Certification Update

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Blake Bowden, Feb 7, 2009.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    Just got this in an email

    Who has to be Certified?
    Just the Worshipful Master.

    Don't the Wardens have to be Certified?
    (After all they may have to preside if the Worshipful Master is absent)
    NO, just the Worshipful Master

    Will the officers elected in June need to be certified?
    YES, just the Worshipful Master Elect.

    If a serving Master has to carry over a year does he have to be Certified?
    YES, unless previously certified.

    What happens if he does not want to be certified and know one else will take the job?
    Way above my pay grade, Please contact Grand Lodge.

    Do I have to be certified in all stations & places or just the Worshipful Master's station?
    Just the Wording & Procedures for the Worshipful Master's Station.

    What is covered in the "certification"?
    MM, MM LoS, EA & FC opening & closing. Calling a MM LoS from & to labor.
    Opening an EA or FC with a double order & from refreshment.

    Do you have to attend a Forum & Exam to be "Certified"
    NO, a District Instructor or a member of the Committee on Work can certify a Brother anywhere.

    Who can "certify" someone?
    A District Instructor or a member of the Committee on Work.

    Is there a particular form that must be used?
    Yes, See Form 101 attached.

    Has a method to notify Grand Lodge of the Worshipful Master's certification been laid out?
    Yes, See Form 101 attached.

    Can the Wardens or a Past Master who are certified pro-tem for the the Worshipful Master?
    If a Brother can Pro-tem under the Law he does not need to be Certified

    Does a Past Master need to be Certified to serve as Worshipful Master again?
    YES, if he was not Certified for his previous term.

    If I have an Esoteric Certificate (A, B or C) do I have to be certified again?
    NO, the Esoteric Certificate is a more stringent qualification and will be accepted.

    If I have had an Esoteric Certificate in the past but it is not current, does this count?
    Yes, Once Certified = Always Certified

    What is going to happen if a Lodge has no one that can certify
    Darned good question - way above my pay grade.
    Please contact Grand Lodge.

    Is the LIFE program part of this process?
    NO, the LIFE program is separate and the Committee on work is not involved with it.

    Does participation in a Warden's Retreat qualify them in lieu of LIFE Program?
    The LIFE program is separate and the Committee on work is not involved with it
    (but I think the answer is YES)

    If I went to a Wardens Retreat, am I certified?
    No - certified alludes to the Esoteric opening & closing of the 4 lodges.
    The Wardens Retreat has to do with education regarding lodge administration & planning
    The individual members of the Masonic Jurisprudence Committee have been asked the same questions that you pose here. So, in an attempt to address what we believe was passed by the Grand West in approving Grand Master's Recommendation No.2 in' 08, we offer the following. Before doing do, however, we want to make it clear that we do not know what the intent of the then Grand Master was. We can only address the plain reading of the Recommendation that was passed. Some members of our Committee believe, as do I, that the intent of the Grand Master was to require, by the mandatory "Shall", that all Wardens and Masters be certified proficient in their individual stations. However, the Recommendation that passed was not that broad. It was quite specific, leaving the permissive "should" intact in Article 297a.

    We believe that only the WM is required to be certified.

    Art. 291 Qualification for Lodge Office
    Art. 291 says "any member in good standing" is eligible for office, limited only by Art. 276 and 276-a "which apply to the offices of WM and both Wardens of the Lodge".
    Art. 297a Requirements for Installation as Worshipful Master or Warden
    This article currently has the words "should be in compliance" and refers to Art. 276a. (which is now "Shall be in compliance") with the provisions of Art. 276a of the Laws of this Grand Lodge. Are the Worshipful Master and both Wardens required to be in compliance with Art. 276a? Art. 291 Qualification for Lodge Office

    Art. 291 says "any member in good standing" is eligible for office, limited only by Art. 276 and 276-a "which apply to the offices of WM and both Wardens of the Lodge".

    Art. 297a Requirements for Installation as Worshipful Master or Warden

    Art. 276 applies only to WM's.

    Art. 276-a also applies only to WM's. It has been amended to say ("shall be proficient").

    Art. 297-a states that prior to installation as WM or SW or JW he should be in compliance with 276-a.
    Therefore, it the opinion of the Jurisprudence Committee that the Laws of the Grand Lodge direct, that, as to SW & JW only, there is no change in proficiency/certification requirements or qualifications were made by the amendment to Art. 276-a.

