The fall of the year is perhaps my favorite time of the year, as the temperature begins to moderate, nature paints a beautiful and vibrant picture with the changing hues of the leaves, the bountiful harvest and offers the anticipation of peace and plenty. With the approach of fall, we all can take great interest in the beauty and majesty all around us. Color abounds and is a key part of all things fall. Being from the south, it is also a great time of hope for the success of your favorite college football team too!
The fall of the year is also a time to come together as Freemasons in our Grand Jurisdiction to celebrate a successful year, come back to labor and prepare for the year end. For many of us, this is a welcomed tradition in South Carolina, to see old friends, make new friends, and spend time together, as the family of Freemasons. I hope you make plans to attend your District meeting and to gather some new insight regarding our fraternity. It is a time to celebrate our success and recommit to our plans for the future. It is time to prepare for the approaching new year!
Inspirational meetings come in all formats from the new family picnic format with picnic foods, fun and games for the children and great fellowship, to the traditional banquet with a great meal, fellowship and educational presentations, hopefully, not too long and not boring!
Regardless of how we celebrate, the goal is to inspire Freemasons to engage and contribute their talent, skill and capacity for our craft and to expound our great teachings! We hope to increase fellowship and fraternity, create interest with our new members, and engage our family members. Regardless of what format is selected, the real objective, in my mind, is how are we creating a positive and meaningful experience for our members.
At a recent event in Washington DC, I had the honor and privilege to attend the conference, as Master of Ceremonies of several event in part of my obligation, as Sovereign Grand Inspector General for the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite at the biennial session. At the Gala Banquet, I had the privilege of presenting one or our George Washington Portraits to the Supreme Council in front of approximately 1200 people from all over the World. We shared the successful program and how we have made a difference in the schools in South Carolina and also contributed to the Juvenile Diabetes Research program. The inspirational part to me was what the audience did at the close of the ceremony, they came on stage and had pictures made with the George Washington portrait and asked about the program. Again, Freemasonry Inspires! It inspires us to think of what we might do to assist others. It inspires Action, focused action to make a difference. Gentlemen, as I frequently say, we make a difference every day! Keep up the good work. Be the Freemason that works for others, lives worthily and supports your brethren.
While in Washington, I also saw a young lady born with a rare genetic disorder, Osteogenesis Imperfecta. She was born with 50 broken bones and thus created issues with her development. She learned to play the violin, not by the traditional method but as a miniature base or cello. Her method of play created a beautiful harmony as if multiple violins were playing in perfect harmony. When she was asked about being an inspiration, her answer was even more inspiring. Don’t think I am inspiring because of my circumstance, it is who I am, it is part of what God made of me. It is more important that we work and develop our talent to share with others. Freemasonry, when in action, does this too!
May God grant each of us the recognition of our talent and dedication to develop our talent and skill to the benefit of others.
Our Grand Lodge officers look forward to seeing you at our Inspirationals.
GRAND MASTER’S EDUCATION LESSON PLAN, NUMBER 2
YOUR LODGE OF THE FUTURE
BACKGROUND: INSPIRING MEMBER ENGAGEMENT
ISSUES: Delivering on our promise, Making A Difference to All Members
NEEDS: Improve membership support and engagement
Discuss how to needs to be done to improve communication with your members.
ACTIONS: Use the Grand Lodge Membership System to update your membership roster
Ascertain how many of your members are not attending and reach out to them
Divide the membership list among your Officers and Active Members and call them to check on them and get email address if they have it. Welcome them to come back, share upcoming events and regular meetings.
Call or email your members on their birthday
Use the Grand Lodge – Grandview System to send your members information.
Hold a Family Breakfast and invite your Lodge members and families to visit.
Plan a special educational program and invite all your members.
Visit other Lodges and build the fellowship
Have a Lodge Project for 2017 to unite the members in a project for the community or the Lodge.
- Disaster Relief Project
- Veterans Homes and Nursing Home Project
- Call your members to check on them.
- Determine if your Lodges needs to Change your Meeting time to better serve members. Day Light Lodge for older members or a Saturday Morning Lodge.