When visiting a new lodge....

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

  1. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    If you wish to visit a lodge, you should get the lodge meeting time from the lodge webpage. Some lodges have other meetings, such as degree work, that is not listed on their webpage. You can always call a lodge officer, and get the information on when a lodge meets. And many lodges serve a meal, prior to the meeting time.

    You should arrive an hour early, so that you can take the examination. You will be required to show the signs/grips, and state the password(s). You may be required to swear the "Tyler's oath" where you will swear that you are a Mason in good standing. All Masons should be on guard, that only MM's in good standing will visit their lodge. The WM has the last word, though.

    You should obtain a "Masonic passport", so that you can keep a record of the lodges you visit.

    The depth and intensity of the investigation varies widely, depending on the lodge.
     
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  2. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Certainly! Visiting other lodges in the USA and abroad, is part of the wages of a MM. When I travel on business or pleasure, I always seek out the lodge(s) in the area. I like to ease the stress of work, and being away from home, by fellowshipping with other Masons.

    When I visit a lodge, I always observe what the lodge is doing, and see if I can pick up any new ideas, that I can bring back to my home lodge.
     
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  3. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    The times I have relocated I have presented myself at stated meetings because those are the ones that are listed on the GL web site.

    I've been to degrees at a lodge that has the same stated meeting date as my own - Degrees announced on this forum included. Lodges in my own districts I tend to know their schedule enough that I might show up to either, and to be known from district schools.

    When traveling out of state for work I usually send email and leave voicemail but I have learned to not expect a response. I drive by and if there are cars in the lot I go in and ask if blue lodge is opening tonight and if they'll take a visitor.

    There are "stated" meetings where voting can be done and there are special/called meetings for degree/proficiency/practice, etc. The "stated" meetings are called that because they are stated in the bylaws. The meetings on the door will be stated meetings. If they have two there's no specific distinction. Likely one will have more bills but otherwise the agendas will be very similar.
     
  4. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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    Over the past two-and-a-half years, my little blue journal says that I have traveled to 43 different lodges around the state for one reason or another, mostly for degrees, schools, or similar projects. Only once or twice have I had to be examined, everywhere else there was someone who knew me, or one of my traveling buddies who vouched for me. (Dadgummit, we were looking forward to getting examined... ;-) )

    The Grand Senior Warden keeps an e-mail list announcing various degrees and functions around the state, and sometimes some brothers and I, with a free evening and a little slack in the cable tow, will pile in the truck and head off to a degree or other event on the spur of the moment. Some of the little bitty lodges appreciate it, there have been several times when we made up the right number to be able to open the lodge, and many times we've been called off the sidelines to work in or even confer a degree.

    Traveling is a wonderful thing... not only is there the fellowship of meeting and making friends in a new lodge, but also of seeing the old and often historical buildings, and maybe checking out a few local BBQ joints on the road trip. Road trip time is spent lecturing one another (usually two or three of us are current blue card holders, and working on the red card, and we either hone one another or use the time to work with one of the younger brothers.

    I got hooked on traveling as an EA when my mentors took me to watch other degrees as I was learning my proficiencies. When I was urged to study and started working toward my ritual certification, I started going to other lodges to study and watch and participate in degrees, and also to help out neighboring and our little rural lodges. I look for ideas and projects that I can bring back home to help my lodge - both what does and doesn't work... It was and is a great deal of fun, and slowly the little list in the back of the journal started growing.

    Get out and travel as you are able, even if it's just over to the little lodge on the other side of town. You'll be surprised how much you learn, and how much more enjoyment you get out of masonry.
     
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  5. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Here in Kentucky showing up unannounced is the norm and O.K. As for dress a golf shirt, slacks and loafers / boots are acceptable for any lodge I've been told.
     
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  6. Jraiford

    Jraiford Registered User

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    I attended a different lodge to watch a MM put on a brother. Well, as typical in East Texas, not only did they welcome us with open arms, they invited us to participate. In fact, they didnt have enough show up to confer the degree without help. I was Chaplain. I was proud to be a part of his degree! As time has passed, I have practiced more or the work and can stand in for almost every part, Including Junior and Sr. Wardens. Different lodges do things different outside the lodge, so visiting can give ideas on things to do.
    Before a MM degree we have the candidate cook a meal. I cooked a huge pot of venison chili and they destroyed it!
     
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  7. MaineMason

    MaineMason Registered User

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    We wear business suits to lodge here in Maine and officers wear Tuxes for degree work and visitations. Showing your dues card is usually enough though I have heard of people asking for the F.P.O.F.* when visiting.

    I found my boat's motor hung up on a mooring line earlier this summer. It should have had a secondary bouy, but it didn't. My neighbor was on his way into port and was passing by. Knowing him to be a Mason, I stood up and gave the G.H.S. He turned around and helped me. My father helped a man on the interstate in San Antonio, Texas, once when I was a kid. He gave the same sign.

    *My father, who raised me as a guest of my lodge, found the form we use in Maine to be somewhat different than in Massachusetts.
     
  8. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

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    I don't know about your jurisdiction, but the way I was taught, it should not be used for something as trivial as being broken down.
     
  9. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    It's funny, it varies. I've been to Texas lodge where they didn't even look at my dues card or anything lol. They were the friendliest either, but then again another in TX checked my dues card but no test, super friendly group. I visited a NY lodge and they checked my dues card and that was it. Oklahoma however, they did the full shebang with every visitor. As the JD, I did a turn and tap a few times if I didn't know a brother he showed up at the last minute.
     
  10. Travelling Man91

    Travelling Man91 Registered User

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    Then when are you suppose to use it ?
     
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  11. Travelling Man91

    Travelling Man91 Registered User

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    Interesting, you are the first mason I have met to admit using the GHS. I've always wondered how often it is used.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2016
  12. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    "In a situation of imminent danger."
     
  13. Travelling Man91

    Travelling Man91 Registered User

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    Not every jurisdiction obligation states that.
     
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  14. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Same, but its still interesting to read.
     
  15. Travelling Man91

    Travelling Man91 Registered User

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    Define imminent danger in your own words and please give an example.
     
  16. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    What does yours state?
     
  17. Travelling Man91

    Travelling Man91 Registered User

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    It is against my obligation to write what mine states.
     
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  18. Travelling Man91

    Travelling Man91 Registered User

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    Indeed. Distress is distress in my opinion. I guess they have to be in a dire situation before it is considered distress.
     
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  19. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    In my own words, if a Brother is in a bind, I don't have a problem with him letting me know- it doesn't have to be a matter of life or death. In MaineMason's example, he was in a bind that he couldn't resolve by himself and the situation could have become much worse if left untended.
     
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  20. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    I disagree- a situation can become dire. Better to come to another's aid before things go that far south.
     

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