Arizona Masonry Vol. 39, No 1
Arizona Masonry Features & Articles April 2015
Grand Master’s Message .................................. Pg 3 Editor in Chief Michael S. Manning, Grand Master
Grand Editor’s Message .................................... Pg 4
Managing Editor David H. Luebke, PGM, Grand Editor
Live for the Here and Now J. Michael Atchley .................................................. Pg 5
Arizona Masonry is an official publication of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Arizona. Unless otherwise noted, articles in this publication express only the private opinion or assertions of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Grand Lodge. The jurisdiction speaks only through the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge Trustees when attested to as official, in writing, by the Grand Secretary.
Communications John Engstorm ........................................................ Pg 5
The Editorial staff invites contributions in the form of informative articles, reports, news and other timely information (of about 350 to 800 words in length) that broadly relate to general Masonry. When possible, photographs or graphics that support the submission are encouraged. Pieces submitted should be typed, double spaced and sent via e-mail to: arizonamasonry@ gmail.com. Articles are subject to editing and become the property of the Grand Lodge, F. & A.M. of Arizona. No compensation is permitted for any article, photographs, or other materials submitted for publication. All photographs must be identified as to who took the photo and the names of all individuals who may appear in the photo. Permission to reprint articles is automatically granted to recognized Masonic publications. When reprinted, articles should note: “Reprinted with permission of Arizona Masonry in the jurisdiction of Arizona (month, year).” Please direct all articles and correspondence to: David H. Luebke Grand Editor, Arizona Masonry P.O. Box 370 Chino Valley, AZ 86323-0370 email@example.com
Raising a Master Mason – Is It Enough? Robert W. Bradfield .................................................. Pg 6 To Learn Scott Thomas .......................................................... Pg 7
Debt to the Dead – The Masonic Funeral Craig Gross ............................................................ Pg 7 The Age of Distraction George Weil, PM ...................................................... Pg 8 2015 Legislation ................................................ Pg 10 The Definitive Guide on Improving Lodge Attendance Bill Gesswien .......................................................... Pg 12 2014/2015 Town Hall Meetings Greg Vasquez ........................................................ Pg 15
Grand Master’s Message Greetings my Brothers, time is drawing our coverages might be as well as how much the premium close for our Annual Grand Communica- turns out to be. tion. Please mark your calenAnother situation that we have been dealing All Lodges dars for the first week-end in with is the loss of the Lodge building in June so that we will have a have been Winslow. To give you an up-date ….. Things great turnout. We have chovisited are looking better almost by the day. The demsen a wonderful hotel propolition work has been accomplished and reconerty, The Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino struction should start anytime now. As I have mentioned just South of Phoenix. Registration Forms are before, their fine arts (furniture etc.) were lost but they have enclosed in this publication showing the events that will be taking place for the weekend. Please don’t miss the Grand been receiving calls from literally all over the country with Master’s Gala Banquet on Thursday evening, it will be an offers of replacement furniture and other necessary items. Right now they’re meeting in the beautiful old Lodge Room evening to be remembered. at the Elks Hall in Winslow. For me, this Masonic year has been quite stimulating! By the time June 4th rolls around, I will be able to say that every sin- As in the past, we have several pieces of legislation to deal gle solitary Lodge in our great state has been visited by one with at Grand Lodge. I can only hope that “logic” will be of your Grand Line Officers (in some cases more than once) your guide and that we will always vote for the good of Maand by all reports we have your backing and support for our sonry. I look forward to seeing you in June. drive into the future.
Your Grand Lodge Officers are still trying to establish a workable plan for the future of the Grand Lodge Insurance Program. The Chairman of the Insurance Committee, Bro. Phil Houghton, has been working diligently toward developing some “common sense” solutions. He and his team are using their many years of experience and sophisticated recourses to come up with a workable plan for ALL of our Lodges.
Common sense solution to Insurance Needs
As in pretty much everything, there are two sides to an issue. On the one hand, it’s beneficial to be covered by one large umbrella policy because of the over-all cost savings. That works fine until the insurance carrier decides to raise the premium or decline coverage altogether. Should something like that happen, we would have to find another company with adequate coverage at an affordable rate. On the other hand we, The Grand lodge, are mandated by the A.M.C. to purchase insurance coverage for every Lodge in this jurisdiction. That requirement can be found in Sec. 10-204 and states that coverage is “required” for: Liability, Bonding for the Secretary and Treasurer and for personal property. There is no option, at this time for a Lodge to go out and find these coverages on their own, except for a policy on their owned Winslow is building and its contents.
It is hoped that we can continue our umbrella policy as before; but that will depend upon what
Get Your Own Arizona Masonic Code Want your own copy of the newly updated 2012 Arizona Masonic Code? It’s available FREE as an email attachment. Email your order to Deputy Grand Secretary Jim May (email address firstname.lastname@example.org) and your AMC will be sent by return email. It’s in Microsoft Word, file size less than 600kb and it includes both the Constitution and the Statutes. The 2012 AMC is also available as a printed document in a 3-ring binder. Place your order with your Lodge secretary. You can also buy an AMC in person at the Grand Lodge Office. Price is $15, cash or check for over-the-counter sales only.
