Grand Secretary "Stuff"
Information for Lodge Secretaries – August 2016
Greetings my Brother Secretaries!
Hopefully everyone is enjoying the nice weather and getting out and about. Don't forget to keep an eye on the calendars located on the Grand Lodge website: http://www.mainemason.org/ Don't fall into the trap of "lodges are dark and nothing is happening"! There is much to do during the summer months. Check it out!
Let's talk about Master Mason Diplomas for a minute. And I know many of you already know this but since there are 185 Lodge Secretary positions and allowing for those hardy souls who toil for more than one lodge, we'll say there are about 175 Secretaries. So, what I am about to write may be good information for somebody. The Maine Masonic Code, aka the Constitution states in Sec. 91: "Every Master Mason raised by a constituted lodge in this Grand Lodge jurisdiction is entitled to a diploma which shall be prepared and provided by the Grand Secretary's office".
From the Annual Communication in 2015 to the Annual Communication in 2016 there were 312 Master Masons raised. We sent diplomas to about 95% of them. While this is a great accomplishment, there are 15 or 16 new Master Masons who do not have a diploma.
We love doing diplomas here. Simply call or e mail us the Lodge name, Brother's name you are raising, the date of the degree and the address you would like the package sent to. We will gladly prepare a diploma and send it to you along with a letter from the Grand Master and a dues card if appropriate. You have to give us 1 day and we'll do our part. I can't control the U.S. Post Office so you need to give them a week or more in some cases. You can even let us know as soon as you schedule the degree and we will get it done and mailed out to you. And then it's easy to get the required lodge officer's signatures if you have it in hand the night of the work. Brethren, these are a wonderful keepsake for our new Master Masons to take home. Let's not squander an opportunity to show them we appreciate them joining our Fraternity.
While we are on the subject of the Constitution aka the Maine Masonic Code, let's take a look at Sec. 74.5 which states: "Each lodge shall remit its share of the cost of the Grand Lodge Blanket Liability Insurance, which covers its members while engaging in masonic activities". So you know where we're going with this. Yes, it's that time of the year again and the insurance bills are heading your way soon. We will have them here by Aug 5th and they will be sent to your lodges. Your prompt attention to this is certainly appreciated. I'm hoping to have the same level of commitment to this as we do to Master Mason diplomas!!
ALL of the information located in MORI is considered Business Confidential and its use for anything other than Grand Lodge or Blue Lodge business is not appropriate. Please respect your Brethren and their personal information!
Every Thursday from July 14th through August 18th the Grand Lodge Library will be hosting a Children's Story Time at 10:30 AM. The flyer with more information is below.
Have a safe and enjoyable August. Thank you for all you do.
YOUR Library and Museum
Even as some of our best summer weather is yet to come, you're already thinking about the return to the active lodge work of the Fall. New applicants bring new ideas and new interests which can often be a challenge. Stumped on something yourself or is there a new (or, just as great!) a revitalized Brother with lots of thoughts and plans? The internet exposes our current and potential membership to much which can serve to disrupt what has become comfortable to us. In fact, disrupt is becoming a darling concept amongst many these days.
It's unsettling when a 300+ year old organization faces change agents who sometimes seem bent on disruption for its own sake. However, much of this is their strong hope that it will make the organization so much better for the future.
Rather than let them go off 'half-cocked' or, worse, go off forever, point them to the Grand Lodge Library. We've been adding a goodly number of books which talk about such concepts as 'the craft-driven lodge', the new millennials, recruitment, mentoring in new ways, etc. Knowing what others have already tried and/or thought about can help temper and strengthen you and your members to make YOUR lodge vital and relevant as we move into our Bicentennial years and thereafter.
Help make the cacophony of ideas become a beautiful concert with sounds that will attract those who truly appreciate the harmony we profess! Reading is the start – and we're here to get that ball rolling.
Ed King, Grand Librarian/Museum Curator