EA and FC at stated meetings

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by HKTidwell, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    Art. 331. Stated Meetings. Except when officially receiving
    Grand Lodge Officers, all stated meetings of a Lodge may be
    opened on the Entered Apprentice Degree or Fellowcraft Degree,
    provided that if no Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft Mason is
    present, it shall be the option of the Worshipful Master to open
    said meeting on either the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, or
    Master’s Degree.
    A Lodge opened on the Entered Apprentice
    Degree for the purpose of holding a stated meeting, may be
    opened and closed on such degree without first opening on the
    Master’s Degree. At a stated meeting, the regular business of
    the Lodge shall be transacted. At a stated meeting, only Master
    Masons shall be entitled to vote. (Revised 2007


    When I read this it implies that if a EA or a FC is at a meeting then you are required to open in the applicable degree to permit the entrance of those brothers. Is this accurate? The reason I ask is a facebook group, of which I'm a member, there is a question about opening meetings in these degrees and I did not think there was an option if a EA or FC was present.
     
  2. js4253

    js4253 Premium Member Premium Member

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    I have heard some WM say it is their option and they would only open in Masters. I think if EA or FC is present it should be opened to allow them to attend.
     
  3. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    That is kinda why I asked. I was under the impression you had to open in the applicable lodge if a EA or FC was there. However the comment on FB referred to the possibility of a lodge starting to open in the degree if an EA or a FC was there. So I looked in the law book and the wording is vague to me. And I wanted clarification from some of our well informed brethren.
     
  4. Wingnut

    Wingnut Premium Member

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    Most lodges accommodate the EA and FC but there are times when a MM lodge is best...
     
  5. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    The original resolution, as proposed by PGM Broughton when he was GM, made it mandatory that EA's or FC's be accomodated. The resolution was amended to make it the WM's option, and that is the version which passed into law. There is no requirement.
     
  6. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I read the keyword of "MAY" which leave the option open. If it was changed to "MUST" or "SHALL" it would see it manditory. I think it reads to the option to the WM.
     
  7. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    i don't think it's a good idea to have EAs and FCs in the stated meetings because they are either too boring or too exciting.

    electricity bill or someone complaining.
     
  8. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    It was the second part of that sentence which lead me to an ambiguous meaning. "provided that if no Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft Mason is present, it shall be the option of the Worshipful Master to open said meeting on either the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, or Master’s Degree." This to me implied that if a EA or a FC was present then it was not the option of the WM.

    I have mixed thoughts on this. Even though my lodge encouraged me to come and participate in stated meetings before reaching the degree of Master Mason I refused. I had found out by reading online that this was a relatively new option and I choose to go as people before me had. It was a respect for the position I wished to attain. I personally do not mind EA and FC attending but I think it reduces the full impact of being a MM. In the sense that you are seeing the inner workings and have not attained a position which allows you to vote.
     
  9. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    Good ole GL Law double talk! :)
     
  10. dhouseholder

    dhouseholder Registered User

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    ...besides, who's going to help the Stewards clean up after dinner? :biggrin:
     
  11. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    The original resolution was worded "shall".
     
  12. Ben Rodriguez

    Ben Rodriguez Registered User

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    Back when I was an EA, I can recall visiting Justin Lodge #963 and the brethren out there gave me a very warm welcome and opened their stated meeting as an EA so that I may stay and have a good fellowship with all of them out there.I would suggest having more meetings available to the new brethren, but my understanding is that it is left to the WM's discretion.
     
  13. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I can honestly see both sides. I was the first EA to attend a stated meeting at Fort Worth 148 and that was great. However, I see that if there are issues or some matters that EAs should not be involved in. There were several times that I would get involved in an issue that was brought up during a meeting that I should not have been. I think if you have active envolvement and "other" meetings that EAs can be involved in such as an educational meeting or something then there is no reason to feel "left out". I am on both sides here really. So I guess it doesn't matter to me one way or the other.
     
  14. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    That's true. Our IPM wouldn't let EA's in under any conditions, but the current WM has no problem with it. The biggest problem we've had is for the MM's to remember which sign to give when voting! :D
     
  15. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    Hadn't even thought about that. :biggrin:
     
  16. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    Which leads me to another question though. When can somebody actually vote? After turning in their proficiency or before?
     
  17. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Excellent question! All I can find in the Law under "Balloting" indicates that only "members of the Lodge" , i.e. MM's, may vote. This, to me, would mean that any Brother who has taken the Obligation could vote.

    However, any MM who has not turned in his work within 90 days of his degree is automatically suspended, unless his Lodge has given him an extension of time. A Brother who has been suspended cannot attend Lodge, much less vote.

    My FGM's (Future Grand Master's ;)) Decision would therefore be that any MM in good standing, i.e. has taken the Obligation & is in good standing (has not gone suspended under Art. 439) may vote. :biggrin: As always, YMMV.
     
  18. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Just remember that FGM's Decisions & $2.00 will generally buy you a cup of coffee & not much else! :D
     
  19. HKTidwell

    HKTidwell Premium Member

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    Just stick to Micky D's and not Starbucks!!! :D Coffee and tea is cheap to make and it blows my mind how expensive things are getting.
     
  20. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    lol. that's their job!
     

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