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  1. #1

    Default Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    Here are the latest membership statistics, broken down by state. Read them and weep:

    U.S. Grand Lodges Membership


    STATE MEMBERSHIP 2011 MEMBERSHIP 2010 GAIN/LOSS

    ALABAMA ^ 27,576 28,684 -1,108
    ALASKA 1,868 1,935 -67
    ARIZONA 8,263 8,651 -388
    ARKANSAS 12,005 14,429 -2,424
    CALIFORNIA 57,250 57,267 -17
    COLORADO 9,320 10,356 -1,036
    CONNECTICUT 12,423 12,895 -472
    DELAWARE 4,997 5,110 -113
    DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA * 4,424 4,341 83
    FLORIDA 44,437 45,940 -1,503
    GEORGIA 42,297 43,578 -1,281
    HAWAII * 1,806 1,742 64
    IDAHO 3,832 3,962 -130
    ILLINOIS ^ 66,347 65,564 783
    INDIANA 62,968 65,443 -2,475
    IOWA 20,844 21,695 -851
    KANSAS 22,004 23,074 -1,070
    KENTUCKY ^ 45,275 46,362 -1,087
    LOUISIANA 20,482 21,004 -522
    MAINE * 21,033 20,294 739
    MARYLAND 15,998 16,235 -237
    MASSACHUSETTS 35,333 35,944 -611
    MICHIGAN 36,172 37,709 -1,537
    MINNESOTA 14,084 14,721 -637
    MISSISSIPPI 18,689 19,341 -652
    MISSOURI 50,415 50,500 -85
    MONTANA 5,773 5,990 -217
    NEBRASKA 12,271 12,716 -445
    NEVADA 4,168 4,225 -57
    NEW HAMPSHIRE 6,681 6,898 -217
    NEW JERSEY 23,209 24,775 -1,566
    NEW MEXICO * ^ 5,590 5,553 37
    NEW YORK 44,776 45,801 -1,025
    NORTH CAROLINA 43,644 45,096 -1,452
    NORTH DAKOTA 2,927 3,055 -128
    OHIO 101,929 106,870 -4,941
    OKLAHOMA 24,068 25,739 -1,671
    OREGON 9,203 9,541 -338
    PENNSYLVANIA 111,661 113,279 -1,618
    RHODE ISLAND ^ 4,161 4,213 -52
    SOUTH CAROLINA 38,853 39,927 -1,074
    SOUTH DAKOTA 5,902 6,094 -192
    TENNESSEE 43,015 44,691 -1,676
    TEXAS 88,896 91,632 -2,736
    UTAH 2,034 2,035 -1
    VERMONT 6,299 6,444 -145
    VIRGINIA 38,008 38,498 -490
    WASHINGTON ^ 16,110 15,369 741
    WEST VIRGINIA 21,242 21,643 -401
    WISCONSIN 12,165 12,694 -529
    WYOMING 3,776 3,899 -123
    Total 1,336,503 1,373,453 -36,950






    Should we be concerned about this trend? I am interested in your take.
    Charles E. Martin
    (various locations) Afghanistan

    Bowling Green Lodge #73, Bowling Green KY.
    Macedonian Lodge, Quincy Massachusetts.

    Alexandria, Virginia Scottish Rite Bodies

    http://www.cemab4y.blogspot.com
    http://www.beyond.com/charlesmartin
    http://www.dcmetronet.com/landseaandairlodge1iraq
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    http://www.linkedin.com/in/charlesemartintelecomm

  2. #2

    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    What do you feel is leading to this loss?

    I usually hear it's due to member demise exceeding new members but if I understand correctly in most states the rate of demise is leveling off and the majority of loss is from demits now.

    Also when you compare membership numbers to those from before the big membership boom it appears as though we are approaching a mason/nonmason ratio close to what existed before membership inflation.

