I came across this message in the Grand Master's Blog and felt it was worth passing on. Please read on......
A Master’s Message on Lodge Attendance
Each month, the Deputy Grand Master and I have the privilege of reading most of the Summons in the jurisdiction. Many summons are full of valuable information, messages, event listings, photos, etc.
However, every once in a while a particular Master’s Message catches our eye. Such was the case in the December 2012 Summons of Powasson Lodge No. 443. What follows is the text of the message by W. Bro. Harold Thompson to his members regarding their attendance at Lodge. I think you will find the message very educational and enlightening.
Powassan Lodge No. 443, Dec 2012 Master’s Message by W. Bro. Harold Thompson
Brethren, it is once again that time to welcome everyone back to lodge for our December meeting. I would first like to say that I am extremely pleased with the work that our officers are doing, and I would also like to congratulate Brother Brad Gracey on his being passed to the 2nd degree. He was well prepared, and a very attentive candidate. We at Powassan Lodge are lucky to have him.
In this month’s summons, Brethren, I would like to discuss something that is very important to me, and I believe very important to the Lodge.
That is Lodge Attendance.
If you think back to your first day of school, right on up to your first job and present career, attendance policy has always been strictly mentioned.
Not so much in the Lodge?
We keep in mind that school and work (for most of us) were compulsory institutions. We had to go to school, and later, we had to go to work. Not much would have been accomplished in our lives without this mandatory attendance? And believe me when I say that the same can be applied to a Brothers voluntary attendance in Lodge. Not much can be accomplished in our Masonic lives without this regular Lodge attendance.
If you think back to your school day’s (I know they’re a little further back for some of us) the biggest reason for attending class would have been our grades. Attending class could only improve our ability to learn more, and time spent in the classroom would help us to learn things that you may have not even thought about studying?? Attending class was important, because class related activities could only be done in the classroom. The same can be said for Lodge.
Think of a boxer, for example. If he wants to be successful as a fighter, it is very important for him to train with an experienced trainer, and surround himself with more experienced boxers, because without this, I’m afraid he wouldn’t get very far as a professional fighter?? We can use this philosophy in respects to Lodge.
Time spent in Lodge, with more experienced Masons (trainers?) can have a huge positive impact on every Mason. Time spent in Lodge can only improve a Mason’s performance and encourage him to interact more.
And believe me when I say that I know, with today’s fast paced lives of some of our younger members, how available time can play a big role in a Brothers attendance. I still have small children at home, and I’m quite a few days away from retirement, but I still keep in mind that I joined my Lodge for myself. It’s something that I make time for, not try to find time for?? There’s the aspect of "Fellowship". Shouldn’t someone want to hang out with the guys in their Lodge once or twice a month?? Why belong otherwise??
Let’s face it; those who attend Lodge get more out of Freemasonry than those who don’t. That’s that, everyone knows it. It is true, however, that you can get a lot out of Freemasonry by reading about it, and there are hundreds of sources available for anyone who wants to research it, but I believe that there is more to Freemasonry than it’s words alone. Much more.
When we attend Lodge on a regular basis, it reminds us that we are a fraternity, a brotherhood, a collection of tens of thousands of places where Masons meet, greet, and share. That we get extra value out of extra activities of meeting, greeting, and sharing. It reminds us that we’re the oldest and largest international fraternity of like minded beliefs in the world. We share mutual experiences and a frequency of new and renewed friendships. We share a knowledge imbedded in the fabric of Freemasonry through its rituals and the design of how all our Lodges operate. Knowledge about important truths concerning life and living.
It has been said to every new Entered Apprentice that has ever stepped through our Lodge doors (since I’ve been there anyway) that "you only get out of it what you put into it", and this is true, but I would go as far as to say that for every 1% you put into it, you’ll get 100% back, all we have to do is show up?!
So Brethren, let’s not just make the time, let’s take the time to attend Lodge.
I am going to leave you with a quote from a 6th century BCE, Chinese philosopher named Lao Tzu. He has always interested me, and I think this quote is as fitting to the theme as any other; Thanks again. W.M. Harold Thompson.
"Time is a created thing; to say that 'I don’t have the time" is like saying 'I don’t want to' " - Lao Tzu.
Fraternally, W. Bro. Harold Thompson,
Worshipful Master, Powassan Lodge No. 443
My congratulations to W. Bro., Thompson on a great message!
D. Garry Dowling,