Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thoughts for a New Mason

I’d like to steal a line from a great Mason here in Minnesota, Jerry Oliver. The line may not be original with him, but it was from him I first heard the line: If it were not for Freemasonry, I would not know many of you.

I have met many men whom I now consider among the best of my friends because I became a Freemason. I know that any new Mason will be able to say the same 30 years from now …

IF you become active in this great brotherhood.

The Grand Lodge spends a lot of time discussing how we can make Masonry relevant for the new members today. We have devised a Mentor program for new Masons that is a rich wealth of information about the organization you are joining. We promote community improvement projects, lodge revitalization, promotion to entice new candidates to knock at our doors.

And yet, with all that, in 2008, we lost more brothers to demit and nonpayment of dues – brothers who, in blunt terms, quit the fraternity – than we raised new brothers.

As a new brother you can and should expect the officers and members of this lodge to reach out to you to become involved. Sometimes – too often – this does not happen. Your choice, then, will be to reach out yourself, or to drop out.

That choice will be yours, as it is for each of us every year when we pull out the checkbook and decide to pay our dues for another year.

I can guarantee, however, that if you pay those dues, attend stated communications, work the pancake breakfast or spaghetti supper, get to know the brothers of your lodge, visit other brothers in other lodges and find more light in Masonry by participating in one of the appendant bodies in due time – I can guarantee that you will get more out of Masonry than you can possibly contribute.