March 2010 Newsletter
I was reflecting about Masonry after my second Stated Meeting, and concluded that I’m ill prepared to be Master of the Lodge. I had visited Western Star #100 Lodge in January and was asked by Br. Lowell Marsh PM to be the Sr. Deacon for opening and closing. I agreed thinking that I could “wing it” after watching the duties be conducted many times. Of course, I was wrong and learned a valuable lesson that evening. The lesson I learned is that each chair in Masonry is connected and serves as a building block toward erecting a solid foundation in the Lodge. I missed serving in the Jr. Deacon and Sr. Deacon chairs which are important to a Master. These chairs teach floor work with the rods, and the Sr. Deacon conducts the candidates while involved in ritual with every station in the Lodge.
I will always remember to never shine a light on a closed bible.
A Brother approach me and stated that the Lodge is not “fun”. I would agree that Stated Meetings and Committees work can be mundane; however, an important part of administering the Lodge. As I recall the conversation, I would agree that initiating, passing, and raising a newly petitioned brother into Masonry is the most “fun” in the Lodge. I also enjoy visiting other Lodges in the area and meeting the Masters. This past month Br. Guy McCausland PM, Br. Mark Cottrell MI, and this Master attended a 3rd Degree at Snow Lodge #44 in LeClaire. The raising was for Marine Corp SGT. Chris James an active duty Recruiter in the Davenport area. Upon our arrival, Br, Dave Melchert WM requested our assistance with filling parts for the Degree. Br. Guy accepted the Jr. Steward place for opening and closing; and was the Third Roughion in the second part. Br. Mark accepted the station as King Solomon, and I was the Grand Secretary. I was honored when WM Dave handed me the gave and requested that I close Snow Lodge #44 as Worshipful Master. I had “fun” visiting Snow Lodge #44 and will announce planned visitations at Stated Meeting if any Brethren wish to attend.
Br. Mark Cottrell MI, Grand Lodge Marshal, will have a reception at Rastrelli’s Restaurant - Tuscany Room, 238 Main Ave, in the Lyons Business District with the Social hour beginning at 3:00 pm / Reception of Grand Lodge Officers at Lyons Lodge #93 at 4:00 pm / Dinner at Rastrelli’s at 5:00 pm followed by a program. The cost of the dinner is $15.00 per person. Please contact Br. Jeff Brown MI or Br. Bruce Kamer PM for reservations.
Membership and Retention of Brothers is a sensitive subject effecting the Lodge. I believe that any resource providing information to prospective candidates and advertising the Lodge is valuable. Lyons Lodge now has a web page at http://iowamasons.com/93.html , and all Stated Meetings are on the Clinton Herald web page at http://clintonherald.com/ under Community Calendar. Please take a moment and view these web pages.
Br. Larry A. Hancock, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Alabama, in his January 27, 2010, communication asks each Brother; “What is A Mason”, and challenges the Brethren to “reverse the trend” of declining membership. Br. Craig C. Hummel, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, eludes to membership decline as a loss of customers in the Grand Lodge Bulletin for March 2010. The Grand Master states that 14% drop membership and become involved in other organizations; and another 14% leave because of price.
I’m presenting the Master’s Membership Challenge to boost membership and aid in the retention of members in Lyons Lodge #93. All Brothers in good standing can receive $35.00 off their 2011 dues by petitioning a candidate. The Candidate must be raised by December 31, 2010, and have paid both 2010 dues and initiation fees to the Secretary. I will also extend this challenge to any Brother that brings a dropped former Brother into good standing by December 31, 2011. Please see me for further information!
Br. Dave Jindrich, WM