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What would you like to see changed or improved?

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Topic: What would you like to see changed or improved?
Posted By: cemab4y
Subject: What would you like to see changed or improved?
Date Posted: December/12/2010 at 10:18am
I am not interested in changing Masonry.  But I am very interested in improving and changing the Masonic experience.  What changes would you like to see in Masonry, and the appendant/concordant bodies?  Would you like to see more use of the internet? 
 
Would you like to see a revival of some of our cherished traditions, that have gone dormant in the past years? Lodges/Grand Lodges, used to run employment bureaus, and assist Masons ( and their dependents) in seeking employment. Masons used to reach out to masonic widows, and offer assistance to widows and their dependents.
 
I feel that we can keep our Masonic traditions, and also move Masonry into the 21st century, with new ideas and programs.
 
What do you think?


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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)



Replies:
Posted By: excellencee
Date Posted: December/12/2010 at 3:03pm
I had the same conversation with our incoming WM this afternoon. We came up with a few ideas but not sure how many answers.

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Past Master - Mahoning-New Castle Lodge 243
AASR Valley of New Castle
Hiram's Scottish Riders - Charter Member
Syria Shrine


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: December/12/2010 at 4:02pm
We are having parallel discussions on other boards. Check out  http://www.themasonicsociety.com - www.themasonicsociety.com I can send you some tips, if you like.

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: December/12/2010 at 4:05pm
One idea, I have been kicking around for some time: Every Mason (especially new Masons) should be given a "calling" in the lodge. Immediately upon attaining the MM degree, he should be informed that he is to provide some "sweat equity" to the lodge. A list of callings should be available to all members of the lodge, listing both permanent taskings (widow's committee, cleanup committee), and short-term tasks (replacing carpeting in the lobby). This listing should be posted on the lodge website. New taskings can be assigned as needed (shoveling snow in the winter), and obsolete taskings can be deleted. The list must be "dynamic".

Each new Mason ( and all of the membership) should be offered an opportunity to select the calling, that he is best suited for. IT guys to the website committee, carpenters to the building upkeep committee,etc. A man who has no particular skill that matches a need, can still serve as an "apprentice", or a "go-fer". If there is no calling that he is interested in, have him come up with a calling of his own imagination. The important thing is to get him involved in something. Inform him that if the calling is not to his liking, he is free to select another calling. If he is unable to serve at all, let him know that it is OK, he can take a calling later. If he wishes to serve in more than one capacity, then that is fine,too.

The important concept is to let the man know, that the lodge is important to him., and that he is important to the lodge. His obligation to support Masonry does not begin and end with writing a check for his dues payment. This is an important psychological concept. Many Masons never volunteer their time to a lodge, because they do not know how. They do not know where the needs exist. Some are just too shy, to step up and ask how to help.

When new Masons (and us old-timers, too) realize that they are needed and they should be involved in the functioning of the lodge, their Masonic experience will be enhanced. Instilling a sense of participation, even if it is just sweeping up the floor, is an important psychological tool. His Masonic experience will be enhanced, and he will be a member, and not just a dues-payer

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: December/12/2010 at 4:13pm
Because my career requires frequent transfers, (I have spent nearly 14 years abroad, since I was made a Mason), I will probably never be given the privilege of serving Masonry as a Worshipful Master. Nevertheless, I have been working on a "dream list", of things I would do, should the fates permit me to be a WM some day. Here it is:

1- Every lodge should be required to have a web site. Sites can be had for free, so there is no reason why every lodge should not have one!

2- Every Grand Lodge should recognize Prince Hall Masonry.

3- Every Grand Lodge should host a statewide Open House, similar to Massachusetts.

4- Every state should have an official Masonic vehicle license plate, issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

5- Every state Grand Lodge website, should have as a minimum:

-Precise instructions on how to locate a lodge, and how to petition a lodge
-A petition form, downloadable

6- Every Grand Lodge should have a Liaison office- assisting and promoting Masonic youth groups. This office will provide guidance and assistance to lodges towards setting up and running Masonic youth Groups.

7- Every lodge should have a "new Mason's program"- Each new mason should receive intense instruction in:

-What it means to be a Mason
-Introduction to the Appendant/Concordant bodies
-How to participate in lodge meetings (how to introduce motions,etc)
-Masonic etiquette
-How to visit other lodges
-How to tell your wife and family about Masonry
-Masonic History

8- Every Grand Lodge should provide for Masonic education, at the district level in the following:

-Ritual Schools. Any Mason interested in learning ritual, can attend the schools, and be instructed in masonic ritual, and be given practices and rehearsals.

-Leadership schools. Any Mason, prior to going through the chairs, and becoming a lodge officer, should receive intense instruction (at the district level), in how to run a lodge. Lessons in parliamentary procedure, lessons in how to run a non-profit organization, etc.

9-Every lodge should host an annual "county fair", where all of the appendant/concordant bodies in the area would be invited in, on a Saturday. Each organization would set up a booth at the lodge hall. Masons (and the public) could attend the county fair, and learn about the appendant/concordant bodies, and the groups could distribute literature, and provide the attendees with application forms, and answer questions, etc.

10- Every lodge should sponsor a "Masonic Square and Compasses Club". These clubs would meet outside the tyled lodge, and provide social activities, and dances, and barbecues,etc. There would be no degree work, nor any tyled meetings. Anyone interested in Masonry, can participate.

11- We need to realize that Prohibition is over (See the 22d amendment). We are all adults, and it is about time, that we brought alcohol, back into our lodges. Nearly every masonic Grand Lodge in the world (except for the USA) permits alcoholic beverages to be served in the lodge for refreshment.

Some of these ideas may be controversial, but I think we should consider what is happening in Masonry in the 21st century and govern ourselves accordingly.

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: December/13/2010 at 4:03pm
Here is an idea, that I have been thinking about for a long time.

A Widow's liaison committee:

1- Assemble a list of all of the Masonic widows in your immediate area. All masonic widows, whether the deceased husband was a member of your lodge or not. Utilize the local media and get a press release. Make it a project for your Job's Daughters/Rainbow.
Once you have the list (names/addresses/emails/phone etc), make the list accessible to your lodge membership. Keep it on your lodge website in a member's only area.

2- Contact all of your widows in person and by email/phone/postal mail. Let them know that the lodge is there for them. Offer to assist them in any area, where you can be of help. Cleaning out the rain spouts, cutting the yard, driving them to the doctor, etc. Remember your obligations.

3- Get volunteers from your lodge, to be on a list to be called when needed. Wives, children can assist as well. Inform your youth groups of this program, their members can also assist.

4- Provide each widow with a list of telephone numbers, where she can call for assistance. Prepare refrogerator magnets, with the lodge phone number, and the contact information for the widow's assistance committee.

5- Each Christmas season, send each widow a poinsettia/fruit basket, etc.

6- Yearly, host a widow's appreciation banquet. Offer to transport each widow to the lodge building for the dinner.

Your widows will be grateful. You will be rendering master's wages, to the deceased brother.

What does your lodge do for your Masonic widows?


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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: daves
Date Posted: December/13/2010 at 4:13pm
Our Charity Steward keeps in regular touch with all our widows, and we take them out for a slap-up lunch once a year in July.

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The Carrington Lodge (WAC 363)
Bassendean RAC (WAC 20)
18th Boucaut RC (AASR Australia 5)
http://thecarringtonlodge.blogspot.com" rel="nofollow - The Carrington Lodge





Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: December/13/2010 at 4:16pm

deleted



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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: Noble Monty
Date Posted: December/14/2010 at 12:59pm
cemab4y, please contact me...
 
Concerning website/Blog...Great Idea for our Lodge/Consistory/Temple...Just need a little IT assistance.
 
Twitter: http://twitter.com/Noble2Step - http://twitter.com/Noble2Step
Email: mailto:Gunnymonty@yahoo.com - Gunnymonty@yahoo.com
 


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Bro Monty

Pride of Albany#360 PHA (Ga)

Denison#191 AASR SJ PHA (TX)

Zafir Temple#237 AEAONMS(TX)


Posted By: Hoodwinked133
Date Posted: December/18/2010 at 9:28am
Likewise our lodge has a wives and widows dinner/lunch every year. Your number points are right on target. You bought up some very interesting points most of which MWPHGL of Ca is moving toward. We have a school of instruction, debate teams and a education committee. I am recently installed WM and did exactly what you have stated in regards to newly made masons. 

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MWPHGLCA
Orange Valley #13
IE Chapter #18
IE Council #5
BF Talbot Commandery #9
Riverside Consistory #273
Y.B.Y.S.A.I.A





Posted By: Lee1717
Date Posted: January/04/2011 at 8:07pm
This is a great thread. I just bookmarked it. We just formed a new membership committee and these a lot of great ideas.

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Sr. Deacon Victorvile CA 634
32 Deg SR San Bernardino CA


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: January/05/2011 at 6:46pm

Bro. Chris Hodapp published a letter in 2002. Here it is:

Ideas For Worshipful Masters
by Chris Hodapp, PM
Broad Ripple Lodge #643
Originally published in 2002

I have received many requests for a copy of the posting I made on the Indiana Craft Mailing List.

So here are some of the things we have done over the last few years at Broad Ripple Lodge, some of which were started by PGM Roger Van Gorden, our Master in 2000. Bear in mind that most of these suggestions are not original.

Let me reiterate: our PMs and general membership have left us alone to have our way with the place, and the PMs and older members who regularly participate have been totally supportive of us. We have NOT had to deal with sideline insurrections over ANYTHING we have tried. I have heard horror stories from other Masters, and I am releived to say I have none.

1. ALL Stated Meetings were Table Lodges for a year.

2. Redecorated Lobby and entry area. (Ratty furniture, no art, and accessories from when Truman was president make a terrible first impression on potential new members. If you think it's ugly, how will a new member see it? If you don't know, ASK YOUR WIFE!)

3. Landscaped front yard. (Ours was full of rocks and overgrown shrubs.). If your building looks tired, unkempt and decayed, what does that say about Freemasonry to a potential new member? What does it say about your own pride of membership?

4. Professionalized look of website and kept it up to date. If a potential member sees that your site is dated 1997 and none of the hyperlinks work, they'll move on.

5. Monthly Trestle Board with photos. Make Lodge look fun, and if they don't come, they're missing great experiences.

6. Stopped charging for meals, including Thanksgiving. Catered or convenience food rather than the same few brothers chained to the kitchen. They will burn out.

7. Added stereo system and big screen TV to dining room. (Football and basketball nights next year after Craft practice. Make Lodge a place to hang around in, not eat, meet and flee)

8. Purchased motorized stairclimbers to assist our older members (we have lots of steps)

9. Started Masonic Angel Fund for local kids (see our website for details)

10. Made $100 donation to Masonic Home Foundation for every month a member (or members) died.

11. Poinsettias hand delivered to Lodge Widows at Christmastime by Master. They'll love you forever. Get them on your side and their grandson may join.

12. Started Annual Chili Cook-Off with permanent trophy at Lodge. The noisier the rivalry gets, the better. Encourage outlandish claims and bragging rights...

13. Presented Lifetime Achievement Award to older member 64 years a Mason who comes to every meeting and degree. These men built our Lodges. Acknowledge their achievements publicly.

14. Insisted on post-meeting gathering at local tavern for members, spouses, friends. Do NOT hang out in the parking lot of the Lodge bitching after meetings. That's not how to forge new friendships.

15. Regular dialogue with OES Matron. Kept them involved in our public events.

16. Sought out degree help from other Lodges. Liberal use of honorary memberships for regular visiting helpers.

17. If you are a young Master who does not know all ritual for all degrees, learn ONE of them well, and have your Wardens do the same for the other two. Performing a smaller number of parts well is more important than stumbling through many of them badly. Do NOT get pressured into doing more than you are able by the "In MY year you had to know all of these degrees" crowd. If they know it all, ask THEM to take a part. Remember: a man gets to hear each of his degrees for the first time ONLY ONCE. If you can't do it properly with feeling and meaning, GET SOMEONE WHO CAN.

18. Joint Lodge picnic with other Lodges

19. Let a Lodge from a Temple that goes dark in summer hold Craft practice at our place. Joined in with them.

20. Dramatically expanded library. Write book reviews of new ones and promote it in your Trestle Board.

21. Started book exchange open to everyone in Lodge family. Bookshelf in the dining room.

22. Officers chairs left empty for two years rather than push new members into them immediately.

23. Make sure Lodge name is seen out in the community. Business cards, pins, jackets with S&C and Lodge name, who to contact for info on door of Lodge along with web address. If the building is closed, how will a new man find someone to ask?

