Why Texas Masonry is not surviving in the 21st century

Discussion in 'Freemasonry In Texas' started by eagle1966, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. eagle1966

    eagle1966 Guest

    0
    0
    0
    Brethren bear with me I am going to get on my soap box and vent. I juust got back from going into town (a 7 mile drive) to attend a practice night at my Lodge. Well guess what, I was the only one to show up, this make the 3rd time I have made the effort to be there to practice anything in the last month. I am the only one who comes to practice night (when we have one) who holds a certificate (B) and am willing to assist any brother who wants to improve in his esoteric work. I am far from perfect but I do attend practice in another lodge where I engage in working on degrees, opening/closing and all phases of ceremonies involved in the Lodge.
    It fustrates me that in stated meeting the subject of attendence is always being discussed, yet no one wants to practice or even show up, so why try to get members to come to a boring stated meeting. At least at a practice there is an opportunity to learn/relearn the work involved in getting more light.
    Okay now I feel a little better but wondering what if.......
     
    Betty Turner likes this.
  2. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

    1,215
    45
    68
    I understand your feelings. We have a similar situation at my Lodge also. It is getting better but it still isn't what I would like to see. When I first started going to things like that after I was raised we had very few if any one show up. Now we have more showing. If you can get one or two Brothers to follow your lead others will see the desire to be there and learn and will follow suit. All it took for us to get more people interested was for them to see that some wanted more and I guess they felt like they were being left out. Anways, good luck Brother and I wish you the best. Feel free to vent anytime. We al need the release every now and then.
     
    Betty Turner likes this.
  3. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

    641
    10
    38
    If people would show up and simply shoot the bull more, it would help. Fraternal bonds are not formed in meeting notices, they're formed in sitting and talking to brothers, sharing stories. Just sitting at the lodge and spreading the cement of brotherly love. I think if we would just try to do more of that, it would help some other things fall into place.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
    Betty Turner likes this.
  4. Kenneth Lottman

    Kenneth Lottman Registered User

    133
    0
    16
    I will tell you guys one thing I enjoy practice nights more than stated meeting. We avg. about a doz or so guys on practice night and about triple that on stated meetings. One thing that we do and the group has been growing since we started is after the hr or so of practice we head to the local DQ or soon to be whataburger (we are sooo stoked to be getting one in our little town) and that where we solve the worlds problems!
     
  5. Dow Mathis

    Dow Mathis Premium Member

    180
    23
    38
    Hmm... we had 39 at our last stated meeting, but that was for the official DDGM visit. There were about a half dozen who were visiting from other lodges in the district. For practice we seem to average (at least since I've been going) somewhere around 10 or 12. I'm not sure what the difference is between our lodge and others, although I seem to sense a fairly constant rumble of complaints about falling numbers and lack of interest. My suspicion is that the attitude of the lodge is greatly influenced by the attitude of the WM. If he's pumped then the lodge tends to follow. In the short time since I've been raised (April 2011) I've seen what amounts to three different lodges in my own lodge. Each WM impacted the whole feel of the lodge. One thing that had an impact on me is that I'm Tiler for this year, and my duties include (in writing) that I attend ALL degrees and at least one practice per week. I don't know if this is the norm, but it is in my lodge. All of our officers have the same requirement, I believe. Another thing that we do is an esoteric roundtable each Saturday morning before floor practice. I've been learning heaps and gobs since I started attending those. Maybe you could do something similar. Have coffee and donuts or something like that to get them in. We all like stuff to stuff our faces with along with good company. :21:

    Something else just came to mind. Did you check around to make sure that other guys would be there before you drove in? Could be that everybody thought that nobody else would be there so they didn't go. Communication is extremely important, especially if you're trying to drum up interest. Talk it up, find some of the brothers who are interested and then find a time that will work for them and you. Could be that the scheduled time isn't a good time any more, and it needs to be rescheduled.
     
  6. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

    461
    45
    28
    I'd love to get a dozen on practice night. We have 4-5 regulars, including myself and our resident A license holder.

    I've started brainstorming about incentives - stogies after, cookin up some bbq for before, etc. Poker. There is a TV in the building, thought about maybe sittin and watchin Monday night football together this season and runnin through the work. Mebbe order a pizza. Whatever works to get a group of us together in a room very regularly.
     
  7. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

    753
    26
    48
    As a newbe to all of this I will say that the problems is not enough open events at the lodge were a EA or FC can be invalved. I know I am taking longer as an old guy to turn in my work but I find my self looking at the lodge calander trying to find stuff that is open. When two of my frinds found out I was starting my jurney they ask me when the next thing was happening so they could go check it out before positioning. There is nothing. After starting my work been longing for stuff I could do to be apart of this world. My wife thought I was crazy when I was counting down the days until a Lodge cleanup and work day. what I would say is:

    Make the lodge website calander have at least once a month some open.
    Put together a list of things that EA and FC can volunteer for and publish it.
    Put videos on local lodge websites like from the Grand Lodge of Massashusetts of Ben Franklin.
    Publish information on FMRC rides and meeting locations.


    This is my starting list and there are a lot of guys out there that are wanting to belong to an orgination that has morals.