Arizona Masonry Magazine
Grand Editor’s Message Brethren, Let me start by addressing the obvious! You have not lost your copy of Arizona Masonry! In an effort to control Grand Lodge Costs, this Masonic Year, I was charged with doing a single issue. Now to this issue of Arizona Masonry On the Cover This issue is actually dedicated to the future. As such we have articles from most of the Grand Lodge Officers; each giving us a view into their opinions and ideas. It is therefore fitting that we have a cover that asks what your picture you will paint in your Masonic Career. For the actual cover design we are once again indebted to the digital pen of Worshipful Brother Stephen McKim. Grand Master’s Message Perhaps the biggest issue of this year is the Insurance Policy and its premiums; thus the Grand Master gives us some insight into his view and where he is leading us. Live for the Here and Now In this article J. Michael Atchley, our Deputy Grand Master admonishes us to Make those changes in our lives today, while we still can. Raising a Master Mason – Is It Enough? In this article Right Worshipful Bob Bradfield challenges all Masons to think about our responsibilities towards raising new Master Masons! Communications Right Worshipful John Engstrom has taken considerable time reviewing our communications and in this article he gives us his spin on that age old problem To Learn The charge to ourselves “to learn” speaks not only of the teachings garnered from our masonic ritual and traditions, but also from what defines a Freemason. In voicing his views, Worshipful Brother Scott Thomas, our Senior Grand Deacon explains how he views this important issue. Debt to the Dead - The Masonic Funeral Worshipful Craig Gross, our Junior Grand Deacon addresses our responsibility towards our departed Brothers in this article, along with preparation for that inevitable moment.
2014/2015 Town Hall Meetings “The Town Hall Meetings were started a few years ago to get a feel for the pulse of our members. In this article Worshipful Brother Greg Vasquez sums up the “hot topics” this year. He also provided pictures from the various meetings which are spread out through this issue. The Age of Distraction From the Byline of DDGM George Weil we learn about the distractions to learning in today’s world, and perhaps some suggestions on overcoming them. The 2015 Legislation Every Master Mason has a responsibility to voice his opinion on the upcoming legislation This section is a synopsis of what’s going to take place in June. The Definitive Guide On Improving Lodge Attendance We all can use some suggestions on improving Lodge Attendance. This final article was taken from Worshipful Bill Gesswien’s series of email articles
Our Mail Bag There was very little in our Mail Bag for this issue; however let me remind you that all of our readers are encouraged to submit articles, questions and comments. If you agree or disagree with the opinions of our writers let us know. If you have a suggestion for improvement, let us know that too. Our address is: David H. Luebke Grand Editor, Arizona Masonry P.O. Box 370 Chino Valley, AZ 86323-0370 email@example.com Advertising You may notice that in this issue there are no advertisements. This is due to our revamping the advertising program and as we are putting a new billing process in place. It is our goal for the next couple of years to offset the cost of publication with advertisements. Our goal for 2015.16 is 15% with the succeeding years being greater. Thank you Dave
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Wisdom LIVE FOR THE HERE AND NOW
By J. Michael Atchley, Deputy Grand Master
By John Engstorm, Senior Grand Deacon
Individuals often prefer to live in the past or future in order to avoid dealing with the present. Instead of dreaming about the future or reminiscing about the past, LIVE FOR THE HERE AND NOW, while creating a better future. By changing your actions today, you can change tomorrow’s past. Every successful day you have will create a new history of past successes.
While sitting down to write and submit this article I could not help but return to the same issue I have had and expressed many times before Lodges and Brothers! That is Communications, or more accurately Lack thereof !!! This is the focus of my goal should you the Craft choose to place me in the oriental chair in the East of our Fraternity-improve communications.
As trustees of Masonry’s rich and valuable heritage, we must continually invigorate our approach to Masonic participation, making it an experience which is rewarding, enriching, and relevant to our members, our families and our community. We must begin by uncovering the Mason within us so we can present Masonry in fact – not in fiction. Each of us has a responsibility to be the steward of our fraternity. We need ways of recognizing success, encouraging creativity and, rewarding accomplishments. Small actions, kind words and expressions of concerns for others are just a few examples. Our Masonic resources are great; the tools for honing the Perfect Ashlar in each and every one of us are at our disposal, but they lie scattered across lodges. We must put them to good use. I urge each lodge to inventory its tangile and intangible assets, such as people, places, relationships and systems, Although each lodge has an individual and valuable identity within the context of Freemasonry, there is much to learn and share from one another’s lodge-based activities. With more than 8,000 members in Arizona, Masons are poised to sharpen the tools of our Craft to improve ourselves and to fulfill the promise of the stewardship of Freemasonry. Specifically, we need to plan meaningful meetings, programs, activities and events at the lodge level which clearly put Masonic values into action. This requires imagination, open-mindedness and discipline. The change won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight, but don’t we owe it to our forefathers, our children, our community and ourselves? It’s about time for us to put the lessons of Masonry into action - Brother by Brother, Lodge by Lodge!
