We're a Fraternity of Builders - Initiate Change or Demit?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Bro. Brad Marrs, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Bro. Brad Marrs

    Bro. Brad Marrs Premium Member

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    I was cruising around the Internet, chasing blogs on Freemasonry, when I ran across one at freemasoninformation.com titled "Becoming a Mason: What could go wrong?". In the essay, the author paints a worst case scenario of a Candidate's trip from the outside of the door, all the way through deciding to look for another Lodge. The author admits that the descriptions are worst case, but some of the points made in the story stood out to me, and my own experiences as a new Master Mason.

    "The absolute worst case scenario a candidate can find himself in is to get initiated an EA only to find that nobody at the lodge knows the EA lecture. He can’t take the FC degree, and doesn’t know how to demit and join another lodge (and some Grand Lodges won’t let him do that before MM), so he’s in EA limbo until he quits in disgust."

    Fortunately, this didn't happen to me. However, it was difficult getting folks to study with, and there was a couple of times I showed up as an EA on stated study nights, only to find the Lodge lights darkened and locked up tighter than a drum. I t was very discouraging, and I almost turned in the towel, but decided to reach out to other brothers on my own to rectify the situation. Unfortunately, the sitting officers never assigned an instructor to me, and I was in limbo, until I took matters into my own hands. After being raised, I vowed that I would not let this happen to any new EAs, and would make sure they had an instructor soon after inititation.

    What are some of the things you guys do to get brand new EAs going? What kind of things do you do to keep them hungry for more?

    "The right new man sitting in the East can invigorate the lodge, at least for the year or two that he has the Oriental Chair. If he wants the enthusiasm to continue, it’s up to his Wardens to continue the changes, and the Deacons and Stewards to keep the new spirit going."

    If my Lodge ever finds it fitting that I should be elected to the East, I would like nothing more than to make things better than before, or at least to build upon the progress of Past Masters. The problem is finding where to begin, and what to begin with based on the personality of the Lodge itself. From what I have heard, the planning for your rear in the East should start long before actually arriving there.

    What are your experiences on planning for the East? Did you involve Past Masters and Wardens, current officers, and members?

    "Think of a lodge not doing its best work as a magnificent ruin. Magnificent because our fraternity is magnificent. Ruin because it has fallen below what Masonic dignity should have allowed. It’s easy to complain about lodge dysfunction, but such complaints are beneath Masonic dignity. Stay on and help your lodge change and grow, or demit like a man and move on."

    I want to improve my Lodge. We are taking small steps to invigorate ourselves, like regular study nights, and things like that. I want more though, and am not the type to sit on my butt and wait. The stuff I read on the topic, as well as stuff I'm researching on Traditional Observance Lodges really gets me stoked.

    What are some small things, or big, that you guys have done to change your Lodges for the better?

    The line about demitting really stood out though. Have any of you ever demitted after trying to fix things? When did you know when to call it quits?

    Anyway, I though the blog was an interesting read, and it got me thinking; I wanted to share it with you.

    TL;DR "Guy writes blog about worst Masonic experience ever, discusses demitting, and then another guy (me) asks for feedback on your experiences."

    Blog source: http://www.freemasoninformation.com/2010/10/becoming-a-mason-what-could-go-wrong/
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2010
  2. Bro.BruceBenjamin

    Bro.BruceBenjamin Premium Member

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    Sad part is I was actually their. When I came for my EA degree I knew it better then my conductor and he was reading from a book. When it was time for my FC they shortened it down because it was storming. Needless to say it will be some changes this year. I for one am very competitive and my lodge will be too.

    "Take the chains from your brains" I mean that both literally and figuratively also. To many people have gotten to comfortable.
     
  3. 6229 MAC

    6229 MAC Registered User

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    To leave a meeting better than when you came. That is the place to start planning to be Worshipful Master. Remember the question asked the night you were raised? Will Freemasonry be worth anything to you, will you be worth anything to Freemasonry? The answer Is you, for if you apply the lessons of the three degrees you have just passed...

    This is where the wheel runs off for most...In the applying part...

    Most confusion in the work of teaching Masonry, is in the NOT living by the principles of the craft...
    On Yonder Book that oath you took and YOU should break it never...But stand by this*** and this***, forever and forever.
     
  4. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    <shakes head>
    This is (almost) unbelievable. Were it not that so many of us have witnessed it firsthand, it would be unthinkable. If we are not willing to present the ritual, lessons, and charges of our Craft in a serious and dignified manner, who are we to even suggest that there is anything at all special about it (the Craft)? All the high-minded discussion, about who's "qualified" and who isn't, is just so much hypocritical whining if we aren't willing and able to treat the "work" as the special thing it is supposed to be. And it's not just sloppy ritual work. It's gabbing on the sidelines. It's offering stated meetings with no purpose other than to pay bills. At the risk of sounding like some crotchety old PM..., there was a time when a Lodge meeting was a very special event. Some of our older Lodge buildings give evidence of this, a time when grand edifices, formal dress and decorum were indicative of the regard the members had for their fraternity.

    <deep breath...>
    Kudos to those who recognize that it is the Master and his Wardens who have the responsibility to change this. That doesn't mean they do all the work, but it means that they see to it that all the other officers in the line learn well their work and the work of the next chair. That means practice, regular and ongoing. Likewise, someone needs to be in charge of candidate proficiency. Ideally, this is someone who not only knows the work but who can expound on it's history and meaning.
     
  5. 6229 MAC

    6229 MAC Registered User

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    Well informed brethren, who will always be ready to give, as you are ready to receive instruction... This is what all our lodges need. Men who will stand up and be Masons... Well said My Brother, Well said..
     

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