Brethren, Happy New Year! I wish you and your family peace, joy, and prosperity in 2020.
The year 2019 was a great one for Freemasonry in New Hampshire. Lodges throughout our Grand Jurisdiction made good men Masons. Lodges spent rewarding hours aiding and assisting our Masonic Widows. You made great strides in raising awareness of our Fraternity in your communities by marching in parades, hosting public breakfasts, serving hot chocolate at local events, stocking food items for the needy, and recognizing our veterans and first responders. Well done!
Now we “turn the page” to 2020, and by doing so, we enter a season of change. The early part of the year is typically when Blue Lodges hold their Annual Election of Officers and conduct Installation of Officers. With this change in leadership comes new opportunities to improve your Lodge experience.
As Masonic leaders, consider these potential opportunities:
- Have you developed your
plan for the year? The best time to plan is prior to your Installation. Your plan
- Your theme or message for your term
- Dates and locations for significant Lodge milestones (i.e. Cornerstone Ceremony, Lodge Rededication, Annual Meeting)
- Dates and subjects for Masonic Programs during Stated Meetings (remember to liaison with your DDGEO who’s a great resource for Masonic programs).
- Consider trying something new. For example, several Districts have started holding “Dine Around” functions where they pick a date and location for a meal at a local restaurant and use it as an effective and informal gathering of like-minded men and women.
- Celebrate and assist your Masonic Veterans and Special Ladies.
- Be visible in your Community. Programs to paint fences, help at homeless shelters, rake leaves for the elderly and serve meals at youth organizations. Participating in these activities not only displays the high moral character of our Brethren but is rewarding to the participants and recipients.
- Brand your Lodge building. Let your neighbors know about the great Masons that meet in your community. As you heard at our November 2019 Semi-Annual Communication, marketing material for the “Not Just A Man, A Mason” program is available at https://www.notjustaman.org/.
- Support our youth. Consider opening a DeMolay Chapter or Rainbow Assembly in your Lodge building. If you already host a Masonic youth organization, attend their meetings and functions. DeMolay and Rainbow are organizations for young men and women that teach similar moral lessons to those found in Freemasonry. Dedicate your time to our youth and our future will be richly rewarded.
As Blue Lodge members, consider these potential opportunities:
- Travel! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The Masonic experience you receive within the four walls of your Lodge is inspirational. But to more fully experience the Journey of a Lifetime, travel to other Lodges and Masonic events. Broaden your world by seeing how others conduct their Masonry.
- Get involved! Being a member of our Fraternity is an honor. Being an active member is a fulfilling and enriching experience. Ask your Worshipful Master if you join or start a committee. Offer to assist in performing Degree ritual. Suggest providing Masonic education through a program. Help to serve meals during Lodge collations. Offer to clean up and refresh your Lodge Masonic Library. Countless opportunities await; just ask!
- Start an “evening of Masonic discussion”. Several Lodges throughout our Grand Jurisdiction have endeavored to hold informal sessions in Lodge buildings or members’ homes where they discuss Freemasonry, its teachings and its deeper meanings in a relaxed setting.
Brethren, here’s your call-to-action: embrace change. Change, when implemented for the greater good, can be a positive thing. But do so with forethought and within bounds of our Grand Constitution.
Now is a season of change – embrace it!