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Is it on the way out?

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Adept? View Drop Down
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    Posted: September/23/2017 at 12:04pm
In the last two or three weeks I've noticed in my travels one Lodge in my local area is already sold and has consolidated with another local Lodge, and another lodge in another town is up for sale and they are also consolidating with another local Lodge. Is Freemasonry on its way out?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sec'yBob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/24/2017 at 7:52am
IT seems to be the trend, at least in Missouri.

Many Lodges are merging, to bolster membership/attendance

But, at least in my Lodge, we have made 9 MM in the last 18 months, so we are on a run.

To answer your question, it definitely is not as popular as it was even 25 years ago.

I would hate to see it go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coach Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2017 at 3:20am
Originally posted by Adept? Adept? wrote:

...  Is Freemasonry on its way out?  Discuss
Out of what?  Favor? Popularity? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adept? Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/25/2017 at 2:59pm
Popularity I suppose... Going the way of the Odd Fellows maybe?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GrimoireA3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2017 at 12:49pm
I just had to make an observation on this question.
 
Last year I made a trip up to Rockport, MA to attend an art show.  Got off the train, walked down Broadway, passed a Catholic Church and a few buildings.  Then I stopped short when I saw a Compass & Square on a small, old, and shabby building.  Two young girls were sitting in chairs in front of a Rockport Masonic Lodge.  I asked them what's up with the building.  One college age girl told me her father bought the building and is turning it into a condo.  The Masons from this very old lodge moved down to Gloucester, MA. and consolidated with the Gloucester lodge.
 
Second, - this summer in a Boston newspaper it was advertised a new restaurant had opened up 'inside' the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts building on Tremont Street.  The 'EXPLORATEUR' bistro restaurant is open for business inside the Freemason building I've walked passed all my life here in Boston.
 
 
Are these events indicative of something?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Martin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/26/2017 at 2:15pm
Originally posted by GrimoireA3 GrimoireA3 wrote:

 Are these events indicative of something? 

Well a lot of us are hopeful that it is indicative of a return to the original pre-20th Century form of our gentle Craft that is before the "Degree Factories" and "McMasonry" became so commonplace.

Here in England the Grand Lodge of England Warranted more new Lodges between 1920 and 1970 than it had in the preceeding 200 years of its existence. Some think it is high time for a contraction of that unsustainable expansion.


Edited by Mike Martin - September/26/2017 at 2:49pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GrimoireA3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September/27/2017 at 11:18am
Hi Mike,
 
Thanks for the response.  Just to let you know that I am not a Mason and you are not communicating with a Freemason at all.  I am just someone who is very interested in 'the craft'.  I'm a life long resident of Boston, Massachusetts (USA).
 
That being clarified, a 'contraction' is healthy.  Kinda  increases the 'quality' curve.  One of the forum members brought that to my attention (in no uncertain terms) some time last year. 
 
I have walked past the Grand Lodge of New England on Tremont Street here in Boston my entire life (60+ years now) and am very surprised to see the Grand Lodge suffer a restaurant in its building.  All for the good I suppose.  Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Martin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/01/2017 at 10:47am
Originally posted by GrimoireA3 GrimoireA3 wrote:

I have walked past the Grand Lodge of New England on Tremont Street here in Boston my entire life (60+ years now) and am very surprised to see the Grand Lodge suffer a restaurant in its building.  All for the good I suppose.  Thanks! 
I suspect that you mean the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and I think you may have the wrong idea about us if you think we "suffer" such things. Freemasonry is part of the real world and we offset our costs just like anyone else does. 

However, I should highlight that it is not uncommon (the world over) for Masonic meeting places to incorporate eateries and restaurants (although not all are open to customers) and of course that is because part of Masonic fellowship revolves around a meal. When Freemasonry first started out, it was the Restaurants/Hostelries that "suffered" Masonic meetings and it was a part of the unhealthy expansion that took us out into our own "private meeting halls. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote droche Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2017 at 4:15pm
The restaurant in the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts building is a public restaurant, not connected with Freemasonry. The restaurant has leased the Paul Revere Room in the Grand Lodge building for their endeavor. As Grimoire has guessed, it was done for financial reasons. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts is located in a prime commercial district and costs are exorbitant. One thing I recently learned is that buildings in that area are forced to heat with steam and must buy the steam from the city, and it is not cheap, and as the OP and others have noticed, we are not growing.

As to the topic, things are similar here in Massachusetts. Mergers are common, and much Masonic real estate is on the market. My observation is that after the Dan Brown novels, we saw an uptick in interest. Now that that novelty has worn off, there doesn't seem to be anything to get people interested. I would have hoped that the contraction would be a step to get things back to basics and the way things were, but I don't see that happening here. It still seems as though FM in Massachusetts is still stuck in that "Masonry-is-a-corporate-business" rut with people playing CEO and living out other corporate fantasies instead of emphasizing the spiritual, philosophical, esoteric aspects of men's lives. It wouldn't surprise me if that is why interest has wanted.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote droche Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October/06/2017 at 8:14pm
My last sentence should have read, "It wouldn't surprise me if that is why interest has waned."

So much for typing replies on my "smart" phone where it thinks it's so smart that it chooses the wrong words for you.
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