When did "The Lodge" become "The Building"...

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by ctp2nd, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. ctp2nd

    ctp2nd Premium Member

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    Howdy All,

    My Question: When did "The Lodge" become "The Building" and why does it seem that several lodges are willing to sacrifice the first in an effort to save the latter?

    A lodge, like a church, is supposed to describe the people there assembled, not for the building itself. Yet, many of our brethren are willing to fight tooth and nail to keep a lodge's leadership from selling their building and consolidating their meeting place (not membership) with another lodge and in turn subjecting their lodge to potentially unbearable costs and liability that will, given time, render the organization unsustainable.

    Why is it that some mason's can't let go of a building for the sake of the organization?
     
  2. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    If you find the answer to this question, please let me know.
     
  3. MacFie

    MacFie Registered User

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    I really do wish there was some way to save the Dallas building. Being new to the Masons that was an impressive site!
     
  4. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    I'm going to say, tradition and pride. Many know it needs to be done, they just don't want it to happen on their watch. The see that selling or consolidating as a failure in their leadership. Me, I see not taking steps to stop the bleeding as a failure in leadership and example of short-sightedness.
     
  5. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    I have often wondered what it means to be a Mason.....[Moved as to not kill this thread]
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  6. ctp2nd

    ctp2nd Premium Member

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    wow... thread-killer-long

    Twas nice while it lasted.
     
  7. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

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    Yeah Sorry about that. Story of my life I guess. Maybe I should edit it down to nothing to keep it going?
     
  8. ctp2nd

    ctp2nd Premium Member

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    nah, I'm oftentimes grandiloquent too... if people don't want to read it, so mote it be. Thanks for the discussion!
     
  9. MacFie

    MacFie Registered User

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    Lot's of stuff, there, might be worth starting as it's own thread?
     
  10. JohnnyFlotsam

    JohnnyFlotsam Premium Member

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    Bingo.
    The only thing sadder than a once-grand masonic edifice falling into disrepair or being sold off is a bunch of once-vital Lodges (not buildings) falling into "disrepair", without enough interest or active membership to do their work, much less keep their buildings open.
    To one extent or another this decline was inevitable, so the next question might be something like, "Is it better to sell the building and move in with XYZ Lodge across town, or to sell the building and merge with XYZ Lodge?" That's a tough one. It's hard to accept that despite our best efforts (or sometimes not) our lodge has dwindled to the point where it ceases to be viable on it's own. FWIW, I have seen a case where two dying lodges became one and the one again became a vital and thriving lodge. Economics dictated who sold their building and relinquished their charter, but brotherhood and dedication were what made the surviving Lodge far stronger than either would have been otherwise. Oh, I'm sure that there was grumbling at the loss of "tradition", but it was nowhere in evidence during my visits to the surviving Lodge, and that makes me smile even now.
    It's probably not always possible, because of geography, finances or politics, to pull off a happy ending like that, but I'd submit that "pride and tradition", while usually worthy of preservation, should go over the side when they threaten to take all hands down with them.
     
  11. Frater Cliff Porter

    Frater Cliff Porter Premium Member

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    When we kept dues artificially low and flung the doors wide open to any person that wanted to join. They are edifices to a grand past, which is all many lodges have, because they never created a grand present for themselves and are forced to tell stories about once great men who are Masons to a group of not so great men who care less and just have nothing better to do.

    This is the reality of Masonry right now. We must make the Craft great through our own efforts and stop caring so much that Washington was a Mason. When we give heart to the Craft, the Craft with thrive once more.
     
  12. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    We sold our building & became a "trunk Lodge" out of necessity. It is the best thing we ever did.
     
  13. rhitland

    rhitland Founding Member Premium Member

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    "trunk lodge"? I bet GL loves that!? I would love to see you guys running around in trunks though bet that would be a sight to make eyes sore!

    Could it be said any better than Brother Cliff? There is so much more to the craft than who has graced its ranks.
     
  14. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    Also made Vanguard from what I hear, didn't you Brother Bill? A "trunk Lodge" that is a Vanguard Lodge... how does that work???
     
  15. Bro. Brad Marrs

    Bro. Brad Marrs Premium Member

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    Thanks brother! In The Meaning of Masonry, Brother Wilmhurst describes it perfectly, "I cannot too strongly impress upon you, Brethren, the fact that, throughout our rituals and our lectures, the references made to the Lodge are not to the building in which we meet. That building itself is intended to be but a symbol, a veil of allegory concealing something else. "Know ye not" says the great initiate St. Paul, "that ye are the temples of the Most High; and the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" The real Lodge referred to throughout our rituals is our own individual personalities, and if we interpret our docterine in the light of this fact we shall find that it reveals an entirely new aspect of the purpose of our craft"

    Being new to my Lodge, and observing the happenings, I can't help but wonder when this question will become relevant to me too. Thanks for providing the topic for us reflect upon.
     
  16. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Yeah, but they got over it! :wink:
     
  17. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Yup- 3rd year in a row. You don't need a building in order to qualify. There's only one activity involving a building that earns points & plenty of alternates you can substitute with instead. We have a number of functions outdoors, such as our BBQ cookoff scholarship fundraiser, which the city lets us hold at one of its parks without charge. The VFW in Bay City donates the use of their hall for our Christmas Toy Run. It's amazing what others will do for Masonry- all you have to do is ask.
     
  18. MacFie

    MacFie Registered User

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    ...what's Vanguard?
     
