Officer Posts and Other Messages

Sr.Warden Message

FROM THE WEST

 

Brethren,

Why are we here?

This is the question that many newly raised Masons begin to ask themselves after they have spent a few months coming to the typical lodge meeting.

I have a friend who has been a Mason for just under 2 years.  He came to meetings regularly at first.  Then he missed a lot.  He came to one more last spring.  He is now willing to get suspended because he lost interest.  I called him and tried to convince him to stay.  His response to me was, “It’s just not what I had expected or hoped for.”

 As I am now in my 33rd year as a member in what I considered the Greatest Fraternity this world has ever known, I now recall many occasions when a younger, enthusiastic man has joined the fraternity and then lost interest.  I recall those early years when as a new high school teacher and newly married, I found myself drifting away from regular lodge attendance.  Job and family were first.  Fortunately, I stayed the course and found my way back to active membership.  In my case, I had great lodge mentors and my father who was a Mason, who kept encouraging me to get back involved.

The problem with lodge membership today does not lie with our young members, who just don’t have the same commitment that we did.  The problem is that we the veteran members don’t have the same commitment to our young members as those veterans of the past did when we were the new members.  I’m not speaking of the intimidation tactics that some of us have used in the past to brow beat young guys into learning their ritual or serving on committees.  That kind of “encouragement” does not work.  Today’s young men will be as committed as our fathers and grandfathers were as long as they see a reason to be.  Today’s younger members need a purpose that is meaningful.  One that not only serves our own lodge but that reaches out into the community and to humanity itself.  They need to know that we are not only their Brother, but also their Father and Mentor in the Fraternity.

Recently we had a great evening of Entered Apprentice degrees conferred by two of our youngest members.  The work was stellar.  After the meeting a comment was made as to the great turn-out.  We had 24 members in attendance.  Eight were the essential floor officers.  Ten were visiting members from other lodges.  That left six members from our lodge on the sidelines to support our own young future officers and these two new EAs. 

Where was that support and mentorship that was once prominent in our lodges? Who are the JD Smiths, George Gilmores, Kendall Johnsons and Roy McCulloughs of today?  Why isn’t it you?