    I am concerned however. I'm concerned about jurisdictions getting so eager for new members that they might cheapen the fraternity to increase their numbers.
    Grandview Masonic Lodge #266 - www.grandviewlodge.org

  3. #3
    crono782's Avatar

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    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    You would need more infrmation that just hard membership numbers to detrmine a cause. Tracking demits, deaths, transfers, and new members will be vital to determining what cause(s) are at work. Socio-economical factors can play a role, as populations might move to another state, say for empoyment opportunites, memberships might get transferred. From the hard numbers, it looks like a lost member from that state, but that might not be the case. The rate of deaths to new members might be levelling off, but without better insight, this couldn't be said for sure. Perhaps demits due to lack of time (read: more distractions) or the poor state of the economy leaving less expendable income in the pockets of members (especially members on retirement). Just some thoughts. I'd love to see better numbers given over a longer timeline to enable some trending opportunities.
    Daniel Queen|Ω:2456273|ⁿ:2456308|4DČ:2456336|

  4. #4
    scialytic's Avatar

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    Exclamation Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    I personally don't think that it is as bad as being portrayed by many. There are a lot of factors (as Brother Crono so elegantly pointed out) and we are also dealing with a generational gap. The numbers will start to look better once *all* Lodges stop being ludites and embrace technology. As a Gen-Xer, I find poor websites for Lodges appalling and would imagine most others contemplating Masonry do as well. Lodges need to be redecorated; DRASTICALLY! Keep with the tradition, but is there really a need for fluorescent lighting, neon G's, and brown paneling? That is a major issue and us Gen-X and Gen-Yers need to push that issue and rectify it as we take the reigns of the Lodge. UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!!

    There are a lot of challenges, but I think that we have been moving into the right direction. Deaths of Brothers that joined in a time when there was a surge in membership is probably the main culprit as to how negative it looks now. I would imagine that there hasn't been such a rise in membership in the several succeeding decades, but the number kept growing because you had such a high number as the foundation. Now that the foundation is giving way, it looks like the house is crumbling. But the foundation has been continually reinforced throughout the years and is perfectly fine...it's just an amalgam of generations now with less of the last big surge in membership.

    We are in a great spot and many Lodges are flourishing. It will take all Lodges, small town and big cities, to tap into technology and embrace the culture of the Gen-X and Gen-Yers. Otherwise, we'll just keep trucking along. We aren't going anywhere. There will be a lot more merging and demise of Lodges as we find our equilibrium, but I'm not buying into "The End of Freemasonry As We Know It"...we're strong and healthy. We'll be around for centuries to come.
    Last edited by scialytic; 01-17-13 at 04:16 PM. Reason: Added the comments about redecorating...which is critical, and needed to be added.
    Graham
    Dallas, Texas

    A Master Mason
    Grapevine #288
    Sam P. Cochran #1335
    The Texas Lodge of Research
    Scottish Rite Research Society (SRRS)
    Love Field Chapter #396 and Council #478
    Alexander C. Garrett Commandery Dist. 1 #103

    Grapevine Chapter #326, The Order of Eastern Star
    Audie Leon Murphy Chapter #112, National Sojourners
    A. & A. S. R., Orient of Texas, Valley of Dallas, S.J., U.S.A.

  5. #5
    scialytic's Avatar

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    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by JJones View Post
    I am concerned however. I'm concerned about jurisdictions getting so eager for new members that they might cheapen the fraternity to increase their numbers.
    That is a very important point. I think the concern is inflated and we are chasing a statistic that is not properly understood. We need to be looking at rate vs. specifics, not total numbers. As I mentioned above, there was a huge influx of Masons around WWII and the Korean Conflict. Not sure about any other surges, but we can't compare to that. It was a social anomaly and it was very advantageous for our Fraternity. We have little control over those positive spikes. Well we do in the aspect of having our Lodges updated and being ready to sway those on the outside that they would rather affiliate with us than get a membership at a cigar bar or whatever social outlet they need.

    [Brother Jones: Reread my first post. I updated some of it and I think you'll find it a little more interesting than the first time you read it.]
    Last edited by scialytic; 01-17-13 at 04:30 PM.
    Graham
    Dallas, Texas

    A Master Mason
    Grapevine #288
    Sam P. Cochran #1335
    The Texas Lodge of Research
    Scottish Rite Research Society (SRRS)
    Love Field Chapter #396 and Council #478
    Alexander C. Garrett Commandery Dist. 1 #103

    Grapevine Chapter #326, The Order of Eastern Star
    Audie Leon Murphy Chapter #112, National Sojourners
    A. & A. S. R., Orient of Texas, Valley of Dallas, S.J., U.S.A.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by JJones View Post
    . I'm concerned about jurisdictions getting so eager for new members that they might cheapen the fraternity to increase their numbers.

    "might cheapen"! They have cheapened. That is what happens when you start chasing after numbers. The sky is not falling....just getting rid of the dead wood.

