When visiting a new lodge....

Discussion in 'Frequently Asked Questions' started by nixxon2000, Jun 5, 2014.

  1. nixxon2000

    nixxon2000 Premium Member

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    What is your lodges custom when having visitors?

    What should one expect when visiting a new lodge? Customs?

    How often do you travel?

    My brothers said I should visit As many lodges as possible but I'm a bit shy.

    I've been a mm for only a short time and found out there is a lodge not far from home. I like to visit but am not sure what to expect.

    My home lodge is close to work so that's the one I visit and joined.

    Thoughts and experiences are appreciated.


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  2. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    It would be best if you could accompany another member of your parent Lodge. They may be familiar with the Lodge you're visiting & you'll have someone to vouch for you instead of having to stand an examination.
     
  3. Willys

    Willys Premium Member

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    Your experience is going to vary according to Lodge. I'm not sure how Wisconsin works but in Texas we show a dues card - or other ID - and stand for the Tiler's Oath. Ask a Deacon in your local Lodge what the requirements are for your jurisdiction.

    No need to be shy about visiting a Lodge. Chances are you'll know about as much as most other Brothers. Just be cautious about what you say as an EA or FC may be lingering about. A Deacon at the Lodge you're visiting should recognize you as a visitor and greet you. That's the Deacon's job. You'll let them know you wanted to sit in Lodge, then go through the proper methods of ID known to Masons. Once you've done the deed everyone will be relieved that you passed, then everybody gets to drink lots of coffee. You might want to visit the Lodge room to verify the presence of the necessary furniture. The Lodge should appreciate your education.

    You'll need to be prepared to give the usual visuals at the opening and closing of Lodge. You know what they are so practice a rapid fire run through in front of a mirror a few times... up to open, down to close. Don't worry about getting confused or being slow on the draw... sometimes it takes a bit of practice.

    After opening you'll be introduced and offered an opportunity to speak. You will be speaking to the Worshipful Master so address him as such. Say thanks and gee things are terrific here. If they're having an EA degree, I'd just say not to sit near the Junior Warden, depending on how they do that. If it's a stated meeting there may be balloting. I generally opt not to vote as that process would have been started at a previous meeting.

    If you're near a state line then take the opportunity to visit in another jurisdiction. The cool part about that is that the Lodge Secretary will have to report your visitation to his Grand Lodge which will in turn notify your Grand Lodge which will in turn notify your home Lodge which will in turn report your visitation at your Lodges next stated meeting. Once you've got the visitation down then find a chance to make a visit in Canada. Then they'll start calling you 'a traveling man'.

    I've visited several Lodges, probably half of which I was vouched for, the others I had to be tested. I always enjoyed that as I have been quite proficient at examinations.
     
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  4. Willys

    Willys Premium Member

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    As a follow up... if visiting Lodges is something you want to do then be sure to participate in your own Lodge's degrees. Have a knowledgeable Brother teach you the work for each of the degrees. Then, when you visit another Lodge that's having a degree they typically will welcome you to participate. Start with Junior Deacon and work up to conferral.
     
  5. nixxon2000

    nixxon2000 Premium Member

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    That's really good advice and I think I'll use it.

    What have other people experiences been when visiting another lodge? Did you call in advance or just show up at the meeting? How about dress code? How did you dress?

    I know my lodge it's business casual but the downtown lodge it tails and ties.

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  6. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    I usually just show up and am always warmly greeted. I typically am there for the meal prior so its not like I am a walking in just before the gavel. If you already know the dress, dress the dress. My go-to dress if unknown is slacks and a polo. However, I will never show up in a t-shirt, shorts, sneakers, or any combo thereof. I always keep it to collared shirt, long pants, and boots or dress shoes. With that as my guideline, I feel that I can reliably fit in with casual lodges and more upscale ones in my geographic area.

    EDIT: you could always attend a floor school before attending a stated meeting. That way, you can talk with some members and get a feel for it before attending. Plus it could be fun.
     
  7. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Masonry makes good men better. It happens many different subtle ways. One way is to help a brother become more comfortable in social situations - To become more confident without needing to alter where you are on the introvert/extrovert spectrum. Don't change being shy rather learn to work with it.

    At every lodge in the world you're a part of the family. Keep that in mind when visiting.

    Inside my own jurisdiction I just show up. For the first time I email a member if I know any. After that I'm an old friend who might show up every several years or every several weeks.

    Outside my jurisdiction I try to contact them first but one way or the other I show up. This is a US only practice so I would not expect it to work on other continents. I am deployed somewhere for work so I look for lodge buildings. I arrange how I drive back from work to pass the building. There are cars there tonight. I go in and ask if blue lodge is opening today and if they are okay having a visitor. Chapter today? Okay, when does blue lodge meet and how can I contact a member?
     
  8. nixxon2000

    nixxon2000 Premium Member

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    .

    That was actually my plan. I'd like to visit someone near my home lodge to start with.

    I tried to call the lodge and they don't have a website. So I'll have to find another way to see when they have meetings scheduled.



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  9. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    If the Lodge you wish to visit is in the same jurisdiction as your parent Lodge, your Secretary should be able to look up the dates & times the other Lodge meets.
     
  10. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    Check the Grand Lodge website, too. Often they'll post basic info like meeting times and the Secretary's phone number.
     
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  11. nixxon2000

    nixxon2000 Premium Member

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    That's a great idea.

    How about traveling from country to country? Anyone done that?

    Thoughts? Experiences?



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  12. Willys

    Willys Premium Member

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    Wisconsin Grand Lodge website has a link to find lodges in Wisconsin. The results typically show location and meeting times. I say typically as I checked only a few. The website also has a downloadable PDF for Wisconsin Masonic Code. I would highly recommend you download and learn. One, so you will be education in regulations when you visit other lodges and two, your initiative will put you in good stead among your Brethren.
     
  13. Willys

    Willys Premium Member

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    Apparently the edit tool is current unavailable so here's another post...

    As far as traveling to another country, you will want to check with your Lodge Secretary to determine whether nor not there is 'a documentation' that you would want to have with you. I may be making up a crazy idea but seems there might be an introductory document that it would be polite to present to the Worshipful Master and/or Secretary at a Lodge you might be visiting in a foreign country, which might also include info on how that Lodge/Grand Lodge might communicate with your home Lodge/Grand Lodge.
     
  14. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    If you're traveling to a foreign country you should go through your lodge secretary to inform your Grand Secretary who will inform the Grand Sec in the country (countries) you'll be visiting. Any needed paperwork will come down through those channels.
     
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  15. nixxon2000

    nixxon2000 Premium Member

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    Interesting. I'll investigate that further.

    I know there's a north south divide in the US.

    From what I've learned from reading the awesome responses here and the GLoW website. If I show my dues card in the state I'm fine. What about in the south? Does anyone still ask for the travelers oath??


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  16. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    Occasionally, in a Lodge where somebody present actually knows it. ;)
     
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  17. nixxon2000

    nixxon2000 Premium Member

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    Ha ha interesting. I've been practicing it just in case.


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  18. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Chortle. I've been to a few lodges where I've delivered the Test Oath. I end up giving a mash of a couple of versions I have learned. Sometimes they notice the difference sometimes they don't.

    Memorizing the Test Oath is a part of the third degree proficiency in California.
     
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  19. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    It is in my Lodge also. :D
     
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  20. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

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    We do the test oath on a "repeat after me" basis. We view the objective as having the visitor swear that he is a Mason in good standing, and does not know of any reason he should not be admitted.
     

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