I don’t want to sound like that grumpy old guy who complains about everything but I have heard things spoken of on the sidelines expressing issues that should be addressed openly but are grumbled about under one’s own breath!! WHY? The means of Communications in our world ARE changing and if we don’t change with them we will continue to see decline in our membership. This year seventeen (17) Lodges had a positive growth. If you are not one of those 17 why? Reviewing the list and their communications I note that all but one has a Facebook page and all but 2 have web pages. Now I’m not saying those 17 have good communications but if you don’t have either or both a Facebook page or a web page you may be missing out. Communications is a two-way street, as the expression goes, and we MUST focus on improving it. If you know of a problem or something that needs to be addressed, do say so. If you have a solution at the same time make it known. As a retired Army guy I had been told to bring problems to the leaders attention only when I had a solution. Well I don’t think that is necessarily correct and it still needs to be brought to the attention of others. Myself and the entire Grand Line are always open for information and will listen and take action. It may be providing you with the course that needs to be taken, I.E. legislation or within the individual Lodge, but we will Listen. Suggestions are ALWAYS welcomed !
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Wisdom RAISING A MASTER MASON – IS IT ENOUGH? By Robert W. Bradfield, Senior Grand Warden The question to be answered is it changing the theme of this topic, for the better or worse? Initially, some of my main points would be centered on such things as the Grand Master’s one day class, and the benefits as I see them, to insuring the blue lodges do one candidate, one degree at a time. I think all of us can relate to this and would have good sound advice, comments and/or recommendations concerning these two subjects. At a minimum, they are subjects that would lead to some interesting discussions based on the experience level of those of us present. I want to make two comments before I continue that I think are relevant; 1) I am not against a Grand Masters One Day class, but I do think that there is a time and a specific reason, driven by circumstances for this to occur and 2) there are times when conducting degrees on more than one candidate is necessary, as should be determined by the Master of a Lodge. On the subject of the one day class: I, like many of you, can list reasons for and reasons against a one day class. Any of us can articulate our thoughts and experiences on this, and no one would be totally wrong, or totally right. The one concern I have always had and have shared in regards to the one day class is quite frankly, how can you take several new Entered Apprentices and in one day, take them all the way to Master Mason, and really expect them to know anything? To me, when the day is done, you have x-number of new Master Masons who are really still, Entered Apprentices. Now it is common sense that tells us the officers of the respective blue lodges now have an obligation to insure that continued education and even studying the obligations at the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason continue if not intensify for these new Master Masons. But part of the problem is I do not believe there is a strong emphasis on the part of the Officers of the blue lodges, to see that the education continues on these individuals. It seems easier to accept them back in lodge as Master Masons and move on. But I still cannot help wondering just how much of this actually happens at the lodge level. Maybe I’m being too critical because I will tell you that in my own blue lodge, there are outstanding Mater Masons who have made a difference in the lodges and even in our jurisdiction, who went through the Grand Master’s One Day class, but I feel this is a reflection on their own desire to commitment to be a Master Mason, and not so much by what the officers of the lodge did to guide them or educate them following their raising to the one day class.
In regards to my second comment; “one candidate, one degree at a time”: I have only to reflect on my own initiation, passing and raising to feel passionate about the traditional way of Raising a Master Mason. I think many of you can reflect back on your own degrees and remember what it was like to come from darkness to light and to see the attention that was being put on you by the officers and members of the lodge. To me it had a very memorable Masonic impact. Since then, during my time coming up through the chairs to the East in my own lodge, that feeling would return every time we were doing a degree, and I would watch the candidate and think how important it is and what an impact it will be to him, to have the full attention of every Mason in the room during his degree, whether it be first, second or his raising. Now, looking back at what my chosen topic is, and what I have just spent the last several minutes talking about, does it apply? Does a Grand Master’s One Day class, or having more than one candidate at the time fit into “Raising a Master Mason, is it enough”? I think it does in fact I think it is some of the basics of the theme. After all, I think we can all agree that the journey to becoming a Master Mason begins at his initiation. What I intend to do now is show, especially from my experience in the past is that it definitely is a process that never really ends, but after all, we know that, right. This question is: Is it being applied consistently at the blue lodge level, or are they just raising Master Masons? And now, after all of this, after all the thought I have put into it, my concern of do we do all we can do for the new Master Masons, I realize that this theme, “Raising a Master Mason, is it Enough” applies to each and every Master Mason in our lodge, Past Masters, to Masters and Officers, and all the brethren in the lodge. I now know that the answer to “Raising a Master Mason, is it enough?” is no. It’s never enough. We can never stop with teachings, or stop after our degrees, or even with setting the example. We must always be ready to apply those tenants of “Brotherly love, relief and truth” to all within our reach. But I think we can all agree that as leaders, if we instill this type of quality Masonic values and action to our subordinate leaders, help them to understand the fullest meaning of “on the level” and “whispering good counsel” that all our lodges could only stand to gain from it. This was a discussion held at the Grand Master’s Conference this past February in Vancouver, Canada. I believe in what was discussed and want to share this with our members.
