What do you get out of Lodge?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Blake Bowden, Feb 19, 2011.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    What keeps you coming back to Lodge? Do they offer Masonic Education or are you content with the social aspect?
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011
  2. Zack

    Zack Registered User

    Except for participation in degree work I no longer attend Lodge.

    There is no interest in M/Edu and although I truly enjoy the company of some Brothers and their wives, I have other social interests besides the lodge.
  3. coachn

    coachn Coach John S. Nagy Premium Member

    Brother Blake,

    I'm regretfully moving in the direction that Brother Zack has already gone. It saddens me to have to say this. All that I've seen/received in Lodge is education targeted at supporting, maintaining and expanding the (Freemason) Organization and not on supporting and enriching its Masonic members.

    The only Masonic Education that I've seen provided, other than what I provide through my own efforts, is focused upon:
    • Organizational History,
    • Organizational Law,
    • Organizational Tradition,
    • Organizational Expansion,
    • Organizational Maintenance,
    • Organizational "Who's Who",
    • Organizational Biographies/Members, and
    • Organizational Ritual Training.
    All of this supports the Freemason Organization only. Any enrichment of the members is indirect.

    I have seen/received (through Lodges) little to no Masonic Education on the fine Craft of actually Building Builders. This saddens me to no end.

    What's more, I see very little interest exhibited by those Brothers attending in changing any of this.


    Bro. Coach N
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011
  4. davidterrell80

    davidterrell80 Past Master Premium Member

    I shall approach this from the perspective of one who was very active from the time I was initiated (1994), through years in the chairs, to the time I moved from Texas to Virginia in 2007.

    What kept me coming back to lodge, in Texas, was the friendship. Being able to associate with men who accepted me; where it was OK to be a good father, churchman, citizen--provided a needed counterpoint to the pressures of home and work.

    Looking at the other side of that coin was the experience I had in the Grotto (MOVPER). My first (and only) stated meeting saw a vicious argument, on the lodge floor, between past monarchs over an interpretation of a technical point in the bylaws. When i say vicious, I say that through the lenses of someone who served 30 years in the Army and Navy reserves. I mean they "talked like (stereotypical) sailors". I asked for a demit, though I'm not sure I received it. In a sense, I suspended them from my lodge--my circle of fraternal association.

    I've missed that, here in Virginia. I went to lodge here, for a monthly breakfast, once--before leaving for an Iraq tour. I introduced myself around, not being particularly shy, and enjoyed the breakfast. But, I essentially ate alone. The preexistent social circles were strong and did not readily admit new members. Every time I made comment or observation, I would get wry looks and then, studiously ignoring me, they would turn back to themselves.

    I'm thinking about trying again, at another lodge. I put myself back in college, these last two years--pursuing a Masters in Ancient and Classical History. It filled my extracurricular hours. But, I'm getting ready to do my thesis and should be done by the end of summer. I plan to take a year or two to read and write for fun while my youngest finishes high school. Then, I'll be looking for PhD programs. It would be nice to have some masonic friends.

    Maybe the Research Lodge or the Scottish Rite Research Society.
  5. Beathard

    Beathard Premium Member

    * Friendship of men not in my little social circle or work circle.
    * opportunities to tutor local children.
    * opportunities to exercise my mind through memorizing and perfecting certificate work.
    * historical tie to my family (I am least the 7th generation in my family to be a mason)
    * opportunities to help brothers in need, thus feeling that I am needed.
    * feeling of comfort that my wife and kids are seen to when I am gone.
  6. Bro. Stewart P.M.

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

    What do I get out of my Masonic Lodge(s)??

    • Masonic Education (History)
    • Masonic Instruction (Esoteric)
    • Community Involvement (Charity, Outreach, & Support)
    • Family Support (Family Encouraged and Requested Participation)
    • Brotherly Support (Caring Involving Relationships Between Brethren, Good Council)
    • Active Involvement In All Lodge Activities
    • Activities Conducted in Peace & Harmony

    In essence, I find exactly everything that I put into the fraternity itself has been returned back to me two-fold. Freemasonry is Me & I am Freemasonry!!
  7. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

    I took out of lodge three things (maybe some more, but these are the main aspects)

    1st: The ritual meetings (we only have 2 or 3 non-ritual meetings a year) give me the time for deep meditative contemplation. That refreshed me mentally and spiritually.

    2nd: Instructions and educational lessons about ritual, symbology and seldom history, that I share with my brothers.

    3rd: Very personal talks with my brothers after the ritual, often about personal thoughts, concerns, feelings and beliefs. Those talks can make a brother into a friend.
  8. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

    I get a bang out of teaching the work to new members of the craft. Of course, I like to get with the brethren socially.

    I especially enjoy meeting a brother who may be studying the same work I am or who has just completed a study on a topic I have contemplated tackling. Sharing facts and opinions on masonic tradition and working on projects together appeals to me as well.
  9. MikeMay

    MikeMay Premium Member

    What I get out of the lodge is proportional to what I put into the lodge.

    Something I learned from an old Marine First Sergeant of mine was that what I put into any endeavor or function is what I will get out of it. If I put nothing in, I will get nothing out. But if I go in and actively participate, I will gain as much (or more) than I put in...that has been true through out my entire life.

    So, I would ask those who feel they are not getting anything out of the lodge, in the spirit of gentle whispering..."If you are not getting anything out of the lodge, what are 'you' putting into the lodge"? (hint...just showing up isn't enough)

    Also, if there isn't a currently planned evening of instruction in the mysteries of the craft...maybe endeavoring to begin one is your calling. Organizing doesn't mean you have to teach it, just get one of the lodges more experienced brothers to enlighten his younger brothers. Since when has our elderly brothers "not" wanted to impart their wisdom?

    That's just my 2 cents... :001_cool:

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