Wednesday, July 2, 2008

That Went Over Like a Lead Balloon

Well my first presentation in a lodge room that was solely my own (i.e. not reading someone elses work) was a complete dud in the lodge I presented it in. Honestly it was bound to happen, just didn’t think it would happen my first time at bat. This wasn’t my mother lodge, it’s another local lodge that I am/was considering affiliating with.

Let’s see what didn’t go wrong? The projector worked, the slides were the right version that is always a plus. The downside? I broke the light (I still feel awful about this), the audience was skeptical to the entire concept of Traditional Observance Lodges ever working in Texas “Texas isn’t formal enough for that to work here.” The usual skeptical fare, they are somewhat right. I live in one of the biggest cities in Texas and it isn’t as formal as a small town lodge in Virginia (at least I haven’t sat in a lodge that is as formal). What’s with the additional ceremony? When would they pay the bills? Etc, etc.

But with all chances in life sometimes you win big, sometimes you lose, this time I take it as a lost. Still I must have pride that I put myself out there, and at least got people thinking about something than their lines in the lodge room or how much the rent is that month, even if I made an ass out of myself in the process.

At least I have the long weekend to lick my wounds and try again in my mother lodge.


The Palmetto Bug said...

Next batter up! Hey, it will be all good.

Jay Simser said...

Keep trying. Two of us got to talking here in Iowa and we talked to a couple of others and we are instituting a Masonic Lodge of Restoration on Monday Night. Check out our Web Site.
Not quite the same as a TO Lodge but we hope it will work for us.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, it sounds like your talk was a success.

The idea behind Masonic education isn't a sales pitch. It's to get people talking and thinking.

Your exercise would have been a failure only if no one said anything afterward.

Justa Mason

Charles Tirrell said...

As long as you got one brother to think about something he hadn't in the past, it's a success.

A lot of people view enlightenment as effortlessly gliding along a bright path illuminated by the light of truth. I like to think that the path to enlightenment is crowded with furniture, like your living room at 3:00 am. The light of truth is present and points you in the right direction, but blinds you to the various obstacles in the way. So most of the time you stumble and bump into things, while heading in the right direction. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but nature rarely presents us with such mathematical simplicities.

Keep traveling to the east, brother, but don't mind the bumps along the way.

Masonic Traveler said...

Just in the act of doing brother, it was a success. Just by being there put the idea in their heads.

Keep at it.

Tom Accuosti said...

Charles, that was a brilliant analogy. I'm going to steal it.

Jose Ruah said...

I concur with most of the above commentators.

The main purpose is to put your audience to think and to talk.

I often use a popular saying:

" Speak well about me, speak badly about me, but speak".
This is success.
Indiference is the failure.

Keep on the work.

2 BOWL CAIN said...

Keep shining a Light on the History and what the older Traditions were like.

Maybe set your Lodge and do an exeplar degree on a candidate, and invite other Lodge members to your Lodge, with a meal ofcourse, to expose tem to the setting of a TO Lodge.
almost like a Lodge of Instruction in a TO setting?
Stay Vigilant Brother!

Kyle Myers said...

You're doing just fine with a topic that is difficult for the majority of Masons. Remember not only that change is difficult for many people - even our most thoughtful Brothers - but also that it is the few within any organization who are the "True Believers." If you reach only one or two Masons at each of your presentations, you are making a real difference!
I know of at least 2 Lodges in Central Texas that follow TO practices fairly closely. Have you had occasion to check out St. Alban's Lodge No. 1455 (College Station) or Robert Burns Lodge No. 154 (Round Rock)? St. Alban's is listed as a "Supporting Lodge" of the Masonic Restoration Foundation - take a look at these websites:
The current Robert Burns Lodge started out as a kind of Masonic discussion group seeking ways to improve Masonic observance in each participant's Lodge. I believe they called themselves "Robert Burns Society" & held an annual Robert Burns Night in January or February. All their members take traditional Masonry very seriously, their Work is impeccable, they wear their tuxedos (and sometimes kilts!) proudly, and their Table Lodge is second to none, although they are not formally recognized as a TO Lodge by any organization within my knowledge. They "talk the talk & walk the walk" with fanfare & accolades. You can find their info on the GLoTX website.
Stay in touch with me - maybe we can visit Robert Burns Lodge together sometime - I look forward to it visiting them again!
Kyle Myers, P.M., Rudolph Krause Lodge No. 433, Lake Charles, LA
J.S., San Gabriel Lodge No. 89, Georgetown, Texas

FD2L said...

Bro Myers,

Thank you for the information on the Robert Burns Society/Lodge, I have not heard of such a thing in our neck of the woods. I would love to attend their table lodge, and any further information you can provide.

-Bro Vick

Ragged Tiger said...

Bro Vick & brethren all,

The next stated meeting of Robert Burns #127 will be on Saturday, January 24th, of 2009.

We'll conduct a short business meeting at lodge (Round Rock), and then adjourn to begin a traditional Robert Burns Night celebration complete with haggis, scottish pipes, and a discussion which usually covers an esoteric/historical topic of Masonic interest.

Being a TO lodge, we send out formal summons, so if anyone wishes to attend, feel free to e-mail me with your contact information, and I'll forward it along to our secretary.

Bro. Philip Bates
Robert Burns #127