Membership looking up!

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Companion Joe, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    In 2012 and a number of preceding years, I'm pretty sure our lodge membership declined by attrition.
    In 2013, our lodge membership was static. We raised the same number of members as we had die.

    So far in 2014 (Jan. 7), we have brought in two new Master Masons by transfer; will have two EA degrees next week; read 4 new petitions of people who are pretty solid tonight; and have another FC coming up. That's two new Master Masons as well as 7 more in the works for a total of 9.

    If we can put the spurs to some other people who have been in the pipeline but not progressed, as well as continue to bring in petitions over the next several months and keep our aging members healthy, our membership numbers are looking up.

    As WM, my goal for 2014 is to have the first positive gain in lodge membership in a number of years.
     
  2. CuAllaidh

    CuAllaidh Registered User

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  3. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    It was nice seeing an actual full house at my lodge stated meeting tonight. Several visitors, some regular ones from neighboring lodges, and some from out of state. Four new EAs in attendance and an affiliation. Very little bickering, hah. Even a presentation by our SR Valley secretary. Heck, i just realized we had our full roster of officers too, lol. Looking up indeed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2014
  4. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I congratulate you. I have been concerned with the decline in membership for several years. Particularly so, because two lodges that I belonged to in the past, have closed and consolidated.

    I pray that Grand Lodges and lodges will see this problem, and act accordingly.

    Every little increase is important. They add up.
     
  5. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    We have roughly 12 people who need to be balloted on and we just took in another two petitions.

    We are going to have three EA degrees the first half of the year and unfortunately have to ship some out for their FC degree as we want to move these guys along.
     
  6. CuAllaidh

    CuAllaidh Registered User

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    Our lodge has been busy with initiations and degree work that I am actually travelling to another lodge close by to do my FC work since it would be at least another month before they could do it and my mentor thought it would be good for me to travel to another lodge as well as get my FC done sooner rather than later.
     
  7. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    When you guys talk about having to do degree work at other lodges, is that because your own cannot confer on their own? Curious.
     
  8. CuAllaidh

    CuAllaidh Registered User

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    No, my lodge generally tries to stick to doing only one degree when doing degree work though, since they are doing an EA initiation this month they don't want to also do FC. They will do it if they can, but our lodge and the other lodges in our area have a close relationship and we all often go to each others lodges, so occasionally someone will do their degree work in another close by lodge.
     
  9. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Ah, I gotcha.
     
  10. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    In Illinois there is a program called "Grand Masters Award of Excellence" that has a list of activities that earn points towards a certificate in the program. One of the points is conferring a degree by visitation at some other lodge. One of the points is receiving a visiting degree team to confer a degree in your own lodge. Most of the lodges in both of my Illinois districts get both points every year.

    In my mother lodge we conferred a degree by visitation because the lodge we helped couldn't pull off a Master Mason degree. We ended up absorbing them in a consolidation soon after that.
     
  11. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    We would be doing degree work every meeting to get everyone we have in the wings initiated, passed and raised in one year.

    We can support all three degrees in our lodge but we do not have the capacity to mass produce masons. We would rather break up people into smaller groups so they enjoy the degree versus being pushed through with dispensation from GL to I, P or R more than 5 at a time.

    I'm not kidding when I say we have 12 that need to be balloted on and more petitions coming in.

    That would be three stated meetings to get these guys Initiated. 3 more to get the passed and 3 more to get them raised. We go dark for the summer so we would need to export our guys out for degree work if they wish to get it done in one year.

    --We have to vote on 12.
    --They have to be on the trestle board for 28 days at a minimum.
    --They need to be interviewed. It took almost 3 weeks to get interviewed after my petition was read.

    We have a degree lined up for the second week in February for Initiations.

    There is no way we can move so many through without sacrificing the required workings of the Lodge. The nights are long when regular business comes before a degree.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  12. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Hah that's a good problem to have!


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  13. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    For us, stated meetings and degree work completely separate. Our stated meeting is the first Tuesday of each month, and that's only for regular business. We usually do whatever degree work someone needs on the second Tuesday. We could have has many meetings a month as we want. If need be, we might have 2-3 called meetings in a month in addition to the stated meeting.

    I would never do 5 candidates at a time unless it was some kind of special circumstance during the day on Saturday. I don't even like doing two in one night because I personally feel it takes away from the candidates' experience. We will have a situation coming up where it's a father and two sons. My guess is they'll want to go through together, so we will do it.
     
  14. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Illinois rules let there be 3 at the altar together during the obligation for a maximum of 7 in the same meeting. Clearly the rule evolved over a very long time to end up so odd. Candidates who go through together in their first tend to build a special rapport and tend to work their proficiencies together and ask to be paired again for their second. If your jurisdiction allows parallel I suggest you go with it.

    No parallel for third if there's any choice even if the jurisdiction allows it - That's the preference of most I've talked with in Illinois. But one of my lodges was so busy doing parallel first one week, parallel second the next our calendar was so full that year we had to do thirds parallel because there weren't enough weeks in the year to handle the pipeline that year.

    Having a ton of candidates happened in the boom after WWII. The lodges with the most candidates complained they were turning into degree mills with no time to practice the rest of Masonry. On the one hand what a problem to have that the degree team confers degrees every week there isn't a Stated meeting. On the other hand turning into a degree mill like that long ago eventually led to the knife and fork crowd being in charge to the point some jurisdictions now resist the TO movement.
     
  15. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    my FC and MM were emergent but that was to accomidate the caledar coupled with going dark in the summer. Our WM wanted us to be raised before the summer break so we could test out on the first stated meeting in Sept. The only way to accomplish this was to hold to the minimum time between degrees and schedule the emergent meetings appropriately
     
  16. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    In the Blue Lodge, we never have more than one person at a time for a first section. If we have multiple candidates on one night, they all go through the first section individually, then we bring them all back in for the second and third sections together in the EA and FC. A MM is a little tricky as we don't put the candidates together until mid way of the second section. It can create some long nights. I especially don't like multiple candidates for MM degrees because, as I said earlier, I feel it takes way from each person's experience.
     
  17. SeattleMason0613

    SeattleMason0613 Registered User

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    We just entered six new apprentices last month! Seems to be a promising group!


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  18. rmcgehee

    rmcgehee Registered User

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    Just remember, investigate these candidates well,coach them well,and mentor them well or they will not complete their Masonic journey.
    You want quality more than quantity above all else!
     
  19. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    So far I only recall one way California double candidate thirds happen. One candidate first and second section, everyone at lunch or dinner, another candidate first and second section, both candidates together for the lecture. Very long but it works as well as individual degrees.

    Illinois parallel third isn't as clean but if your pipeline is full enough it has to be done. Up to 3 parallel at the altar which candidates in EA and FC like for the extra team building. But the current form of the second section is a hack. Every candidate meets the guys with the demands then the last candidate completes the rest. The problem is some of the early part of the section is skipped and that sets the stage for the rest of the events. I asked a member of the Committee on Work if it was still allowed to do complete parts separately with only the lecture together. He smiled. It's one of those "if you have to ask the answer is no" situations at the moment. Since the parallel method started being taught officially ...
     
  20. DJGurkins

    DJGurkins Floresville #515 Premium Member

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    I was Initiated and passed alone. I was raised with another Brother. The team did part 1 and part 2 individually and then they did the rest with us together. I have seen the EA and FC done with two men But it is always the same. With the main part to include the obligation done individually and then the lecture and charge done together. I must say I feel a special bond with the Brother I was raised with. We both shared an afternoon where Brothers from many lodges gathered from all over the district to Raise us to the sublime degree.
     

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