As we enter a new Masonic year, Rough Ashlar Lodge (and every lodge) should have a calendar in place. In order to have a successful year we need to plan ahead. Every event for the year deserves to be well planned and all of our members deserve to know in advance what is happening.
Here is Rough Ashlar Lodge’s simple formula for this year . . .
- Streamline our business meetings and add some Masonic Education
- Plan one event (or activity) each quarter
- Get some help and conduct one Masonic Degree each quarter
- Don’t get crazy and “overplan” – be realistic.
Things have been a little stagnant at good ol’ Rough Ashlar Lodge so let’s give them a little help. Rough Ashlar hasn’t had any degree work or special programs, so let’s work on the calendar and talk about what we are scheduling and why!
Stated Business Meetings and Masonic Education
Okay, let’s plug these in every month but with a twist! First of all, even though we may have two stated meetings each month, let’s get our business all done in one so that the other meeting can be used for special events, fun events and hopefully degree work. To make our business meetings more interesting and make better use of time Rough Ashlar is going to print out the minutes and post them ahead of time for all to review, likewise for the treasurer’s and trustee’s report. That way we only need to ask for comments or questions. Communications or letters can also be posted ahead of time so that members can read them in advance. Just because we post all of our reports ahead of time doesn’t mean there won’t be discussion. Of course we can take time to discuss questions or concerns, but by streamlining our meeting we’ll save time to do something educational at our stated meeting.
Rough Ashlar is going to try using the Masonic Study Series. Because we are new at this we are inviting our District Deputy Grand Master to help us with our first discussion. We also have found out that the Grand Lodge is selling a really nice printed version of the Masonic Study Series so we can pick up a few copies to keep at lodge. How about tackling a discussion of “The Ruffians” first? Sounds like fun!
Winter – How about a “Sweetheart” Night? Let’s support a local restaurant by taking our ladies out to dinner. We’ll plan ahead and work with the restaurant to keep the price reasonable. We’ll also do some phone calling to let our Brothers know what is happening and to invite them personally. We’ll also invite our honored ladies, the widows of our departed brothers.
“Spaghetti Dinner” or “Pancake Breakfast” – Winter time is a good time to hold a dinner or breakfast as a fund raiser. We can also invite friends and neighbors to lodge.
How about an outdoor winter event? Ice fishing? A bunny hunt? Too cold? What about visiting an indoor shooting range? We can check with the chamber of commerce and get help planning events!
Spring – OK, this will be easier than winter, but we’ll have to avoid graduations in May and June. Let’s do a mini-golf or 9 hole golf outing and go out for pizza afterward. The non-golfers can meet us at the pizza place and listen to the liars replay their round of golf.
Spring Cleaning and Open House – Spring is a great time to get some spruce up projects done. Its also a great time to host a “Coffee with the Masons” or “Open House.”
Summer – Let’s schedule a lodge picnic, fishing outing, ball game or concert in the park with a group. Everything is more fun with your lodge brothers. Be sure to involve the families too! Our summer lodge meetings can be casual.
Fall – Fall will fly by in a hurry! Sometimes it’s really hard to get our Brothers back to lodge in September, so we’ll be careful to schedule any big events for later in the month or in October. This is a great time for a big Masonic Event like a Table Lodge or a Festive Board. Because we have it on our calendar we’ve been able to promote it all year long and we can line up a special guest speaker. Many lodges have developed their own special menu or theme for a table lodge and have even made up custom toasting cannons.
What about degree work? Degree work is what makes Masonry special! Our degrees help bring out that “good man” in each of us. But Rough Ashlar lodge is short on candidates and ritualists – how do we tackle the degree work? And what if we don’t have a candidate?
No problem! Our District Lecturer is going to help us line up a degree team for the event and we are going to use a Grand Lodge officer as our candidate! We are also going to advertise this to our Brothers ahead of time and do some phone calling to get a good group to attend. Our goal is to conduct one of the degrees in the winter, one in spring and one in fall. Rough Ashlar will do all three degrees this year!
With all the activity we have planned, who knows? We might not be using Grand Lodge officers as candidates after all!
Donald W. Hensiak