar of Newtown Healthcare Facility in Newtown, CT through what the Order calls Eastern Star Charity Foundation.