24. Extend invitations to Prince Hall Lodges for visits. Current leadership within Prince Hall Masonry in Indiana requires that the PHA Lodge get permission to visit from their Grand master, so check with the Master of the PHA Lodge you contact for their latest rulings on this matter. (NOTE: In 2004, we assisted a group of PHA lodges with their annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the poor, and in 2005, we made Indiana Masonic history by conferring the Master Mason degree on two Prince Hall candidates.

25. Always keep petitions in your car. Let me say that again: Always keep petitions in your car.

26. If 200 members stay away, get new ones who won't! If only seven show up, have fun with each other.

27. Made up a new member's notebook, containing:
Introduction to Lodge etiquette
Lodge history
List of Masonic websites, research, recommended book list
Lodge directory of all members, their addresses and phone numbers.
Introduction to Freemasonry for a Mason's lady
List of all Lodge widows
List of all Lodge Committees
List of area lodges to visit
Lodge By-Laws.
Brochures from the York Rite, Scottish Rite & Shrine - not petitions from them (discourage joining them for 1 year).
Our Lodge Masonic Angel Fund brochure
The latest Lodge Trestle Board (newsletter)
Three petitions and Grand Lodge Masonic brochures and DVD
Masonic License Plate form


28. Freemasonry IS NOT RITUAL. If you can do all parts flawlessly, yet never have candidates and no one comes to meetings, how will the ritual save your Lodge?

29. Plan with your Wardens so there is continuity for years to come - stop reinventing the wheel every year. Do NOT hide good ideas from your Master so you can claim victory during your year. Do NOT pass on problems to the next Master. Solve them now!

One thing we shamelessly cribbed from another Lodge was to make the three newest members of the Lodge the Junior Warden's Committee, making them responsible for food and cleanup, in association with the Stewards. It rotates as you get new men in, instead of saddling the Stewards with the job for an entire year. If they like doing it, it develops camaraderie among the new guys. If they hate doing it, it encourages them to go out a get a new man to join. Our guys jumped in with vigor and tout themselves as the KFC (Knife and Fork Committee). They now meet together on Friday nights at area restaurants, and are promising restaurant reviews for the newsletter. Believing there are no small parts, only small actors, they have padded their parts and are having a ball. Be sure to buy them a knife and fork Mason tie clip.

Masonry isn't just about food <grin>. These guys want knowledge, information, and STUFF! They are proud of their membership. They want medals, aprons, regalia, certificates, books, jewelry... Ours is a Craft with a long heritage, and they WANT things that will make their friends and family envious and - more important - curious about Masonry too. That's what first made THEM notice us to begin with. Don't think it's shallow to interest potential new members with a "made you look" brashness. Rings, jackets, license plates - all of these things attract attention and at least nudge men into asking what it's all about. Remember, I said INTEREST new members. It's up to your Lodge to get them through their degrees and keep them interested after that. The point is, they want their friends to join with them, and the "stuff" might get those friends to at least ask.

Upon raising, we give a new Master Mason a S&C lapel pin, a commemorative pin for our Lodge, an engraved pocket name badge, and a boxed set of minature working tools. For a year on Masonic 'birthdays' we also passed out a small, brass trowel. These things don't cost much, but go a long way towards making a man feel that the Lodge is immediately investing in them.

I became an Entered Apprentice in November 1998, and was raised in March 1999. So it was with no little terror that I found myself installed in the East for the year 2001. We had lost 5 officers from the Line in 1999 for a variety of circumstances. A wise Past Master agreed to step in at the VERY last minute to be Master that year, but as 2000 wound to a close, the sentiment was that we should look into selling our building and closing, moving or merging. We were lucky to have seven guys come to Stated Meetings and we did virtually no degree work that year.

The most important thing our outgoing Master taught me was to stop dwelling on the numbers game. Our Lodge has regular income, a paid-for building and some assets. If 220 members never set foot in the place, didn't participate, didn't communicate, IT DIDN'T MATTER. If some of the officer's chairs went unfilled, IT DIDN'T MATTER. What DID matter was that the little group of Masons who DID come had a good time with each other. We held every Stated Meeting as a Table Lodge, paid our bills, always had a great meal (paid for by the Lodge - no hat passing), maybe had a guest speaker, voted money to charities, and had a couple of hours of true fellowship. THAT was what was important. A year ago, we had seven guys who truly liked each other's company, who got along, who cared about what was going on in each other's lives, and maybe went for a beer afterwards. And the other 200 members were paying for us to have a great time and practice Freemasonry. What a deal!

My year, we raised eight men, all under 40 (and most under 30), had two more being voted on, three transferring in from out of state lodges, and more petitions on the way. Sure, we still need the help of brothers from other Lodges to help us put on degrees, but they come if we ask, and they have a good time with us. They come to our Lodge because we have new candidates all the time now, and why just practice when you can be conferring a degree?

We redecorated to make sure our Lodge no longer looks and smells like Grandma's front parlor. We had picnics and dinners and cook offs and events with other Lodges. We've tried hard to let young men know that their input is welcome and that we will change our activities to reflect what THEY want out of Lodge, instead of demanding that we adhere to the same annual events planned during the Coolidge Administration. We publish a monthly newsletter that doesn't look like it was surreptitiously Xeroxed after hours at work. In it, we thank those brothers who have helped or showed up or contributed because people like to see their name in print and like to be acknowledged for doing a good job. We try to keep our website up to date and looking fresh and professional, and it has become the electronic front door that so many of our newest members first knocked on. Those new members are enthusiastic and want to dive right into our activities and degree work - and we encourage them. They are telling their friends about Lodge and some of those friends are asking for petitions. And our post-meeting gatherings at the local watering hole have gotten larger and last a lot longer now.

My Senior Warden and I were too new at this to know the "way it's always been done in past" so we were willing to try whatever works. And guess what? Those same 200 members still stay home, don't participate, and don't communicate. But then, they didn't show up at meetings to vote down big expenditures, or veto by-law changes, or stop us from starting a Masonic Angel Fund, or any of the other things we did my year that I was told would cause heart attacks within the membership. So, those same 200 guys are now paying for 15 or 20 of us to have a good time. We had a full officer's line the next year, and some disappointed men who we didn't have chairs for. I don't know if we have truly turned our Lodge around in the long term - only time will tell. But it's a far cry from the year before, and no one is talking about selling our building now.

Before I became Master, I was privately told to take my time, rock no boats, hide good ideas from the Master ahead of me, pass problems along to the Warden behind me, just learn my ritual, read my Blue Book rules, and I'd get along just fine. Otherwise, I risked insurrection and eternal damnation from the Old Guard. I was just too stupid to listen. As a Mason I may have been wet behind the ears, but I was smart enough to know that the only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.

The ultimate point I'm making is that if you are disappointed by your Lodge and it is not living up to the lofty goals of the fraternity you thought you joined (as I morosely thought just a year ago), GET IN THERE AND CHANGE IT. Be the Master of your Lodge. Lead with a vision and MAKE IT STICK. If you enrage a lineup of cranky Past Masters who are forcing your lodge to remain mired in the 19th century, what will they do? If you are afraid your lodge is shrinking and failing at its mission, yet you allow "buzzard's row" to keep you going down that same path year after year, you are doing a great disservice to your Lodge and those men who built it to begin with. The men who started your Lodge had ideas and strength and they were the leaders of your community. If they saw their Lodge losing members and failing now, I promise you they would not be complacent. They would try everything they could.

They would be Builders, Masters of their Craft. They would give their workmen good and wholesome instruction for their labor. Accept no less from yourself.



--------------------

Those who live by the sword are generally shot by those who were smart enough to evolve.

Chris Hodapp
http://www.vitruvian.org/ - PM - Lodge Vitruvian #767
Ideas For Worshipful Masters
by Chris Hodapp, PM
Broad Ripple Lodge #643
Originally published in 2002

I


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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: lawrand
Date Posted: January/05/2011 at 7:36pm
There are some great, great posts in this thread.  I am brand new at this and have lots to learn.  I would really like to share some these ideas, but I am still trying to figure out the "lay of the land" at my Lodge.  Very interesting reading.

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Semper Fidelis,

Randall



USMC - 1969-1971

Vietnam Veteran



Initiated: 23 October 2010

Passed:     20 November 2010

Raised:   &


Posted By: excellencee
Date Posted: January/05/2011 at 8:46pm
Thank you cemab4y for that post.

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Past Master - Mahoning-New Castle Lodge 243
AASR Valley of New Castle
Hiram's Scottish Riders - Charter Member
Syria Shrine


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: January/06/2011 at 10:00am

I am delighted to have been of some assistance. I just love Bro. Hodapp's idea page, he published it some years back, and he has graciously permitted it to be replicated. I like to get ideas from other lodges (and other non-profit organizations), and spread them around. I have absolutely no scruples, about adopting a good idea, no matter what the source.

 
Brother Randall, Do not be shy about pushing for new ideas in your lodge. You will meet with some resistance, but do not give up. I am still pushing my lodge to get a web page.
 
Take a lesson from Aung San Suu Kyi. She has been under house arrest for over 20 years, and she is still pushing for freedom and human rights in Myanmar. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. I admire the steel in her spine. She said "If you do nothing, you get nothing". She never gives up. Neither do I.


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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: canuck
Date Posted: January/06/2011 at 1:16pm
Brother Hodapp's ideas are really good - but we have to be aware that we need to modify them according to our lodge and the community in which we are located.
I think that a very common mistake that we make is that we are looking for a "one-for-all" solutions. Unfortunatelly, this often happens on Grand Lodge level too. The problems in our lodges are a result not only of our internal problems, but also of the socio-economic state of the community. Both the rural and the urban lodges have problems with membership retention and getting new members - but the reasons for that are different in both lodges. The same way - the approach to solving the problem should be different for the rural, small town and big city lodges.
I would suggest looking for custom made solutons. Sure - ask around for advices, but look at your own lodge for the final answer. I am a member of a lodge in Toronto, one of the largest cities in North America. Most of our members are urban type, well educated, intelectuals, professionals. I doubt that anyone in my lodge would participate in a chilli cook-out or BBQ as a form of fellowship and fundraising, but it will be very easy to get them all together for a pub night, art/history/science lecture from a guest lecturer, theatre or opera night (both for fellowship and fundraising). I am sure that the other 6 lodges who meet at the same Temple have different interests and the approach would be different at every one of them.
 
It's very important to understand that if we want something changed or improved - WE are the ones that should do it! No one else can do it for us. It's very easy to give ideas on what needs to be done - but it's very difficult to get it done. If you want to do something for the lodge - just go ahead and do it. No one will stop you! If you want to have a better looking lodge - well, go ahead, clean it up, bring some pictures, do the work yourself. If you want to have better ritual work - easy - learn a lecture and perform it during degrees. If you want better experience during dinner hour - instead of eating from paper plates, have proper plates and cutlery - do it yourself and stay after lodge to wash the dishes. If you want more fellowship - start calling the members of the lodge and go out with them or call them to join your family for dinner. All those small things will make a huge difference in the energy of the lodge - and no one will opose them! The PMs won't stop you if you want to do ritual work, the WM won't complain if you want to wash the dishes in order to have a better dinner experience, the GM won't even know that you have redecorated the lobby of your temple. Start there - not with the grand things that are out of your control. We can talk for ages how PHA recognition is needed - but we can't do it on a lodge level, so focus for now on what you can do, in your own lodge. Not what the lodge can do - what YOU can do! And just do it!


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http://www.victorialodge.ca" rel="nofollow - www.victorialodge.ca


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: February/10/2011 at 6:29pm
-BUMP-  I am delighted with what I have learned on this thread (and the forum). I want to repeat, that I am NOT interested in changing Masonry. The landmarks of Masonry are excellent, and they have stood the test of time. Whether Masonry can survive in the 21st century, is for us to see.
 
The operative word in this thread is YOU! What would YOU like to see changed, improved, or even brought back from the past? I would love to see a revival of the Masonic Employment Bureaus, which assisted Masons (and their dependents) in finding employment. If we brought the bureaus back, we would have to "tweak" it some, to make sure the bureaus were in conformance, with the current legal situation. Many non-profit organizations assist their members in finding work, so we can do it too.
 
