“It’s Inventory Time – Year End”

My Brothers:

I enjoy reading about our great fraternity and it seems the information read deserves time for reflection, analysis and action. Our Grand Secretary forwarded an article to me that was found on the International Royal Arch Masons website. I have read the article and felt it worthwhile to share along with some personal observations.

“Seven Blunders of the Masonic World”

Ritual without Meaning

Our Ritual is what makes us different from other Fraternal or Service Organizations. We should strive to present our degrees with perfection and meaning. We need to convey the lessons with meaning and understanding so our new Brothers find a personal value.

Fellowship without Frivolity

When Freemasons plan an event they often look at the least impact it will have on the Lodge and its member’s finances. The event usually ends up petty and insignificant. If a meal, it usually results in paper plates, plastic tableware and meager food. Take the time, plan a grand fellowship event, spend money wisely, and use real china, silverware, tablecloths, serve good food and provide quality programing.

Quantity without Quality

The days of men seeking membership, who offer nothing to the Fraternity is over. Brothers signing Petitions for men they don’t know is over. We need to be selective as we screen men for membership. Men who believe in our Masonic Ideals and seek self-improvement will become leaders within your Lodge. First line signers must take responsibility for those they recommend for membership. Celebrate the Diversity.

Education without Philosophy

Many times within our Lodges we just give history lessons on Famous Masons, our Lodges and the Masonic Worldwide Fraternity. On other occasions we practice ritual. If we don’t discuss the Philosophy involved, little to no self-improvement is accomplished. It is important to discuss current events or topics that are of a foreign nature to the Lodge. Some educational activities can offer challenges to the membership. Celebrate the Diversity.

Charity without Connection

A lodge should always research its Charitable Giving. Take ownership with funding and involvement. This type of giving offers self-improvement, connection with the Charity and engagement of the Brothers in your Lodge. Celebrate the Diversity.

Frugality without Discretion

Thrift is not one of our tenets, a virtue, or a Landmark of Freemasonry. Not everything needs to be done as cheaply as possible. I believe a lodge should review its programs, spend money on worthwhile items and activities that will enhance the Masonic Experience. Celebrate Diversity.

Leadership without Competence

A Brother does not deserve to be a Lodge Officer just because he has been a member for a number of years. We often elect leaders without any skills to manage or lead. We need to bring men into this Fraternity with many skills, keeping in mind we all have special gifts. Our Leaders need to be instructed in our ritual, have organizational skills and knowledge of the Wisconsin Masonic Code. These men need to serve their Apprenticeship. It’s not fair to elect a Brother to a leadership role who is not qualified and trained to govern the Craft. Celebrate the Diversity.

Eugene Debs 1855-1926.

Left a legacy he summed up in his own words. “Yes, I am my Brother’s keeper,” he wrote. “I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by maudlin sentimentality, but by the higher duty I owe myself.”

Take time to discuss the “Seven Blunders” and some of my comments.  Do you agree or disagree? I encourage you to discuss them and how they may seem relevant for your lodge and its officers. We claim to be a premier men’s organization. Many of the items listed above deal with self-improvement. What does that require? Take time to listen and talk to each other and celebrate that Diversity.

It’s the year end for the lodges, a time to review and take an inventory of its accomplishments in 2012. It’s also that time of the year for the 2013 Officers to establish goals and make plans on how to attain them. A reminder that those year-end reports are due, from the Lodge Trustees to the Lodge, from the Lodge to Grand Secretary and the recap of the “Lodge Excellence Award” to your District Deputy. These items are also great tools for planning Lodge Programing for 2013 and beyond.

Sincerely & Fraternally,