  19. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    It's a Grand Lodge program for those Lodges that wish to do more than just read minutes. Here are the requirements (which I'm told will be the same for 2010-11):

    2009-2010 Vanguard Lodge Requirements (Lodges must complete activities in each of six (6) categories between 7/31/2009 and 8/01/2010)

    I: Lodge Improvement
    A. Required Activities:
    1. Participate in the Additional Lodge Light (ALL) program with all newly raised Master Masons.
    2. Participate in the Lodge Instruction for Effectiveness (LIFE) program for Lodge officers and all other Lodge members who desire to be included.
    3. Conduct an open installation of officers and two (2) other open meetings.
    B. Choose at Least Two Activities:
    1. Host a Widow’s Program, Father/Son Program, Father/Daughter Program, Honor Your Sweetheart Program, Between Friends Program or similar activity.
    2. Personally contact (in person or by telephone) all members in danger of being suspended. Discover the reason for nonpayment of dues. Produce and maintain
    a log to be attached to the Vanguard Application form.
    3. Contact 20% of inactive local members (those who have not attended Lodge during the prior Masonic year and living within 50 miles of lodge). Produce a r
    report detailing why they are inactive. (The report is to accompany the Vanguard Application form).

    II Community Involvement
    A. Required Activities
    1. Support Public Schools Week in a manner consistent with criteria set by Grand Lodge.
    2. Support a Masonic youth group by doing one of the following:
    (a) Provide at least $200.00 in financial support or
    (b) Provide at least three (3) advisors or
    (c) Conduct at least two common activities between either Masonic youth groups (such as DeMolay or Rainbows) or community youth group(s) and members
    of the Lodge. (Community youth groups may include Boy or Girl Scouts, Little League, Youth Soccer, FFA, 4-H Clubs, etc).
    B. Choose at Least Three Activities:
    1. Present a Community Builder Award.
    2. Participate in at least one special program of a previous Grand Master such as Together Against Drug Abuse, Gift of Life, or Take Time To Read.
    3. Allow the Lodge facility to be used for a public function or activity provided under Art. 224.
    4. Present a scholarship at an open meeting or at a public event.
    5. Present a Lamar Medal at an open meeting or at a public event.
    6. Host a Masonic information booth at a public event.
    7. Participate in Adopt-A-Highway or similar public service activity.
    8. Gather and distribute foods, clothing or other items for the needy.

    III Member Service
    A. Required Activity: Present all appropriate Grand Lodge Service Awards (i.e. 50 year member awards) in the current Masonic year.
    B. Choose at Least Two Activities:
    1. Create or maintain a functioning web site based upon criteria set by the Internet Committee OR publish a quarterly newsletter.
    2. Present a Golden Trowel Award.
    3. Recognize Masonic anniversary dates of Lodge members.
    4. Present all appropriate 25 Year and 40 Year Membership Awards in the current Masonic year. (See Art. 346 and Art. 346a)

    IV Masonic Education
    A. Required Activities:
    1. Cause the three principal officers to be certified in ritualistic opening and closing of all three Lodges. (Certification must be done by: a member of the
    Committee on Work, or by a District Instructor or by a person designated by either of those groups to conduct the certification).
    2. Present a special Masonic education or information program of at least five minutes in length at each of at least six (6) stated meetings. (Example: Masonic
    Education Programs on the Grand Lodge website).
    B. Choose at Least One Activity:
    1. Have at least one officer complete the Wardens’ Retreat program.
    2. Provide officer attendance at no less than four (4) Masters, Wardens and Secretaries Association meetings. (i.e., one MWSA voting member can attend
    nine meetings or three voting members can attend three different meetings, etc.).
    3. Participate in the formation or reactivation of a Masters, Wardens and Secretaries Association.
    4. Present at least two (2) Masonic Education Programs for either EA’s, FC’s or newly raised MM’s.

    V Fraternalism
    A. Choose at Least Two Activities:
    1. Host a joint function between a Lodge and any Appendant body.
    2. Host a social function for Lodge members.
    3. Host a social function for Lodge members and families.

    2009 – 2010 Enhancements to Vanguard Program (Completion of any of the following activities will serve as a substitute for completing any of the required activities in Sections I, II, III, IV or V. Maximum of three (3) items may be substituted)

    VI Mentorship
    A. Choose up to three (3) activities:
    1. Attempt to contact all E.A.’s, F.C.’s and M.M.’s who have not completed their work in the last two years. Produce a report detailing why they have not
    advanced. This report should accompany the Vanguard Application form.
    2. Three of the five principal officers must attend one of the Grand Masters Conferences throughout the state between January 10, 2010 and May 30, 2010.
    3. Any combination of 9 officers or 15 members including E.A.’s and F.C.’s must attend a Grand Master’s Conference.
    4. Conduct an EA education night. Personally invite all EA’s and FC’s who have not advanced in the last two (2) years to attend a meeting where the EA
    obligation, EA lecture and protocol issues are discussed. A copy of the secretary’s notes detailing topics must accompany Vanguard Application form.
    5. Conduct a MM’s education night. Personally invite all MM’s of your lodge to attend a meeting where the MM’s obligation, MM’s lecture and protocol issues
    are discussed. A copy of the secretary’s notes detailing topics must accompany Vanguard Application form.


    Understand that a Lodge may do more than the minimum number of required activities, i.e. you could do all of the activities in Section III (B) if you so chose- you need not limit yourselves to just 2 of them.

    Gotta get to floorwork practice- see y'all later!
     
  20. MacFie

    MacFie Registered User

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    Wow that's quite the list! Sounds like it would be quite the thing to be part of. I know we do a number of those things; will need to inquire about some of the others.
     

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