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6 months?! A little bummed.
Posted: 08 December 2015 08:11 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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I entered my contact info to the State Grand Lodge about 2 weeks ago. Haven’t heard anything. (fast forward 2 weeks to last night) I spoke to the Secretary of the Local Blue Lodge last night and he was puzzled that he had not been notified yet.

Checking around the net and this forum it was suggested that I should visit the local lodge and introduce myself. I’m not highly socially outward and this is a strange situation to step out there not knowing anyone, but ok. If this is the way it is done. I’ve been waiting 2 weeks for this lodge meeting so I could get the ball rolling. I opened my eyes yesterday morning and my very first thought was about this meeting. Nothing ever weighs on my mind in that way.

After sitting on the steps for almost an hour people start to arrive for the pre-meet dinner. The first 2 to walk up are an old man (85) and his son n law (60+). Turns out the father in law was Past Master at this lodge 40 years ago. And has been Master of another local lodge until recently because it has closed and moved to another local city in the Metro area. Both men were changing lodges to this lodge where I was standing. I introduced myself and told them why I was there. They were cordial, introduced themselves and invited me to come inside. We walked around for a bit but no one could find the Secretary anywhere. It seems multiple people had lodge business last night.

So I was given a petition and invited to eat. I was a bit embarrassed but didn’t want to be rude. So on the advice of a few members from this forum I took it as a chance to meet and talk to a few of them. The food was fine, the OES ladies were nice. My hosts (the father n law and son n law) set me between them and at least one of them stayed with me my entire time at the lodge. We did not talk a LOT or about anything vital in any way. But I did enjoy just being with them. Especially the old man. He said even less than the rest but it was a positive presence to be near. I like him. As the meal started to wind down more members started to arrive and wander around, carrying aprons and stuff. My hosts invited me upstairs to look for the secretary again.

At 40 years old, I am pretty sure I was the youngest person there. Out of about 30-35 members there, I saw maybe 3 others in the under 50 group, still pretty sure I was younger than those too.

I was surprised and honored to be invited inside the Hall itself. The secretary had set up and was conducting business in there. I waited my turn, was introduced and I gave him my information. At that time it was explained to me that since I don’t have any relatives that are Masons, and I don’t even know any Masons, I’d have to know someone in the lodge for at least 6 months before I could petition (I think that is right). As we were leaving I was given a bit more information to take home and encouraged to continue coming to the monthly dinners and the monthly pancake breakfasts. I thanked my hosts multiple times who did seem genuinely interested in me and they made all the gestures of seeing me off.

I went home where my family was waiting to start a movie as family time. Spoke to my wife briefly about the encounter and where I was in the process. By the time the movie was done, it was getting late I needed to lay down. The whole family was tired by now.

When I woke up this morning again the whole situation is the FIRST thing on my mind and ONLY this morning does it set it. I don’t think I can begin tog et involved or learn anything or start my ......  anything for 6 months! Again nothing ever takes the front of my mind so dominantly as this has the past 2 days.

My emotional response is less than thrilled. So what now? I basically have 6 months of 1 dinner a month and maybe a pancake breakfast (really cuts close to church time). That’s a while and I am not exactly an extrovert. Even some of the Freemason FAQs and websites recommend that if you are looking for a social group, the Moose, Elk, Woodman ect are better options. If my mind is in the right gear this morning, even my petition is no good for the next 6 months as it would just be set aside, possibly even misplaced?

But what choice do I have? Either do it, or give up right?

Thanks to everyone who weighed in so far with suggestions of visiting the lodge, and staying for food if invited. I am glad I did on both accounts. I’m really glad I got to hang around the Past Master.

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Entered-06-20-16
Passed-02-20-17
Raised-06-10-17
Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

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Posted: 08 December 2015 08:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Well that is a bummer,and to be honest with you,I petition my Lodge on 10/16/14 for membership.I heard nothing in fact I figured that I had been rejected(blackballed),so I just put it in the back of my mind.Christmas,came and went,nothing,and I had forgotten about it then I got the call it was 3/5/15,and I know a lot of the member’s.I wish I could give you a answer on the question,of knowing Masons in the lodge,but it will take some of the member’s that know the rule’s better then me.As far as the time,that was my time frame.Hang in there!

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M.G. McDonald                                           Glenmora,Lodge#356
Entered Apprentice :4/14/15
Fellow Craft:8/15/15
Master M:12-15-15
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Posted: 08 December 2015 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Joseph - The thing to remember is this, Freemasonry is not a race to be won.  And, anything worth having is worth waiting and working for.  6 months to get to know the lodge members is nothing.  Anyone interested in joining my lodge, can be in for a year of visitation, and we meet 2x a month from September through May.  November and December are once a month as our second meeting in those months fall on Thanksgiving and usually too close to Christmas.  Potential candidates meet with our Master and Wardens outside of lodge meetings over the summer to talk about the process and why we handle the process this way.  Last year we had 16 guys approach us, of which 8 were initiated, and all were in the process roughly 13 months.  All 8 are active members and officers in the lodge in some capacity.  Freemasonry should be more about quality, not quantity.