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Wisdom TO LEARN – By Scott Thomas, Senior Grand Deacon The charge to ourselves “to learn” speaks not only of the teachings garnered from our masonic ritual and traditions, but also from what defines a Freemason and the desire to improve himself. This quest for understanding the mysteries of the universe can cover a wide spectrum and with so little time on this earth, one might ask, how do we go about this effort? Do we elevate a personal interest into an in-depth inquiry of knowledge? Is there a current or historic event that gives us an incentive for research and discovery? Does the arts and sciences provide a road map to immerse ourselves into an indepth investigation? Or should we just pursue that topic which randomly enters our mind at any given time, and we try to answer the basics of what, when, where or why? I also would like to suggest another avenue of thought and that is the perspective that the really interesting questions stem from the those which ask who we are and how do we fit into things. If we can reflect on that query without constraint, one might then develop a desire to not only obtain an educated mind but also the know how to use it for purposes bigger than just ourselves. “To learn”, I believe is one of our ancient landmarks which defines us as Masons. It embodies a strong belief that this behavior begins with the intent of expanding our understanding of the world while also focusing our place in it to make a positive difference. Thus, we our given our opportunity to not only learn but also truly improve the man.
wealth, dreams of ambition, pride of intellect, or the charms of beauty – when nature has paid her last debt? In the grave all ranks are leveled, all distinctions vanish. While we drop a sympathetic tear in remembrance of our departed Brother, let us cast around his foibles, whatever they may have been, the broad mantle of Masonic charity; and pay to his memory the commendation that his virtues deserve.
DEBT TO THE DEAD THE MASONIC FUNERAL
When our brother no longer moves among us in the flesh, we should still remember his many virtues long unto the decades. Now is the time for brothers, friends and family to share their memories of the departed.
By Craig Gross, Junior Grand Deacon The last offices we pay to the dead are in vain except as they constitute lessons to the living. The beloved Brother who goes before us is unaware of our sorrows and our ceremonies. It matters not to him whether two or three have gathered around to perform his funeral ritual or that hundreds have assembled with the insignia of the Craft to deposit him in his final resting place. It is of little moment whether the wild winds chant his requiem or it be accompanied with rare and costly music and the minstrelsy of many voices. He has gone to accomplish the destiny of the human race, his body resting in the profound slumber of the dead, being dissolved once more into the earth whence it came.
Let us ponder well the lessons of the hour: we are born to die, but is this the end of Man, the aspiring hope of all good Masons? No, blessed be the Great Architect, we pause not at our first or second steps, but true to our principles look forward for further light. As the embers of mortality are feebly glimmering in the sockets of existence, the Holy Book, that Great Light in Masonry, removes the dark shroud, draws aside the sable curtain of the tomb, and bids hope and joy to arouse us. It cheers our drooping spirits and points beyond the bounds of time to the breaking light of a resurrection morn, and bids us turn our eyes of hope and confidence to the opening scenes of Eternity. Then, let us so live that when our dissolution draws nigh, the entrance to that dark valley and shadow of death may be illuminated by the consciousness of a well spent life and the hope of a blessed immortality and may Almighty God in His infinite goodness extend His mercy toward him and all of us.
The Masonic Funeral Service is one of the most important obligations we have in the Craft. To honor our Brother is a duty incumbent upon all Masons. Remember our departed Brothers as we go about our lives, always bearing in mind that our days are numbered and that the time will come when you will not be able to answer our call. Please take time out of your busy schedules to join with us in the manner of Masons, and the family of the departed, whenever the opportunity occurs. How do you want to be remembered?
