Reading of minutes and correspondance

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by JJones, May 2, 2012.

  1. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    This takes a huge amount of time during our stated meetings, so much so that it feels as though it's what we're spending the majority the meeting listening to them.

    How is this handled in your lodge? Is every detail of the minutes and local/GL correspondence read? Is it just discussed briefly? Does it simply get posted on the bulletin board?

    I ask because I can see how becoming a mason just to go to stated meetings and listen to all of this stuff can be disappointing, but there's concern in my lodge that people might get in trouble if everything isn't covered. This sort of throws a wrench in my plans if I become Worshipful Master as I wanted to simply have the information posted on the bulletin board so we could spend more time doing education or possibly degrees during our stated meetings and now it looks as though that may not happen.

    I know I bug you guys for advise pretty often but I highly value the input I get here.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    We always read the minutes, but it never takes more than ten minutes tops, maybe fifteen if we've had a couple meetings between the last reading of the minutes. If it's taking more, perhaps your secretary is being a bit too detailed? Minutes are supposed to be pretty broad.

    Regarding Grand Lodge correspondence, usually the important ones are read (communications from Grand Master, etc), the not so important ones mentioned/summarize and left on the board with anything else newsworthy for members to look at on their own. Saves time, and everyone still has complete access to the information.
     
  3. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    If non-Masons have access to your bulletin board, your minutes are not to be posted there- they are for Masons only to see.

    Many Secretaries fill their minutes with stuff such as "WM XX led the Brethren in the Pledges of Allegiance to the United States and Texas flags." Why put that sort of thing into the minutes? Doesn't your Lodge recite the Pledges at every meeting? Does that kind of stuff rate being in the minutes?

    To me, only important items should go into the minutes. If the DDGM gives the message from the GM, I'll either take notes & do a synopsis on a separate page or get a copy of the message from the DDGM and insert it into the binder along with the minutes, which will just contain a sentence along the lines of "The DDGM brought the Grand Master's message, a copy of which is attached." If a Brother wants to go back & read the attachment, he is welcome to do so. My minutes generally run 1 1/2 pages for a stated meeting & a half to full page for a called meeting, depending upon what was transacted.
     
  4. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    TEN MINUTES? :snore: :wink:
     
  5. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    I know its meant in jest, but if an adult can't sit still for ten minutes... I worry.
     
  6. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Not necessarily in jest, but what do y'all do that it takes 10 minutes to summarize? How long are your meetings?

    (And who are you calling an adult, anyway?) :wink:
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  7. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    I can't remember the exact law, but can't the Master can choose whether or not to read them at all? I forgot what law it is, but I remember that we only have to make sure they're correct.

    If that's the case, just print out copies for those who want to read the previous mins and skip reading them during meetings..lol
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  8. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    I said tops, as in it usually takes much less time. It would also be accurate for me to say our stated meetings take two hours tops. But don't think they all take two hours. Our stated meetings usually only take 45 minutes. In fact, the vast majority of meetings are done in under an hour.

    Only reason our minutes ever take remotely that long is we save called meeting minutes for stated meetings. If we haven't had any called meetings recently, it goes much much quicker.
     
  9. dreamer

    dreamer Registered User

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    Listening to the minutes and Grand Lodge communications may not be exciting, but it is important aspect of the stated meeting, it is business. If you rely on the Brothers to read a bulletin board that the minutes on posted on, good luck. In our Lodge the minutes and GL communications are always read. Education is minimal in the meeting so we have a separate day we meet for education. All degree work is held on a day other than the day of a stated meeting. I agree, a stated meeting is not exciting, but we are there for the business. Of course, I expect therewould be a fellowship hour before the meeting.
     
  10. Star Mztyk

    Star Mztyk Registered User

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    I have read our lodge minutes back to some in the 1860s.....and you can tell when there was a good secretary. Our current one does not use all the floral wording as they did then....but they are businesslike and to the point. On the DDGMs last visit he said our lodge records were the best in the district and praised our secretary. In the years past what took most of the meetings time were the programs given.
     
  11. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    Our board is in the dining room, but I figured the minutes could be posted the night of our stated meeting if nothing else.

    That's part of the problem. All the minutes are read in really high detail, I'd say that the our minutes take at least 10 minutes. Sometimes longer, depending on if we had any called meetings or anything.

    I haven't found anything about that, it'd be wonderful though. Last year I simply stood up and made a motion to have the minutes approved before they were even read. It was a nice change, but some folks pouted. Not even sure how legal it was in hindsight.

    That's sort of my goal also but it'll be hard if the secretary puts them to sleep before any programs can get started.
     
  12. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    As long as no non-Masons are in the dining room while the minutes are posted, you'd be OK.

    The WM or any other Brother can move that the reading of the minute be postponed, but that just delays the pain to a later stated meeting. As you can read below, minutes can only be approved at a stated meeting. It doesn't require them to be read to the Brethren, but in order to make an informed decision whether or not to approve them, the Brethren must know what they contain. To me, the safest course of action is to read them aloud in a tiled stated meeting. Mebbe the word "concise" should be illuminated further. :wink:

    "Art. 337. Minutes of Lodge.
    The minutes of the Lodge shall be transcribed for permanent record in a well bound book or in loose leaf form included in a substantial binder with secure locking devices. They shall conform as far as practicable to the official forms prescribed; and shall contain all the data set forth herein, and an accurate, concise (italics mine) statement of all business transacted and all other matters transpiring at the meeting and shall be approved at a stated meeting and signed by the Worshipful Master and Secretary in person at that meeting. Names of the officers filling the several offices as in said forms provided shall be given, and the number of members and visitors present, the names of whom shall appear in the register as provided in Art. 378."
     
  13. rbm5

    rbm5 Registered User

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    We print copies and you pick up when you go into the lodgeroom and just ask for corrections about one min. of lodge time.
     
  14. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    This is a toughie! I'm about a half mind to call the light seekers together for an off called meeting to "get down to serious masonry" next year. Minutes and correspondence are important, but do take up much time.
     
  15. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    That's the way to do it!
     
  16. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm too tired to look it up, but from what I remember, (in Texas) the Master doesn't even have to read the minutes.
     
  17. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    See post #12.
     
  18. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    That's fine as long as you maintain their security- i.e. accounting for & shredding all copies after the meeting, assuming your Law is the same as or similar to ours:

    Art. 338. Inspection of Minutes: By Whom.
    The minutes of the Lodge are the private records of the Lodge and no copy of same or any part thereof; shall be made or used for other than Masonic purposes. They shall be securely kept and preserved by the Secretary, and shall be open for inspection at reasonable times by the officers and other members of the Lodge, or by such other Masons as have an appropriate reason therefor, but not under any circumstances by those who are not Masons‚Äč (italics mine).
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  19. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Bro Bill ... didn't someone get into a heap of Reading-all-those-unread-Minutes a while back here in Texas?

    I'm talking multiple years worth. No names please.
     
  20. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    That's news to me. :confused:
     

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