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the State of your Lodge

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Sec'yBob View Drop Down
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    Posted: April/30/2016 at 8:30am
My Brothers

This has come up frequently around Missouri, and I suspect it may be true elsewhere.

What is the state of your Lodge, in terms of membership and attendance at meeting.

Every year my Lodge loses a few to being unpaid for the year. And of course there is the occasional death.  Overall, we seems to lose one or two more than we take in.

And, when you have a meeting, do you have enough to fill the chairs and open.

Just curious how the rest of the world is fairing.

Is Masonry dying??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote log cabin Bill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/30/2016 at 9:47am
At my lodge we don't have a problem filling the chairs to open. Our officers know that if they can't make it, they are to notify the JW. Attendance by non officers is rather disappointing,usually about 15 to 25 members. Overall membership is down. When I joined in '95 our membership was nearly 1,000 and that was down from a high a few years earlier of about 1,200. Now we are down to 600 and continuing to slide. We are not taking in enough new members to offset deaths and suspensions for non payment of dues. Presently dues are $75 per year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sec'yBob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/30/2016 at 5:45pm
Bill

Those numbers are amazing.

My total membership number is 48.  If we get 9 people at a meeting we are HEAVY

Some of my Lodges in my District are even way less than mine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adept? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/30/2016 at 6:05pm
The last couple of years in my lodge were rough.  Since the "changing of the guard" in January, we have initiated and passed 3, 2 of which are scheduled for raising in 2 weeks at our monthly, at which time we have yet another petition to read.  So at this time, things are looking up.  Regular meetings are decently attended, (that is to say we fill the chairs and usually have a few scattered on the sidelines) and members that had not been attending are slowly returning.

There is another thread on here somewhere that I talked about a rift that had risen, effectively separating the lodge, and causing some members to leave.  That has since passed, and with the new Brother in the east, things seem to be on a positive turn.  (fingers crossed that it remains that way.)
"It is humanity that creates god, and men think that god has made them in his image, because they make him in theirs."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote log cabin Bill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2016 at 7:40am
Sec'y Bob: As you said: "those numbers are impressive," unfortunately it is the same group of 40 to 50 brethren who come to meetings and participate in events. Many of our members have retired and moved out of town. I have seen men be initiated, passed and raised and then never see them again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sec'yBob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2016 at 8:54am
I would love it if I went to a Lodge and there were 30-40 people there.  I have been told that kind of attendance is from days long ago.  At least here in Missouri.  Most Lodges I visit, have between 8-12 people including the host lodge officers.

Crestwood Anchor Lodge #443 in south St. Louis county  held a 100 man Lodge night last year.  About 140 men showed up, we had to find extra seats to accommodate everyone.  It was awesome to be in that room.

Sometimes I feel that Masonry is growing again but then again I am not so sure.  we too take in a few each year, but some run and never come back, some belong but seldom attend etc.

I wish I knew what the magic potion was to get men interested again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WBScott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/01/2016 at 9:20pm
Wish I had the answer for you Bob. At one of my lodges in the 25th District, we recently did a Master Mason degree where I did FOUR different parts. I would tell you what parts they were, but there is a non-Mason in the group. It was a little rough but we got him Raised!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TyleBrutus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/08/2016 at 7:26pm
The lodge I was raised in had about 20 active members.  We had (back in 2008-9) a declining attendance of maybe 12 brothers a meeting.  Being the youngest guy by far I took the advice of the WM and went traveling with the District rep and got to see much bigger gathering.

Now it is hard to get a call back from my home lodge.  Sometimes I think they all disappeared :/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sec'yBob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/08/2016 at 7:45pm
I wonder if it is a sign of the times.

Since I became a Mason,  I am a better man, a better father and a better person.
I uphold and stand for the precepts and tenants that we hold dear.
What is it about men today, what is it that they find unattractive, or "wrong" with us.

It is said that we should live with no regrets, but dang it, I wish I had joined a lot sooner than I did, I do think my life would be different.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adept? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/08/2016 at 9:37pm
I think this could sum it up quickly.  We may be able to continue as a fraternity, and a charitable organization of good works if we would drop the "god" requirement.  Other than that... It is my belief that, much like religion itself; our organization is doomed to die out over the next century or so...

Great Decline in religion graph
"It is humanity that creates god, and men think that god has made them in his image, because they make him in theirs."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sec'yBob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/09/2016 at 6:46am
I do see your point, and it is probably right on target.  religion is fading away.