  7. #7

    Default Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    Well put scialytic. Well put. My grand lodge just passed a motion for all the lodges in its jurisdiction to update the lodge buildings to code, to accommodate the disabled as per legislation passed by the government. As you all know, most lodge buildings are old and accommodate public functions other than Masonic functions. This sparked a debate within my lodge as to continue repairs other than the ones that are mandatory, to update the lodge to modern standards. I hope it happens. Our roof is cracking, and the seats for the members are like church pews, with a thin padding on it that moves around a lot. The decor is also outdated and could use a modern looking wipe to it. It doesn't need a heavy reno, just some new paint, some new lights, chairs, and some modern looking symbols.

  8. #8
    crono782's Avatar

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    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    Lodges need to be redecorated; DRASTICALLY!
    Haha, I feel like I was just recently ranting about that same point.
    I agree very much, I feel as though the external "presence" of a lodge (website, lodge room, cleanliness, dress code) should reflect the beautiful internal that it is representing. I get that everything costs money and/or time, but a little at a time goes a long way to establishing respect and rapport and evoking emotion and awe. To a lodge who puts priority on the work, conferring degrees, and the beauty of the fraternity in general, this can't be ignored. Just my .02...

    It doesn't need a heavy reno, just some new paint, some new lights, chairs, and some modern looking symbols.
    Seriously, some well thought out changes and a couple saturday work days and you could easily spruce up a drab lodge room into something truly special without a lot of cost overhead. *turns on DIY channel*
    Last edited by crono782; 01-17-13 at 04:53 PM.
    Daniel Queen|Ω:2456273|ⁿ:2456308|4DČ:2456336|

  9. #9
    scialytic's Avatar

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    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    Brother Crono, I recommend you petition the Texas Lodge of Research (once you're Raised, which will be like next week at the rate you've been going!) and visit the Grand Lodge Library in Waco and pull the membership numbers for Texas from whenever and run some statistical analyses and present a paper to TLR. You've got the background for it and I'd love to help you with it. (Though if I did, it wouldn't count toward you becoming a Full-Member because that requires a solo paper.) I highly recommend it, either way. This would make a great research presentation! Or I can take the lead on the paper and you can run the numbers. We should talk about this over a beer sometime in the coming weeks...
    Last edited by scialytic; 01-17-13 at 04:47 PM. Reason: Nothing worth mentioning...

  10. #10
    crono782's Avatar

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    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    Most def! I bet a lot of brothers would be eager to see a better analysis of exactly what is happening to our ranks.
    Daniel Queen|Ω:2456273|ⁿ:2456308|4DČ:2456336|

  11. #11
    scialytic's Avatar

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    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    I must be honest: Brother Daniel (crono) got me really thinking about the redecorating when we were chatting the other day. I'd thought about it too (my wife never stops mentioning it!), but he was the main proponent of that train-of-thought...

  12. #12

    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    The numbers will start to look better once *all* Lodges stop being ludites and embrace technology. As a Gen-Xer, I find poor websites for Lodges appalling and would imagine most others contemplating Masonry do as well. Lodges need to be redecorated; DRASTICALLY! Keep with the tradition, but is there really a need for fluorescent lighting, neon G's, and brown paneling? That is a major issue and us Gen-X and Gen-Yers need to push that issue and rectify it as we take the reigns of the Lodge. UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!! UPDATE!!!
    Our lodge may have lost a brother today, or will soon. This really saddens me as he's the brother who raised me and taught me most of my memory work. You see, Bro. Moresco is an older gentleman who has been a cornerstone for Freemasonry in our district for as long as I've been a mason. Without him there will be a big void in our fraternity.I bring this up because a sort of revelation occurred to me as I was thinking about the news...due to the generational gap we younger masons are going to have to accept the reins of leadership far earlier than previous masonic generations. Not only can the changes you mention occur...but they likely will in the near future if/when younger generations step up to the plate.

    Probably a bit deeper that I intended for a reply but I feel it addresses what you said.

    "might cheapen"! They have cheapened. That is what happens when you start chasing after numbers. The sky is not falling....just getting rid of the dead wood.
    I agree with you on this 100%.

    It doesn't need a heavy reno, just some new paint, some new lights, chairs, and some modern looking symbols.
    We gave our lodge room a drastic update and it only took a few Saturdays. I'll try and post some pictures soon if I can find any.