What then are the externals of human dignity – power of
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Philosophy THE AGE OF DISTRACTION By George Weil, PM
Set the boundaries and begin the work! But before gree or order that we are privileged to be a part of. we start, let’s check our electronic phones and/or our We should ensure that every single time a degree or mobile devices. It’s a familiar distraction that we are order is done that every effort be exall slowly being contaminated with and Set the pended to sensitize all of us to the some may argue away from our spiritual boundaries and magnificent message it tells and ofpath. begin the work fers us. Its meaning is not immediWhat do we do in our lives that we would describe as ately discernible all at once, and unless our minds and “spiritual?” Surely this question evokes different or hearts are properly prepared and our understandings multiple responses from each of us. For some, spend- carefully trained, we are unlikely ever to participate ing time with our family or children might be our def- in the real secrets and mysteries of our Order. Each inition of spiritual. For others, engaging in traditional degree directs our attention to the goals and ideals that prayer, attending a house of worship and/or study may Freemasonry has set for us. It forces us to concentrate satisfy our conception of spiritual. For many, watch- on the meaning of our lives and the value of our ing the sunrise is the quintessence of spiritual. What- deeds. It helps us to focus on our place within the ever our notions of spiritual may be or include, they world and within our history, giving us a sense of share with each other something important about the being connected to something greater than ourselves, human experience: They capture a flicker within the something sacred entrusted into our care. soul, possibly a moment when the walls separating It is easy to lose the sense of the sacred in the modern the heaven and earth collapse. The spiritual moment world. The world has created wonderful technolois a pure one, during which the present alone exists. gies, arts, and sciences, but living in a uncaring proToday, we seem to be unceasingly plugged into days fane world, relying on entertainment for fleeting filled with commonplace concerns and rapid-fire in- satisfaction, is a sad and unnecessary price to pay for formation. Some of us are loyally attached to our cell those advances. phones and portable Internet access devices, we find As long as man is in this material world, he is in a ourselves neglecting the gradual deliberate wisdom of state where his physical nature is very strong. Since experiencing nature, history and sacred relationships. the physical is opaque and unenlightened, man exists Sacred relationships are defined not solely in terms of in a state of great darkness, far from his rightful state how we relate to what is outside of us. Relating to of closeness to the Supreme Architect. Man must the sacred also brings us to the deepest sense of our- make every effort to make his soul overcome the selves, to what is sacred in us. Shamans connected to physical, and thereby improve his condition and eleearth find in themselves the connection to all life, to vate himself to his rightful and purposeful state. the powers and forces that control the world. RelaWe were created, the Holy Scriptures teach, out of the tionships are also incrementally achieved with the continued on pg. 9 participation and understanding of each and every de-
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Philosophy continued from pg. 8
dust of the ground, and it is that ground, that earth of fundamental substance of man’s being which requires to be “measured” in the sense of investigating and understanding its nature and properties.
As Masons, we tend to gravitate to the intellectual development of temporal matters, as well as the spiritual, staying away from being plunged into the depths of darkness and ignorance, hopefully opening our hearts and minds to the further elements of our Craft. If we limit ourselves to only stay within the parameters of our three core degrees, we fail in advancing our knowledge concerning human nature, human potentialities and human destiny.
No Operative Mason erects a structure without satisfying himself about the nature of the materials with which he proposes to build. Thus, in speculative Masonry, no Mason It is easy to can properly build the temple of his lose the sense All Masons are learners and seekers of furof the sacred own soul and being without first ther information whether it is esoteric or exunderstanding the nature of the raw oteric in value. Certainly, it is part of our material he has to work upon. development, our history and our philosophy as a fraternity. In a previous article of mine called “Rose Petals” we briefly touched upon enlightenment. Because of our The darkness is transformed into light only when the senses, body, environment and activities, we are con- physical is used properly. Each one of us is a vital stantly involved with the physical plane and immersed link in the Masonic chain and the legacy each of us in its darkness. Accordingly, both great effort and a leaves in our virtuous Order will be a human imprint powerful struggle are required if we are to elevate our- that honorably echoes selves to a more enlightened state. throughout eternity.
To be healthy, a soul has to care about other things and other souls beside itself and its source. If all we attend to is our own cultivation, we are listening not to the call of the soul but to the tyranny of the ego. We should never assume that intellectual development is a process that requires little to no labor on our part. It is an intellectual mental ingredient that is central to washing away the decay of ignorance, the profane and darkness. We can never neglect nor squander the opportunity to be a direct contributor to a set of Masonic degrees and the education it begs each of us to unearth.
Worshipful Brother, Weil has had a byline in Arizona Masonry for the past several years. His articles are both innteresting and thought provoking. Our brother is a Past Master Of Scientia Coronati Research Lodge #4 and is the current Worshipful Master of Aztlan Lodge #1
When one strives to understand these works, either through his own intellect or through the explanations provided by the ritual and ceremonies, he can earn even greater perfection, according to his efforts. April 2015
Arizona Masonry Magazine
Resolutions the reporting of sickness and distress in any but a stated meeting. Limiting the opportunity to report on sickness and distress seems to be contrary to the teachings of Brotherly Love Chapter 1, Section 1-101 Revised Arizona Maand Relief that are taught in the Entered Apsonic Statutes – Definitions, Other Bodies prentice Degree. Synopsis: This proposed change would furThis Constitution change permits the Worshipther define “competent authority” as referred ful Master to include a report on Sickness and to in this section to include the Grand Master Distress as part of any Lodge meeting without of F&AM of Arizona as competent authority such action being considered un-Masonic in in this case. conduct with reference to the current Constitution wording. CARRYOVER RESOLUTION 2014-03 (Requires a 2/3 majority to approve) CARRYOVER RESOLUTION 2014-09 SYNOPSIS: This legislation gives the voting (Requires a 5/6 majority to approve) members of Arizona the ability to remove a SYNOPSIS: The following legislation Grand Lodge Trustee from office via election. changes the Arizona Masonic Ritual to replace all references to the Holy Bible with the VolCARRYOVER - RESOLUTION 2014-04 ume of the Sacred Law. (Requires a 2/3 majority to approve) CARRYOVER – GRAND MASTER’S RECOMMEDATION 2014-01 (Requires a 2/3 majority to approve)
SYNOPSIS: A resolution to permit the removal of an elected Grand Trustee.
