Monday, November 14, 2011

Lodge as Lab Part 3: Let's travel!!!

Corinthian Lodge claims the great traveling sword of Faribault

In my continuing quest to help out Masters and other lodge officers in coming up with great ideas, I will discuss yet another important task that we took at Corinthian Lodge No. 67 during my year as Master. One project that we took upon ourselves was to meet other lodges throughout our area. The reason is that as Master Masons, we are encouraged to travel as much as possible to different lodges.

Traveling is an essential part of being a Mason. I was told by my grandpa, who was a railroad man, that during the end of the 19th and the start of the 20th centuries, railroad men would meet brothers whenever the crew would come into town, even if the lodge was not meeting on that day. The tracks were a fraternal lifeline connecting brothers from the beginning of their trip to the end. That's why many lodges were built near a railway station, as a welcoming spot for visiting brethren.

During my year in the East, we traveled to many different lodges. We didn't just limit ourselves to only the district but attempted to travel to as many different lodges as we had time for. You see, Minnesota is blessed to have many different types of lodges. We have a Traditional Observance lodge (Saint Paul Three), a British-style Lodge (Sir Winston Churchill Lodge No. 351), and a moon lodge (Accacia Lodge No. 51) just to name a few.

Traveling is a right, a couched right to be sure, but a right nonetheless. Traveling gains you new perspectives, new friends, and a new feeling of Masonic spirit. Before I took the East, we, as a lodge, rarely left Farmington. Farmington was home but sometimes, you gotta branch out and experience the wider world. And that's what we did.

Traveling has added benefits for a lodge. When you travel to a lodge, you become a representative of your lodge. If you represent your lodge well, you can create a connection, a bond with the lodge you visit. When we traveled to other lodges, invariably, we would get one or two guys to travel back to our lodge. As we traveled and shared ideas, we started something more. Lodges worked together on projects, success stories were shared, and we all became better men.

If you're a Masonic officer, plan one trip per month. It really only adds one extra day to your schedule but the payoff is so much bigger than the time you spend traveling. And you know, you've got a dues card, why not use it? Every lodge is special and every lodge has something to offer; you just have to get out there and see the Masonic world around you.

Have you traveled lately? Does your lodge have a travel schedule? What are your experiences in traveling as a lodge? Leave a comment.


Jake said...

Right On Brother Nick. Visitation is the inherent right of every Freemason.
One will not realize that that his mouse trap can be improved until one has the ability to compare it to the other mouse traps out there.
Enjoy the opportunity to visit when you can... Our Lodge, Mystery 174 in Thompson Manitoba, is a 4 hour car ride from the nearest Lodge. Visiting another Lodge or having a visitor is a real pleasure.

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