I would love to see a "revival"of our cherished traditions. Sadly, some have gone dormant. In the past, lodges were smaller. A lodge of more than 100 members was unthinkable. With a "cap" on the number of members, lodges can be more "intimate", and members can keep tabs on each other more easily, and more Masons can serve in leadership roles. Maybe, with the internet, and modern technologies, larger lodges, are the way to go. I don't know, but I am very interested in how this is working out.
 
Keep the ideas coming, guys. The renaissance of Masonry is in your hands.


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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: canuck
Date Posted: February/11/2011 at 12:50am
Charles - it's up to you and all this that you talk about - you can and should do it in your own lodge, not generalize!
Any idea that you give - can not be applied in general, but only to lodges that have that particular problem.
Lodges should be smaller - my lodge is just over 100 members. We should have more education - my lodge does that on a regular basis. We should focus on younger members - we have tons of new young guys who are regular attendees, work hard and are zealous about masonry. We should have more social activities - we are introducing that in the lodge (even though social interaction between members is very good already).
Are there things that need improvement? Sure - there's always something that can be done better. But that's always been the case in Freemasonry. What do you think - that the fellows who formed the first Grand Lodge in 1717 performed perfect ritual, or had great social and educational programs, that didn't have internal problems? Of course they did! Look at the history of the lodges in the 18th and 19th century and see how many lodges opened and closed doors. There must have been a reason for closing, just as there are reasons today.
All we can do is try to be better. Each one of us! Start from yourself, do not blame the Grand Lodge, the regulations, the traditions, the WM, secretaries, past masters... if you really think that you can do it better and that there are other like minded brothers - open a new lodge and do things right.
We REALLY have to stop talking about some major problems in Freemasonry and we should stop presenting it as something that is killing Freemasonry! That is NOT true. There are certain local problems here and there, there are things that need improvement, there are things that will change over time, just because time will change them.
If certain lodges have major issues and major problems - let them fix it. If they can't fix it - let them die off. Even if it's Grand Lodges - if they have such a major issue that is threatening the state of Freemasonry in their jurisdiction - let them close doors or loose recognition. That's not unheard of, as a matter of fact it happens from time to time, all over the world.
Don't try to fix things that are not a problem for other people. Fix things that are a problem for you and let everyone do the same.


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http://www.victorialodge.ca" rel="nofollow - www.victorialodge.ca


Posted By: droche
Date Posted: February/11/2011 at 6:22am
Yes, throwing out ideas is excellent, but throwing them out in the context that Masonry is going over a cliff unless all Lodges adopt these ideas immediately is not accurate and not a good approach. It is akin to looking at the glass as half empty.


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: February/11/2011 at 9:12am
quote- Masonry is going over a cliff unless all Lodges adopt these ideas immediately is not accurate and not a good approach. end quote.
 
I never said anything like this (here). Not all lodges need to latch on to every idea, that someone floats. The great thing, is that we can toss these ideas around, and if your grand Lodge/lodge can benefit, then great. If the idea does not appeal, or would not benefit your lodge, then give it a pass.
 
My lodges are in KY and Mass. My USA residence is in Virginia, and I work in Afghanistan. I cannot and will not attempt to change anything in my KY lodge. They are not interested in what I have to say,anyway. So it is a lost cause. I cannot and will not change anything in my Mass. lodge. I am 100% satisfied with all of their policies, and they are beyond improvement.
 
I can and will continue to collect ideas, and pass them around. Some lodges may find them beneficial.
 
and quote- open a new lodge and do things right.  end quote. I intend to do exactly that. I will return  to  Virginia, later this year. I am already in contact with a Past DDGM, and the current DDGM. I am going to lay the ground work, to open a new lodge.
 
 


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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: droche
Date Posted: February/11/2011 at 11:24am
Neither did I say you said it. I was responding to Canuck's post, not yours.


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: January/16/2015 at 2:39pm
bump

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: YES
Date Posted: January/17/2015 at 8:27am
Yada Yada Yada.  Dead Horse

Instead of yapping about whats wrong with Freemasonry, could you possibly ever say what is right with Freemasonry?


Posted By: Hyksos
Date Posted: January/17/2015 at 10:07am
Originally posted by YES YES wrote:

Yada Yada Yada.  Dead Horse

Instead of yapping about whats wrong with Freemasonry, could you possibly ever say what is right with Freemasonry?

Welcome to the forum! Lol.


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Gainesville Lodge #41


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: January/17/2015 at 10:57am
The title of this thread, is quote What would you like to see changed or improved? end quote. It is not about saying what is right or wrong with the Craft. If you have praise for the Craft, then start your own thread.

The fact is, there are many things that are "right" about Freemasonry. I cherish the ancient landmarks. I enjoy the fellowship and the camaraderie. I am not here to criticize anything.

Changes are being forced on us, due to factors that are beyond our control. The aging of the membership cohort, and the continual reduction in our membership is of great concern to me. When 48 out of 51 Grand Lodges see a decline in their membership, all Masons nationwide should be concerned.

With the urbanization of the population, small rural lodges are disappearing fast. Our Grand Lodges should be instituting procedures, to assist these obsolete lodges with consolidation, and with the disposition of abandoned property.

With the advancement of internet technology, and the spread of social media, Freemasonry should be instituting policies and procedures to maximize the benefit of these technologies. Already we are seeing some Grand Lodges (Ohio was the first) to mandate that all subordinate lodges have a web page. Other states are sure to follow.

With the widespread use of computers, and the variety of software, Grand Lodges are going to have to mandate some standardization. Kentucky was the first to mandate that all subordinate lodges use the same software to manage their accounts. This is to ensure uniformity, and in case an audit is necessary, a subordinate lodge can be audited quickly and efficiently.

Pennsylvania was the first Grand Lodge to permit (not require) that all Masons in the state, be able to pay their dues online. This is not a change in the ancient landmarks, but an adaptation to new technology.

With the aging of our membership cohort, there will be more Masons who will have difficulty getting out at night. This means that we have to institute more daylight lodges. Our Grand Lodges can develop procedures to assist Masons with chartering daylight lodges.

The bottom line is, that Grand Lodges, Lodges, and individual Masons are going to see changes forced upon us, like it or not. Demographics, finances, technology, etc. all will impact our cherished Craft. We are going to have to decide if we can manage these changes, or have events control us.

"We live in a world in which the only constant is change"
-Heraclitus, 4th century BC

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: January/17/2015 at 11:22am
With the low cost of wide-screen TV, and the easier process of producing instructional video, I would like to see more use of video in lodges. I know that we have a tradition of oral instruction, in our degree work, and I do not wish to alter that.

But- There are many other instructional topics that can be made more interesting, with the use of multi-media. In the EA degree, we are enjoined to improve ourselves in Masonry, and in the FC degree, we are introduced to the seven liberal arts and sciences. There is no prohibition against using modern technology as an instructional tool in our lodges.

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: January/17/2015 at 3:28pm
One thing I would love to see, is more Grand Lodges working together on various projects. This is not a new change, but something that has happened often in the past.

Back in the 1980's about 13 Grand Lodges joined together and formed the "Masonic Renewal Task Force". They held their initial meeting at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. They came up with some ideas about how to get Masonry moving forward, and growing again. And they published some books, and approved some recommendations.



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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: ebojones
Date Posted: January/17/2015 at 7:28pm
cemab4y where can we get these media aids you are speaking of? My brothers and I sure could use some visual aids to help us, as we get very little at my lodge. PM me PLEASE.....

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Getting better everyday !!!!
Pride of Coolidge #282
MWPHGLOT
Brighter and Brighter!!!!


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: January/18/2015 at 6:12am
The Grand Lodge of Oklahoma, produced an excellent set of videos, for the three Craft degrees. No secrets are revealed, but the videos show the various historical backgrounds for the degree lessons. You can contact Harry Klitzner for some instructional materials. There are various Masonic slideshows, available from some of the masonic stores.

I would love for Grand Lodges to produce more instructional materials, and videos.

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: NewToLight84
Date Posted: January/23/2015 at 8:04pm
I would like more education being taught at my Lodge..and it has been brought up before but never acted on. I am going to suggest that the WM ask one brother before each regular meeting to pick a topic, story or even a lecture of there choosing and have it last a reasonable amount of time. One of the meetings I went to in the past someone said "Hey that only lasted 30min.! That's pretty good" and I was thinking...what a waste.. Now that I am being moved through the chairs, I am hoping that my opinions and ideas will not go unheard. Knowing the WM elect personally isn't going to hurt either

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"Be careful how you live. You may be the only Mason some people will ever meet." -unknown


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: January/26/2015 at 6:19pm
If you are going to be the WM of your lodge, congratulations. I suggest that you contact your Grand Lodge and Grand Master, and suggest that the GL consider commissioning videos for presentation in the lodges. There are some excellent Masonic videos on YouTube. Your lodge could set up video monitors and the brothers could watch streaming video.

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: Anthony660
Date Posted: January/27/2015 at 12:10pm
I would just like to see more Masonry being practiced. By this I mean, honor your obligations to the Craft and your Brothers. And if you are unable to? Let someone know.
As a recent PM my goal was to bring the "brotherhood" back to the Craft by having a Table lodge, monthly fellowship nights, as well as regular communication with my brothers.
 
 


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PM Alhambra #322 F&AM
West Covina #446 F&AM
Pasadena Valley AASR
Al Malaikah Shrine AAONMS
Cinema Grotto, MOVPER
GC Aben Zoar, Order of Alhambra


Posted By: NobleShabba
Date Posted: January/28/2015 at 6:57am
Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

I am not interested in changing Masonry.  But I am very interested in improving and changing the Masonic experience.  What changes would you like to see in Masonry, and the appendant/concordant bodies?  Would you like to see more use of the internet? 
 

Would you like to see a revival of some of our cherished traditions, that have gone dormant in the past years? Lodges/Grand Lodges, used to run employment bureaus, and assist Masons ( and their dependents) in seeking employment. Masons used to reach out to masonic widows, and offer assistance to widows and their dependents.

 

I feel that we can keep our Masonic traditions, and also move Masonry into the 21st century, with new ideas and programs.

 

What do you think?

In today's rush-rush world, I think we barely have enough time to scratch our heads.   What would I like to see changed?   Focus on the basics, lets get the basic tenets of Masonry ingrained into our members, and the rest will take care of itself.   I'm sure that the advent of new technology over the centuries have prompted this question in different formats, but the answer is the same.

If we just stay focused on "Brotherly Love, Relief & Truth", the rest will take care of itself, trust me.

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----------------------

DISCLAIMER: These are my comments, and mine alone - they do not necessarily apply to any group to which I belong!


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: January/28/2015 at 7:19pm
There are many things which are "right" about Freemasonry. I do not criticize our ancient landmarks, nor any of our cherished traditions. The title of this thread is quote What would you like to see changed or improved? end quote. If you wish to praise Freemasonry, you are free to do it here, or elsewhere.

One poster suggested that we return to the "basics", what ever that is. I would love to see some of our old traditions brought back, such as the employment bureaus. I would love to Freemasonry to be more "intimate", and a return to smaller lodges. In the 19th century, a lodge of more than 100 members was unheard of. With a huge mega-lodge, members are likely to be lost in the crowd. I would love to see a return to providing assistance to Masonic widows. Sometimes going backwards, is a way to move forwards.

Every Mason who is concerned about the Craft, and wishes to see a healthy and vibrant Freemasonry, in the early 21st century, and beyond, should be ready to take up the challenges which are facing us, and lend a hand.

I say again and again, that changes are being forced upon us, like it or not. The spike in membership immediately after WW2, is history. Numbers like that will not be seen again. We must now face the challenges incumbent upon the Craft, when the membership ages, and the numbers decline, and lodges close and consolidate.

The bottom line here, is that Masonry is a "dynamic" organization, and a "work in progress". Technological changes, and demographic changes, will impact the Craft. The time is now here, when we must be prepared to think outside of the box, and manage the changes which will impact us in the future.

"It does not take a majority to prevail... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." - Samuel Adams

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: droche
Date Posted: January/28/2015 at 9:49pm
Carl (Noble Shabba) stated what the basics were- instill the tenets of Freemasonry into all of its members. Only tonight I was at my Lodge's business meeting and the Secretary was talking about collecting dues, which, for my lodge, are way past due. He stated that it seems as though the members of a certain age group (I won't mention the exact ages so as not to offend those in that group) are the biggest group of late payers and non-payers and do not seem to have the sense of responsibility to meet their obligations.