RESOLUTION 2015-01 (Requires a 2/3/majority to approve)
CARRYOVER - RESOLUTION 2014-06 (Requires a 2/3 majority to approve)
SYNOPSIS: §3-1.1 of the Constitution specifically reserves to the Grand Lodge, and NOT the Grand Master, the power to grant Lodge charters. §6-5.3 gives the Grand Master the power to arrest a Lodge charter until the next Annual Communication, but does not specifically allow him to return an arrested charter before a communication occurs, i.e. to perform a “temporary arrest.”
SYNOPSIS: A resolution to change the Constitution to require those interested in serving as Grand Trustee to timely announce their availability and require them to submit their resumes. CARRYOVER – RESOLUTION 2014-07 (Requires a 2/3 majority to approve)
There are two possible ways to bring light into this gray area. One is to specifically empower SYNOPSIS: Currently, there is a practice in some Lodges to report on the sickness and dis- the Grand Master to return an arrested charter. I have chosen the opposite because I believe tress of the Lodge brethren before entering that the power to undo an arrest should remain into any other business for which the Lodge with the body which had the power to grant has been convened. This practice is not unicontinued on pg. 11 form as §6-2.2.3 does not specifically permit 10
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Resolutions continued from pg. 10
the charter in the first place. In this case, that is the Grand Lodge and no one else. RESOLUTION 2015-02 (Requires a 5/6 majority to approve) SYNOPSIS: The proponent of this Resolution seek to provide a $1.00 per Member Donation for the support of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. RESOLUTION 2015-03 (Requires a 5/6 majority to approve) SYNOPSIS: Currently the Constitution and Statutes provide for a Grand Lodge Fee of twelve dollars for each new candidate and each affiliation from a foreign jurisdiction and a three dollar fee for each degree conferred during the year. This legislation modifies the Constitution Article VII – Revenues §7-1.2 Fees and the Arizona Masonic Statutes Title IV Grand Lodge, Chapter 15, Section 15-201 – Revenue of the Grand Lodge and Title IV, Section 15-302 – Fees for Degrees, by increasing the Grand Lodge Fee for every new petitioner and for every affiliation from a foreign jurisdiction from twelve dollars to fifty dollars, increasing the Grand Lodge Fee for each degree from three dollars to five dollars, and increasing the minimum fees charged to confer all three degrees from ninety dollars to one-hundred dollars. RESOLUTION 2015-04 (Requires a 2/3 majority to approve)
prised last year to find that our Statutes contain a provision which requires automatic expulsion in the case of failure to appear in response to a summons. This Resolution proposes to amend that provision to make it clear that no suspension or expulsion may be ordered except as a result of a Masonic trial. RESOLUTION 2015-05 (Requires a 2/3 majority to approve) SYNOPSIS: Statute Sections 9-401 and 9403 predate the existence of the Perpetual Membership program (Statute Section 9-601) and were left in the code when that program was adopted 27 years ago because Lodges had funds they had collected under the old program. Lodges have long since rolled over their old life membership funds into the Perpetual Membership program and no holders of those memberships have been reported on any Lodge’s annual returns for many years Lodges or individuals who wish to honor a living member (if he does not qualify for Senior Life Membership) can accomplish that by purchasing a Perpetual Membership for him. Lodges or individuals who wish to honor a deceased member may continue to do so with a Memorial Perpetual Membership under Statute Section 9-606. RESOLUTION 2015-06 (Requires a 2/3 majority to approve) SYNOPSIS: A resolution to amend Section 2-102 of the Statutes.
Synopsis: No Mason should be suspended or expelled without an opportunity to defend himself against the offense(s) with which he is charged. Some of you were probably surApril 2015
Arizona Masonry Magazine
Wisdom THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE ON IMPROVING LODGE ATTENDANCE By Bill Gesswien
The key to good attendance is simple: You must give session. your members a reason to WANT to come to your lodge. 3. The Worshipful Master and officers should be the Boring meetings is the single greatest reason 85% of the “welcoming committee.” and be sure to shake hands Masons don’t attend lodge regularly. Look around the with each member to the lodge. If you don’t know a new lodge tonight. How many members are present? How member’s name now is a good time to learn it. many total members are in the lodge? If those present represent 40% - 45% - 50% or more of your member- 4. Make introductions during lodge warm and personal. ship CONGRATULATIONS! Your lodge is doing Every man likes to hear his name and every man wants to think people care about him and what he does. This something right! If not, a little work may be in order. is the first key to new friendships. The following pages list items that may help bring a few members back to the lodge, but none of them will work 5. Include the names of recently raised MM’s in the if it’s kept a secret. You’ve got to let your members newsletter. You might also consider a “Bio” of an occaknow what you’re doing. And, don’t be shy ... let them sional older member. Include something about him, his know why you’re doing it. Put what you’re doing in interests, his family and other information. your newsletter. If you don’t have a newsletter you’ve 6. Insist that those who regularly attend lodge share just discovered your First Way to Improve Attendance ideas of things they would like to do, programs they In Your Lodge. would like to see, and items they would like to include. You can’t operate in a vacuum. Your members WANT to know what is going on in the lodge. If you don’t have a REGULAR newsletter the only time many members will hear from you is when you want money either for dues or for your annual campaign. Oooh ... that’s not very welcoming. A phone committee can work wonders, but only if it’s done regularly!
