** This article was originally published in the Grand Lodge Newsletter **
Welcome to the inaugural issue of the Grand Master’s Newsletter. This is the first of what is planned to be regular communications to the members of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New Hampshire. I trust that you will find this newsletter to be informative and useful.
I am honored and humbled to have been Installed as the 117th Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of New Hampshire. I commit to you that I will do my very best to uphold the highest of standards set forth by my predecessors. Freemasonry deserves no less.
In this first issue of the newsletter, I wish to share my vision of Freemasonry. But first, let’s lay the groundwork. I think it’s fair to say that my personality first started to broaden when I joined the International Order of DeMolay for Boys as a teen in the mid-1970s. It was then that I learned to interact socially, to memorize and recite ritual, to speak publicly, to organize and run meetings and to develop a vision and plan. The lessons I learned in my youth I have carried through to my adult life.
Brethren, Freemasonry in New Hampshire stands at the threshold of something truly special. Why and how so? Throughout my Masonic travels I have learned that there are good Masons who want to become better Masons. I’ve learned that there are good men in this state who want to become Masons. Our state, cities, towns and communities need more Masons, and with them, our moral teachings. And lastly, Masonry needs more good Masons. So, the demand is clear. But why do we stand at the threshold of something special?
I believe that Freemasonry provides an opportunity to realize your life’s purpose. It can help to clarify the deeper meanings of life. Masonry offers Brotherly love. Our ritual is rich and meaningful. Masonry opens avenues to lifelong friendships. It gets you engaged in community activities and a spirit of “giving back”. All told, your Masonic journey stands the potential to help you truly understand why you were placed on this earth.
You may ask, “How can I get to this enlightenment?” Through my DeMolay upbringing and its extension into my adult life, I offer the following path. This roadmap is charted through a series of 4 pillars: (1) Retention, (2) Ritualistic Excellence, (3) Masonic Education, and (4) Communication.
The first pillar is Retention. Today our Grand Jurisdiction is comprised of nearly 5,000 Masons. Some young, some not so young. Some live locally and others span the globe. Some attend Masonic events, others don’t. If we are to grow and prosper, we must offer “experiences”, not meetings. These experiences should be informative, enjoyable and valuable. In the coming months, we’ll be sharing examples of successful techniques that you can employ in your Blue Lodges.
The second pillar is Ritualistic Excellence. Brethren, I realize that some are better at learning and reciting ritual than others. There’s no debate here. What I do expect however is a drive for continuous improvement. Throughout the Masonic year, Grand Lodge will be offering a series of programs to lend a helping hand as you strive to improve yourself in Masonry.
The third pillar is Masonic Education. Brethren, there is a wealth of information available for those who wish to learn more. These span the realm of introductory literature, to the esoteric, to the history of Freemasonry. Grand Lodge has a team of education experts armed with toolkits of dynamic scope and depth to address your personal Masonic educational needs.
The fourth pillar is Communication. If we are to lead, to follow, to grow and to inform, then we must excel at communication. Whisper good counsel in a brother’s ear. Ensure everyone is on the same page. Have a vision and a plan and share it. To communicate clearly and concisely is the simplest form of Brotherly Love.
Brethren, the theme of my term is, “Be here because you want to be, not because you have to be.” Our time together is precious, so we should constantly strive to ensure that our personal Masonic journey is filled with enrichment and joy.
I look forward to continuing to share my thoughts in coming issues of this newsletter. I also look forward to seeing you throughout the coming year as I travel this great state, visiting Lodges, participating in Unity, affiliate and concordant body events and embracing all things Masonry. Together, let’s enjoy the ride!
*Note – I welcome your feedback on this newsletter. Please submit comments, questions and suggested content to firstname.lastname@example.org.