Internet based Lodge

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by bjdeverell, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. bjdeverell

    bjdeverell Premium Member

    I’ve started looking into approaching Grand Lodge (TX) about trying something new. They always put out the call for us to try and think of ways to help the Fraternity and personally I think an internet based Lodge may be a viable option to bring us more into the future. Some around the World have been quite successful and accomplished exactly what was intended. If you are unfamiliar with the idea; It wouldn't be as though the Brothers (Regular Master Masons only!) met via webcam or anything like that. Rather, most communication would be done through message boards, e-mails, and direct messages on their secure accounts within said Lodges website. The Lodge itself would only hold a handful of actual stated meetings a year. For example, one would be instillation of Officers, while the others could include fun things like some Masonic plays, poetry reading, research presentations; even things like the special open air Degrees and the rapidly disappearing “walking†Fellowcraft or even a “table†Lodge. I understand that only meeting a few times a year may sound a bit distant but nothing could be further from the truth.
    Social media has become such an important part of our lives that we would actually become more familiar with Brothers of an internet Lodge than many with whom we currently associate. How? Because their profiles on the website would tell us all about one another in more detail, and the discussion boards would be open to all members to discuss Masonic topics that are more often than not, left out of regular Stated Meetings. Similar specialty Lodges already exist within GL-Texas’ Jurisdiction which would make it, at least theoretically, an option. The examples of which I speak are of course Tranquility Lodge #2000 as well as the TX Lodge of Research, both only meet a few times a year but are still very popular within the Fraternity. The Fraternity, at large, might I add, as they allow Master Masons from the world over to join. Even these wouldn’t be as active as an Internet Lodge as they both lack a thorough online component.
    We need to face the times of which we live. Gas prices are skyrocketing which keep many Brothers home. The ones that make it to Lodge are faced with utility and mortgage fees on our aging buildings that are becoming astronomical. A part of our future as a Fraternity, I believe, may be found online. We wouldn't have to worry about keeping the lights or a/c working. All the dues and donations could go directly towards their causes without having a "building fund" taking up so much of what is collected. The only overhead would be the cost of website operation. With services like PayPal, just imagine how much money would be saved by not having to send out dues notices and other communications all the time. A simple e-mail to a Brother and with one click he could be all paid up for the year.
    For Masons like myself, it's almost impossible to make it to Lodge anymore and that pains me greatly. I've read countless books through many sleepless nights trying to maintain my ties to the Fraternity that means so much to me. There are many more Masons like me out there who spend hours upon hours in front of a computer or with a smart phone that would love to take part in Masonic discussion and with three or so stated meetings a year would be able to open our schedules months in advance to attend.
    Given how inexpensive it would be to operate; along with the benefit of having instant communication between the Brethren, distressed or otherwise, as well as the peace of mind knowing that, with a tablet device or smart phone, you can still take part in Fraternal activities, even when you’re in the middle of something else. For the first time in history, our Lodge can be in the palm of our hand, literally. We should take advantage of that. I, like many of you, truly want to be of service to the Fraternity but for whatever reason cannot. You may be working 2 jobs to support a family and you just can’t always make it to Lodge. For me, I don’t have any children and my job is to watch after my dad, who’s in pretty bad health. So I’m literally near a computer all the time. Maybe my service could be to start this thing and (hopefully) get a Charter (under dispensation) just to see if it would work. Does this sound like something any of you would want to join if I was able to get it off the ground? Or is it a dumb idea? Don’t worry about being polite, honesty is always the best policy so BE BLUNT!

    Sincerely and Fraternally,
    Bro. B.J. Deverell
    Yantis #382
    Sulphur Springs Chapter/Council #63/44

    DeMolay Commandery #20
    AASR – Valley of Dallas
  2. Bro. Stewart P.M.

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

    Good Luck, I think that you have your work cut out for you...
  3. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

  4. THurse

    THurse Premium Member

    Best wishes Brother.
  5. bjdeverell

    bjdeverell Premium Member

    Thanks guys. It'll definitely be an uphill battle but I was given a name of someone in Grand Lodge who is pretty sympathetic to the idea of advancing the tech side of Freemasonry. So it appears as though there may be an ally that has the ear of the Grand East. Which is always good. I think the biggest struggle will be trying to convince some of the older Brothers that we can try different things and NEVER break a single aspect of our Oaths. It should be fun either way it turns out. Whether or not the Lodge ever comes into being isn't as important as the fact that it opens up discussion and consideration of future ideas. Clearly I hope it works but hey, we would've never figured out how to build the arch if we didn't have a few collapses along the way.
  6. Godfrey Daniel

    Godfrey Daniel Registered User

    You are aware, I assume, that at one time, were a structure to collapse and kill someone, the responsible architect was executed? Just saying. :laugh:
  7. bjdeverell

    bjdeverell Premium Member

    Lol. Oh I know. Especially the arch. After the keystone was placed, the Master would have to stand in the archway as the scaffolding was removed. I'll take the hit for it. Because I truly believe this is a great idea for Texas Masonry, so if it fails, then clearly I did something to mess it up.

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