Tonight is a good night to begin asking about those things. Do it and don’t take “I can’t think of anything” for an answer.
2. Assign someone to greet each member as he enters the lodge. Make certain that he understands that it is his job to make each person feel welcome. He also introduces new members to the others in the lodge. Tonight is a great night to assign someone as a greeter at the next
it shouldn’t be asked. The same with reports. If there will be no report on the Orphanage or on the Home the Master should know these things before the meeting and not ask for them.
7. Begin meetings on time and increase the overall pace. There is no reason that the questions asked by the Worshipful Master to the Junior and Senior Warden should be dragged out. If someone doesn’t know their part it’s 1. Make information about new members available to past time to learn it. A crisp well-done opening and closeveryone who regularly attends lodge. Include his oc- ing take less time and tends to be very impressive. cupation, hobbies, interests, and reasons for joining. 8. The Secretary has much to do with the pace of the Record this information in a file and make it accessible meeting. If there are no petitions the Worshipful Master to members of the lodge so when he visits they will have should be informed before the meeting and shouldn’t something to talk about. ask if there are any to be read. If there is to be no voting,
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Arizona Masonry Magazine
Wisdom continued from pg. 12
9. People do like to know what is going on in their fraternity. Regular reports let the members know how their money is being spent. Insist that the chairmen of these committees keep you informed. 10. There is absolutely no substitution for planning. A good leader and good officer cares more about his lodge than to be satisfied with an informal gathering just before the meeting. He has planned a good meeting. Possibly he has invited a speaker or at least prepared a program and a presenter. To him, each night is special and he knows attendance only comes from offering your members a good “product.”
16. Almost every lodge is there at the death of a brother, but are they there when the brother gets sick or loses a relative. These can be very trying times for a brother and a card or a phone call can mean a world of difference. But, to make this effective it can’t depend on chance. Assign someone to regularly check the sick list at the hospital and read ALL the obituaries noticing especially the living relatives. 17. Have you ever seen a large picture of an ostrich egg or something in the paper that made you ask why it was there? I was there to fill space because there was no news or advertising to fill the space. Take advantage of this opportunity. Whenever you have a special event either invite the newspaper or send in a picture. Let the paper decide whether to use it or not.
11. Older members and younger members have different expectations. Programs should satisfy both. While a program about retirement planning may be more enjoy- 18. Compete with another lodge for the best percentage able to the older member, the younger member will ben- growth in attendance. Make the contest fun, let the losefit also. Likewise, a program about vacation planning ing lodge serve a meal to the winner or put on a special may not be as interesting to the older member, but older degree. members take vacations too. 19. Calling every new Mason who has been raised 12. Whatever kind of program you present, make it the within the past few years reminds that Mason that his best it can possibly be. Absolutely nothing works better lodge and his brothers are interested in him. If he hasn’t than quality programs to increase attendance. Every man attended in a while this is a good time to find out why. likes to think the time he has invested in going to the If there is a problem now is an ideal time to handle it. lodge is worthwhile. 20. Don’t be shy. Tell them you are calling and will be calling with the intent to increase interest in the lodge. 13. “Planning for a Perfect Evening” suggests every lodge make something special happen at stated commu- If you are sincere most brothers will tell you why the nications at least six times each year. These meetings have quit attending and will want to see that you are sucshould be planned at least six months in advance so you cessful in your efforts. Some may offer to help and call a few of their friends. In any event, you will have concan have your choice of speakers or guests. tacted a brother. 14. Your lodge and your community is a goldmine of interesting speakers. People love to talk about what they 21. Take the time to look through the minutes and see do for a living and this can be a source of excellent when was the last time the member attended lodge. Time speakers. But, don’t surprise them. Give them time to slips by quickly for all of us. It’s not unusual for a prepare a presentation. If the person doesn’t like public brother to think its only been a few months and its really speaking have someone else in the lodge work with been several years since he attended. them to prepare something. A ten or fifteen minute pres22. Ask questions during your conversation to find out entation is plenty. what has happened to his interest in Masonry. Ask open 15. Don’t forget about your District Deputy Grand Mas- ended questions like “If there were one thing we could ter or the Grand Lodge officers. Most can give you an do to get you back interested in the lodge what would it interesting presentation and would enjoy visiting with be?” Most of the time there will be no complaints except the people in your lodge. continued on pg. 14 April 2015
Arizona Masonry Magazine
