2010 Annual Communication Resolutions Disscussion

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by owls84, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

    Brother Jebeling, the numbers for growth in each state is public information as well as the ones who lessened the memory work; go get the information and if there is growth within these states show us. The finger pointing only gets you so far then you need facts to back you up. It would be more productive than belly aching about the Com. on Hope and Change.
  2. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

    Doing away with the memory work & ritual proficiency is not the way to revitalize Lodges. It has been my experience that Lodges are failing due to members who have become complacent & stop working to maintain & improve their Lodges. They neither do anything nor have anything with which to attract new members. They are dying on the vine & deserve to.

    Successful, growing Lodges are visible and active in their communities. They offer Masonic education & activities to their members & attract new ones. They demand competence in the memory work & proficiency in the floorwork, and the new members respond to the challenge. Quite frankly, they have enough respect for Masonry & pride in their Lodges that they do not need Grand Lodge to tell them what to do & how to do it.
  3. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

    Well said Bro. Bill, well said!!
  4. Gerald.Harris

    Gerald.Harris Premium Member Premium Member

    Thank you Brother Blake, and good luck to you Brother Shelton.
  5. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

    Yeah. What he said!

    Good men don't knock on our door for an opportunity to have a second-rate spaghetti dinner and attend a meeting that is little more than the routine business of paying bills and arguing over whether or not once every fifteen years is often enough to repaint the lodge room. They come seeking Light. Memory work and ritual proficiency are the basic tools that would equip a man to begin the lifelong process of refining his ashlar and finding More Light. Why in the world would we consider withholding the very things we ostensibly promised to deliver?
  6. mark!

    mark! Guest

    I agree with brother Bill. It seems that, in my limited experience, that older lodges, that is those with older members, don't seem to want to expand, they don't want to make things new and branch out. They are set in their ways and what they do, they meet once a week, have very scarce study sessions, and rarely offer up assistance to open their doors to new members. Many lodges have had a hard time adjusting to new times and new technology. It's going to be a balance of tradition, along with new ideas and concepts that advance our fraternity, and keep memberships growing. We have to not let up once we've achieved our master mason status, we must press onward and continue the studies, continue the outreach and getting out in the community to help those in need.
  7. Gerald.Harris

    Gerald.Harris Premium Member Premium Member

    Brother Mark, You are quite observant for a Brother with limited experience. I don't believe it is totally a case of not wanting to grow, just a mindset against change, or a case of being located in an area that has seen its' best days. In time, either the lodges will eventually open their minds to changes that will promote the fraternity, or they will simply cease to exist. There are many lodges ( more prevelently in the rural areas) that have not Raised a New Master Mason in months or even years. I have heard the stories, that it is because their potential members all move away to the proverbial big city, but it has been legal for 18 year olds to become masons for a few years now, I wonder why the lodges are not picking up some of these young men who are ready and mature enough at 18?
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  8. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

    My cousin and I where looking through 2003 GL Proceedings and ran across an oration by PGM Harrison, who made the call for the next John Sayles or Jewell Lightfoot. That young mason who would would selflessly lead us to the next level but he also made the point could we find and if so will we elect a 26 year old as GM and find the next John Sayles? Fantastic speech though i will see if I can scan it in for all to read.
  9. peace out

    peace out Premium Member

    1. Folks, the beauty of masonry seems to be in the travel & toil, not the membership. I've seen Ebeling's thoughts and kindly disagree. Masonry is not a charitable organization by definition. Nor do I want procedures to shackle the wonderful rituals for the sake of the charities. If someone doesn't want a part of the rituals, perhaps masonry isn't for them.

    2. I support this. Take it out of independent hands, make it near impossible to decode without already knowing most of the language and strictly govern its spread.

    10. Strongly opposed to this. This seems to be a move to make masonry more aligned with Christianity than necessary. If the purpose if for anything else, it's lost on me.