So, I'll put it in terms of what I would like to see changed in Freemasonry- I agree with Carl.  Start emphasizing  the basic tenets and basic purpose of Freemasonry of making good men better. Stop trying to run Masonry on a corporate business model. Allow local lodges to make many of their own decisions as opposed to many times burdensome and impractical requirements handed down from grand lodges. 


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: January/29/2015 at 4:20am
I am very interested in a "devolution" of control of Freemasonry, being extended to local lodges. When a lodge is chartered, it must agree to the regulations and constitutions of the Grand Lodge which issues the charter. If a lodge does not wish to follow the controls issued by a Grand Lodge, then it should immediately turn its charter back in, and cease operations, or find another Grand Lodge which is more to its liking.

This situation has occurred in France, and that is why there are at least five(5) Grand Lodges operating in the French Republic, and none of them are recognized by the Mother Grand Lodge in England.

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: January/29/2015 at 8:13am
For the life of me, I cannot understand why so many Masons are opposed to any changes in the administrative and non-esoteric aspects of our Craft. "Change" is a word which evokes a knee-jerk reaction in so many Masons, that it is unbelievable. Anything new, just shocks people.

We went from kerosene lanterns to electric lighting, without a disaster occurring. Old country lodges had outhouses, then they obtained indoor plumbing, without altering the ancient landmarks, or destroying the Craft.

I believe sincerely, that we can adapt to a smaller membership cohort, and embrace the new technology, without a serious upheaval. You need not equate getting a webpage, with admitting atheists to the Craft.

Observing the potential problems, which may occur 5 or 10 years down the road, and preparing for the changes, is not a terrible thing. If you are satisfied that all is just fine with the Craft, and the direction that we are heading, that is your privilege. If you feel that no adaptations need to be made, and no new technology needs to be adopted, then you will find many who feel exactly the same way you do, in most lodges.

Experience is a great thing, and I respect that. The captain of the Titanic had more experience than any other officer in the White Star Line. The ship still sank.

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: Adept?
Date Posted: January/29/2015 at 3:02pm
Humans; by nature, and creation are creatures of habit. Change comes hard. Sometimes you must be the change that you want to see happen. Take action...any action. You may never know or be witness to the result of your action, but if you take no action, there can be no result.
All you can do, is all you can do.

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"It is humanity that creates god, and men think that god has made them in his image, because they make him in theirs."


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: January/29/2015 at 5:41pm
I agree 1000% that many humans are creatures of habit. And you are more correct than you realize.

I am not a rabid environmentalist. But I like their slogan "Think globally, act locally" We can do this tactic in Freemasonry.

I am an admirer of Aung San Suu Kyi. She won the Nobel Peace Prize. She spent 20 (twenty) years under house arrest. She said "If you do nothing, you will get nothing".

And one saying I will never forget. "The only difference between a rut and a grave, is their depth" - Author unknown

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: BigBob
Date Posted: January/30/2015 at 4:33pm
Cemab4y'

I feel your pain. Although I do have to disagree with the smaller lodges in that I think lodges should be as small or as large so as to efficiently tend to the needs of its members. If that's 20 or 200. What I do see as a problem is the number of lodge buildings. We do not have to travel hours or even day to get to lodge. There is no need, in my opinion for two or three, or even more lodges within 30 minutes driving distant from each other. Buildings can be shared and expenses spread out.

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Ribualt Lodge 272 - SW
Jacksonville 12 R.A.M. - King
Hallmark 2 R.S.M.
I-09.21.10
P-11.18.10
R-02.15.11


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: January/30/2015 at 4:43pm
No one is suggesting that smaller lodges are a "magic bullet". When the USA was predominately a rural, agrarian nation, the population was more evenly spread out, and lodges and their buildings were smaller.

With the urbanization of the population, smaller lodges closed and consolidated, and lodge sizes grew both in membership and square footage. Here in the Washington DC area, there are buildings which support 5-6 lodges and a couple of Eastern Star chapters.

Nevertheless, I still feel that a smaller lodge is more "intimate", and the membership has more opportunity to know one another. And there is no "one size fits all" approach here, either. In a big-mega lodge, there are more financial resources, but less chance for members to serve in leadership. A trade-off.

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: goomba
Date Posted: January/30/2015 at 7:22pm
Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

No one is suggesting that smaller lodges are a "magic bullet". When the USA was predominately a rural, agrarian nation, the population was more evenly spread out, and lodges and their buildings were smaller.

With the urbanization of the population, smaller lodges closed and consolidated, and lodge sizes grew both in membership and square footage. Here in the Washington DC area, there are buildings which support 5-6 lodges and a couple of Eastern Star chapters.

Nevertheless, I still feel that a smaller lodge is more "intimate", and the membership has more opportunity to know one another. And there is no "one size fits all" approach here, either. In a big-mega lodge, there are more financial resources, but less chance for members to serve in leadership. A trade-off.


I hate all the buildings.  My York Rite is fantastic about this.  We own the building.  One blue lodge (another thinking about  it), the Scottish Rite, and one ladies group use our building.  That's four bodies that use the building monthly.  Also three invitational bodies use the building that I know of.  It helps everyone and keeps a beautiful building that is not to big but is big enough.


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MM, RAM, RSM, KT, KM, SRICF

Living in the DC area.


Posted By: BigBob
Date Posted: February/01/2015 at 5:07pm
Like I said, I agree with you for the most part. I enjoy being in a "smaller" lodge. We have around 150 members, but were in the military when they were raised and have since left for other destinations. On average we have a bout 15 brothers who show up every, or almost every meeting, and another 10 or so who show up on a semi-regular basis. I'd be more proud to boast a membership of 25-50 who show up all the time than 200 who show up for DDGM, elections, or never,  

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Ribualt Lodge 272 - SW
Jacksonville 12 R.A.M. - King
Hallmark 2 R.S.M.
I-09.21.10
P-11.18.10
R-02.15.11


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: February/21/2015 at 7:21pm
bump

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: CLewey44
Date Posted: March/01/2015 at 1:24pm
I think you hit the nail on the head my friend.

Here is some ways to increase participation which goes along with modifying or improving the overall Masonic experience.

http://www.pagrandlodge.org/district20/files/masonic_library/Attendance,%20How%20to%20Improve%20Lodge.PDF

I think involving family more is important so that, especially our wives, can see what's going on and not just a what she hears on tv or assuming all we do is sit around memorizing stuff all the time. Maybe more wives would gain an interest in OES in this case too.

I would like maybe 30 minutes before meetings to have sit downs with some of the older members to give their perspectives on what it means to be an EA, FC or MM, depending on what degree you were opening on that night.

I think more diversification is important too. My lodge, to my knowledge, doesn't have any black members. Not that they wouldn't allow a black man to join but it's sort of a given that black men go to PHA lodges and that shouldn't have to be that way. I think that divide is still a little deep. I think PHA should merge with 'regular' lodges (not discounting PHA)and be under one larger umbrella because at the end of the day, we are one and the same. Maybe if no merge, at least have more quarterly meetings where a PHA lodge will host a non-PHA lodge and vice versa every 3 or 4 months. Have 'sister lodges' assigned to each other. That'd be fun I think.

I like the permission of alcohol in lodges within moderation for sure. Young men are different now than they were 50 years ago. An interest has to be established to keep our craft and science alive. Many lodges are closing in smaller areas and that saddens me.

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Edmond Lodge #37
Washington Lodge #36
OES Chapter #247
Bro. J. Clint Lewey
(I): 02 September 2014
(P): 30 December 2014
(R): 17 March 2015


Posted By: Cookslc
Date Posted: March/01/2015 at 5:49pm
Alcohol should be allowed in buildings because "Young men are different now than they were fifty years ago."

How so?

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G A Cook
F&AM of Utah
AF&AM of Oklahoma
UGLE


Posted By: Merv S
Date Posted: March/01/2015 at 10:19pm
Originally posted by Cookslc Cookslc wrote:

Alcohol should be allowed in buildings because "Young men are different now than they were fifty years ago."

How so?

I just look in the mirror each morning and try to remember what I looked like when I was 21!
Seriously, I have no strong objection as to whether a Lodge is 'wet' or 'dry'. My own Lodge and Chapter are of the former persuasion, being Daylight meetings. 

I doubt whether young men nowadays are any less likely to abuse alcohol than their  forebears . I speak only for the land of 'Down Under', but driving a car under the influence is not a particularly smart or 'Masonic' thing to do in anyone's language. Wisdom is not necessarily a travelling companion in life's journey. Until you approach senility it is difficult to comprehend how crass you might have been in earlier days. Now that is retrospective 'wisdom'!!!Wink


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Merv Sprague MM
Thespian Lodge 268 UGLQ
RAC No 43 SGRACQ
Celer et Audax
I. 10/3/2008
P. 14/7/2008
R. 11/8/2008


Posted By: CLewey44
Date Posted: March/02/2015 at 7:14am
My last paragraph was sort of a couple of points and I didn't mean for them to sound like they were playing off of each other but that may be true in that younger guys have a social overload sometimes. If they are single, they may be on dating websites, social websites with constant social gatherings. Hanging with the guys after work. If they are married, especially with kids, they may pick a number of other social scenarios and wouldn't have the motivation to participate in Masonic activities. My view on alcohol isn't having parties, it's 1 or 2 drinks (wine, bourbon, brandy etc.) during dinner or right after dinner. Not slamming back a 6 pack or doing shots for 30 minutes.

I think a lot of young guys desire those days of old when men were men and have visions of grandeur of sitting around in suits *ie Mad Men* (a show I've never seen) sipping a whiskey with some other gents. Now it's taboo to do that and it shouldn't be. We are all adults. Alcohol in moderation in lodges wouldn't be a bad thing is the bottom line. Most of the Europe does it and that doesn't mean they are wrong for doing so.

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Edmond Lodge #37
Washington Lodge #36
OES Chapter #247
Bro. J. Clint Lewey
(I): 02 September 2014
(P): 30 December 2014
(R): 17 March 2015


Posted By: WBScott
Date Posted: March/02/2015 at 9:22am
Of course this will vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction....

In terms of alcohol, you say, "Now it's taboo to do that and it shouldn't be." Maybe I am reading this wrong, but you make it sound like this prohibition against alcohol is a recent thing. The Grand Lodge of Missouri was chartered in 1821 and it wasn't until just 2 years ago that alcohol was allowed in Masonic hall for any reason. The way it stands now, alcohol can be served in the building as long as it is not in conjunction with a Masonic event. 

The main argument for lifting the prohibition had nothing to do with us being "responsible adults" who know how to handle their liquor, but many lodges, especially smaller ones, wanted to be able to rent out their buildings for parties or wedding receptions and the like, but were unable to do so with the no alcohol rule. 

I know other jurisdictions in the United States and in other countries may allow alcohol, but the prohibition in Missouri has been around for so long that I don't really even think about it. But with that being said, it is not uncommon for some of the brethren to retire to a local establishment after a meeting for smoking and/or drinking if that is their desire.




-------------
Wentzville (MO) Lodge #46 - PM
Pride of the West (MO) Lodge #179 - PM (twice)
Pauldingville (MO) Lodge #11 - Secretary
Warrenton (MO) Lodge #609 - Secretary
Past DDGM - 25th Masonic District


Posted By: YES
Date Posted: March/02/2015 at 1:06pm

Originally posted by CLewey44 CLewey44 wrote:

I think a lot of young guys desire those days of old when men were men and have visions of grandeur of sitting around in suits *ie Mad Men* (a show I've never seen) sipping a whiskey with some other gents…   

I would say the debauched lifestyle portrayed on “Mad Men” (a show I have watched) represents “delusions of grandeur” rather than “visions of grandeur”.  It certainly does not represent what Freemasonry is.  Is “sitting around in suits…sipping a whiskey with some other gents…”, what you thought Freemasonry was before you joined and if so what gave you that idea; how does it make you more of a man and improve Masonic fellowship?

However if you feel strongly about the matter, research your Grand Lodge Code and introduce a resolution to change it.  If a majority of the delegates to the Grand Lodge session agree with you it will be changed.  



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Posted By: Cookslc
Date Posted: March/02/2015 at 1:28pm
What the above two posts explained (I wish we had a "like" function), and I would also suggest young men don't have greater "social overload" than anyone else. Old men have, believe it or not, friends, family, work, church, FB, Reddit, season tickets...

Also, not all British lodges have alcohol. We had a temperance lodge in Cheshire in my memory.