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W:. Bro. Paul Hulseapple
St. Georges Lodge #6
Worshipful Master for the 2016-17 A.D 6016-17 A.L. year

32°AASR Valley of Schenectady
St Georges Chapter #157 Royal Arch Masons
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Oriental Shrine A.A.O.N.M.S.
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Posted: 08 December 2015 10:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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6 months!!!  That’s nothing.  Guys wait YEARS to join my lodge in Boston. 

I don’t see a problem here.  There is no hurry.  The lodge isn’t going anywhere.  You should do as they recommended and continue to go and get to know the guys.  You can’t just show up and have people who don’t know you call you brother.  These things take time.  It sounds like they’ve told you the path to membership.  It does make sense that if nobody in the lodge knows you and can vouch for you, it would require extra time for them to get to know you.

Don’t be discouraged.  Follow their advice. 

Also, I’m confused….have you chosen the “mainstream” or Prince Hall lodge?

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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: 08 December 2015 11:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Hi Joseph, to be honest 6 months is getting off lightly! My own Proposer and Seconder needed over a year to get to know me as I, like you, approached a Lodge where I was not known to any members.

I think what you need to temper your eagerness is a little understanding of what is going on. Although Freemasonry is open to those who meet the criteria and who wish to join, that does not mean that a Lodge has to accept someone that approaches it for membership. In fact quite the opposite is true, each and every Lodge decides who it will allow to join it hence the need for a Proposer and Seconder for each and every Candidate. The guys who wiil meet up with you and eventually act at as your Sponsors MUST feel comfortable putting your name forward for membership, they must be sure that you will fit in and not affect the existing harmony of their Lodge.

Also worth reminding you that Patience is a Virtue and we do love our Candidates to be virtuous wherever possible.

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Posted: 08 December 2015 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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If you’ve followed some of my previous comments (I don’t expect you to) the Prince Hall Mason I spoke with was a nice guy and I liked him. But that lodge is on the far side of my Metro area. About 35 miles of dense city interstate freeway. The local Blue Lodge is about 3 miles from my house. Where I am currently working (as of yesterday coincidently) I am actually viewing one wall of the lodge from my desk right now.

Little sympathy for my disappointment eh? I don’t expect them to take me in on the first meeting and call me brother. I was hoping to get the ball rolling on my petition, spend the next couple months getting to know people and having my background all worked out. Then possibly start to learn by Feb, March or so. I’m not clear how this works but now my impression is that nothing happens from here for the next six months? No petition, no background. Just dinners and small talk once a month till June.

I have no expectation of special treatment of fast tracking in some way. I just didn’t realize that I’d just be hanging out at dinners for 6 months and not making any progress. Now that I seem to think the latter, I’m a little bummed. I was anxious to get involved. That’s all.

The previous posts were attempts to “fish” for useful nuggets. I caught a couple. This is the same. Just hoping to find something productive and useful. Guess I could start on Freemasons for Dummies.

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Entered-06-20-16
Passed-02-20-17
Raised-06-10-17
Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

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Posted: 08 December 2015 12:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Brother Joseph - 08 December 2015 11:51 AM

I was hoping to get the ball rolling on my petition, spend the next couple months getting to know people and having my background all worked out. Then possibly start to learn by Feb, March or so. I’m not clear how this works but now my impression is that nothing happens from here for the next six months? No petition, no background. Just dinners and small talk once a month till June…

...I have no expectation of special treatment of fast tracking in some way. I just didn’t realize that I’d just be hanging out at dinners for 6 months and not making any progress.

There is a connection between “hanging out at the dinners” and “making progress”.  Just be aware that 6 months is more than likely a guideline and not set in stone.  It could be longer and there is a lot going on that you don’t see so don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because you don’t see action, that nothing is taking place. 

One thing that I have not seen asked of you is, “why do you wish to join”?

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W:. Bro. Paul Hulseapple
St. Georges Lodge #6
Worshipful Master for the 2016-17 A.D 6016-17 A.L. year

32°AASR Valley of Schenectady
St Georges Chapter #157 Royal Arch Masons
Scribe

St. George’s Council # 74 Cryptic Masons
Giles Fonda Yates Council #22 AMD
Jr. Warden

St. George’s Commandery #37
Oriental Shrine A.A.O.N.M.S.
Schenectady NY

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Posted: 08 December 2015 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Hey, you could go ahead and get started right now, and begin the simple deliberations of just being a good man to yourself and the rest of humanity! Everybody has work to do, not just freemasons.

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Loren
Bellingham Bay Lodge #44, Washington State

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Posted: 08 December 2015 12:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Hello Brother Joseph,

Having just gone through it. I waited close to 6 months to finally get initiated. It’s a long tunnel with no light at the end. I filled my angst with reading a lot of books on Masonry and books on the Knights Templar. I can state with open abandonment the wait is worth it. Looking back on it the months seem but a blip. I urge you to stay the course. It will be worth every minute it takes. Good luck.

