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A Word on Recruiting from the Chancellor

Sep 01, 2004 Brother Knights,

Greetings as we begin another Fraternal year! As you know, the main job that I have as Chancellor is to try and recruit new members to join our Knights of Columbus council. To do this, I obviously need your help and active participation in finding, cultivating, and recruiting new members.

At the state quarterly meeting, membership was a major theme. The State Deputy’s theme for the year is “Gather Us In” – to that end, I would like to address several points on membership.

I happened across a book in a bookstore and it caught my eye due to the subject matter, so I checked it out of the library and gave it a quick look. That book was entitled: “Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community” (by Robert D. Putnam). This book spells out quite clearly the importance of community ties and the fact that these ties have diminished in recent decades. People used to know their neighbors much better and developed what the book calls “social capital.” This social capital refers to the fact that we are better members of a community when we feel ties and obligations to that community.

The book specifically mentions the Knights of Columbus and notes that:

      “Many groups simultaneously bond along social dimensions and bridge across others . . .The Knights of Columbus was created to bridge cleavages among different ethnic communities while bonding across religious and gender lines.” (p. 23)

What is my point with all of this? Just this – we should be trying to reach out to those in our parish – not only for our own membership goals, but to offer these individuals the benefits of being a Knight. They may not have thought about all the value that the Knights hold for them – a chance to get involved in the church and community, to experience the church and parish with their spouses and children in a whole new light. As Knights, we have the chance to grow spiritually and connect with other men of faith – this can be of great value and we should be aware of this when we offer another man the opportunity to become a Knight.

The next time you see someone who you know is not a Knight, ask him if he is interested in joining. Perhaps you see someone at church quite regularly or your children play with their children. Talk to these individuals and see if they are interested in joining the Knights. Many of these folks have never been asked or they might have misconceptions about what the Knights are – take the opportunity to speak with them and ask them what questions or reservations they might have. Don’t worry about our membership quota or making star council – think more about what the Knights can offer this individual and see if you can stress that in your conversation.

Here is some information on upcoming events related to membership – see if you can invite your prospective member to one of these events:
August 30Insert in the Parish Bulletin (and we will be adding tri-folds on the Knights in the church)
Sept. 12Parish Picnic / Open to all and a great time to discuss the Knights
Sept 18 and 19Next Open House:
Pizza and soft drinks after Sat. 5:00 PM Mass*
Family Breakfast after 7:30 and 9:00 AM Masses
Pizza and soft drinks after Sun. 11:00, 1:00 and 5:00 PM Masses*

* In Providence Hall

Sept 28th1st Degree is offered (Admissions committee on the 23rd)

My contact information is listed below – you are welcome to give me a call with any ideas/questions that you might have (please do so). Feel free to pass on my contact information to any prospective new member (whether they have questions, need a Form 100, or anything like that).

Fraternally yours,

Bill Ward
Chancellor/Membership Director
Phone: 703-273-6289
e-mail: billyjoe@cox.net

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