Sunday, June 8, 2008

Creation of the Membership Committee

It is my pleasure to have started a membership committee at my Lodge. I saw it as way to improve our social and fraternal events at the Lodge. The way I have set up the committee is that the LEO, Junior Warden and Senior and Junior Deacons and all the brothers that have been raised in the last two years. I hope that this committee will be able to provide the ability to get some good ideas from the brothers on what they would like to see in the Lodge, from stated meetings, LEO programs and social events like Friendship Nights. I also have invited the newest brothers to give me some new ideas as they will be in the committee as well. I am planning an agenda but would like to hear some ideas in the blogosphere of your Lodge's fraternal programs. I have already received some really good ideas from a brother in Michigan and have used them in planning but I could really use some more.

4 comments:

The Palmetto Bug said...

These things, that we do in my Lodge, may not be suitable in yours or you may already be doing them, but I offer them for whatever they're worth:

*Widows: Make sure the Lodge is tracking all of the widows and invite them to an annual Widows' Night with a nice meal and some sort of entertainment. Include them in any mailings of Lodge newsletters.

*Ladies (ie: wives): See widows.

*Education, education, education: Include Masonic education in every meeting as well as the Lodge newsletter and/or website. Sometimes it doesn't even have to Masonic in nature.

*New MMs: Give them something to do. Working tool and apron lectures are a very good starting point.

Tom Accuosti said...

If you would like, I could email you a copy of our Master's Achievement Award - an award given to Masters for meeting certain criteria while running a lodge for a year. The award form has a number of suggestions for things to do. It's a bit muddled as to the order of events, but it might give you some ideas for the future.

You can email me at taccuosti at gmail dot com.

Justa Mason said...

Nick, what one of my Lodges has been doing for a number of years is sitting down over the summer before the installation with the incoming officers and the new guys and asking them for ideas.

One of the more successful years was when the Lodge was at a low period and almost all the chairs were filled by PMs. The Master asked each officer to be responsible for education (or whatever programme) for a certain month. We worked out the whole year's calendar right there and it was published so we all knew what was happening.

The biggest problem I find with Masonic education is it's generally something thrown together at the last minute. Plenty of notice .. and a call or two from the WM to check on their progress .. should ensure an education programme happens in an organised and timely fashion.

One thing about what PBug mentioned .. some new guys are ritualed out after their raising and may want a break .. especially those who aren't comfortable doing work. Others are okay with it.

Justa Mason

Steve said...

The three previous comments are well reasoned and thoughtful, and I appreciate and second those words. You may know my thoughts on this subject, but I will now put them out for discussion.

In my humble opinion, it is very important that the new member be allowed the opportunity to take up work, such as they are able, and as soon as possible. It is important to "Get" involved in order to "Keep" involved.

Whenever I hear well-intentioned Brothers call for a meeting of "Key Officers" I look around the lodge and wince, because I see new, motivated, and enthusiastic Master Masons realize that they have no role to play, and no voice. We need to make full use of the knowledge and enthusiasm of all members, not just those who are able and willing to be at a certain point 'in line'.

As someone who has watched Millennial-era Master Masons upon their entry to the lodge, this seems even more evident in light of the fact that they come to the first meeting well informed in Masonry. It is time for us to make use of the heritage of our founding fathers and truly make the lodge representative.

We have had discussions in and out of lodge about the value of brotherhood. I would call to attention the particular value of matching new Masons with the 'more seasoned'. The veterans will be invigorated, and the newer members of the fraternity will benefit by the guidance and steady hand of those who have practiced the craft through generations.