My year is complete and I am now happy to report of the great successes that we have had in Farmington, MN. When I first joined Masonry, I really didn’t know the brothers of the Lodge. I traveled to Farmington so rarely before joining that I didn’t even know the way to get there. Now, the path seems so well-worn that I sometimes forget the trip to the Temple. I have spent so many hours repeating ritual during that half-hour to lodge that I have probably conferred each degree a hundred times.
This year has been great. However, whatever success I have had has been a part of nearly a decade of growing from being small and nearly forgotten to well-regarded in Minnesota Masonic circles. I am proud of all the hard work we have done this year.
I started with some real goals to accomplish. The first task to tackle was my lodge’s website. We needed an overhaul. The ease of putting up content on the existing site was nearly impossible. Articles would disappear, trees would branch to nowhere, and I would have trouble transferring what I had written with pictures. I am a computer novice and sometimes these “compruters” confuse me. In just one simple switch, Corinthian Lodge No. 67 has one of the best sites in Minnesota. We switched to SquareSpace and Google Apps and never looked back. Our calendar is up to date and everyone knows what is going on at the lodge.
We started the year’s degree work with a Table Lodge/First Degree, something we had never done. All of the brothers were in good spirits and the meaning of brotherhood was never clearer. We had at that degree the just Past Grand Master, the sitting Grand Master, and the then Deputy Grand Master, now Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Minnesota. At that first meeting, we had four candidates as well as a recently raised Master Mason from the One Day class.
I also tried experimenting with our practices. One such practice is performing the full third degree on each candidate for Master Mason. The Minnesota Masonic Code allows for an abbreviation of the third degree for all but the last candidate. We, as a Lodge, had been abbreviating the experience for years. I wanted to see just how different it would be for the newly raised brothers if each brother received his degree in full. I called as many learned brothers as I could to share the degree workload and we did a wonderful job. The day was raining, the building was hot, but everyone had fun learning the important lessons of the third degree. These brothers are now truly dedicated and rarely miss meetings and are completely engaged in the Lodge.
We hosted a great pancake breakfast for our scholarship fund, the first in many decades. We had fun discussing Masonry with interested men, showing off our nearly a century old temple and seeing all the brothers and their families. Chris Cakes worked the griddle which gave us more opportunities to chat with the public about who we are. Bro. Jarrod stepped it up along with Bro. Rick to make the event a great success. Kudos.
We also have done quite a bit of traveling as a lodge. Traveling is something that most Master Masons will never do while they are on this earth. In Minnesota, the right to travel is codified as an Ancient Landmark and every Mason in good standing should travel as often as they can. The types of Lodges a brother can visit in Minnesota alone are mind boggling. And once you have traveled in Minnesota, both A.F. & A.M. and F. & A.M., look to other states. Fraternal bonds can be formed in nearly every country in the world.
I won’t describe everything that we have done this year but I invite you visit the Lodge’s blog that lists all that we have accomplished. I have had one of the best years of my life and I hope that in my own little way, as I am an Eagle Scout, that I have left the lodge in as good, but hopefully better condition, than I found it.