Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Doing Something Positive, Just Not Complaining

I started last night to fall for the bad behavior that seems to infect others who blog. Regardless of it being a Masonic blog or not. I have tried to keep this blog above the sniping that seems to be an easy road to go down, and keep it focused on one thing, my Masonic journey, not be distracted by less than desirable behavior.

The incoming Worshipful Master asked me if I would consider heading up the education committee, since our lodge hasn’t had an official education committee for a while, I thought it would be a positive contribution to the revitalization of thought and helping the lodge out beside sitting in a chair and memorizing a bunch lines (which is equally important, but does less to stimulate Masonic discussion). While I could dust off some of the speeches of the past, talking papers on the third degree or promotion of apendent bodies, I am going to talk about Traditional Observance Lodges. While this topic is pretty well known in the blogsphere, it seems to be a knowledge point lacking in Southern Texas Freemasonry.

It seems that when Texans think of Traditional Observance Lodges, they think of the Grand Masters vision of the “Men we use to be” which is to say 1955 Freemasonry, which is completely different than a Traditional Observance Lodge concept (Less than 72 Members, High Dues, emphasis on the INITIATIC experience, Festive Boards, etc.) So I am working on a presentation using *GASP* a powerpoint presentation, I will present it to my mother lodge and see if there are any other lodges that are willing for me to come out and speak.

I don’t see this as an out right recruitment plan, as more as an education plan. If a club starts so be it (thought I am pretty skeptical that will ever happen) at least it might, just might start the gears turning about other ways to think of lodge outside of sloppy joes, opening, reading of the minutes and closing.

You can sit on the sidelines and bitch, or you can get up and do something, it’s entirely up to you.


Anonymous said...

Richard, the paper is an excellent start, but as the officer in charge, you have a whole year of Masonic education to worry about.

I have nothing against Power Point .. it's better than standing there reading .. but it reminds me of those film strips we used to see in elementary school which caused us to zone out after awhile.

The best education may be the interactive kind. Don't just read a bunch of papers. Try debates and quizzes. We did the latter as a baseball format one of the years I was WM (being Texas, maybe you want to use football instead). You may want to reserve a presentation for after the meeting during the festive board; members will be a little more relaxed then.

There's really an amazing array of material on line. Not just on traditional web sites; there are really well-written, thought-provoking pieces on blogs, too.

Justa Mason

FD2L said...

but it reminds me of those film strips we used to see in elementary school which caused us to zone out after awhile.

True but in my day-to-day job when I have to brief results, I use Powerpoint, so it has become a crutch of sorts. I think that as along as you keep things interesting.

For the subject I think that it will do well.

Thanks for the other suggestions about quizzes and debates, I think that has given me some ideas as well.

-Bro Vick

Traveling Man said...

May I suggest tapping into your state's Research Lodges? Also the various research societies for ideas.

I also wouldn't forgett Pietere Stones, and of course short talk bulletins. Also, google The Masonic Trowel for Old Tyler Talks and Old Past Master Talks. They may be a bit dated in language, but their ideas are timeless. They also have a myriad of articles and papers.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention which also has many thought provoking papers as well.

These should give you enough fodder for a year....

Good luck! If you *really* get stuck, heck, I could be persuaded to fly out after GL channels are cleared.....

All The Best,

Traveling Man

bobbydale said...

When I joined my lodge a few months ago, no one I spoke with had ever heard of a traditional observance lodge. It doesn't seem to be well known in Tennessee either.