Sunday, June 1, 2008

Vetting a new candidate

On my Lodge's webpage, we have a contact form in which a potential candidate can send us a request for more information or becoming a member. An important piece of information that is missing is that we do not have a petition anywhere on the page. Instead, we contact those new brothers from the contact information that they provide to us. We set up a time to meet to talk to them about what being a Mason is all about. It is essential that a Lodge create a level of trust between both our own members but also the new potential candidate. The new candidate doesn't normally know what Masonry means until he enters the Lodge for the first time. With face to face, both the candidate and the Lodge can create that level of trust, especially that now Lodges are not the place of social climbers but every good moral man. I have also heard that other lodges have similar procedures but have the candidate go to the Lodge building to pick up a petition and go home for a number of days. It is essential that a Society built on making Good Men Better find only Good men. With these procedures in place, vetting can be more effectively done for all involved.


Anonymous said...

Hi, MM. For the life of me, I don't know why a petition would be on a web site. We don't hand out applications on street corners, do we? It's more or less the same thing.

As for my main Lodge, some people apply the traditional way—they're a friend of a couple of members of the Lodge who vouch for them and sign their application (as every member has a right to do). Then there are those who don't know anyone in the Lodge and wish to be a Mason. What the Lodge is doing is asking them to come to a couple of social functions to get to know the guys. At the same time, we find out what they know about the fraternity, why they want to join and what they expect to get from being a Mason. So far, of all the people we've spoken with, I have yet to hear "I want to make some connections" or "I'm looking for a community service group." We explain to them there is a spiritual componant to Freemasonry—they not only have to believe in the Creator but they'll be reminded in Lodge to follow their faith and why.

Another one of my Lodges had a social night last week. A number of the guys who showed up are not old enough to be Masons (at least in my jurisdiction) but there's no reason they can't learn a bit about the fraternity and meet some members.

Justa Mason

burntloafer said...

One of the hardest conceptions for those of us over fifty to wrap our heads around is the fact that there is less traditional community involvement in the 'Information Age'. People are indeed more likely to stumble upon the website, and new prospective Masons are not always referrals from two friends.

Often, our greatest strengths are our greatest weaknesses. Just as the traditional sense of community is fading, so there is a yearning for that camaraderie that seems to fit very well with the fraternity. I commend you, Nick, for getting this site on line.