I was raised on religion, and I am steadfast in my faith and my belief.  This country was founded by people of great faith, they came here looking for a way to practice without penalty or repression.
My time at Lodge [at least during opening and closing], is as solemn and peaceful as if I were in church and I relish that.
My opinion is [my .02 worth] is that we need to get back to religion, we need to rally and have a revival, and take this country back-but I will stop here, I am leaning to religion and politics.  LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote scout Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/09/2016 at 7:57am
Our fraternity ballooned in size during the period after the second world war. "Fraternalism" was popular and many, many men became masons for the wrong reasons.  What we see now, at least to some degree, is the natural resizing of the lodges as the "sunshine patriots and summer soldiers" fall by the wayside and those who are seeking light in the truest sense take control of the craft.  Look for wonderful growth in our fraternity in the future, albeit at an abbreviated pace, as young men come to us for the right reasons.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adept? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/09/2016 at 8:03am
Sec'yBob,

Well, if you've read some of my other posts on here, or my signature below for that matter, you'll know that I disagree with you whole heartedly 100%. Being to this very day still one of the most religious nations on the planet, I believe the very LAST thing we need is more religion. It's time we leave religion and other superstitious nonsense in the past where they belong, and move forward as a society as so many others have already done.

Edited by Adept? - May/09/2016 at 8:10am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GrimoireA3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/09/2016 at 9:14am
Originally posted by Sec'yBob Sec'yBob wrote:

I wonder if it is a sign of the times.


Hi Sec'yBob,

Sorry, but I need to chime in here.

I think you hit it. All fraternities in America seem to be declining: college fraternities are dwindling; Veterans associations are falling; here in Boston several 'Boy's Clubs' have closed; Elk clubs, Beaver Clubs, Rotary Clubs, etc.. are shrinking; yacht clubs are struggling; libraries are underutilized; museums are closing doors. Religion: the Catholic Church [my faith] has less than a 13% turnout and fewer young men are opting for the priesthood.

Other once popular fraternities such as: Odd Fellows, Knights of Pythias, Junior Order United American Mechanics, Modern Woodman of America, Knights of the Maccabees, Knights of Honor, Improved Order of Red Men, Royal Arcanum, et. al... are all but extinct.   

So its not just Masonry that is being affected by 'secular humanism'.

Examine which 'fraternal' type organizations are healthy and active? Political and Business associations seem to be thriving. Sci Fi fantasy clubs are booming. Computer 'hacker' and 'gamers' are extremely popular. Young minds are lined up to join Anonymous and other underground 'dark net' activities.

In college, for example, at MIT: there are about 1200 Computer science majors, about 900 Electrical engineering majors, an entire business school full of students (Sloan), about 500 physics majors - yet only 12 Philosophy majors and 5 English majors and 10 History majors, etc. etc. etc.

So in my estimate, anything that has to do with liberal arts or 'existential' activities seems to be on the wane.

It appears that some 'marketing' must be done by Masons to boost membership without compromising what it is that makes Masonry special.

Not being a Mason I consider this to be an objective opinion. Hope this helps.

Please Note: I am not a Mason. And also, I am not an anti-Mason!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote droche Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/10/2016 at 3:02pm
Originally posted by Adept? Adept? wrote:

I think this could sum it up quickly.  We may be able to continue as a fraternity, and a charitable organization of good works if we would drop the "god" requirement.  Other than that... It is my belief that, much like religion itself; our organization is doomed to die out over the next century or so...

If we were to drop the belief in God requirement I think we would end as a fraternity within a few months. I'm very sure that many more existing members would leave than atheists would join. There may be a few atheists who would like to join but I don't think there are that many.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarkMaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/10/2016 at 3:08pm
My current Lodge has similar issues: although there are around 200 registered, dues-paying Brethren (we lost a few when our annual dues increased to 65.00), only about 15-20 are in regular attendance. We can fill the chairs, but the body looks awfully thin. The good news is that most of the regulars are younger men (mid-30's to 40's) and have taken active roles in running the Lodge. It appears that, while our numbers are not increasing, our Lodge is far from dying out.

The reading that I have done in relation to the history of the Craft in America is admittedly limited, but I have noticed this trend toward decline more than once in our existence: the causes vary, but the fact that Lodge membership recovered from these declines is unarguable. I shouldn't worry over-much about those who call for radical changes in our philosophy and/or practices as the only way to save our Brotherhood ...... Freemasonry has survived far worse than the hiccups we are experiencing today. The cowans and eavesdroppers knocking at the Gate will soon enough wear out their delicate knuckles on the adamantine portal (either that or get blade-whipped by a diligent tyler).

LOL LOL


Edited by MarkMaster - May/10/2016 at 3:16pm
"Si apis, sis apis."


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WBScott Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2016 at 8:46am
Originally posted by Adept? Adept? wrote:

We may be able to continue as a fraternity, and a charitable organization of good works if we would drop the "god" requirement.

If Freemasonry dropped "the god requirement", I wouldn't want to be a member any more.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sec'yBob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May/14/2016 at 6:25pm

I have not further comment on this topic


Edited by Sec'yBob - May/14/2016 at 7:41pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jubelo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July/31/2017 at 10:00am
Our lodge went through some changes over the past 10 years.  In the late '00s, we repeated WMs and barely had enough officers to fill the line.  Currently, we have a full line (of young men!) and are in great shape.  I can't put my finger on what changed, though.  Either way, the result is great for the health of our lodge.  
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