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G A Cook
F&AM of Utah
AF&AM of Oklahoma
UGLE


Posted By: CLewey44
Date Posted: March/02/2015 at 2:39pm
Originally posted by YES YES wrote:


<p ="msonormal"="" style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"">
Originally posted by CLewey44 CLewey44 wrote:


…<o:p></o:p></span>



<p ="msonormal"="" style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Times New Roman","serif"">I
think a lot of young guys desire those days of old when men were men and have
visions of grandeur of sitting around in suits *ie Mad Men* (a show I've never
seen) sipping a whiskey with some other gents…   
<o:p></o:p></span>



<p ="msonormal"="" style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">I
would say the debauched lifestyle portrayed on “Mad Men” (a show I </span><b style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">have<span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"> watched) represents “delusions of
grandeur” rather than “visions of grandeur”.</span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;"> 
</span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">It certainly does not represent what Freemasonry is.</span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">  </span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">Is “sitting around in suits…sipping a whiskey
with some other gents…”, what you thought Freemasonry was before you joined and
if so what gave you that idea; how does it make you more of a man and improve Masonic
fellowship?</span>

<p ="msonormal"="" style="margin-bottom:0in;margin-bottom:.0001pt"><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">However
if you feel strongly about the matter, research your Grand Lodge Code and
introduce a resolution to change it.</span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">  </span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">If
a majority of the delegates to the Grand Lodge session agree with you it will
be changed.</span><span style="font-family: 'Times New Roman', serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%;">  </span>







I understand that Mad Men doesn't represent Masonry at all. That is not what I meant. That is the most known, modern image of classy dressed men of the 50s, 60s and 70s, an era. As a matter of fact, my first comment I wrote on here had very little to do with drinking in lodge if you go back and look but it's been spun around as if I'm saying we should get plastered in Armani suits with women clinging to us as we brag about our latest investment gains, property purchases and how making "that first $million$ is always the toughest" to one another as (I guess) that show goes. That's not at all what I'm saying.

I actually don't feel that strongly about this issue but is something to think about. I think it would potentially improve Masonic fellowship. Sharing a drink with someone has always been a popular past time for people to bond and doesn't make you more of a man. I didn't mean that 'when men were men' due to their drinking, I meant in that era.

If it happens or not, is not too important to me. I probably would refrain personally but it wouldn't hurt as an option.

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Edmond Lodge #37
Washington Lodge #36
OES Chapter #247
Bro. J. Clint Lewey
(I): 02 September 2014
(P): 30 December 2014
(R): 17 March 2015


Posted By: boing1972
Date Posted: March/02/2015 at 5:42pm
What I found is that the newer members don't want anything to do with the old ways, and the older ones who changed with the newer crowd, refuse to go back to the old ways because now they don't have to dress up,do anything, and use the lodge as a club house..

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brother bell


Posted By: WBScott
Date Posted: March/02/2015 at 11:18pm
Originally posted by CLewey44 CLewey44 wrote:

I actually don't feel that strongly about this issue but is something to think about.

With all due respect my Brother, you claim that the subject of allowing alcohol as a means of "improving Masonic fellowship" is not something you feel strongly about, apparently it is important to you judging by your comments here and in your other "cigar hour" thread.

In that thread you wrote such things as:

Originally posted by CLewey44 CLewey44 wrote:

...some people bond better with others with a little icebreaker drink to help them relax.

Originally posted by CLewey44 CLewey44 wrote:

Most guys bond under the guise of a drink often historically in my opinion.

...and other such comments.

I have been a Mason for many years and I have made friends for life throughout my Masonic travels... all without the "benefit" of alcohol. 

And as I said in this post and your other one, I have no objection to alcohol on a moral or religious basis and I have been known to go to a local establishment after a meeting for a beer. And I know this is going to sound harsh, but if you "loosen up" with a couple of drinks before a meeting and you show up showing the signs of being even the least bit impaired, I won't let you into my lodge.

EDIT:

I know I may sound like a crusty old curmudgeon, but I have seen this before where a newcomer comes into a well-established organization (not just a Masonic lodge) and the first thing he wants to do is try and change it. This is usually because he had some preconceived notion of what that organization would be like and it turns out not to be that way or that he does not understand why things are done the way they are. According to your signature line, you are only a Fellowcraft. Now I don't say that to be demeaning in any way (even though it sounds like it), but it is only to point out that you have had a very limited exposure to Freemasonry and what goes on in a lodge.

Freemasonry as we know it has been around for nearly 300 years and the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma was chartered in 1892. While I have not read it, I am sure that a considerable amount of time and effort and energy went into writing their Constitution and Bylaws. And even though some parts of those documents may not make sense to you, every word in there is in there for a reason. Those documents were written by very knowledgeable men with years of Masonic experience and they have the best interest of Freemasons at heart. It is extremely difficult to make changes to these documents and for good reason. 

So again with all due respect, give Freemasonry a chance as it exists today before presuming to tell us old guys what needs to be changed. I am not saying that the system is perfect and that we don't need to change, but give it a chance and maybe after you have been a Master Mason for some period of time and maybe after you have sat in the East, then maybe you can then tells us old guys how things need to be changed.


-------------
Wentzville (MO) Lodge #46 - PM
Pride of the West (MO) Lodge #179 - PM (twice)
Pauldingville (MO) Lodge #11 - Secretary
Warrenton (MO) Lodge #609 - Secretary
Past DDGM - 25th Masonic District


Posted By: droche
Date Posted: March/03/2015 at 4:30pm
Originally posted by boing1972 boing1972 wrote:

What I found is that the newer members don't want anything to do with the old ways, and the older ones who changed with the newer crowd, refuse to go back to the old ways because now they don't have to dress up,do anything, and use the lodge as a club house..

I found this post interesting, especially where you wrote that you have found that newer members don't want anything to do with the old ways.

Can you give examples where you have found that newer members don't want anything to do with the old ways? Which old ways?


Posted By: boing1972
Date Posted: March/03/2015 at 5:36pm
For example,dressing up for anything, the installations are now not a big thing.i watched a brothers installation from 20 years ago , and everyone was dressed up. The way it was performed was just wow.the rainbow girls did their thing. It was something I really would have loved to be apart of. Other things include ( at the few lodges we visit including my own. Use to have huge gatherings where masonic families were welcomed in the lodge, everyone was eager to do something. And everyone in my community knew our lodge and knew of the many great fund raising things.now we have ones that are there for recognition, and personal gain.......

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brother bell


Posted By: droche
Date Posted: March/03/2015 at 6:29pm
"Now we have ones that are there for recognition, and personal gain," I have certainly seen that. When I have looked at it more closely though, when you come right down to it, in my experience anyway, the ones there for recognition and personal gain are initially in a minority. The problem is, they stand out like a loud minority. If left unchecked they drive others away and soon become predominant and it's very difficult if not impossible to repair the damage caused.

So to relate it to the subject of the thread, one of the things I would like to see changed is going back to the emphasis that when one is finished as Master, he goes right back to being no higher than a normal member. Sure, he holds the title "Past Master" and is given due respect and hopefully looked to for advice etc., but is no better or worse than anyone else. Inone of the lodges I belong to, it is customary for the outgoing Master to be Marshal the following year. He can sit near the Master and give prompts etc., but another reason is to instill in him the idea of humility.


Posted By: CLewey44
Date Posted: March/03/2015 at 7:26pm
I understand what you're saying and honestly, I would never even try to change anything like that and I certainly don't have an image of guys sitting around drinking at lodge as a preconceived notion. With what little knowledge I have on the subject, it was really just something to ponder based on lodges in other parts of the world. "They do it, why don't we?" is really the question. As I said before, I had mentioned many other things in my initial post and certainly don't want to come off as some sort of alcoholic. That was a minimal part of it.

As for my cigar hour post, that was also just to see what most people thought. Not too many people voted and that's ok. Just curious. Masonry is great the way it is and I just wanted to mention some things that may peak others interest or get them thinking. I like other people's opinions. I'm a listener by nature I guess.

I'm now waiting on my date to be officially raised. I turned in my FC lesson last week. Very exciting and I can't wait until I reach that subliminal degree.

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Edmond Lodge #37
Washington Lodge #36
OES Chapter #247
Bro. J. Clint Lewey
(I): 02 September 2014
(P): 30 December 2014
(R): 17 March 2015


Posted By: Merv S
Date Posted: March/04/2015 at 4:33am
Well Brother, 
All that I can say is that it is accepted practice that one walks  before one can run. As yet, you have not reached the sublime degree and once you do, then you will hopefully realize the workings and difficulties of the running of a Lodge is no easy task!  Please do not take this as a personal criticism, but merely advice that just might save you unnecessary strife throughout your Masonic journey.
S&F
Merv


-------------
Merv Sprague MM
Thespian Lodge 268 UGLQ
RAC No 43 SGRACQ
Celer et Audax
I. 10/3/2008
P. 14/7/2008
R. 11/8/2008


Posted By: YES
Date Posted: March/04/2015 at 6:09am
Originally posted by CLewey44 CLewey44 wrote:

..."They do it, why don't we?" is really the question.... 

Simple answer:  Because it does not have the support of the the majority of your Grand Lodge.

Originally posted by CLewey44 CLewey44 wrote:

...subliminal degree.

I think you mean "Sublime Degree".

sub·lime

adjective

1.  of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe.

 sub·lim·i·nal

adjective

1.       (of a stimulus or mental process) below the threshold of sensation or consciousness; perceived by or affecting someone's mind without their being aware of it.



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Posted By: CLewey44
Date Posted: March/04/2015 at 12:34pm
I did spell that wrong. Was in a rush I guess. Here is another link for some ideas so everyone can move on from the alcohol thing. It's going to be ok.

http://www.mastermason.com/jjcrowder/information/info_files/Builduplodge.pdf

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Edmond Lodge #37
Washington Lodge #36
OES Chapter #247
Bro. J. Clint Lewey
(I): 02 September 2014
(P): 30 December 2014
(R): 17 March 2015


Posted By: boing1972
Date Posted: March/06/2015 at 10:49pm
What do you think about wearing colonial wigs when voting in lodge ?

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brother bell


Posted By: YES
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 7:18am
Well, shiver me timbers.

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Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 8:19am
There is a lodge here in Virginia, which performs degrees several times a year in full colonial regalia. Knee britches, waistcoats, wigs, the whole schmear. I think it is terrific! There is a lodge, which does degrees and the participants wear Scottish kilts, and there is bagpipe music.

"How many Virginians does it take to change a light bulb?" -


One to change the bulb, and 4 more, to set up a committee to preserve the old one!

-------------
Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 8:51am
Q: So again with all due respect, give Freemasonry a chance as it exists today before presuming to tell us old guys what needs to be changed. I am not saying that the system is perfect and that we don't need to change, but give it a chance and maybe after you have been a Master Mason for some period of time and maybe after you have sat in the East, then maybe you can then tells us old guys how things need to be changed.

end Quote.

I was made a Mason in 1982. I have been a Mason for 33 years. In that time, I have been a member of 7 lodges, and visited lodges in 14 states, Washington DC, and five foreign countries.

During that time, I have seen Masonry lose membership by the thousands. When I joined the Shrine in 1988, it had 990,000 members. Now the Shrine has about 400,000 members. Two of the lodges I have belonged to in the past have vanished. Gone with the wind.

I have said, time and again, that I am NOT interested in changing Masonry Our ancient landmarks, and our rituals are part of the charm and appeal of the craft. I am however, very interested in changing and adapting the Masonic experience to the 21st century, and the new demographic realities.

The aging of our membership cohort, is forcing changes on us. With fewer of our membership able to go out at night, we will need more daylight lodges. We can meet at noon on Saturday, and still participate in Ancient Craft Masonry.

The widespread penetration of social media, and the internet, has already changed the Masonic experience. Paper newsletters are almost obsolete. Fredericksburg Lodge #4 (VA) no longer publishes a paper newsletter, it is online only. The Grand Lodge of Kentucky no longer prints the Masonic Home Journal. Online only.

YouTube has excellent Masonic videos, where you can learn and study on the Craft, and the appendant bodies. I foresee a day when many lodges will have wide-screen TVs and the membership can enjoy instructional videos. Grand Masters can prepare a monthly pod-cast, and the membership can view it online, and also it will be played at the lodge hall on the widescreen TV.

More lodges are getting webpages, where the membership can keep up with the lodge. Men interested in Masonry can download a petition form, and submit it electronically.

Masonry has the choice of embracing these technologies, or refusing to do so.

The bottom line is, change is being forced onto the Craft, like it or not. We have the choice of managing these changes, or continuing to do nothing, as more lodges close, and the membership continues to decline.

