What would you change?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by hanzosbm, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. jermy Bell

    jermy Bell Registered User

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    At our lodge we have (3) contractors, instead of donating time to the lodge they expect payment at the next business meeting. When my father in law was master 20 years ago, those with any experience of anything jumped in without having being asked and did what had to be done, and without expected payment. It was for the lodge and then the lodge use to be like a second home. Now it' ask not what I can do for my lodge, but what can my lodge do for me.
     
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  2. David612

    David612 Registered User

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    I think guys tend to get bogged down on lodge busy work rather than advancing their knowledge in masonry as there are only a few guys doing all the administrative/hospitality/maintenance work who tend to also write programs, present lectures and so on
     
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  3. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I remember reading the GM of Utah address of c. 1874, bemoaning that of a lodge of 100; only ten came to lodge.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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  4. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I work as a civilian contractor for the US Department of Defense. I spent 10(ten)+ years in Iraq/Afghanistan/Kuwait, on various military projects. My work requires frequent travel, both in the continental USA and internationally. Most of my work is unclassified, but I am not at liberty to broadcast all of my travel. I last attended my mother lodge in KY, in October 2010, when my father passed. (Sadly, my mother chose not to permit a Masonic funeral).

    Since 2010, I have attended many lodges in the USA, and abroad. I have attended Yuma lodge #17, in Yuma, Arizona (2011), and Huntsville lodge #1 in Huntsville, Alabama (2013), and many other lodges. If you are all that interested, I can send you a photocopy of my Masonic passport, listing every lodge attendance I have made in the past decade.

    I am at a loss, to understand why anyone would be interested in the time, location, and frequency of my lodge attendance. I am just as much of a Mason, as if I lived next door to my mother lodge, and attended every meeting.

    It so happens, that I have had serious medical issues, and I had to be hospitalized during most of 2015. While hospitalized, I was unable to attend lodge. The local lodge in Perryville MD, was very kind, and brought me candy and laundry soap, etc. When I was discharged from the hospital, I returned home to Alexandria VA, and I have attended lodges in the DC/MD/VA area since then, as well as other lodges in the USA.

    I am NOT interested in telling anyone how to run their lodge. I am very interested in discussing how masons can work together in improving the craft, and making the craft more relevant to 21st century men.

    Do not assume that my last lodge attendance was in 2010.
     
  5. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I have been a Mason since 1982, 35 years in the Craft. I have been a member of 5(five) different lodges in four states. I have attended lodges in 14 states, and WashDC, and foreign countries. I have attended a Russian-speaking lodge in Moscow (I speak Russian), I have attended a German-speaking lodge in France (I speak German). I have an extensive Masonic library, and I have read many books on this subject. I have belonged to several appendant bodies, including the Scottish Rite(SJ), and the Shrine. I have assisted in degree work, and sponsored petitioners.

    Because of my visitation in lodges all over the USA, from Arizona to New Hampshire, I have obtained a perspective that many Masons do not have. I have sat in lodges, with men who risked being sent to concentration camp, for being a Mason. I have sat in a lodge with men, who risked being sent to Siberia, for being a Mason. I have delivered talks to both masonic and non-masonic audiences. I have attended (under cover) two anti-Masonic conferences. I have written articles, and they have been published in masonic journals.

    Why do you think that I have not participated in Freemasonry? Why do you think that I have a lack of participation and knowledge?
     
  6. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I have attended (as a visitor) many lodge meetings, since 2010. I last attended my mother lodge in October 2010.
     
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  7. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    It’s a simple question which you refuse to answer: when did you last attend lodge?

    Your statement is “we work together...”. There is no we. You aren’t involved in Freemasonry. That’s my point. You aren’t out there in the quarries, and it isn’t because you are traveling. It’s been years since you worked [edit: out of country] for a civilian contractor.
    It’s been years since you were involved in Freemasonry.

    You’ve been bringing the same ideas to various platforms for years, telling others what they should do, but doing nothing yourself.

    You do not respond to questions, such as a citations as to how well these employment bureaus worked; why the fraternity should duplicate a process which already exists in private and state employment agencies; or even when you last attended a lodge. You go on for a page for a three word answer.