    Edit: Let's try this:

    Here's the lodge as it looked when I joined

    http://s1127.beta.photobucket.com/user/GrandviewLodge/library/Events/Officers%2020092010


    Here's what it looks like now

    http://s1127.beta.photobucket.com/us...nts/150%20Year

    We basically put checkered tile under the altar, added carpet, and build new officer chairs. We also enclosed a few small areas so we have a secretary's office and a storage room.

    Brother Crono, I recommend you petition the Texas Lodge of Research (once you're Raised, which will be like next week at the rate you've been going!) and visit the Grand Lodge Library in Waco and pull the membership numbers for Texas from whenever and run some statistical analyses and present a paper to TLR. You've got the background for it and I'd love to help you with it. (Though if I did, it wouldn't count toward you becoming a Full-Member because that requires a solo paper.) I highly recommend it, either way. This would make a great research presentation! Or I can take the lead on the paper and you can run the numbers. We should talk about this over a beer sometime in the coming weeks...
    I've been wanting to do just that for some time. If you decide to do this then I look forward to the results.
    Last edited by JJones; 01-17-13 at 05:33 PM.
    Grandview Masonic Lodge #266 - www.grandviewlodge.org

  13. #13

    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    Check out this link:

    http://www.freemasoninformation.com/...in-our-bucket/

    This article is a couple of years old, but it still "on point". Masonry is losing more members due to demits/resignations/suspensions than we are to deaths. Apparently, the men we are I/P/R are not finding what they want, and they are leaving the fraternity.
    Charles E. Martin
    (various locations) Afghanistan

    Bowling Green Lodge #73, Bowling Green KY.
    Macedonian Lodge, Quincy Massachusetts.

    Alexandria, Virginia Scottish Rite Bodies

    http://www.cemab4y.blogspot.com
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    It's worth pointing out that the author of that article left the Craft himself. He achieved much while a member, but found more fulfillment in other ventures.

    That fact alone speaks volumes.
    Brady McNulty, 32°
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    Full Member, Texas Lodge of Research

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  15. #15
    scialytic's Avatar

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    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    Great post Brother Jones. Love the update.

    I wonder how much of the newer Brothers leaving could have been prevented by an update to many aspects of our Craft. There is also that horrible sentiment of Brothers that "this is the way it is! Deal with it, or find somewhere else to go!" It is something that will have to be addressed at a higher level (Grand Lodge maybe? Maybe it would be a good topic for Grand Orator FitzPatrick to cover in one of his many orations this year), because that is a very un-Masonic way to deal with new members. I'd probably be turned off too, but I hope that I would search and find a more progressive Lodge rather than demit. I guess that's another hard truth that we have to deal with. And it is one that we *must* deal with. We cannot afford to lose potentially good Masons due to a culture within our Fraternity that is tone-def to their needs.
    Graham
    Dallas, Texas

    A Master Mason
    Grapevine #288
    Sam P. Cochran #1335
    The Texas Lodge of Research
    Scottish Rite Research Society (SRRS)
    Love Field Chapter #396 and Council #478
    Alexander C. Garrett Commandery Dist. 1 #103

    Grapevine Chapter #326, The Order of Eastern Star
    Audie Leon Murphy Chapter #112, National Sojourners
    A. & A. S. R., Orient of Texas, Valley of Dallas, S.J., U.S.A.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    I have heard "We never did it that way before" ever since my first degree in 1982. Masons both newcomers, and us old-coots ,need to realize that Masonry is a "work in progress". The labor in our quarries never ends. We brought in air conditioning, electric lighting, and indoor plumbing, and our Craft did not suffer. We can bring in Internet, on-line Masonic training courses, and streaming video, and still be true to our ancient landmarks.

    How many Masons does it take to change a light bulb? None, Masons do not believe in change.
    Charles E. Martin
    (various locations) Afghanistan

    Bowling Green Lodge #73, Bowling Green KY.
    Macedonian Lodge, Quincy Massachusetts.

    Alexandria, Virginia Scottish Rite Bodies

    http://www.cemab4y.blogspot.com
    http://www.beyond.com/charlesmartin
    http://www.dcmetronet.com/landseaandairlodge1iraq
    http://www.twitter.com/cemab4y
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/charlesemartintelecomm

  17. #17

    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    That phrase is a stand-by for the Old Guard, in any profession or organization. One of the best managers I've learned from made it a point to call people out any time they uttered the magic phrase. "We could just go back to letting blood. We used to always do that."
    Brady McNulty, 32°
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    It's worth pointing out that the author of that article left the Craft himself. He achieved much while a member, but found more fulfillment in other ventures.

