York Rite Attendance

Discussion in 'The York Rite' started by Benjamin Baxter, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. Benjamin Baxter

    Benjamin Baxter Moderator Staff Member

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    Just so I can gauge others York Rite Bodies, please give me some feedback.

    Problem Description:
    I joined York Rite when I was S.W. in my blue lodge. I became really involved with blue lodge and my YR was not a priority for me. I have a set number of hours I can contribute and they were vouched for. Oh yea, I had my 1st son that year as well. I am finally out of the East in blue lodge or put out to pasture and was ready to get to YR more steady and contribute more than I have in the past. I was installed as TIM and HP as well. I got a letter just after the installation from the YR bodies I am a member of stating that we are not getting the attendance we need regularly and we may have to dissolve it in the future. I don’t want this to happen especially with me at the helm. The YR I am a member of has a long history. At one point it had over 600 SKs in its Commandery. We get enough to open but we sure could use more. I am on a mission to revive these lodges and bring them back, maybe not to glory days, but keep them going. Is this a common theme or are we alone.


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  2. texanmason

    texanmason Registered User

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    Sadly, it's not a common theme. It's hard to get people to show up to meetings sometimes.

    The biggest challenge is retaining new members. Too often, we'll put a guy through the Degrees & Orders, and he either never shows up again, or attends a couple stated meetings, and then bails - usually because the ritual wasn't good, and/or the stated meeting bored him to death.

    Suggestions:
    • Slow down the degree process for guys you have in the pipeline. Get the guys their degrees one at a time, with a two weeks between degrees, or more. This puts more emphasis on each degree as a distinct event. This includes the PM & MEM degrees and the RM & SM degrees. None of this back-to-back PM/MEM & RM/SM nonsense. Definitely no festivals. If it takes your candidate six months (or more!) to go through the York Rite, so be it.
    • Only one meeting at a time. If you meet as a Chapter & Council, meet as Chapter one month, and Council the other. Otherwise, the meetings are too long.
    • More education. Always more education.
    • More fellowship. Have a monthly dinner with no business, or establish a tradition of enjoying a few drinks somewhere after the meeting is done.
    • Better ritual. Don't let people read from the book, and take it seriously.
    • Take your new guys traveling. Hell, take your old guys traveling, too.
    Who sent the letter?
     
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  3. Benjamin Baxter

    Benjamin Baxter Moderator Staff Member

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    All of these are great feedback. I appreciate it greatly. It was our sent by our secretary at the lodge members request at a meeting that I could not attend due to work. They were sent to all the membership. I think we have some good brothers they just need a good reason to come! I think better ritual and some education could go a long ways.


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  4. texanmason

    texanmason Registered User

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    It's a shame that your Secretary sent that letter! That's pretty out-of-line on his part, in my opinion. A letter like that absolutely needs the consent of the High Priest before being sent.

    Are y'all making quorum regularly? As long as you have nine or more that show up consistently - or, I suppose, five or more - there is always room to grow and improve. If you can't make quorum regularly - let's say you are having a 20% failure rate - then it may indeed be time to think of an exit plan.
     
  5. Benjamin Baxter

    Benjamin Baxter Moderator Staff Member

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    Well the letter was a holdover item from previous HP. Well I always hope we have nine for Commandery so we can keep that going. But for chapter and council 5 or six is more like what we get. We are making the required meetings, but we could be a little healthier.


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  6. texanmason

    texanmason Registered User

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    My apologies for the assumption!

    How's your relationship (as a Chapter & Council) with your local blue lodges?
     
  7. Benjamin Baxter

    Benjamin Baxter Moderator Staff Member

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    No worries, companion. It could be improved. A couple of our brothers attend blue lodge regular, but the majority do not. My plan is to attend this blue lodge(not the blue lodge I am a JPM in)more as well to do my best to gauge and improve our relationship. If we get any to show interest it will be worth it.


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  8. texanmason

    texanmason Registered User

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    I think it would really help to get your Companions on board with attending that Blue Lodge! Letting everyone get to know each other would be really helpful with recruiting.
     
  9. Benjamin Baxter

    Benjamin Baxter Moderator Staff Member

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    Bro. Texanmason, I wanted to let you know a couple of things. Since we our last interaction.

    I have been going to blue lodge and offering some petitions to anyone interested and talk with anyone not sure but curious. It has helped in a short time. We already have three new guys to vote on and one transfer. With a little work we may save it.

    Everyone is even more excited at our meetings. I have one guy that he has been doing it for a while and I think he has been waiting for me to quit because that is his expectation or experience with some of our young guys from the past few years. Nevertheless, I go every meeting. I figure if I am going to do this, let’s do it with some passion. I come in my suit most every chapter and council and full dress each conclave. I have been watching him become more interactive with me each time I bring a petition in. Last night I brought a petition and he invited me to a party and he wanted to promote me for inspection.

    Oh yeah by the way #texasmasonicon was awesome!


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  10. Matt L

    Matt L Site Benefactor

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    The numbers in the Chapter, Council and Commandery are decreasing. In the past when you had to be a member of the AASR or YR to be a Shriner, the numbers were better.

    In my state I think we have a little over three thousand Knights and the majority are about 70. Attendance is better in the Commandery, then the Chapter or Council in my area.

    Our Eminent Grand Generalissimo has been traveling to Commanderies across the state. He is trying to find out what works and what doesn't at each Commandrey to put forth a plan to improve.
     
  11. texanmason

    texanmason Registered User

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    Brother Benjamin, I am so glad to hear that! I know that it can be a real grind sometimes, so it is good to hear that it is going well. It's not always easy.

    I'm glad you enjoyed Texas MasoniCon!
     
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  12. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 Registered User

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    All organization, not just Masonic, are losing members. Younger people, especially those raising families have other priorities. When I was YR and active in Chapter most of our members had difficulty remembering the work. For many years, including when I was HP, I had to walk around the room and prompt each member at his station. The entire meaning was lost and I lost my enthusiasm. There were other events that eventually led to me demiting out of YR.
     
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  13. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Here in my state attendance in all three bodies are pretty good. Special occasions, such as the Christmas Observance, are pretty crowded. By far my favorite appendant body.
     
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