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Pros/Cons of joining a 2nd Blue Lodge
Posted: 21 June 2010 10:46 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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I’m wondering what the more experienced Masons on here feel about joining multiple Blue Lodges.  I belong in my hometown, but there are many within easy driving distance, so I’ve been a regular visitor to many of them.  One of my favorites I go to asked me to consider plural membership.

Now, my initial reaction is to say no, because the cheap bastard in me doesn’t see the rhyme or reason in doubling my membership dues for something I’m already getting.  Basically, as I understand it, the only difference is that I will have the opportunity in this other lodge to vote and hold an officer position.  As it is now, I do not vote and hold any vacant office positions just for the night that I visit, if needed (which has been most of the time).

I already know I am joining the officer line in my home Lodge and have a good chance of being Master in 2-3 years.

I want to join the local Chapter and Council at some point as well, my current plan was to hold off on joining those until after my turn as Master. 

The Shrine, Scottish Rite, & Commandery organizations are all over an hour away from me, so at this point I don’t see myself joining any of those. 

In light of this information, is commiting to multiple Blue Lodges a smart thing to do?  Is it possible to be an effective officer in more than one Lodge, even if it’s not in your hometown?

I could go into more specifics but it’s probably not necessary for the scope of this forum.  If any of the experienced guys think this is more appropriate for a PM, please do contact me that way.

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Posted: 22 June 2010 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Please…if those among you with experience have an opinion, post it here as I too would like to see the opinion on such a matter.

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“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.”
——Benjamin Franklin

Initiated EA: 06/28/2010

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Washington Lodge #61
Manchester, NH

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Posted: 22 June 2010 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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I think the answers would vary greatly based on geographic location.

For example, I’m in Boston.  There are guys in Boston who affiliate with our lodge from other lodges, and it is because they have already made friends in our lodge, possibly they enjoy our ritual and after meeting festivities better, or they feel that their lodge might not be as active as they are looking for.  However, in our case, new members could expect that if they got into line, they would could become Master in about 14 years (since each office if for two years in our lodge).

As you can see, this would differ greatly from some of the lodges in more rural or remote areas.  I would say…if a lodge other than your own offers you something that appeals to you that your own lodge can’t provide (more charity work opportunites, better spirit of fraternal brotherhood, etc.), the by all means, affiliate, but I put this challenge to you…

..take what you do at your new lodge and use that experience to then go back and make your current lodge what you would like it to be.

Whatever you do, don’t spread yourself too thin.  One CAN tire of Masonry (and one’s WIFE can tire of Masonry, probably much more quickly!)

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Dan

Past Master, Columbian Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Boston, MA
Friendship Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Wilmington, MA
32° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Boston
Shriners International, Aleppo Temple - Wilmington, MA

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Posted: 22 June 2010 11:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Wow! Great challenge and great response.  My thought is that you are dead on nuts with this one!

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“How few there are who have courage enough to own their faults, or resolution enough to mend them.”
——Benjamin Franklin

Initiated EA: 06/28/2010

FC:????


Washington Lodge #61
Manchester, NH

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Posted: 22 June 2010 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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This is the way I look at it:

If you really enjoy Masonry and you regularly or frequently visit another lodge in order to have more opportunities to enjoy it, there is nothing whatever wrong with that; in fact, you’re lucky to have such opportunities and should take advantage of them to whatever extent you can without compromising other areas of your life.

But there is no free lunch, or shouldn’t be. If you are receiving the benefits of what almost amounts to membership in another lodge, then in all justice you should be contributing to it like a member. Which means, join it as a plural member and pay its dues, instead of being a freeloader.

As to holding office in more than one lodge, why not? If they can use your talents and you have the time, I would go for it. There may be some restrictions in your jurisdiction. In mine, it is not allowed to be WM of more than one lodge at a time, but that’s the only restriction.

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Liberty Pickering Lodge #219, Baltimore MD
Druid RA Chapter #28, Baltimore
Hiram Council #5 R&SM;, Baltimore
Monumental Commandery #3, Baltimore
Harrisburg Consistory AASR, Harrisburg, PA

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Posted: 22 June 2010 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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My advice is stay with your lodge for awhile, perhaps get in line, be active, get to know YOUR lodge first. Visit other lodges either in your building, town or locally near you. Once familar with that or other lodges and the brethren than make your decision, which should be based on distance, the brethren, the lodge, the time and date the lodge meets, money, and above all YOUR time.  I belong to six lodges now, was a member of eight at one time. I got into line at six of them and became master, it really enjoyed all of them.  There are differences between each lodge and the membership, also by doing so, I have greatly increased the brethren I know.  I was lucky for seven of them use to meet in the same building, two of them are now a distance away, one which I am PM of is in Wakefield, a good hour away at times and do not attend regulary anymore, but the other five, I attend as much as possible. This is not for everyone, for those just starting out take your time, perhaps as mentioned above, join the York or Scottish Rites first if anything.  Others lodges are fun, and I have had fun with all of them. As stated by REYoung check with your GL first to see if your jurisdiction allows plural membership.  Really think first before acting, money can come into the realm of things when you start joining other lodges, York Rite, Scottish Rite, Shrine, etc., and above all inform your family, sometimes the more time away from home can cause problems.

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[Fraternally, Curator, Cambridge Masonic Temple.

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