New Warden's Requirements

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by Michaelstedman81, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    Several of the older heads at my lodge (including the Secretary) seem to think that one of the new requirments for being in the East, West, and South is pretty vague and don't know which is the right answer. It is in reference to utilizing the L.I.F.E. program as making someone eligible. I figured I would ask on here to see if any of you guys have any clarification on this.

    They are needing clarification if a person going into one of those positions needs to only complete the part of the program for that Station only, or all three parts of the program? For example, does a Brother looking to be JW only need to complete the JW portion, or all three? One believes that all three parts are just parts of one program and all three must be taken before you can go to even just the South. The other believes that you just need to take the part that is for the Station you will be going to. Thankfully, this isn't causing any strife or disagreements in the lodge, but they are really curious to know so that we can all be doing the right thing.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, Brothers.
     
  2. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    I don't have the instruction in front of me, but I thought the wording said "must complete the LIFE program." I thought of each booklet as a portion or part of the complete program, requiring them all to be done for you to have "completed" it. I personally would try to do them all just to be on the safe side. If nothing else, it's one less thing to worry about.

    Edit: tried to make my meaning more clear
     
  3. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    Thats what I was thinking too, Brother Mac. I don't mind getting all three parts done at once at all anyway. Just trying to help clear up some confusion on the matter. Thanks
     
  4. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Too bad you're not closer to us- we're putting on the entire LIFE class today @ Bay City Lodge.
     
  5. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I think I have your answer. The introduction to the JW section states, in part, "The total program is scheduled, under normal circumstances, to be completed over a three (3) year period."

    As it doesn't strike me as being logical that a Brother would need to begin the program three years before going to the South, I can only conclude that the JW is responsible for completing only the JW portion of the program prior to being installed as such.

    Of course, other's MMV.
     
  6. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Who did it ... Who did it? and how can I get my hands on him.

    Willing to beg ... borrow ... but not Kidnap causethat'samasonicoffenseunfortunately. :001_huh:

    Remember, I can bribe ... Louisiana style that is. :cool:


    PM me if I have a chance.
     
  7. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    That is about my luck...lol I would be totally free and have nothing on my schedule to get in the way of an event like this that I really want to attend, but it's too doggone far away...lol
     
  8. Plustax

    Plustax Registered User

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    i believe it should be the complete LIFE program. Keep in mind that there may be a situation where the JW would move all the way to WM if something happened that the SW AND the WM were not present (even for a meeting) and the JW is next in line to run the lodge.
     
  9. chancerobinson

    chancerobinson Registered User

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    While I am unsure of the proper interpretation of the law. A brother proficient in the ritual opening and closing and having completed the portion of the program for the Junior Warden would be prepared to serve as Master given the absence of the other principal officers.

    The Senior Warden and Worshipful Master's portion of the LIFE program seem more suited for a brother planning his year as Master, and not simply filling in for a meeting or two.

    I personally think the program would be best served if completed over a three year period, but if the law now states that LIFE or the Warden's Retreat must be completed in their entirety before installation as a principal officer then so be it.
     
  10. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    That's the problem- the law doesn't state either way clearly. We are left to infer from other evidence.

    It's just like with the Wardens' Retreats- there are two parts, one for the SW & another for the JW. The law requires that a prospective officer must have completed either "A" Wardens' Retreat or the LIFE program. Any Brother who has a certificate from having attended "A" Wardens' Retreat is deemed qualified, whether he has completed both parts or just one of them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  11. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Couldn't you request a Grand Master's Ruling? It should give an official clarification on it.
     
  12. barryguitar

    barryguitar Registered User

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    We did the Life program in our lodge last year and several brothers participated. I must say that I fully enjoyed the program. The various discussions on the topics were enlightening. One question from the program would invariably spark a conversation that led off into a tangent that sometimes went for hours, and there is no way the program could be done in a one day study. Familiarity with Law, and the law book itself are essential for elected office. There is a well developed methodology for a successful year as Master of the lodge that begins before you even reach the south. I dare say that any brother who takes the Life Program seriously will be much better prepared for success than one who just sat through a wardens retreat. It is the brothers of the lodges who will be benefited by this requirement.
    A DDGM did give our lodge clarity on this issue though. In order to be elected to office you must complete that part of the program from the book for that office. So, to sit in the south, you must prove to your lodge that you are proficient in opening and closing all four lodges (get a "C" cert) and have completed that part of the Life program for Junior Warden. If you had done the program you would know that the Junior Warden does not move up in a pro temp situation. The lodge would have to draft a past master to either relieve the SW, or serve as master pro temp, Junior Warden never moves.
     
  13. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    You could. ;-)
     
  14. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I am not saying this is the case but I have had a DDGM tell us one thing, the Grand Secretary tell us another, and then when we did it a call from the Grand Master telling us a totally different thing. I would request it in writing which ever way you go to eliminate you of any wrong doing. If there is a contested election and one person feels they were wronged man I have seen some bad stuff come out. Just best to cover yourself. I highly recommend someone request a Grand Master's Ruling on this.
     
  15. barryguitar

    barryguitar Registered User

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    I agree Owls, a ruling in writing would be best. Our lodge is more fortunate than some. We have several brothers who are ready for elevation that fulfill the strictest of these requirement already. By next year there will be even more, as we will be doing the Life program this year. I do not think however that a one day crash course on the three books could prepare anyone for anything. That would be just going through the motions, and benefits the fraternity nothing. The most important thing is the election of the most effective men to the leadership. Having more brothers who are prepared than offices for them to fill is ideal. I imagine that these requirements are going to cause some conflict among those who thought they were going to breeze through the progression of chairs without learning the work, but this is undoubtedly a good thing.
     
  16. Plustax

    Plustax Registered User

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    I was informed 3 weeks ago by our Dist. Instructor that no PM can protemp a WM (not that he doesn't know how). It can only be the SW or JW else the lodge is not opened until another date when 1 of those 3 are available. Hence 1 of the reasons that JW & SW must be able to open/close all 4 lodges.


     
  17. Mac

    Mac Moderator Premium Member

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    Did they change the law? I don't have a law book right in front of me, but I thought it went SW, JW, and then any PM of that lodge. I don't recall ever seeing anything that stated or could be understood to mean the lodge could not be opened if the three principal officers were absent.
     
  18. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Please advise your DI to read Art. 269.

    Art. 269. Absence of Officers. (italics mine)
    In the absence of the Worshipful Master and both Wardens, the last Past Master of the Lodge may preside, but in such a case, a Past Master of another Lodge cannot preside. When the Master, Wardens and all Past Masters of a Lodge are absent, it cannot be opened; and if already open, it is thereupon automatically closed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  19. Plustax

    Plustax Registered User

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    Great! Thanks for the clarity. So in the case below ONLY the Jr. PM can may preside as WM. So if the WM & SW is absent does the JW assume the WM position for that night?
    Thnx, JerryB

     
  20. chancerobinson

    chancerobinson Registered User

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    If the WM and SW are absent the JW assumes the east, if all three principal officers are absent the most recent PM present presides (in order of service within your lodge) whether he sat in the east in 2011 or 1991. So yes if the Junior PM is present he would preside.

    On another note our WM received some clarification today at the GM's conference that the incoming JW must have completed the Warden's Retreat or the JW portion of the LIFE program.

    As has been suggested an official opinion should be requested for the benefit of all lodges in the state, but our lodge will be suggesting that those brethren who are interested in the program complete the JW portion of the LIFE program. Traditionally we have sent the incoming JW to the Warden's Retreat and completed the JW's portion of the LIFE program sometime after installation in July, this of course will change this year.
     

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