I am all for experience. Keep in mind, that the Captain of the Titanic had more experience than any ship Captain, in the entire White Star Line. The boat still sank.

"We live in a world, in which the only constant is change" - Heraclitus 535BC - 475 BC

-------------
Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: YES
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 12:16pm

Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

…changing and adapting the Masonic experience to the 21st century, and the new demographic realities…

 

While demographic changes certainly influence Freemasonry to some degree, the reality of membership loss and age distribution is that societal and cultural changes are much more significant.  I will examine Masonic membership trends over two periods of time.  The discussion is general in nature.  Since I have not been able to find any data covering yearly changes broken down by new members, deaths, demits, and suspensions for nonpayment of dues I will not discuss how they influence total change in membership, except for the period during the Great Depression where it is commonly know that large numbers left Masonry simply because they were unable to pay their dues and that many of them did return when they could.

 

Great Depression and WWII (1925-1945)

 

The Masonic Service Association of  North America has Masonic Membership Statistics beginning in 1924 file:///C:/Users/HP/Desktop/QUOTE.docx#_ftn1" rel="nofollow - - - - -  

Post WWII and early years of the “Counterculture Revolution”

 

Even with a loss of over 400,000 file:///C:/Users/HP/Desktop/QUOTE.docx#_ftn3" rel="nofollow - - - - - - -  

Although there has been a shift in age distribution in the U S with the population aging, this alone does not account for the fact that we have a disproportionate number of older members, and in fact it is a byproduct of the fact that we are getting a much smaller share of young men joining Masonry which ultimately resulted in the age distribution becoming skewed toward an aging membership.

 

In summary, while change is inevitable and there is nothing wrong with making changes to take advantage of  current technology, there are societal and cultural shifts and influences that are so large that nothing can be done to stop the resulting changes in Masonic membership.  The Great Depression and “Counterculture revolution” prove that.

 

 

 

  file:///C:/Users/HP/Desktop/QUOTE.docx#_ftnref1" rel="nofollow - - http://www.msana.com/msastats.asp" rel="nofollow - http://www.msana.com/msastats.asp

 

file:///C:/Users/HP/Desktop/QUOTE.docx#_ftnref2" rel="nofollow - -  

file:///C:/Users/HP/Desktop/QUOTE.docx#_ftnref3" rel="nofollow - -  

 

file:///C:/Users/HP/Desktop/QUOTE.docx#_ftnref4" rel="nofollow - -  

file:///C:/Users/HP/Desktop/QUOTE.docx#_ftnref5" rel="nofollow - -  



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Posted By: YES
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 12:20pm

Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

…I was made a Mason in 1982. I have been a Mason for 33 years. In that time, I have been a member of 7 lodges, and visited lodges in 14 states, Washington DC, and five foreign countries… 

 

That is all well and good, but have you ever served as an officer in a Lodge?  Have you been there in the “trenches” participating, serving, helping confer degrees, and doing all of the other things that are necessary for a Lodge to function from day to day?

 

It is clear that you are a malcontent and take an adversarial stance toward your own as well as other Grand Lodges based on your numerous, relentless, and vociferous critical online postings about them.

 

Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

I am the Mason, who got the Kentucky state legislature to authorize Masonic license plates for the state of KY….

http://forum.mastermason.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=12323&PID=137297#137297" rel="nofollow - http://forum.mastermason.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=12323&PID=137297#137297

 

You posted this comment in another topic.  I was curious if you were able to do this without the Grand Lodge of Kentucky being involved, but either you have not seen my question or you have failed to respond.



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Posted By: droche
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 1:28pm
Originally posted by YES YES wrote:


Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

I am the Mason, who got the Kentucky state legislature to authorize Masonic license plates for the state of KY….

http://forum.mastermason.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=12323&PID=137297#137297" rel="nofollow - http://forum.mastermason.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=12323&PID=137297#137297

 

You posted this comment in another topic.  I was curious if you were able to do this without the Grand Lodge of Kentucky being involved, but either you have not seen my question or you have failed to respond.


I was curious about that too.


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 2:46pm
That is all well and good, but have you ever served as an officer in a Lodge? Have you been there in the “trenches” participating, serving, helping confer degrees, and doing all of the other things that are necessary for a Lodge to function from day to day?

= I have never had the honor of serving my beloved Craft as an officer. Less than one year after I was raised, I was transferred to Mozambique, Africa. My career has required frequent moves. I have worked from Maine to California, and 16 years in foreign countries.

I have started a Square and Compass Club, in Iraq. I took control of Land Sea, and Air Lodge #1, in Al Asad, Iraq. The Grand Lodge of New York (which holds the charter) did not issue a charter for the lodge to operate, there. We set up a S&C club.

I have served in many degrees, and in many capacities, over my masonic career. I have participated in many fund-raisers,etc.



It is clear that you are a malcontent and take an adversarial stance toward your own as well as other Grand Lodges based on your numerous, relentless, and vociferous critical online postings about them.

--I am not a malcontent. "Content" is from latin root for "happy". I not unhappy with Masonry, I am just concerned about the direction that it is taking.

If I see the Craft is taking a path, which is wrong, and not in the best interests of Masonry, I will say so. Masonry is a human institution, not a religion. The Craft, and Grand Lodges are not immune to criticism.




-------------
Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 2:50pm




Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

… I am the Mason, who got the Kentucky state legislature to authorize Masonic license plates for the state of KY….


http://forum.mastermason.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=12323&PID=137297#137297



You posted this comment in another topic. I was curious if you were able to do this without the Grand Lodge of Kentucky being involved, but either you have not seen my question or you have failed to respond.


I never saw the question, when you posted it originally.

When I decided that Kentucky Masons should have the ability to obtain a Masonic license plate, I did NOT go to the Grand Lodge. If I had, they would have debated it to death, and said "We never had a license plate before", and the project never would have gotten off the ground.

I accomplished the task, by going straight to my state senator. I got a copy of the Pennsylvania legislation, and he just crossed out "Pennsylvania", and wrote in "Kentucky". He then submitted it to the legislature, for passage. Now the masons of Kentucky can get an official plate, and the Grand Lodge of Kentucky gets a $7 rebate on every plate sold.


-------------
Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: YES
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 2:55pm
Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:


...I accomplished the task, by going straight to my state senator...

Was your state senator a Mason or did he have an interest in Masonry?


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Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 2:59pm
I was just driving in Alexandria VA. I heard an announcement on the radio, about the history of Masonry. The announcement was sponsored by the Grand Lodge of Maryland. The spot said that many famous men were Masons, and that you should consider membership. The spot announced a website

http://www.mdmasons.org/become-a-mason/askamarylandmason" rel="nofollow - http://www.mdmasons.org/become-a-mason/askamarylandmason

I checked the website, and it is terrific.

This is exactly the kind of change, that Grand Lodges should be taking! We need to advertise on the radio, TV, etc. New Jersey has billboards, advertising for membership.



-------------
Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 3:03pm
Originally posted by YES YES wrote:


Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:


...I accomplished the task, by going straight to my state senator...


Was your state senator a Mason or did he have an interest in Masonry?


--No. He was not a Mason, and had almost no idea about Masonry.

-------------
Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: YES
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 4:11pm
Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

Originally posted by YES YES wrote:


Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:


...I accomplished the task, by going straight to my state senator...


Was your state senator a Mason or did he have an interest in Masonry?


--No. He was not a Mason, and had almost no idea about Masonry.

So what year was the legislation enacted, what was the Senate Bill number and what was the Senator's name?


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Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 4:32pm
I believe it was in 1992. The Kentucky state legislature meets every two years, on the even numbered years. My state senator (at that time) was Dr. Nicholas Kafoglis. I don't remember the bill number. The current Kentucky legislation can be viewed at

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/statute.aspx?id=5965

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 5:14pm

"It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds."

Samuel Adams, Patriot

"Experience is the jockey, Education is the horse"

-Clark Gable, Actor, Philosopher, Freemason

"Do not seek to change what has come before. Seek to create that which has not." - David Airey

“I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and Constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

― Thomas Jefferson



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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: Adept?
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 8:11pm
Originally posted by YES YES wrote:


So what year was the legislation enacted, what was the Senate Bill number and what was the Senator's name?


I'm sorry, but your strong persistent concern with this license plate issue has me puzzled. Why are you so interested in this?   

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"It is humanity that creates god, and men think that god has made them in his image, because they make him in theirs."


Posted By: boing1972
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 9:51pm
I'm sorry brothers, but I'm finding reposting quotes a hand full of times a pain.if we read back a little, we can figure out who said what and whom replied to what... but this is my opinion .......

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brother bell


Posted By: Adept?
Date Posted: March/07/2015 at 10:11pm
Originally posted by boing1972 boing1972 wrote:

I'm sorry brothers, but I'm finding reposting quotes a hand full of times a pain.if we read back a little, we can figure out who said what and whom replied to what... but this is my opinion .......


Noted.   

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"It is humanity that creates god, and men think that god has made them in his image, because they make him in theirs."


Posted By: droche
Date Posted: March/08/2015 at 7:32am
Originally posted by Adept? Adept? wrote:

 

I'm sorry, but your strong persistent concern with this license plate issue has me puzzled. Why are you so interested in this?   

You originally asked how does that issue affect member Yes or anyone else. I think it is highly unusual for someone to singlehandedly get legislation passed and highly unusual for a grand lodge not to be involved when legislation is passed affecting Masons in their jurisdiction, so if someone makes such a claim, I think it is reasonable to ask them to substantiate their claim.


Posted By: YES
Date Posted: March/08/2015 at 7:51am
Originally posted by droche droche wrote:

Originally posted by Adept? Adept? wrote:

 

I'm sorry, but your strong persistent concern with this license plate issue has me puzzled. Why are you so interested in this?   

You originally asked how does that issue affect member Yes or anyone else. I think it is highly unusual for someone to singlehandedly get legislation passed and highly unusual for a grand lodge not to be involved when legislation is passed affecting Masons in their jurisdiction, so if someone makes such a claim, I think it is reasonable to ask them to substantiate their claim.

Exactly.


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Posted By: YES
Date Posted: March/08/2015 at 9:15am

Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

…When I decided that Kentucky Masons should have the ability to obtain a Masonic license plate, I did NOT go to the Grand Lodge. If I had, they would have debated it to death, and said "We never had a license plate before", and the project never would have gotten off the ground.

I accomplished the task, by going straight to my state senator. I got a copy of the Pennsylvania legislation, and he just crossed out "Pennsylvania", and wrote in "Kentucky". He then submitted it to the legislature, for passage. Now the masons of Kentucky can get an official plate, and the Grand Lodge of Kentucky gets a $7 rebate on every plate sold. 

 When I first saw his claim, I thought it unlikely that a State Legislature would pass an act affecting the Grand Lodge of that state without some input or agreement from the Grand Lodge.  Once the plate was authorized it would have to be designed and certainly that design would have to be approved by the Grand Lodge.  The documentation required for authorization to purchase the plate would also have to be determined; again Grand Lodge input would almost certainly be required.  Further if the Grand Lodge did not approve or consent to the plate then the Grand Master would in all likelihood issue an edict prohibiting their purchase or display by members of the Grand Lodge.

 The claim that the Senator “just crossed out ‘Pennsylvania’, and wrote in ‘Kentucky’. He then submitted it to the legislature, for passage” is also highly suspect since the proposed legislation would be changing an existing Kentucky statute, the legislation would have to specifically reference the existing Kentucky statute.

 After a little research it became obvious that there were inconsistencies in the story.  While the legislation was introduced in 1992, it was not introduced by the Senator, it was a House Bill introduced by two representatives:

/LRC_Sessions/92RS/bills/hb731.htm (2 hits)



HB 731/LM (BR 2269) - R. Adkins, R. Bentley 


AN ACT relating to special license plates. 
Create new section of KRS Chapter 186 to provide for special license plates 
for members of Masonic Orders; specify registration procedure; fee; renewal. 

HB 731 - AMENDMENTS 
HCA (1, Little) - Require 500 requests for 
masonic license plates before 
the Transportation Cabinet is required to provide the plates. 