Philosophy about each other. Plan activities during the picnic that that the meetings are boring or something to that effect. encourages people to work and play together. The reAssure him you are working on making the meetings wards are numerous. something he will find interesting. 30. Lodge “field trips” inspire the members. 23. If there has been illness or a problem in the family 31. Everyone has skills. Everyone has talents. Everyone you and your brothers need to know. It is not unusual has interests. Try to find out the skills, talents and interfor a brother to leave Masonry simply because his brothests of the members. Make them feel like their involveers ignored him during a sickness or a hospital stay and ment is expected. Create a list of these items and use it they knew nothing about it! But, is there an excuse for in your planning. The more you can direct your lodge not knowing your brother is in the hospital? programs toward member interests, the more attendance 24. Above all, don’t sound like a telemarketer when you you will have. call. You are a brother who is concerned about your 32. Be sure to listen to the members, don’t just act like brother. If you are in a hurry make your calls another you are listening. Follow some of the suggestions. They time. When you are finished make a notecard about the may just work. If they don’t, what have you lost? Recall with information you can use later or on the next member, the lodge belongs to ALL the members and call. there is no such thing as an unimportant member. 25. Don’t scrimp on the meal. Although people will al33. When you develop your plan... follow it! Don’t put ways complain about the price of a meal, most would it off. DO IT! Lodges suffer from indecision and inacrather pay a dollar or so more for a good one. Would you tivity They thrive on planning and activity, but even the pay a dollar more for a nice cut of beef instead of a hambest plan is no good until it is implemented. burger? People do it every day. The quality of the meal should come first. 34. Two or three people offer to help the Secretary review the minutes for the last ten years and make a list 26. Most of our members are more health conscious in of who attended the lodge and when. From these lists their eating today. Heavy gravies, fat beef and lots of isolate the members who haven’t attended in the past 10 mashed potatoes are not as healthy as chicken and fish. years, 5 years, and 1 year. You will be surprised. And, it Fresh vegetables are lower in sodium than canned ones. may jump-start your planning. Some members have to watch what they eat and will avoid meals with items they aren’t supposed to eat. 35. Do you seriously have regular programs in your lodge or is it just hit or miss? Is there something sched27. Ask some of the younger members to suggest some uled for your first meeting night in September? What meals. They may even want to help prepare them. This about next meeting night? What was planned for tonight is a good way to get a brother involved in the activities other than opening, reading the minutes, this program of the lodge. Try new foods. Every meal doesn’t need and closing? Do you believe it’s really enough to keep to be the same. all your members interested? 28. Invite the wives in for the meal. This can be another 36. Have a Masonic Show and Tell moment during one of your “special” nights. It needn’t be formal, just Lodge. Ask members to bring an item of Masonic Sigpay a little attention to the details. You can also give a nificance and talk about it. program for the ladies while the men “retire to the lodge room”. 37. Have a “My Story” moment during Lodge. Allow Lodge members to give a brief story on what influenced 29. A lodge picnic can be a fun outing. Invite the wives, them to join the Craft, what Masonry means to them, the kids, and even the neighbors. The family spirit is etc. good for the lodge and allows the brothers to learn more continued from pg. 13
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Arizona Masonry Magazine
Philosophy continued from pg. 14
38. Make sure you get the email address of all members and keep them posted of upcoming events. For the older Brethren, make sure they receive the same information via snail mail.
2014/2015 TOWN HALL MEETINGS By Greg Vasquez, Senior Grand Steward This Masonic Year Town Hall meetings have been held
Answer this question honestly. Are you doing every- across Arizona starting with Hunter’s Pardise #86 and thing you can do to make your lodge the best it can be? Prometheus Lodge #87 in the greater Phoenix area then movSources: Various
TOWN HALL MEETINGS
ing north to Aztlan #1 in Prescott and Kingman #22 in Kingman. Southern Arizona Town Hall meetings were held at Downtown Lodge UD in Tucson and Campstone #77 in Sierra Vista. The town hall meetings were very will attended averaging 45 Masons in attendance. Topics ranged from items as follows: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12) 13)
Insurance Fundraising Ideas Masonic Education Grand Lodge participation and organization of parade events Grand Lodge website update Grand Lodge awards submittal dates Masonic Home The Lecture Requirement for the WM position Jurisprudence – Trials by districts instead of by lodges Timelines on membership transfers from other states The Grand Lodge website. Ability to sign in for education and/or networking A centralized database for sharing information The AMC – Shorten and simplify!
The first 3 items listed above were a recurring theme at each meeting but each item listed was a result of having an open discussion with the brethren in attendance. In the end the meetings were very successful, opening lines of communication between the brethren and the Grand Lodge Officers. There were many good ideas and suggestions presented for Grand Line consideration as well as very good, straight forward, responses to questions posed to the Grand Master and the rest of the Grand Line. If you have not had a chance to attend one of these Town Hall meetings please plan to do so at your next earliest opportunity.
Arizona Masonry Magazine
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