    When I decided to ask to become a Mason it was after doing a lot of resurch into my family roots and what deferances there were in the american and french revolutions. The main thing I found in that was that the leaders in the US had the idea that there were moral consequences to how they operated. It looked to me like this came from the Freemasons. So the GL's need to have more stuff published on there websites pointing to places where resurch like this can be done online. If every time some one resurched high moral values google would point them to an GL's webpage that pointed out online libarary's.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  8. Michael Hatley

    Michael Hatley Premium Member

    461
    45
    28
    Brother jvarnell, might I suggest that rather than looking for more activities for EAs and FCs specifically, you arrange to meet regularly with a brother to learn the work. I don't mean that to sound snarky, but as genuine advice. The time I spent with my mentor was among the most peaceful and contructive hours in my life. Simple recitation of good and useful words together and the time spent sitting with one another established a friendship that I have no doubt will be life long. It is truly enjoyable.

    So I urge you to find someone at your lodge and make a similar arrangement with them, you'll be glad you did. Once you work out a schedule with them to meet 3+ times a week, you will not want for activities nearly as much.

    I reckon thats why some of us lament the attention to esoteric work practice night. We are seeking to recreate and build upon our very favorable impression of that brother to brother practice for the trial lectures. Everything in masonry, in my opinion, flows from that experience.

    I think that requires a shift from thinking of the memory work of the trial lectures from a chore and into the very rewarding activity you are looking for. It is that, I promise you. Just takes finding a good match for a mentor.
     
  9. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

    753
    26
    48
    I am doing the work as fast as I can. In business I never even want to remember anything word for word I want to remember where I can get to the data in the document fast as I can. I deal with documents that are several thousand pages long. I spend 30 hours a week discusing these long document with 20 or 30 people at a time. I can tell you the details of every lectures and what they mean but that is not what the work is. I am having to forget 30+ years of not memorizing to memorizing. My mentor is working very hard to help me with this process. This thread was started to help change things so there are more good men in Texas. When ideas are asked for someone my want to look at the ideas and not the person that had it. I don't mind spilling my mind to help and that is what I thought I was doing. There are other professional out there that have the same problems as I that would like to join if you don't want to add another 10% to your membership don't listen. Your experances are not the same as everone elses so that is why I thought I could help mine must be very different.
     
  10. Dow Mathis

    Dow Mathis Premium Member

    180
    23
    38
    I think that this statement is one that we all have suffered under. Only after being raised and having some time to consider where I had been and where I now am did I really understand that the work should be looked at from another angle. Remember that in the Operative work, a man would remain an apprentice for years, not weeks or months. He would remain an apprentice until he knew enough to be allowed to be made a Fellow in the Craft. Perhaps these thoughts will help:

    You have embarked on a journey, but a journey is so much more than a destination. This journey is not a race. It takes as long as it takes. For me, the journey will take the rest of my life. I hope that it will be as long for you as well. The question is not "where are you going?" but "WHY are you going?" Improving yourself in Masonry is about growing in honor and wisdom. That takes time. As you learn the work, consider WHY the words are like they are. Ask your mentor or instructor for more light on the subject. The knowledge of WHY they are what they are will help cement the words in your memory. I understand that the memorization is hard. It was hard for me and many others as well. The thing to consider, though, is that most things worth having in life are hard. It's not the finished product that's important, as much as the process. This process is molding you into what you will someday be. Learn from the process, so that, as you work to perfect your ashlar, you will know what you're trying to perfect.

    I hope that some of this rambling is of use to you. It certainly was for me, as it forced me to take a hard look at where I came from, where I am now, where I hope to be some day, and perhaps more importantly, WHY I hope to be there.
     
    Adrian Martinez likes this.
  11. jvarnell

    jvarnell Premium Member

    753
    26
    48
    Thank you for the words.
     
  12. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

    2,591
    142
    83
    There's nothing quite as boring as a stated meeting.

    There's nothing more invigorating as traveling to another lodge for a stated meeting; especially if it takes an hour or more to traverse the distance.

    Ever notice someone variably mentions the fact that it was so much fun just hanging out together ... when there's just visiting and no structured agenda?

    Brethren, me thinks we should stop and smell the roses ever so often.

    :39:
     
  13. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    5,678
    986
    113
    The other day I was looking at the Wikipedia page for the GLofTX and it lists 105,000 members with 890 Lodges.


    In 2010 we had 91,632
    According to the GLofTX Lodge Locater, there are 872 Lodges
     
  14. Humble Mason

    Humble Mason Registered User

    3
    0
    0
    One thing you might try is contacting your district instructor and DDGM to set up a workshop at your lodge and invite the lodges in your district to attend. It might spark an interest in your own membership to attend and maybe it will be more attended from there.
     
  15. raad

    raad Registered User

    3
    0
    0
    Hi


    Freemason Connect Mobile
     
  16. raad

    raad Registered User

    3
    0
    0
    My name is raad am from yemen


    Freemason Connect Mobile
     
  17. raad

    raad Registered User

    3
    0
    0
    Hi


    Freemason Connect Mobile
     
  18. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

    1,828
    18
    38
    Hello Raad. Welcome!
     
  19. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

    1,137
    255
    103
    Re: Why Texas Masonry is not surviving in the 21st

    When people ask me, what do you do in yourlodge meetings? I usually answer, sleep! Most stated meetings are BORING, and why go to lodge and be bored, when you can stay home and watch the cable TV?

    When meetings are exciting and give VALUE to men who attend, your lodge meetings will be FULL.
     
  20. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    5,678
    986
    113
    Re: Why Texas Masonry is not surviving in the 21st

    EXACTLY!!!! There are so many resources available on this site and others. Share videos from our Media Library or print out an article from the Education Library. During meals, why not entertain the Brethren by sharing some humor or poetry? Make meetings worthwhile.
     

Share My Freemasonry