Feb 28-to Transportation 
Mar 6-posted in committee 
Mar 12-reported favorably, 1st reading, to Calendar with committee 
amendment (1) 
Mar 13-2nd reading, to Rules 
Mar 16-posted for passage in the Regular Orders of the Day for Tuesday, 
March 17, 1992 
Mar 17-3rd reading, passed 81-5 with committee amendment (1) 
Mar 18-received in Senate 
Mar 19-to Transportation 
Mar 24-reported favorably, 1st reading, to Calendar 
Mar 25-2nd reading, to Rules 
Mar 27-posted for passage in the Regular Orders of the Day for March 30, 
1992 
Mar 30-3rd reading, passed 25-8; received in House 
Mar 31-enrolled, signed by each presiding officer, delivered to Governor 
Apr 10-signed by Governor 



LRC Search Engine(7.68 (x64) (8025))

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/lrcsearch" rel="nofollow - http://www.lrc.ky.gov/lrcsearch

 While I am inclined to think the story is total BS, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and just say you must have had a “Brian Williams moment”.



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Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/08/2015 at 9:16am
That is exactly what happened.

Here is the "Cliff's Notes" version:

1) I read an article, that stated that New Jersey and Pennsylvania had official Masonic license plates.

2)I asked my state senator, to get similar legislation passed in Kentucky. He told me to a get a copy of the Pennsylvania law. I obtained a copy of the law from the clerk of the Pennsylvania legislature. I saw the draft proposal, where he inserted "Kentucky".

3) I did NOT approach the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. They would have stalled it, or killed it, or said "We never had a license plate before".

4) My senator introduced the legislation ( with assistance ) and got it passed.

Done Deal!

--Keep in mind, that all this occurred over 22 years ago. The motor vehicle statues in Kentucky have almost certainly gone through some revisions and updates during the intervening years.

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: YES
Date Posted: March/08/2015 at 11:11am
Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

That is exactly what happened.

Here is the "Cliff's Notes" version:

1) I read an article, that stated that New Jersey and Pennsylvania had official Masonic license plates.

2)I asked my state senator, to get similar legislation passed in Kentucky. He told me to a get a copy of the Pennsylvania law. I obtained a copy of the law from the clerk of the Pennsylvania legislature. I saw the draft proposal, where he inserted "Kentucky".

3) I did NOT approach the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. They would have stalled it, or killed it, or said "We never had a license plate before".

4) My senator introduced the legislation ( with assistance ) and got it passed.

Done Deal!

--Keep in mind, that all this occurred over 12 years ago. The motor vehicle statues in Kentucky have almost certainly gone through some revisions and updates during the intervening years.

Yeah, I know that’s your story and you are sticking to it.  But, facts are stubborn things.

I also know, as I previously stated, that you take an adversarial stance toward the Grand Lodge of Kentucky as well as other Grand Lodges  and like to present them in a bad light as evidenced by this letter to you from the Grand Master of Kentucky posted by you on your blog:

“Letter from the Grand Master of Masons in KY to me.

(This letter is an EXACT copy of a communication from the Grand Master of Masons in KY. It is published VERBATIM)

(Small portion, not related to the text has been deleted)

you have again tried to mask your situation and use the cloak ofthis fraternity for your own betterment. You continue to berate, insultand generally to fault everyone and every Grand Lodge or Grand Lodgeofficer be it Kentucky, New York, etc. You use masonry for your ownpurpose! You have here again tried to mask your actions and get theapproval through everyone else rather than looking at yourself to see ifyou really are a mason or just a man using masonry for himself. In you blogs you have continued to throw everything and anyone that doesnot do or say what you want to them say about Masonry to the side asbeneath you and your brothers. You use Masonry, rather than practicingMasonry. Masonry is not a item or a card it is a belief that we as brothers canwork together as a band of brothers cemented by our obligation to upholdthe Constitution practice Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth! Our Honorand Integrity before all else. You Sir, have, in my opinion, used thisfraternity as an item for your own discussion and advancement in trying toprove yourself something you or not! This is a shame that a man of your ability has tried to take thisfraternity and put it on display for his own amusement or advancement. Inall of your blogs, you always refer to "I" rather than "we". It is alwaysyou that stands to do battle with the Grand Lodges. This Sir is not abattle it is a love that each of us has about the fraternity and eachother. Sir, if nothing else remember this......"You represent this fraternity inthe world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year! Does youractions each day prove you to be a Mason? Remember someone each day willsee you for what you are in this world and does your actions representthis fraternity?" Keith DreierGrand Master”

http://www.cemab4y.blogspot.com/2008_09_01_archive.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.cemab4y.blogspot.com/2008_09_01_archive.html



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Posted By: Adept?
Date Posted: March/08/2015 at 3:47pm
Wow... Some context would be nice, but still...wow. That is one agitated grand master.

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"It is humanity that creates god, and men think that god has made them in his image, because they make him in theirs."


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/08/2015 at 4:55pm
Keep in mind that I myself posted that letter on my blog. I want people to see it. There are no secrets on the internet.

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/09/2015 at 1:31pm
The letter which I posted from the GM of Kentucky (2008), was the result of some actions that I took when I lived in Iraq/Afghanistan. I set up a Square and Compasses club in Al Asad, Iraq. This was not a working lodge, just a club so that Masons there could share some fellowship.

In the setting up of the club, I contacted a Mason in New Jersey, to get his advice and counsel. I wanted to incorporate as a non-profit corporation in New Jersey, so that we could have a US bank account. We needed to purchase various items for the club.

The GM of Masons (KY) found out about my reaching out to a Mason outside of my home jurisdiction for advice. I basically told him to mind his own business, I can communicate with any individual I like, and seek advice.

Some of the comments he made were way off base. I have never used Masonry for my own betterment. On the contrary, I have donated many hours to the Craft, and served Masonry for many years, often in very dangerous areas.

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/09/2015 at 2:17pm
I have managed to irritate several Grand Masters. I once set up a Masonic Square and Compass club in Bowling Green KY. The GM of Masons called me at home, and told me not to have the club. I told him, that I would have breakfast with anyone I wished. If we wanted to call our club a "Square and Compass Club" we would.

"Only a dead fish goes downstream all the time" -Author unknown

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: rchadwic
Date Posted: March/09/2015 at 7:26pm
Having read the several recent posts, I have but one thing to say.
To paraphrase my Australian brothers and assorted relatives/friends and directed to Bro. Charles, cemab4y.....  "Good on ya, mate!!!"

I learned a long time ago, we will either make progress with (their) help, or in spite of it.

Bob Chadwick
Palm Bay #397
Palm Bay, FL


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Bob Chadwick
Palm Bay #397
Palm Bay, Fla


Posted By: Cookslc
Date Posted: March/09/2015 at 10:58pm
Umm, I think this post from 2008 will clarify that the Kentucky suspension was for attending a Prince Hall lodge meeting when they were not in Amity with the grand Lodge of Kentucky.


cemab4y
Member
     Posted Thu 24 April 2008 12:46 AM     Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by prdavis32:
If you have not attended a PH lodge, how can you be expelled?


I should have been more clear. I attended a PH lodge, here in Iraq on April 5,2008. Prior to this date, I had never attended a PH lodge before.

The GL of Kentucky is preparing charges, and I will be expelled from the GL of Kentucky.

end of quote

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G A Cook
F&AM of Utah
AF&AM of Oklahoma
UGLE


Posted By: YES
Date Posted: March/10/2015 at 7:06am

Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

I have managed to irritate several Grand Masters. I once set up a Masonic Square and Compass club in Bowling Green KY. The GM of Masons called me at home, and told me not to have the club. I told him, that I would have breakfast with anyone I wished. If we wanted to call our club a "Square and Club" we would…

You may think that, but I suspect the Grand Master saw it differently based on the Grand Lodge of Kentucky Constitution:

Hereafter no Mason within the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge shall engage in the formation or become a member of  any organization basing its eligibility to membership therein upon symbolic lodge membership unless such organization shall have received the formal approval of this Grand Lodge.

  https://grandlodgeofkentucky.org/publications/Constitution/Constitution2014_rev_2-23-15.pdf" rel="nofollow - https://grandlodgeofkentucky.org/publications/Constitution/Constitution2014_rev_2-23-15.pdf (p. 34)

Also, are you aware that it is an important matter of Masonic protocol, that no attempt should be made to contact a Grand Lodge  directly (or one of its subordinate Lodges), until such time as a brother is within the jurisdiction of  that Grand Lodge.   At all other times, brethren should make contact via the Grand Secretary of their own Grand Lodge? 



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Posted By: Adept?
Date Posted: March/10/2015 at 8:28am
Originally posted by Cookslc Cookslc wrote:

...the Kentucky suspension ...

The GL of Kentucky is preparing charges, and I will be expelled from the GL of Kentucky.

end of quote


Sooooo... are you suspended or expelled cemab4y???

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"It is humanity that creates god, and men think that god has made them in his image, because they make him in theirs."


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/10/2015 at 8:52am
A couple of points. I am NOT suspended nor expelled from Masonry. I am a MM in good standing. In 2008, I attended a dinner at the PH lodge in Taji Iraq. It was NOT a tyled meeting. But the word got back to the GL of KY, and I was brought up on charges. At the time, I was member BOTH of lodges in Kentucky and New York (New York has full fraternal relations with PH Masonry). Even though the dinner meeting that I attended was not a tyled lodge meeting, and I did not show a dues card, nor was I examined by the tyler. I was tried in absentia, and I had no chance to present the facts, I was suspended from Kentucky Masonry for one year. I was not suspended from New York Masonry.

I started a breakfast club in KY, for individuals who were interested in Masonry. NO one had to be a MM in good standing, and symbolic lodge membership was NOT required to meet with us, and have breakfast once a month. Therefore, the KY regulations prohibiting organizations which require Masonic membership did NOT apply. The only requirement for participation in the Square and Compass club, was that the individual have an interest in Masonry.

I was living in Iraq, which has no Grand Lodge. I needed some advice on an accounting matter. I approached a Mason who was a CPA in New Jersey. and got some advice. I never approached the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, not any of their subordinate lodges.

Also keep in mind, that the Grand Lodge of New York, contacted me during my time in Iraq, and asked me to assist with the operation of Land, Sea, and Air Lodge #1. I was glad to help. I even joined a New York Lodge. New York was in communications with PH Masonry, and our square and compass club was open to anyone who was interested in Masonry. We never held a tyled meeting, because we had no charter.

Once, a mason from Washington state (in Iraq), asked me for advice about Washington Masonry. I helped him to contact the Grand Secretary of his Grand Lodge.

Once, I was in Afghanistan. I was attending a Canadian military lodge operating in Afghanistan. The worshipful master was from Holland. The lodge used some ritual from the Grand Lodge of Turkey. At the time, I was a member of lodges in Kentucky, Massachusetts, and New York.

During that time, Afghanistan had no Grand Lodge.

SO tell me, if a mason from Kentucky/Mass/New York is attending a Canadian lodge (In Afghanistan), operating under Turkish ritual, whose worshipful master is from Holland, under whose jurisdiction is he? Where should he go for Masonic advice?

-------------
Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: YES
Date Posted: March/10/2015 at 11:46am

It is hard to keep up with what you claim the facts to be since you have stated them differently on various occasions depending on the impression you are trying to make at the time.  The following are quotes from various posts:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

The only requirement for participation in the Square and Compass club, was that the individual have an interest in Masonry.

 But you previously said:

 

Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

I set up a Square and Compasses club in Al Asad, Iraq. This was not a working lodge, just a club so that Masons there could share some fellowship.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

I attended a dinner at the PH lodge in Taji Iraq. It was NOT a tyled meeting

 But you made these comments in 2 posts on another forum in April 2008 which is a contemporaneous account of the incident.

 Post 1 April 11, 2008 3:19 am 11008 03:19 AM

“A Man belongs to two(2) different lodges in two(2) different states. He therefore, belongs to two(2) different grand Lodges, in the two(2) respective states.

One of his Grand Lodges is in full communications with Prince Hall Grand Lodges in nearly all of the states, and abroad. One of his Grand Lodges is NOT in communications with Prince Hall, anywhere, and considers all Prince Hall lodges and Grand Lodges to be "clandestine".

Suppose this man visits and fellowships with a Prince Hall lodge, that is in full communications with one of his Grand Lodges, and this Grand Lodge has accepted the Prince Hall lodge as "regular"?

Should this man visit and fellowship with Prince Hall lodges? Since one of his Grand Lodges is perfectly all right with visitation/fellowship, is he in violation of any regulations? Should the non-recognizing Grand Lodge, discipline or expel him?”

