A new year is upon us. The Badgers are playing on New Year’s Day (maybe not the bowl we wanted but they are playing). The future of Wisconsin Freemasonry is bright. A new year full of the hopes and desires that new beginnings always bring. It is a new start and almost anything is possible. We raised more Masons in 2023 than we did in 2022. Will we be saying the same next year about 2024? We just need to keep letting our communities catch us doing good. Omro police reported using an FST (Fire Suppression Tool). This makes the 18th deployment which means that about once a month somewhere in the state we saved life or property.
A new year means new officers in the lodge. To the recently installed Masters. Congratulations! Enjoy. Please remember it is your job to set the craft to work. This means tasking Brothers with the many different things you have on your calendar. Have you assigned Brothers to visit widows and shut-ins? Have you put men in place to head the brat stand or dinner later in the year? Are you comfortable with the men on your charity committee? Have you tasked a Brother, or Brothers with putting together educational talks both inside and out of lodge? Do you have a Brother to do Masonic Memorials?
Do you have something fun on the calendar? We, all too often, forget to include fun in our plans. We are proud of the work we do. We judge success by funds and new Brothers raised. Whether a trivia night, a table lodge, clay shooting, golf outing, joke telling or Nerf battles these will add to your Brother’s enjoyment of lodge. We all like to have fun.
To the newly appointed first time Steward. Thank-you for agreeing to take this office. It is a great journey as you move through the chairs. You will learn more be simply observing the men around you. In the years to the East watch how others lead. Collect in your mind what you liked and did not like about different leaders you worked with. Which activities do you wish to promote? How did different leaders work with and motivate others? What will be your style, strict and formal or more laid back and casual? Your job is to learn. You have some of the best men to learn from. Ask questions. Find a mentor. Learn your lodges history.
Brothers the future of Freemasonry is up to you. Right now, the successful lodges are getting out in their communities and it is paying off. Do you wear your ring? Do you have a decal on your vehicle? Do you wear a shirt or cap that tells the world you are a Freemason? Studies are showing that many men are dissatisfied with the way society is headed. These same studies are showing that many men are looking for what Freemasonry has to offer. How many men have something they can not define in their hearts? Something that a knock on the door would clarify. Get out in your towns and let people catch you and your Brothers doing good. The world is watching. Men are searching. Let the light of Freemasonry become a beacon.
We do not have a crystal ball and God mercifully hides the future from us. This year’s success depends on you. If it has been a while since you have come to lodge, please make this the year you attend a bit more regularly. Come join the best men society has to offer in making themselves and the world a better place. Please remember as Iron sharpens Iron it needs to be in contact with Iron. For one good man to be sharpen by another he must be in the company of good men.
Good Luck and great success to all the lodges and their officers in 2024.