Fraternally

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Fraternally,

Troy Henderson

Petitioned: June, 2015
Initiated: September, 2015
Passed: November, 2015
Raised: February, 2016

Abbottsford Lodge #70
Abbotsford, BC

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Posted: 08 December 2015 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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Well, where to begin?

First, You have made progress, you were invited back. Had you spouted off about making business connections or getting out of parking tickets that would not have happened.

Second, these things take time. Understand that the men in that lodge as well as every Mason in the world have sworn to come to the aid and defense of a brother when needed. If you turned out to be someone that is not deserving of so great a service, you would not be allowed to join. Nobody could tell that in an hour or so at a dinner. Once you take the Entered Apprentice Obligation you are a Mason and have certain rights and privileges available nowhere else. You also take upon yourself certain duties to your brothers and all mankind.

If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t be disappointed, I’d be delighted with my progress so far. It took 20 years before my sponsor mentioned Masonry to me. Now I’m Master of the lodge and couldn’t be happier with my decision to join.

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John Ruggiero, 32°
Master, Ancient York Lodge, Lowell, MA.

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Posted: 08 December 2015 02:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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6 months seems like a bit much to me, but many lodges have different schedules for new candidates.  I do not know much about the situation at your lodge, but since you have no lengthy acquaintanceship with any masons, the lodge is right to be careful.

Petitioning freemasonry is a life-changing decision, not to be entered into hastily or thoughtlessly. I encourage you to show patience, and follow the advice you will receive from the lodge.

Myself, I thought about masonry for some months, before I decided to petition.  I am glad that I did not just “jump” into it hastily.

I wish you every good luck, I can promise it will be worth the wait.

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Charles E. Martin
Alexandria, Virginia

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Posted: 08 December 2015 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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Here’s another way to look at it…

The Brothers that propose and second you are putting the reputation of their good judgement on the line with the other lodge brethren. If they don’t already know you I think 6 months of meeting you once a month and talking is a minimum to really get to know you to the point where they could honestly be comfortable in supporting your petition fully.

Masonry is not a fast-moving organisation, in some ways that is part of its attraction, it is so different from the world that we spend most of our time in which is full of instant gratification and saw-it-wanted-it-got-it culture. I know that you will be eager to get involved but please have patience, the end result will be worth it

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Neil Higgins

Craft - Blackpool Lodge of Fellowship No 7692
Holy Royal Arch - Fellowship Chapter No 7692

Initiated: 11th January 2013
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Posted: 08 December 2015 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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Brother Joesph,
I agree with all that has been stated above:just know that if you have the patience,that you will,get you petition in front of the voting member’s of the lodge. The best thing to do is leave a good impression with the brethren there,being yourself should be sufficient to the job that need’s doing.I’m pulling for you.

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M.G. McDonald                                           Glenmora,Lodge#356
Entered Apprentice :4/14/15
Fellow Craft:8/15/15
Master M:12-15-15
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Posted: 08 December 2015 04:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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Brother Joseph,
My light is rather limited at the moment, however, I had a similar scenario to yours. I’m in the US Army and move around rather frequently and have only been in my current assignment for six months. I initially contacted my lodge via the state lodge website and received feedback inviting me to a dinner. The secretary told me to come out to the dinners for the next few months and that as the brothers got to know me, they’d probably be willing to sign for me. He explained it could take several months. To my surprise, it only took two months before several were willing to vouch for me.

Having read how excited you are, I’m sure you’ll too soon get your signatures! Even after the petition, it takes a while to get the ball rolling but it’ll be well worth it. I literally just received my EA degree last night, and it took around five months from the first time I knocked on the lodge door. You will be initiated before you know it.

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Randy L. Angel
Phoenix Lodge #38 F&AM;
Natchitoches, LA

EA: 7 Dec 2015
FC:18 Jan 2016
MM:15 Feb 2016

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Posted: 08 December 2015 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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Thanks everyone for your encouragement and wisdom. If you have inside knowledge I know full well there is only just so much you can tell. And because of the reward of the experience you also don’t want to tell. And I wouldn’t want you to tell if it really is that great to see it for yourself.

For a few comments though, don’t confuse my enthusiasm with impatience. One is positive and the other is not. My desire for this fellowship and experience is positive. My attitude towards getting involved is positive. So my expectations were dowsed a bit by my realization when I got up this morning that what I thought, was not so.

As I said before, nothing ever weighs on the front of my thoughts like this has. I’ve gotten up two days in a row and my very first thoughts were on Freemasonry. Even before I was able to get out of the bed.

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Entered-06-20-16
Passed-02-20-17
Raised-06-10-17
Golden City Lodge #1
Golden, CO

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Posted: 09 December 2015 03:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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Trust me, 6 months is considered an extremely short time compared to my jurisdiction :) The special thing about masonry is that masons choose each other, nothing is obligatory to the craft and no member is forced to the brothers of a lodge! That is why time is required! and with that excitement you have, i am sure everything will just turn out fine.
Best of luck

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