    17. Not sure just complete deletion is a move in a positive direction.
  10. mark!

    mark! Guest

    Thank you Brother. I agree with you that it's not totally about not wanting to grow, and just as you said, it's a case of being located in an area that has seen is best days. I see a progressive movement from my lodge at this time, to incorporate new ideas and such in to the lodge to help progress, and it's a great thing to behold. I am one of those Mater Masons that was raised, got married and moved to the proverbial big city. I would also point out, working in law enforcement, that there aren't many 18 year olds around here, in this area, that would pass the investigation to become a Mason. Sadly, times have changed drastically around here and it seems anyone 16 or older has been arrested for something above a Class C offense. Could that play a part in the numbers game? Absolutely, and I believe it has. My home lodge is a small lodge, in a very small town. Most members, I would estimate being over 60 years of age, with few of us in their 20's. I believe the age of 18 should have been legal to petition a lodge for a long time now, but done recently was it a move that should have been made, or one that was as a desperation move, to get young men before the stray yonder to the life of unethical acts and reasoning.
  11. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

    people seem to forget that THEM is US, and seem to be very quick in pointing fingers at THEM in what some would say is not within the spirit of Masonry...
  12. Ashton Lawson

    Ashton Lawson Premium Member

    A fair point. Frustration is usually a two-way street.
  13. MacFie

    MacFie Registered User

    Yeah but from what I've heard from the Lodges around here the Grand Lodge representatives haven't come out to answer questions, just state what they want to do, and why. The lack of clarification, in any organisation would bring up mistrust and frustration. I am of course speaking from second-hand knowledge, but I've heard a lot of it.
  14. Scotty32

    Scotty32 Registered User

    I Oppose :

    1. The EA work, I believe, is what separates the curious from the serious & dedicated.
    Not only the EA but go further & add the FC? Come on! I learned it in a day.

    2. I see the point to have an aid to memory for some, but I see this as not only being
    used for that specific reason as a 'quick reference'. Besides, I'll say it again: I see
    the same thing in the York Rite, make it into cipher work. Then later nobody will read
    the cipher work, and then it will be in plain English. No one bothers to learn the work
    in the YR any more (yes I know there are some of you that do, & therefore you are
    not included in this category) and it is a terrible thing that is ruining it. I do not ever
    want to see this happen in the bedrock of Masonry. *I would like to hear from those
    in other Jurisdictions where they are permitted & give a word on my concerns on this.*

    15. This is not the best way to go about this.

    20. So Mote It Be is non-sectarian. That is why we use it.

    I Support :

    11. This needs to be added & is long overdo, Thank you Bill! There is no reason why this will be a
    problem if you truly live by & believe in the lesson we teach. In my opinion,
    opposition to this resolution is self evident that you still have yet to be brought
    to light &/or have no place in our fraternity. I'll share an example set by
    George Washington that I read one time:
    During the American Revolution, America was celebrating Guy Fawkes Day
    (yes they did, even though it is an English holiday). Gen. Washington walked
    by a couple of soldiers who were desecrating a picture of the Pope & stopped
    them. He said, "We do not do that in here in America, and you WILL NOT
    do that in my Army!" ---I think the message is clear.

    Here is another example & is more important to think about:
    There is a friend of mine named Walter Kase. He is a Holocaust survivor
    & travels around speaking to school children about the dangers of racism
    & hate. Every time before he speaks he gives this message, and I will
    remember it forever:

    "None of us get a choice in who we are. None of us get to choose our nationality
    or our skin color. And no one deserves to be hated or discriminated against
    because of their religion. That is between you & God alone. To be hateful & to be
    disrespectful to those who God has chosen to be different than we are is therefore
    sinful, it is ungodly, & it leads to horrible tragedies which I have experienced myself."

