Rough Ashlar Lodge
Even through the occasional rough patch here at “Rough Ashlar” Lodge, we have always hung in there because of the great friendships we have made through Freemasonry. As with most lodges, our Brothers have become some of our best friends. We support each other and look forward to getting together on lodge nights and on special occasions.
As part of the rebirth of Rough Ashlar Lodge this year we are using Friendship as one of our planning tools. Remember the 4 P’s . . . People, Planning, Programming and Proficiency? Friendship is so important that it is going to fall under the categories of People, Planning and Programming! We are going to plan our programs to build friendships. Friendship is one of our important Masonic tenets.
It seems like common sense that friendship is an important part of our lodge, but this year we are really going to focus on it. Our calendar, our meetings and our events are going to be built so that we are intentional about building Masonic friendships and inviting our non-Masonic friends to take part too.
Let’s take a look at some of the plans that Rough Ashlar Lodge will be implementing to help build friendships . . .
Greeters and Mentors
It is really important that everyone attending our meetings is extended a hand of friendship. To ensure that this happens we are going to assign one or two “greeters” for every meeting and event. This is a great assignment for our Deacons.
We will also be assigning a mentor for each of our newer members. While we do have a Counselor, this is different. The mentor will make sure that the new member is receiving all of our lodge communications. He will make sure that the new member is never left alone at a meeting or an event. The mentor will make it a point to introduce the newer member to the other Brothers. We will also invite the new Brother to travel with us to other lodges and our District meetings. The new Brother and his mentor will also be able to work toward receiving the Ashlar Award.
To help build friendships we are going to be sure that at least quarterly we have a “fun” or “social” event. Even though Masonic education, degrees and business meetings are important, there is not always enough time at those meetings to have a conversation and get to know each other.
We are also going to line up some service projects so that we can get together and get to know each other better while we help out a Brother or our community.
To make sure these events are successful we are going to really work hard to publicize them. We’ll be sending a special flyer to our members, sending email reminders, posting it on Facebook and then having a “calling party” about two weeks before the events to contact members that we haven’t heard from yet.
Fund Raisers and Spruce Up
While Rough Ashlar isn’t broke, we could use a little extra cash for special projects that don’t fit into the budget. Depending how much money we can raise, we’ll apply for matching funds for sprucing up our lodge and we’ll also start an Almoners Fund (or Charity Fund) to help needy Brothers. We will make sure that our newer Brothers are paired up with more experienced Brothers during these events so that friendships can be strengthened. We are going to start easy by hosting a Spaghetti Dinner. We are also thinking about conducting a raffle.
Carpooling and visiting other lodges is a great way to build friendships. We hope to visit a couple of neighboring table lodges and also carpool as a group to our District Meeting. Masons are often known as a “Traveling Man.” We will build a few trips into our calendar and make sure that our mentors include our newer Brothers. We will also use our calling list to invite some of our Brothers that haven’t attended lodge much lately. It has been a long time since we stole the Traveling Gavel so we’ll be adding that to this year’s goals.
We have looked over our calendar and made sure to include a regular schedule of Friends Events. These are events that we can invite our non-Masonic friends to. We have a couple of simple guidelines for our friends events. We want them to be convenient, casual and not expensive. One of the ideas we’ll be using is a monthly coffee and donuts get-together. We are also going to visit a local restaurant for a couple of fish fry nights. The Brothers will be wearing our lodge shirts and we are going to have a few door prizes available for our friends.
We also are working on a couple of other events to invite friends to. One is a trap shooting outing and the other is a golf outing. Seeing as we are just getting going on these outings we have decided to just do a nine hole golf outing with four or five tee times. After golf we’ll have burgers right at the clubhouse and hand out a few fun prizes.
As a lodge, we worked together to build a calendar of events and to focus on friendship. There is a lot of excitement about this year and we can’t wait to get these plans rolled out!