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Posted: 23 February 2017 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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Hello everyone, I am in the process of petitioning my local lodge. I live in a pretty small town surrounded by other small towns and after roaming the Grand Lodge of Texas website I noticed a couple of things. The Grand lodge has both a web page and a social media presence while these local lodges near me do not…

For anyone who doesn’t know I am 22 years old. I’ll get to why I gave that information in a second. I’m sure this has been discussed many times on here before so I don’t see a need to get into this fact too deep but I am aware of the decline of members in the brotherhood at the time of my petitioning process some of this of course being attributed to the WW2 era being old and dying off.

Now I’ll get into why mentioning my age was somewhat relevant. Basically the question once I work my way through the degree work would it be appropriate to talking about creating web pages and managing other forms of an online presence for these local lodges that I am around? The reason I ask is because there is a big generational difference in the way my generation chooses to communicate and seek out information and how the older generations communicate. This disconnect I believe to be a big part of why smaller lodges struggle to have fresh faces.

As the saying goes. “To be one ask one.” A bit hard to do when the lodge doesn’t communicate the same way younger people like myself do.

Just curious on everyone’s thoughts.

-Josh

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I would rather be hated for who I am then loved for who I’m not
-Curt Cobain

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Posted: 23 February 2017 09:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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The fast answer is yes, once you are a full member of your lodge it is appropriate to discuss any ideas. But be prepared because the way it usually works is “by the will of the lodge”. So a lot of things might come to a vote and majority is not interested shot down.

I know the value of websites and Facebook pages first hand. When I joined my lodge several years ago, I noticed that they did not have a website, and I made one for them (our grand lodge actually shares space on their servers making it free for us). I also started a public Facebook page and a private/members only Facebook page. The website is a general information website with a contact us page for more information. The public Facebook page has links to the website, and we post open events happening at our lodge as well as upcoming fundraising events. The private page is used by members to share life events, masonic events, and a calendar.

We have had several brothers join in the past couple of years by first contacting us through the website. And all of our members that have joined within the last 2 1/2 years (since the website) have been in the age range of 21 - 35.

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Bro. David Howard
Jr Grand Deacon - GL of Alabama F & AM
Sr. Deacon - Howard E. Palmes Lodge #917, Mobile, Alabama

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Posted: 23 February 2017 10:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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David thank you very much for that insight. I feel a better online presence would benefit my local lodges in the same manner as it has done for your lodge. So since the time of this posting I have managed to find some Social media pages for a couple of the lodges but they are how should I say this….very scarce in content.

I know it may be a bit odd for someone only in the petitioning part of the process to take interest in this particular topic so early but being that the town I am from and the surrounding towns are quite small I know almost all of the members personally. You see as one of the only young individuals that make an appearance to initiate contact with my local masons I came to the realization that the only reason I discovered I had any near me was a bit of an accident.

I’ve known of and had a desire to be a part of the brotherhood since I was 12 at the time being a patient at a Shriners hospital. When I was a senior in highschool I was at my Grandfathers home and when going to the back of the house noticed his personal collection of books included several with the square and compass. I wasn’t actually supposed to go in that part of the home but when you have to go to the bathroom and don’t know where it is….well ya know desperate times.

Anyway point being Because my generation tends to be very social online I thought it would help peak the interest of younger individuals if they occasionally saw the lodges involvement in helping the community through their website or a social media page.

for instance like when you mention how your lodge will have a list of upcoming fund-raising events any individual looking to do something for the community could easily take interest and want to be involved in such a thing and consequently also take an interest in the brotherhood itself. With some younger faces I also think the lodges would have more energy to do more in the community a win win.

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I would rather be hated for who I am then loved for who I’m not
-Curt Cobain

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Posted: 24 February 2017 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Small towns are a double edge sword.  In effect, most times, people do not get curious about things they do not see.  With smaller towns (relative term), if they do not have a decent size community footprint, then they are not heard of to be looked for. 

As an analogy, let’s say you buy a car with automatic parking; You have never seen it, never heard of it, nor has it been mentioned to you. How do you know to ask questions about it? (I hope that makes sense)

While I do not intend to dissuade you in any way, I thought it prudent to mention it.

In any case, good luck!