    That fact alone speaks volumes.



    Left the craft? Like renounce his membership, stop paying dues or just go inactive?

    Did he find more enjoyment as a writer?
    "For the Lord gives wisdom, From His mouth come knowledge and understanding."...Proverbs 2:6

    "I am generally regarded as the world's foremost authority on my own personal opinion ---- and on nothing else." ~~~borrowed from John Robinson

  19. #19

    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    I know the whole "Knights of the North" paper is a little bit taboo, but I agreed with more of it than I disagreed. I felt that it addressed several points that you all are discussing very well.

    When I speak about Masonry, I don't have the wide breadth of knowledge or experience that a lot of brothers do. My scope, by comparison, is very narrow. My depth is still very shallow. But my concerns are, "is this how it has always been"? My intention isn't to speak badly of lodges, but I seem to only find a few different things when I go to lodge. It's either a stated meeting, to watch (or participate in) a degree being conferred, or to practice floor work. All of those things are important. I don't dispute that at all. But Masonic education is always very light. A few times a year, I hear a ten minute lecture given. Surely, that can't be how it was in George Washington's day, can it?

    I don't put the responsibility of teaching/imparting on older members; it's everyone's duty -- mine included. Before I joined, I envisioned this being a scholarly endeavor. That's not quite what I found (but again, that is partly my own fault). I found something different -- not worse -- oftentimes better. But different (and unexpectedly so). I'm pushing myself to go the route of the TLR, because it's something I'm interested in.

    But I'm getting off course here. I could see someone like me becoming disinterested with Masonry if there wasn't something there to anchor them down. Maybe some of the people leaving are doing so due to boredom or lack of appeal. I've been developing a list of a lot of different things I'd like to see or try to encourage if I ever get to spend any time in the East. They're simple things, and they would spur discussion. I feel that that is one of the facets of Masonry that has kind of fallen away over time (but again, I can't say for certain). I get that a lot of it is a journey of the Self -- of discovery and making yourself better. But why can't we focus on that as a whole just a bit more?

    Here is a short list of things I'm going to try and get started in my lodge while in the East (or sooner if I can):
    • start a Masonic reading group
    • have research papers or topics read and discussed more often
    • establish "field trips" to local historic Masonic sites of interest
    • ask if there are any speakers -- Masonic or not -- that members would like to hear


    I have a few more, but you get the idea. When I was in Texas, occasionally, we would pass around the minutes while we were eating dinner and have everyone approve them or add what needed to be added. So far, I haven't seen that done in Georgia. I feel that's something that could be done every now and again to lend more time to other things that we might want to explore.

    A lot of the things I brought up are probably taken care of in appendant bodies, but they could probably be done just as well within the Blue Lodge.

    To add -- I'm not speaking of Masonry as a whole. I can't. Every lodge does things a little differently. I'm sure there are several out there that function how I thought everything would. I don't know. This is just a small insight into my experiences.
    Last edited by Trufflehound; 01-18-13 at 08:31 AM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    I know the whole "Knights of the North" paper is a little bit taboo, but I agreed with more of it than I disagreed. I felt that it addressed several points that you all are discussing very well.
    I wasn't aware that it's taboo...ofcourse I'm not sure that I actually know many people that have read it either. Which is a shame because I agree with much of the paper as well.

    When I speak about Masonry, I don't have the wide breadth of knowledge or experience that a lot of brothers do. My scope, by comparison, is very narrow. My depth is still very shallow. But my concerns are, "is this how it has always been"? My intention isn't to speak badly of lodges, but I seem to only find a few different things when I go to lodge. It's either a stated meeting, to watch (or participate in) a degree being conferred, or to practice floor work. All of those things are important. I don't dispute that at all. But Masonic education is always very light. A few times a year, I hear a ten minute lecture given. Surely, that can't be how it was in George Washington's day, can it?
    I know several brethren who seem to think that learning the ritual/Q&A are the masonic education. I've tried making a few presentations during stated meetings but I tend to get the impression I'm being politely tolerated rather than generating genuine interest. I'm not trying to complain though, it's a country lodge, after all. It's just sad when they'll sit and listen to the minutes and business parts of the meeting but keep looking at their watches during a five minute presentation.

