What should we do with newly made Master Masons?

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by cemab4y, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I have been kicking this around in my mind for some years. What should we do with newly made Master Masons? I believe that if we work with new MMs during their first year in the craft, we have a better chance of keeping them in for a lifetime career. We need to realize that we are losing more MMs to resignations and demits, than we are to deaths.

    I believe that it is important to make each new MM feel that he is special, and as much a member of the lodge, as all of the old timers.

    Should we involve the new MM in lodge activities right away? Should we encourage the new MM in seeking an officer's chair. Should we steer him to one or more of the appendant/concordant bodies right away, or should we leave him alone for 6-12 months, before approaching him?

    Should every new MM, be given a "calling", or some way to contribute "sweat equity" to the lodge? Should we approach his wife about the OES? Should we approach his children about DeMolay/Rainbow/Job's Daughters?

    This is an important topic, and I would like to get your input.
     
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  2. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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    Our newly-minted MM should already have a mentor who has been seeing his through his degrees, helping with his proficiency lectures, coaching, advising, and helping him get involved with a sample of the activities ongoing in the lodge, and traveling with him to neighboring lodges to help him understand there's something outside the doors of our home lodge. This mentorship should continue... helping him to get past his MM proficiency as well as helping him to find his niche... whether that be with the kitchen & refreshment crew, a degree team, family nite activities, charitable works, youth groups, visiting the sick and disabled, or whatever floats his boat. He needs to made to feel at home, and to have some sort of investment in the lodge's work. If we can keep that sort of mentorship going, give them a reason to come back, this will work not only for our MMs but also those sometime elusive EAs and FCs...
     
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  3. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    I still interact with my mentor closely. He and others in my lodge got me involved in lodge functions immediately after being raised to teach me the ropes. I was appointed Senior Deacon 4 months after being raised. My mentor and others are helping me to learn my responsibilities.
     
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  4. pointwithinacircle2

    pointwithinacircle2 Rapscallion Premium Member

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    We should lead our new Brother by our example. The description that Pscyclepath offered is an excellent example of how to do this. The suggestions that he made are not things that I excel at. However I can still help in other ways. I enjoy telling a Masonic story during Lodge, something entertaining, or some small bit of Masonic history. I like to talk one on one to the new Brothers and find out why they became Masons. In short, I share what I like about Masonry with others.
     
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  5. ebojones

    ebojones Registered User

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    These are the things I long for as a new MM brothers. Keep on being a blessing to those you strive to help succeed as Masons.
     
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  6. chrmc

    chrmc Registered User

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    He should of course be put to work in the quarries, but try and find out what he likes himself. If he's big on ritual point him in that direction. If he's more the organizational type, have him help there.
    However always remember that in any case his masonic journey should continue with more light and further education.
     
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  7. CloseYetFar

    CloseYetFar Registered User

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    I started involving myself as much as I could as soon as I could. I attended the lodge work day to help repair the lodge and attended the practices for the degrees I had already been through.

    I am now going to learn a lecture or two and try to get in a position next year. My first business meeting as a MM I was appointed to an investigation committee as well.

    It is my goal to not join any other bodies for a year so I can learn the workings of the blue lodge and not have to worry about having too much on my plate.
     
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  8. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    In simple terms, keep them involved. Whatever keeping them involved may be -- degree work, investigating committees, putting their work skills to use around the lodge, traveling with them, etc. -- make sure they know there is more to Masonry than showing up to hear how much the electric bill is each month and that it was paid.
     
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  9. Angus

    Angus Registered User

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    It's been my experience new Master Masons are looking for direction. What is the first thing the Lodge does? Make them the Tyler, I can't think of a worse idea. The purpose of the Lodge is the Craft, I would start a new Master Mason in the Degrees, start them out as the Junior or Senior Warden, small part but it's in the big chairs with a Jewel and sense of authority. Then work them into Senior Decon, big part. What about the Brothers in those chairs? Junior Warden should be the WM for the EA, Senior Warden WM for the FC. I think this would create an interest in getting into the Line, but knowledge of the Degrees is first and foremost important.
     
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  10. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    I have never seen a lodge make a newly raised MM the tiler (maybe fill in for a night but never appointed). In my area, it is customary for a tiler to be a past master of the lodge. In many cases, tilers hold that spot for years.
     
  11. CloseYetFar

    CloseYetFar Registered User

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    In my lodge it is Jr and Sr Steward and then Tiler in the line.
     
  12. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    Here, the tiler isn't really considered part of the officer line. It is an appointed office each year, but there is no progression to or from it. As I said, I know several lodges where the same guy has been tiler for years and years.
     
  13. CloseYetFar

    CloseYetFar Registered User

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    I have heard of different variations of how the position is held. I guess it's all up to the lodge/jurisdiction. I am just glad tiler isn't the very first chair as I have heard it is in some lodges. It really takes away from the new MM I would imagine, because he has a whole extra year before actually sitting in lodge learning and getting involved as he should be.
     
  14. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    In one of my lodges (Illinois) the tradition is the outgoing PM serves as tiler. I was in the east two years in a row in that lodge so I really needed to quiet by the time my "out"stallation was scheduled. One of my lodges (Texas) appoints an active brother not currently willing to go into progressive chairs of the line, sometimes but not always a PM. Two of my lodges have a PM who has held the chair for years. So in my experience it varies wildly lodge to lodge.
     
  15. ebojones

    ebojones Registered User

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    Tiler is an elected office per the constitution. So is the chaplain.
     
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  16. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    That is a difference. In Tennessee, Tiler and Chaplain are both appointed.
     
  17. ebojones

    ebojones Registered User

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    Tiler, Sec., and treasurer are paid offices as well per the constitution.
     
  18. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Fun variations jurisdiction to jurisdiction. GLofCA thinks it's a conflict of interest to pay the Treasurer so it is forbidden in the GL bylaws. The Tiler is a paid position in California but the pay is so low it does not cover the gas to get to and from lodge. I read it in the lodge bylaws but don't recall it ever being mentioned in the bills.
     
  19. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Putting a newly made MM in the Tyler's position, is ludicrous. That is the same as "throwing him away". What a bad idea! The worst thing you could do, is put a new MM outside of the lodge, to sit all alone.

    I have been kicking around the idea of a "calling", for some time. Every Mason, whether new or old, should contribute some "sweat equity" to the lodge. Just paying dues is NOT enough. You can put your tech-savvy brothers on the IT or website committee. You can get men who have skills in the building trades on your maintenance committee. You get men who are skilled in HVAC on the building furnace/AC committee. You can get men who have cooking skills on the Kitchen Krew. If you do not see an exact "fit" right away, you can have the man suggest his own "calling", he may see a need that you never knew existed.

    The important thing, is that each new MM feel that he is an important part of the lodge, and a vital part of Freemasonry, right off the bat, as soon as he gets picked up off the floor. You must hit a man "upstream", early in his life, and early in his Masonic career. Then you will have him hooked for life, and your lodge resignation/demit numbers will see a decline, and we will see Masonry growing again.
     
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  20. Mosaic

    Mosaic Registered User

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    I like the idea of finding their calling during their pre-raising mentorship process. Every man has a skill or gift whether he knows it or not, and those gifts can often be found before he is raised.

    The key is give him a sense of ownership and drive home the fact that the brothers WANT him there without badgering him into doing something he's not comfortable being involved in.
     

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