Well, I went and did it...

Discussion in 'Masonic Education' started by hanzosbm, Jan 5, 2018.

  1. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

    I made a suggestion, and now I'll pay for it.

    Our lodge has always prided itself on the fact that one of our primary focuses has been Masonic education and discussion. Our stated meetings are very short and afterwards, we retire to an adjacent room for wine, snack, and a presentation/discussion. In recent years, our numbers (like most lodges) have waned, and with it has gone the high level of the presentations. Lately, the presentations are likely to be something someone found online, or a general topic that was brought up off the cuff, or sometimes even more complicated business that would be hindered by discussing in the stated meetings due to the need for parliamentary procedure.
    With our numbers on the decline, the officers decided that we needed to make a concerted effort to return to our previous high level of presentations in order to attract more interest to our lodge. (Most of our lodge is made up of affiliated PMs)
    I made the recommendation that we plan things out in advance and get a firm commitment from the brother doing the presentation. That way, we can give other lodges plenty of advance notice on the nature of the discussion to be presented in hopes that this will lead to more interest.

    Well, as can be expected, it was greeted with enthusiasm and promptly put into my lap (which I honestly expected and don't really mind). However, with this attentional attention now being given, it dawned on me that I have a few things I need to think through to make the most of this effort.

    The current, and soon to be outgoing Master, seemed to suggest that we should contact other prominent Masons in the area and ask them to give presentations. I don't consider myself to be a prideful man, but I generally feel that this effort should be pursued by the members of our own lodge. I'm not necessarily opposed to having an outside brother come in to give a talk, but the connotation to me seemed as if we weren't capable on our own. I've written several papers (met with varying degrees of interest) and I know the brothers of my lodge are intelligent men. I'm hesitant to go out of my way to try to talk someone else into coming to our lodge to give a presentation for us. Am I wrong in this? Am I missing an opportunity that I'm not seeing?

    My second issue is around the nature of the presentations. While, as I said, most of our brothers are PM, we do have a few EAs and one FC. In addition, our discussions are typically open to the public (again, to stimulate interest in our lodge). Naturally, this has limited the topics that can be discussed. I was leaning towards doing some kind of rotation where maybe 3 times a year we have a discussion for Masons only discussing aspects of the EA degree. Twice a year something for FCs and MMs that discusses the second degree, and once a year a discussion on the MM degree for those brothers only. On the one hand, I hate to exclude our younger brothers (call the lodge from labor to refreshment, kick out the younger brothers and have them sit outside till we're done, then come back in to close?) and having the presentation in a tyled lodge means having to forego our traditional wine and refreshments, but on the other hand, the entire point of Freemasonry is to perpetuate the lessons taught in our rituals. What's the point if we never talk about them?

    Finally, from the brethren's perspective, what topics would you like to hear a discussion on? I have a feeling that I'll be doing a fair amount of the presentations, so I'd love to hear some suggestions on topics.
    Symthrell likes this.
  2. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    On Scottish Rite I know has a speakers bureau that will deliver speakers for any event. Of course they talk about Scottish Rite. Very convenient, that.

    I've been to talks by Brothers flown in. Wonderful content when your lodge can afford it.

    One of the reasons I love Table Lodge is there are talks by Brothers. These are arranged in advance so the speakers are prepared. They aren't recited lectures. It's one of the things that got me started doing Masonic education presentations at Stated meetings.

    Your own members can produce and deliver wonderful material. What does so-and-so mean to you? Please present on that ...
    CLewey44 likes this.
  3. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

    To be honest I'd not go for only one style, but mix it up. Some can be open for all, some only for MMs and maybe evne some for the public.
    If you look around with some of the active Masons there's usually a number in the vicinity. Ask them if they want to come and speak and hear if they have an interesting topic. Most already will.
    Get a couple of PMs interested and it should be possible to get a little pipeline going.
    CLewey44 and Bloke like this.
  4. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

    There are several "professional" Masons out there that travel across statelines and could be of assistance as well. I know Robert Davis does that for example and a few others. If you'd like some names and maybe contacts, I could probably find some for you.
    dfreybur likes this.
  5. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

    Where are you located?
  6. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

    San Diego
  7. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

    Ah, a little too far for me.
  8. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    I can see where you would want the bulk of the presentations to come from the members of your lodge but an outsider now and again may bring in some new and different ideas.
    CLewey44 and hanzosbm like this.

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