    To answer your question though, no, I don't think this is the way it's always been. I think when brethren are initiated and eventually raised in a certain masonic culture then that's what they come to expect. Unfortunately, many lodges today have a culture that focuses more the business aspects of stated meetings. I believe this can be changed over time...I've got no clue how one can initiate it though.

    establish "field trips" to local historic Masonic sites of interest
    That'd be fun, I wonder if there's a list of places to be found somewhere. I was going to organize a trip to Grand Lodge last year, mainly for the newer brethren who haven't seen it before, but I found out they're closed over the weekend...which is kind of when most people would actually be able to go.
    Last edited by JJones; 01-18-13 at 09:49 AM.
    Grandview Masonic Lodge #266 - www.grandviewlodge.org

  21. #21
    scialytic's Avatar

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    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    Let's start a Masonic reading group...right now. Fire up a blog and we'll pick a book and go that route. I'd recommend something straight forward and and historical like the Cooke Manuscript or something that is easily accessible and see how that goes. Get her going and pick something to read and let's discuss! Brilliant idea!
    Graham
    Dallas, Texas

    A Master Mason
    Grapevine #288
    Sam P. Cochran #1335
    The Texas Lodge of Research
    Scottish Rite Research Society (SRRS)
    Love Field Chapter #396 and Council #478
    Alexander C. Garrett Commandery Dist. 1 #103

    Grapevine Chapter #326, The Order of Eastern Star
    Audie Leon Murphy Chapter #112, National Sojourners
    A. & A. S. R., Orient of Texas, Valley of Dallas, S.J., U.S.A.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trufflehound View Post
    I could see someone like me becoming disinterested with Masonry if there wasn't something there to anchor them down. Maybe some of the people leaving are doing so due to boredom or lack of appeal. I've been developing a list of a lot of different things I'd like to see or try to encourage if I ever get to spend any time in the East. They're simple things, and they would spur discussion. I feel that that is one of the facets of Masonry that has kind of fallen away over time (but again, I can't say for certain). I get that a lot of it is a journey of the Self -- of discovery and making yourself better. But why can't we focus on that as a whole just a bit more?
    I think there is a lot of truth to that especially in this fast paced world we live in. One of my brothers usually say that "if it's easy to get, and cheap to maintain" people have a tendency to loose interest. I've long believed that it's far to easy to become a MM these days, and actually think that most members wouldn't mind for it to be something that had to strive more for. Most of us join masonry to obtain more light and grow as men, but is that really what the journey to becoming a master mason does these days? Probably to some extent, but I think it could easily be made more valuable.

    The paper from the Knights of the North was mentioned earlier and I can only suggest everyone to read it. It really hits home on many of the challenges facing the craft today.

    But to the original question which was whether we should be worried about the decline in membership I have to say both yes and no. Many lodges unfortunately own expensive buildings, many in need of repair. To make the finances balance a certain amount of dues have to come in. So if that is the case, there is cause to worry.
    But for the craft as a whole I wouldn't worry to much. Masonry has been around in one form or another for many, many years and will survive even if we miss a generation or two. I do however personally feel that masonry makes men better, and that consecutively make the whole world better, so in that sense each brother that we don't manage to raise is a loss for humanity.

  23. #23

    Default Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    More esoteric education! This is a huge aspect being neglected! Gen-X/Gen- Y aren't getting the same education that the previous generations did. For those masons who don't buy in to it, I say look at the craft and tell me how it's nothing.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    Let's start a Masonic reading group...right now. Fire up a blog and we'll pick a book and go that route. I'd recommend something straight forward and and historical like the Cooke Manuscript or something that is easily accessible and see how that goes. Get her going and pick something to read and let's discuss! Brilliant idea!
    I'd be on board with that, especially if we could start with the classics that can be found online.
    Grandview Masonic Lodge #266 - www.grandviewlodge.org

  25. #25

    Default Re: Masonic Membership Statistics, Should be we concerned?

    I believe that part of the solution, is for all Masons to realize, that Masonry is a "work in progress". The work in our quarries never ends. We need to see how we can enhance the Masonic experience, and make Masonry more relevant to younger men. We also need to see what we can cut out, and trim. Grand Lodges used to run orphanges. Nearly all of them are closed, and Masonry did not suffer. We brought in electric lights, air conditioning, carpeting, etc. and we still kept true to the ancient landmarks.
    Charles E. Martin
    (various locations) Afghanistan

    Bowling Green Lodge #73, Bowling Green KY.
    Macedonian Lodge, Quincy Massachusetts.

    Alexandria, Virginia Scottish Rite Bodies

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