    I shall leave the conversation now, as I don’t think it is helpful to the list.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2017
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  8. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I believe sincerely, that we can keep true to our ancient landmarks, and our "roots", and still make some administrative changes, and adaptations, that will enable our Craft to move forward into the 21st Century. As our membership cohort ages, we should be planning on having more "daylight" lodges, and meetings which are more accessible to retired persons.

    A Greek philosopher named Heraclitus, said over 24 centuries ago, that "We live in a world, in which the only constant is change".
     
  9. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    What sort of list? If you do some snooping, I am sure that you can find some areas, where your lodge can incorporate some ideas.
     
  10. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    I'm a surveyor and I'm going to survey the lodge for free. However, it is getting done when I have free time to do it. Unfortunately, technology and tools have propagated their way into various industries to the point to where "free stuff" AKA "off the back of the truck" is harder to come by due to tracking, etc. That part that could be "brought" into lodge now has to be paid for out of the Brother's pocket. Should he have to absorb that cost? That is not fair to him, either.

    Simple stuff? sure. Changing a switch out for a light could be absorbed by someone, but lets face it. Nowadays, if you replace a light fixture and the place burns down because of it, you better be able to prove a licensed guy did the work or your fire hazard insurance can tell you to punch sand.
     
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  11. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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  12. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Some Grand Lodges, permit invitation. Most, unhappily, do not. The Grand Lodge of Virginia had a YWMAGM program some years ago. (You would make a good Mason). The GL dropped it.
     
  13. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    For the record: I am not interested in telling any individual Mason, or any lodge, nor any Grand Lodge, what they should do. What individuals/lodges/GLs do is up to themselves. They can make changes, and adapt our Craft to the 21st Century, or they can do nothing, and watch the Craft decline and disappear.

    "If you do nothing, you get nothing" -Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel peace prize winner, 20 years under house arrest.
     
  14. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Sadly, your points are well-taken. If a mason does some work for the lodge, and there are expenses involved, then of course, the lodge should bear the cost. It is not fair for a man to come in on a Saturday, and mop and clean the floor, and expect him to pay for his own mop, bucket, and floor cleaner solution.

    Nevertheless, I believe that many men would be more than glad to contribute some time and "sweat" to their lodge, if only they were asked. It is my experience, than most Masons are somewhat reserved and shy, are not comfortable stepping up and saying, "I volunteer to push the lawn mower around the yard this weekend.

    My mother lodge has annual "garden parties", where members bring their own rakes, mowers, yard tools, etc. The members trim the yard, remove trash and debris,etc.
     
  15. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    Out last master designated rooms that each officer was responsible for. That practice was not carried over with the new master.
     
  16. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Some lodges will cover a brother's dues if he cuts the lawn twice a month or so. That's always a good selling point. I know my lodge in OK said if I'd cut the lawn for four or five years, they would cover my dues and give me a perpetual membership.
     
  17. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I have observed that nothing gets Masons more "riled up", that the prospect of One-Day classes. Some masons call them "McMasons". Here in metro WashDC, where I live and work, some people spend two hours in the morning, and two hours in the evening commuting. That means they are spending four hours a day, getting back and forth to work, and 20 hours a week, in motion.

    Men who do this, rarely have time to attend a lodge, and participate in Freemasonry. Why not have more degree work on the weekends? and instead of one-day classes, have men complete the standard degrees on Saturday mornings?

    This is more of an adaptation, than a "change". What do you think?
     
  18. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    My old lodge actually did degrees whenever was best for the group and initiate/brother. That included Saturday mornings. It made for a busy time but it allowed for growth.
     
  19. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Bravo! Growth is the only evidence of life.
     
  20. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    One topic that gets many Masons upset is the prospect of recruiting, and inviting men into the fraternity. Some states permit open recruiting, and you may ask an individual to join up. Other states forbid all recruiting. I believe that the "tired dogmas of the peaceful past, are inadequate to the stormy present".

    Put it this way, if forbidding invitations is so terrific, then why is Masonry declining in membership? I believe sincerely, that there are many good men, who are out there, who would make excellent Masons, are waiting for an invitation that will never come. The fraternity loses, by not having these men, and the potential Masons lose, by never knowing how to ask for a petition.

    What do you think?
     

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