    Art. 276a Additional Qualifications (Worshipful Master)
    It would be our further opinion that plain reading of the Recommendation directs that the WM should be certified in his station (that of Master) and not all three stations.
    Ideally, he would know all three stations, but we are talking about qualifications to fill his office for one year.
    We do not find any guidance in the law for this, but the statutory requirements of Art. 276-a can be satisfied if WM can properly open and close an EA, FC, MM and MM LOS without knowing the SW or JW's stations.

    We believe that this completely addresses all of your questions (and probably some that you did not ask). It is the universal opinion of the Jurisprudence Committee that this is really a matter for the Committee on Work to address in terms of actual mechanics. However, we appreciate the consultation as to whether or not we believe that the Recommendation mandates a revision of existing statutes. We believe that it does not and is very specific, clear, and unambiguous in its directive that only the WM "Shall" be proficient and is required to be certified. Only 276a was amended.
  2. Bro. Stewart P.M.

    Bro. Stewart P.M. Lead Moderator Emeritus Staff Member

    Good to know.
  3. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

    Good information, will take a long look. Thanks Blake
  4. Smokey613

    Smokey613 Registered User

    Where did this email originate?
  5. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

    R:.W:. Bill Sessums, Sr. of the Committee on Work sent it out.
  6. RJS

    RJS Guest

    Good information!
  7. Smokey613

    Smokey613 Registered User

    Thank you for the follow up information. We had our stated meeting last night and it was the topic of discussion during the meal afterwards. We had several from other lodges in attendance and it was amazing to learn how little factual information the brethren had on it. I will pass this along.
  8. dbavousett

    dbavousett Guest

    These two questions are precisely why I rose to speak in opposition to the recommendation. In retrospect, I don't think I communicated that very clearly, but IMO, and with all due respect to R.W. Griffin, the resolution was ill-worded and incomplete, specifically because it did not address the question of "what if a Lodge fails to have someone certified?" I'm frankly surprised and a little disappointed that Jurisprudence let that get by them.

    It may or may not be a problem in the "big cities..." (Abilene counts as a "big" city, in this respect) but this could turn out to be a huge, huge problem for the little bitty rural lodges, where only a handful of members are even active. It could also raise the nuisance factor for large geographical Districts out West--the DI having to travel 100+ miles to certify someone could make for a scheduling nightmare. I'm sure the DIs are all wonderful, dedicated men, who would never refuse to go, as R.W. Griffin said...but did we really have to make their jobs harder?

    My Lodge has 86 members, about a dozen actives, including two new MMs in the last year, and three EAs working. Certifying a Worshipful Master should be no particular problem--most of our actives are, in fact, PMs themselves. But I'm very, very glad we don't have to certify the Wardens this year!

    As I told then-M.W. Griffin, when I turned around and shook his hand, "I approve of your purpose here, sir, but this method needs help." I think it's a swell idea that we do something to ensure that officers know the ritual of opening and closing lodge, and have had some basic training in how to run a lodge--but this method will be really, really harsh on some of our smaller lodges, particularly with the unknown, unnamed penalty hanging over our heads.

    J. David Bavousett
    Secretary, PM
    Hobah Lodge #1394, Abilene
  9. JEbeling

    JEbeling Guest

    I too was against.. ! and for some reason it seem to take on a life of its own.. ? kinda like if you were against it you were against Masonary.. ? or against doing it correct..?

    The things I don't understand is how the committee on work took over approval of every worshipful in Texas..? There are a lot of unanswered questions .. ? like what if they don't ..? what if a lodge just pack its bags and not play the game..? does it go dark..?

    Like all things that people want to change.. ! when they can't sit down with a brother and work with him they want to run to Grand Lodge and pass some new law forcing their view on the rest of us..?

    There just seem to be better way to go about it..?
  10. Joey

    Joey Co-Founder Staff Member

    I must say that I agree with that.
  11. nick1368

    nick1368 Registered User

    good info to know. our lodge bylaws say the JW SW WM must be certified by DI so this doesnt really effect us. How I was told "back when I was WM you had to hold a C certificate"

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