 Post 2 April 14, 2008 5:27 am

“As a New York Mason, I believed that my New York membership permitted me to visit lodges that were in communications with the Grand Lodge of New York. Just like joining a different lodge, so that you can serve the lodge as an officer, joining a different lodge grants you new privileges.” 

http://excoboard.com/exco/archive.php?ac=t&forumid=54969&date=08-24-2011&t=1463991-1" rel="nofollow - http://excoboard.com/exco/archive.php?ac=t&forumid=54969&date=08-24-2011&t=1463991-1

There is no indication here that your visit was just a dinner meeting, and although you were wrong, it clearly indicates that since you belonged to a Lodge under the Grand Lodge of New York you could visit PH lodges.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

I never approached the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, not any of their subordinate lodges.

That is true.  However the letter from the Grand Master of Kentucky did not mention the Grand Lodge of New Jersey he did mention the Grand Lodge of New York and by your own admission you did contact both the Grand Secretary and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York:

 22 June 2006

“I requested the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of KY to issue a document, verifying my Masonic status, but this document must be requested from New York. I contacted the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of New York, and requested that he secure the necessary documents.”

http://www.cemab4y.blogspot.com/2006_06_01_archive.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.cemab4y.blogspot.com/2006_06_01_archive.html

 You also posted a letter to the Grand Lodge of New York on July 15, 2007.  It is very length so I will just include the link.  While I will not say that the letter is hostile, I will say that the tone is confrontational.

http://www.cemab4y.blogspot.com/2007_07_01_archive.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.cemab4y.blogspot.com/2007_07_01_archive.html

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

I SO tell me, if a mason from Kentucky/Mass/New York is attending a Canadian lodge (In Afghanistan), operating under Turkish ritual, whose worshipful master is from Holland, under whose jurisdiction is he? Where should he go for Masonic advice?

A Mason who is not a member of a Lodge in the jurisdiction, but is sojourning or residing within the jurisdictional area of a Grand Lodge, is subject to the laws of that Grand Lodge as well as the laws of any Grand Lodge he is a member of.

 So, based on the information you provided, I am certainly not an expert but in my opinion, I do not think the Canadian Grand Lodge would claim that Afghanistan was within their jurisdictional area and neither the ritual being worked or where the Worshipful Master is from would have any bearing on the matter. But, regardless of where you are residing you are always subject to the Laws of any Grand Lodge to which you may be a member.  Since you were a member of 3 Grand Lodges you would be obliged to abide by the laws of all three and  there is only one way you can do that, and that is to abide by the strictest law of any of the Grand Lodges that have jurisdiction over you.  So, in this case although you may have been permitted to visit a PH Lodge under the Grand Lodge of New York, you would not commit an offence by not attending.  On the other hand, by attending a PH Lodge, you did commit an offence under the Grand Lodge of Kentucky.

While, this may have caused you to be conflicted due to your personal convictions, there was a simple solution available.  You could have simply demitted from the Grand Lodge of Kentucky.



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Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/10/2015 at 1:54pm
It is hard to keep up with what you claim the facts to be since you have stated them differently on various occasions depending on the impression you are trying to make at the time. The following are quotes from various posts:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

The only requirement for participation in the Square and Compass club, was that the individual have an interest in Masonry.


But you previously said:



Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

I set up a Square and Compasses club in Al Asad, Iraq. This was not a working lodge, just a club so that Masons there could share some fellowship.


--You are arguing a semantic point. The Square and Compasses club I set up in Iraq, was so that men who were interested in Masonry, could fellowship. Of course, most of the members were Masons. But many were NOT Masons, and we never checked dues cards, nor required that any members be Masons. The club was NOT set up to be a Masonic lodge, nor was the membership ever restricted to Masons. The regulation you cite from the GL of Kentucky, is only applicable to appendant bodies, which by their own rules, restrict the membership to Masons. A club, operating in a foreign country, which is open to ANYONE who is interested in Masonry, is not under this rule.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

I attended a dinner at the PH lodge in Taji Iraq. It was NOT a tyled meeting


But you made these comments in 2 posts on another forum in April 2008 which is a contemporaneous account of the incident.

Post 1 April 11, 2008 3:19 am 11008 03:19 AM

“A Man belongs to two(2) different lodges in two(2) different states. He therefore, belongs to two(2) different grand Lodges, in the two(2) respective states.

One of his Grand Lodges is in full communications with Prince Hall Grand Lodges in nearly all of the states, and abroad. One of his Grand Lodges is NOT in communications with Prince Hall, anywhere, and considers all Prince Hall lodges and Grand Lodges to be "clandestine".

Suppose this man visits and fellowships with a Prince Hall lodge, that is in full communications with one of his Grand Lodges, and this Grand Lodge has accepted the Prince Hall lodge as "regular"?

Should this man visit and fellowship with Prince Hall lodges? Since one of his Grand Lodges is perfectly all right with visitation/fellowship, is he in violation of any regulations? Should the non-recognizing Grand Lodge, discipline or expel him?”

---This is a hypothetical situation, I was posing the question, to see what the readers of my blog thought, and to stimulate conversation and comments. I got a blizzard of replies.

Post 2 April 14, 2008 5:27 am

“As a New York Mason, I believed that my New York membership permitted me to visit lodges that were in communications with the Grand Lodge of New York. Just like joining a different lodge, so that you can serve the lodge as an officer, joining a different lodge grants you new privileges.”

http://excoboard.com/exco/archive.php?ac=t&forumid=54969&date=08-24-2011&t=1463991-1

There is no indication here that your visit was just a dinner meeting, and although you were wrong, it clearly indicates that since you belonged to a Lodge under the Grand Lodge of New York you could visit PH lodges.

--Again, semantics. In Taji, Iraq there was no lodge building. The masonic lodge there met in an old garage building. I attended the dinner at the fried chicken place, and ate with them. I was never asked to show a dues card, I was not tried, and I did not sign the visitor's roster. When I say "the lodge", I mean the group of Masons that I met with.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

I never approached the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, not any of their subordinate lodges.


That is true. However the letter from the Grand Master of Kentucky did not mention the Grand Lodge of New Jersey he did mention the Grand Lodge of New York and by your own admission you did contact both the Grand Secretary and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York:

22 June 2006

“I requested the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of KY to issue a document, verifying my Masonic status, but this document must be requested from New York. I contacted the Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of New York, and requested that he secure the necessary documents.”

---The Grand Lodge of New York (and one New York Mason) approached me in Iraq, and asked me to assist in the establishment of a New York traveling military lodge at Al Asad, Iraq. It is important to establish, that they contacted me first. I responded, and agreed to help. (I have donated many hours to this Craft).

Since I was physically present in Iraq, which has no Grand Lodge, I was not under any restrictions with assisting Masons from any other jurisdiction. I am under oath to help and assist brother Master Masons. I was glad to help.

Of course, as the project progressed, I had to keep the GL of New York informed. After all, it was their lodge, and they controlled the charter. I agreed to take out dual membership with Master Builder Lodge #911 (Tonawanda NY). Since I was going to be operating in an (overseas) New York lodge, and possibly serving as an officer, I was directed by the GL to join a New York lodge. As it turned out, I never held a tyled meeting, and never served as an officer.

http://www.cemab4y.blogspot.com/2006_06_01_archive.html

You also posted a letter to the Grand Lodge of New York on July 15, 2007. It is very length so I will just include the link. While I will not say that the letter is hostile, I will say that the tone is confrontational.

http://www.cemab4y.blogspot.com/2007_07_01_archive.html

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Originally posted by cemab4y cemab4y wrote:

I SO tell me, if a mason from Kentucky/Mass/New York is attending a Canadian lodge (In Afghanistan), operating under Turkish ritual, whose worshipful master is from Holland, under whose jurisdiction is he? Where should he go for Masonic advice?


A Mason who is not a member of a Lodge in the jurisdiction, but is sojourning or residing within the jurisdictional area of a Grand Lodge, is subject to the laws of that Grand Lodge as well as the laws of any Grand Lodge he is a member of.

So, based on the information you provided, I am certainly not an expert but in my opinion, I do not think the Canadian Grand Lodge would claim that Afghanistan was within their jurisdictional area and neither the ritual being worked or where the Worshipful Master is from would have any bearing on the matter. But, regardless of where you are residing you are always subject to the Laws of any Grand Lodge to which you may be a member. Since you were a member of 3 Grand Lodges you would be obliged to abide by the laws of all three and there is only one way you can do that, and that is to abide by the strictest law of any of the Grand Lodges that have jurisdiction over you. So, in this case although you may have been permitted to visit a PH Lodge under the Grand Lodge of New York, you would not commit an offence by not attending. On the other hand, by attending a PH Lodge, you did commit an offence under the Grand Lodge of Kentucky.

While, this may have caused you to be conflicted due to your personal convictions, there was a simple solution available. You could have simply demitted from the Grand Lodge of Kentucky.

--I never considered demitting, just so I could have a plate of fried chicken with some men who were risking their lives in Iraq.


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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: YES
Date Posted: March/10/2015 at 3:38pm
@cema4by

Yeah, I know the dance, you are right and everybody else is wrong, yada yada yada.  You can attempt to obfuscate and claim that it is a matter of semantics, but what I have posted are your exact words.

The section of the Kentucky Constitution I quoted does list the Grand Bodies that it considers legitimate Masonic Bodies, however the part that I quoted says "any organization" while you may interpret this to mean only "appendant bodies",  I challenge you to contact your Grand Lodge and get an official interpretation as to whether this covers clubs such as "High Twelve", "Square and Compass", "Widows Sons", etc.

Also out of curiosity, what PH GL chartered the PH lodge in question. and, in what issue of the Northern Lights did you see the article about Pennsylvania and New Jersey Masonic license plates?


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http://s971.photobucket.com/user/wimberly1951/media/ezgif.com-gif-maker.gif.html" rel="nofollow">


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/10/2015 at 4:37pm
The regulation applies to organizations which require members to be master masons. Since the club we started only had the requirement that the member be interested in Masonry, the regulation does not apply.

I agree that the regulation applies to organizations like "High Twelve". etc. These organizations require the member to be a MM in good standing. Our club was NOT a masonic body. Only a discussion group, out in the Iraqi desert, and no member was required to be a MM.

I don't remember which PH Grand Lodge chartered the lodge in Taji Iraq. I never saw the charter, and I never asked. The MWPHGL of Oklahoma did charter several lodges in Iraq/Afghanistan.

Way back in 1990, when I was working in Columbus OH, I read a small article in the "Northern Light", the journal of the Scottish Rite Northern Jurisdiction. This was over a quarter of a century ago, and I do not remember the month and year of the issue I read.

I agree that you did a cut and paste from some of the postings from my blog. But you pull them out of context, and without the background of the events.

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: edwmax
Date Posted: March/10/2015 at 11:07pm
Admin to all:

Ya'll need to put this behind you!    It's 6 years old.   cemab4y was tried in absentia and suspended for 1 year by the GL of KY.     I think all of Gl of Ky evidence came from cemab4y' blog and was misunderstood.     .... Anyway rehashing this is off-topic of the thread  ... move on ...

...  someone please get me some aspirins   ...


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"He who would assume to govern others must first learn to govern himself."





Thomasville 369


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/11/2015 at 8:51am
I agree. I suggest we let ancient history drop. Let's get the discussion back on point. What would you like to see changed? I am talking about administrative changes, and adapting the Masonic experience to the 21st century, and our new demographic realities.

We can have on-line payment of dues, and still be true to our Masonic "roots" .

We can have more daylight lodges, to accommodate our older brothers, who cannot get out at night.

We can have degree work on the weekends, so that men who have a long commute, can participate in Masonry.

We can have modern, state-of-the-art webpages, and still keep our ancient landmarks.

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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)


Posted By: cemab4y
Date Posted: March/11/2015 at 8:57am
One adaptation that I would love to see, is more informal organizations, and fellowship outside the tyled lodge. I first was introduced to "Square and Compass" clubs, when I lived in New Hampshire in 1982. Most NH lodges are dark during the summer months. So, the lodges in NH have established these "Square and Compass" clubs, so that the Masons in the Granite State, can have fellowship, barbecues, family activities, etc, when the lodges are shut down in the summer.

I believe that this terrific idea, should be emulated by more Masons nationwide. The meetings are OPEN, and the activities for the families are excellent. You can bring guests, and give them an introduction to Freemasonry. Often, men who are introduced to the Craft, through a "Square and Compass" club or a "Widow's Son" club will ask for a petition and join the Craft.



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Charles E. Martin

Alexandria, VA

Bowling Green Lodge 73, Bowling Green KY (GL of KY, F&AM)

Alexandria VA Scottish Rite Bodies (AASR, Southern Jurisdiction, USA)



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