Grand Master’s Message – March 2022

Retention & Communications

    This is a great time for all of us to start working on retention and improving our communications with our lodge Brothers.   

     On February 15th,, your lodge should have paid the Grand Lodge per-capita for this year on every member. So, if you have some that haven’t paid their dues, you have plenty of time to collect. How about waiting to call them in August, September or even October to see if they wish to continue. In the meantime, why not start a calling campaign and reach out to all your members just to say hi, how are you doing and thank them for being a member of your lodge.  

     When talking with them make sure you listen to what they have to say. If they have complaints, use the feel, felt and found message in your conversation. I know how you feel, I have felt the same way, however, I found that . . . and then finish that sentence with how you handled it. Let them know we care and appreciate them. If it is done properly, it will be a “win, win” moment. 

     We should always be checking on our members many times a year and make sure that they are alright. Let’s live our obligation. 

     When making those brotherly love calls, you eliminate those comments that say “you only call when I owe my dues.” If we show them, we care, we might not need to make those calls in the fall. The question is “What have you done for your Brothers?” Are you talking to them at least quarterly?

     I’ve heard comments that our Brothers are not coming back to lodge. Maybe we need to take a good look at what we are doing. Are we bringing value? Times are changing and we need to look at everything we are doing. Our Brothers have stayed home for a few years now and have formed other habits. We need to find things they would enjoy doing to get them to come back.    

     Here are some ideas that I have seen or heard. How about starting up a Masonic Outpost Club? Some of our lodges are meeting for breakfast once a month and some are meeting weekly. In fact, we just had members from Shawano, Clintonville and Antigo meet at a café in Shawano for breakfast on a Saturday morning in February and it worked well to get together. Actually, if you count DD Chris Young and myself, we had five different lodges meeting for breakfast! Some of us wore our Masonic Shirts to let others know Masonry is alive and doing wonderful things. We had a great time and had some interesting conversations. We shared how we can do more in our communities to show the people that the Masons are still around in their communities. We talked about having these meetings in different towns and inviting other lodges to join us. We also talked about having a monthly Friday evening fish fry outing with our ladies.  Getting to know our Brother’s family is important, too. Some of our members that are not coming to lodge may show up for these events if we invite them.   

     I heard lodges are doing book clubs. Some are meeting for coffee and just having conversations. One lodge said they meet every week for practice doing their degree work. Keep thinking outside the box, and remember, not everyone wants to attend lodge so find ideas to get others involved and keep Spreading the Cement of Brotherly Love.

     We had a busy January and February and we catch ourselves coming and going.  The Grand Secretary and I along with our ladies flew to Florida to meet with our Wisconsin Brothers and their ladies. We only had a chance to visit and have lunch with one group because we were exposed to the virus and had to cancel the rest.  I am sorry for those we could not see. We did this because we felt the need to protect our Brothers and their families. I wish we were able to visit with more of you. What a problem this virus has caused in our lives!

     Besides the visit with our Brothers in the Shawano area, on February 14th Lady Nancy and I had a chance to join Wisconsin Rapids Lodge’s Valentine Table Lodge.  Not only did we have a great dinner and seven toasts, we also had some great conversations. It was really a nice program and lots of fun. They also had three men from the catering crew that asked for petitions! Sounds like they will have some work to do!

     In February, we hosted the Conference of Grand Masters of North America in Milwaukee. This gave us an opportunity to see Brothers from other states, renew friendships and get to know other Masons around the country and from other parts of the world. And for those we haven’t met yet, as they say in Masonry, they are our friends that we just haven’t met yet. 

     I have asked out Grand Lodge officers to go out and visit with our Brothers, to say hi, and thank them for all they do for our fraternity. If you are interested in having us out, let the Grand Marshal, Scott Paulson, work on setting up a visit.  It is fun getting together. 

     On April 2nd we are holding a Grand Master Gala, a fundraiser for the Acts of Kindness general fund. We have a great Brother, Dave Tainter, well known for his culinary prowess, making us a great dinner. Two comedians and a young lady singer will put on a great show. We will have lots of fun and you won’t want to miss it. Get signed up today!

      My Brothers, thanks for all you do for our fraternity and please look for ways to get our Brothers involved with your lodge whether it is inside the lodge or outside. Let’s make it happen. 

Love ya Brothers

Brother Gary