This idea I have been pondering about this for awhile. However, a brother from the lodge I have been attending has inspired me to actually write on this. What is causing so many Masons to not attend the regular lodge meetings?
Lets look at some things we can do in order to improve our attendance. So many Masons are not getting what they want out of the lodge. We pride ourselves on our slogan of "Making Good Men Better". Yet, it appears that we do not do much of anything in order to do so. We attend the minutes twice a month and vote on certain items within the lodge. Then in between our normal lodge minutes we meet and we go through the ceremonies. Which is great, I love the ceremonies of bringing a man into the fraternity, or raising him to the sublime degree of Master Mason. But what about the times when we aren't going through the ceremonies? We open, we talk about old business, new business, and close. For a lot of younger Masons, or even Older Masons, if we wanted to do that we would go to town hall meetings. What we want as Master Masons is to be better men. We joined the fraternity we are accepted amongst our brothers and now we want to help ourselves become better.
I was reading an article the other day on a program that the Missouri Grand Lodge is putting in effect. It involves classes every normal meeting that a lodge has they go through a class. Or they have a certain subject they are going to address and talk about. Many of us Mason's in today's lodges do not learn anything from the lodge itself. We learn from other Masons from other lodges, from other states, countries, etc. We learn from books we find on the Internet or in bookstores and quite frankly we learn from fellow Master Masons by what they write. I wrote an article for Freemason Network that involved being a gentleman. I am considering posting it on this blog as well. The over all basis of the article is how we should act as Men, Lovers, and Fathers. How we are all of them in one and the head of the household. Taking care of what is ours, and being a good role model. This would be a great subject to talk about in the lodge.
If it isn't the subject of being a gentleman, it should be the basic principles of man, or how about the basic studies of Freemasonry? We have so many symbols and meanings behind them that not all of the are talked about within the ceremonies. We could help newly made Masons really learn what they are suppose to know within our regular meetings. If we just didn't go there to solely socialize in the basements eating and rushing out of there as soon as the Lodge is called to closing.
I highly suggest that we talk to the officers in our lodge and tell them what we need as Master Masons. We need Masonic Education how we go about doing it depends on us as individual lodges or even Grand Lodges to determine how we do it, but we need to do it either way. It will break up the monotony of just going every meeting to hear old business, new business and close. For the better of Masonry.
Travel Lightly Brethren,
Bro. Aaron R. Gardner
Flushing Lodge 223, Flushing Michigan