    17. If we are truly accepting of all faiths, then I feel this should no longer be used.
    Someone of a different faith might have some difficulty accepting something
    other than their own book of faith as 'Divine authenticity'. For myself, I do not
    consider all of the Holy Bible to be divinely authentic. I do not believe in the
    Book of Revelations either. It is not my place to convince others of that & I
    never will. A man's religion is his own business. However, if it is not adopted,
    I will not lose any sleep over it.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  15. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

    While I support #2, I do think you have a valid concern that warrants further investigation as you suggested. I know when I went through SR, almost all the parts were read, which to me took away from the degrees. So, I believe you bring up a very real concern, and I would hate to see the EA, FC, and MM degree get where it's just people reading off a page.
  16. stanb

    stanb Registered User

    California has the best plan available. EA and FC do not have to do anything but turn in the obligation and grip trial lecture. The MM is required to turn in entire trial lecture for MM degree. There is no police running around in the lodges in California to make people turn in the MM trial lecture. The above is one of the options in California. A candidate is also given a cipher book for each degree after completion of that degree. There is another option for all the degrees. Turn in trial lectures for all 3 degrees. The qualifications for Senior Deacon is as follows. 3 trial lectures for 3 degrees. Senior Deacon has to be able to do his part in all 3 degrees. The senior deacon has to do the stairway lecture in 2nd degree. He must be certified by the District Inspector prior to installation. The Junior Warden has to confer the 1st degree and give lecture at end of 1st degree. The junior Warden has to be certified prior to installation by District Inspector. The Senior Warden must be able to confer 2nd degree and give lecture at the end of 2nd degree. Senior Warden must also be certified by the District Inspector. The Worshipful Master must be able to confer 3rd degree and give lecture at the end of 3rd degree. The Worshipful Master must also be certified by the District Inspector. If any officer SD, JW, SW or WM does not certify and the lodge has no one to take one of these offices the District Inspector can pull their charter. The lodge in Healdsburg, California lost their charter for 6 months. This is by far the best program for proficient officers. There is the easy way out in California and learn a little or learn it all. This program works very well in California. California cheapened the work and still has better proficient officers than any place I have visited. This program works!!!
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
  17. Gerald.Harris

    Gerald.Harris Premium Member Premium Member

    Brother Macfie, I don't believe that you have heard it quite correctly. The normal mode of translating the wishes of the Grand Lodge Trustees is through the right hand of the Grand Master, who is your District Deputy, he makes a minimum of one, and usually two official visits to your lodge each year.It is during those visits that the voice of the Grand Master is heard in each lodge room. The Grand Master also holds Regional Conferences each year which is normally an instructive program, with a question and answer session afterwards. This system has proven to be the most effecient means of communicating the ideas and present situation of the Grand Lodge to the many lodges scattered across this great state. It is the duty and responsibility of the Worshipful Master and his officers to get as many as possible to these meetings and conferences, but I can assure you that the attendance at these meetings have continually gone down each year for the past 30 or more that I have been a Master Mason.
    I am willing to bet that the Grand Master and the rest of the trustees would be more than pleased to hear from you and any other brother who has a plan or an idea that will make the lines of communication more open and easily accessable.

  18. Gerald.Harris

    Gerald.Harris Premium Member Premium Member

    I like some of these ideas very much. Can you imagine what havoc this would create in our own Grand Lodge. I know that when the lodges were graded in their opening and closing ritual on 2008, many of them were not very receptive to the idea, even though I assure you most of them not only complied, but became much better in their opening and closing during that year. I for one do not necessarily like the idea that the Grand Lodge has to dictate proficiency to the constituant lodges, I would much prefer to see the lodges get themselves motivated , and practice the ritual proficiently because that is the right thing to do.
  19. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

    Bro. Harris my question to you then would be at what point should GL step in, if any, to dictate this? I know a man that travels is sure to walk into a Lodge that frankly cannot open or close the Lodge and after sitting through this it becomes in question how can they do a degree, how can they teach the work, how can light shine in a Lodge that doesn't have this as a minimum standard? At what point does GL need to set the bar because some lodges simply do not feel this to be a priority or a factor of pride?
  20. Well in about 2 hours there will be discussions on resolutions and voting to follow. Feel free to post any discussion you have on this forum. Be sure and check results at our results thread that can be found by clicking here.

    Remember to keep everything within due bounds and may peace and harmony prevail in all we do as men and Masons for it is today and tomorrow that history is made for all Masons of Texas.

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