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Brother Ken

St. John’s 1P, RI
EA 10/19/16
FC 1/18/17
MM 3/15/17

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing ~ Theodore Roosevelt

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Posted: 24 February 2017 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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I’m a moderator here on this forum and a member of the Grand Lodge Information Services and Technology Committee. Here in Massachusetts, as evidenced by this forum, we take current communication methods seriously. While the direct benefit to our lodges of this forum may not be measurable, we know we are benefiting the Fraternity as a whole by being here. My lodge has a web site and a private facebook page. The people at Grand Lodge send the Masters and Lodge Membership Chairs emails with contact information from those that reach out to us there either by phone, email or web contact form. I have had to adapt to the texting culture of our younger members (I’m pushing 60) so notifications to members go out through text, email, facebook, and the occasional phone call.  I try to use the communication method preferred by anyone but us old guys don’t text as fast as you younguns :)

On the other hand, you will discover as you progress that there is value to taking things slow and steady. Patience is the first lesson of Freemasonry. Your petition may not be read in lodge for a month or more. While the process varies from place to place, it can take six months to more than a year between your initial contact with a lodge and your first degree. In some places it takes a year between each degree. While this may not fit into a Millennial’s concept of what should happen, we’ve been doing this a lot longer than Millennials have been alive and know a bit about human nature. In the 300 years we’ve been doing what we do, pretty much everything that can happen has. We always have good reasons for what we do and usually don’t share them until the lesson is learned.

I once was talking with a young brother who told me, “Millennials know the rules. They then make decisions regarding which ones apply to them and which they will choose to ignore.” Freemasonry teaches that the rules apply to all of us from the Grand Master to the newest Entered Apprentice. This can cause much wringing of hands and consternation among those who choose to ignore certain rules.

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

God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much. - Mother Teresa

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Posted: 24 February 2017 04:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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Not a bad analogy Ken. I might use that when the time comes.

John- Thanks for the reply and words of wisdom. I do have to admit growing up in the electronic age of information makes it difficult to have patience on occasion. With Freemasonry however, I rather enjoy the process and the bit of dedication it takes. At 22 I’ve been waiting a decade for my opportunity to approach the brotherhood. Another few months to a year to be a brother no big deal. I’d actually feel even more proud of myself for taking the time needed.

Even though I’m not quite part of the fraternity yet I have a deep love for the masons and all that they do which is why I posed this question in the first place of course. I love them so because I have been a recipient of their great charity in a way that I could never hope to repay to them but I can dedicate my time and skills to help in whatever they need.

Actually a bit of an interesting story about me wanting to be apart of the brotherhood…My brother(20) asked why I want to join a group that keeps secrets about some of the stuff they do. I in turn asked him, ” Well let me ask you this, if there were a stone workers guild in which they had secrets on how they are able to cut stone so well and efficiently what would be the point of joining such a group if everyone suddenly had this knowledge and even if you did join this group still how would you know if someone is a real brother or an impostor. If there are no secrets in this case the bond between brothers would lose some value.” Basically explaining to him that a secret is not inherently malicious but that it sometimes can add value to being a part of a group.

Because my brother has grown up seeing my interest in the brotherhood he is also considering becoming part of it.


That young brother you spoke to is not wrong. Millennials do in fact pick and choose what applies to them on occasion. I will say though I don’t think this is an exclusive characteristic of the generation but instead a trait often seen in a young group regardless as young people tend to have a bit of natural inclination to be rebellious. Me personally I like to consider why something is set up a certain way before I decide whether I should ignore or strongly dislike it. As the saying goes don’t fix something that isn’t broken.

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I would rather be hated for who I am then loved for who I’m not
-Curt Cobain

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Posted: 25 February 2017 01:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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I think your zeal for contributing to the lodge will be welcomed and appreciated later on, however, since you’re in the process of petitioning, I think it’s prudent to not be too headstrong or overzealous. Once you come up through the degrees and prove to be reliable, your talents will be put to good use. I would just caution you to not overstep your bounds and to be patient. Best of luck on your journey!

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P. Cassidy

Initiated: 11/5/16
Passed: 12/28/16
Raised:  1/25/17

St George Lodge #33

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Posted: 25 February 2017 01:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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Oh no, of course this will be something I mention in lodge much later after being an MM for a bit. I appreciate that note of caution though as in person I can be a bit forward when pitching ideas. I’ll take it slow and perhaps ask my relative how exactly I should go about the topic to the brothers.

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I would rather be hated for who I am then loved for who I’m not
-Curt Cobain

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