PAST MASTERS MESSAGE
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STEWARDSHIP
Alfred E. Brown Master 1980 - 1983 - 2012

This is my watch-word for the ensuing masonic year.  The stewardship over the lodge is a primary responsibility of all of us, but more particularly the officers of the lodge. 
While this naturally extends to the physical lodge it most particularly extends to the work
that we do within the lodge building.


HERITAGE

The fraternity, fellowship and brotherhood we enjoy in our masonic order, is the result of hard work and dedication of all the brothers who have gone before us for more than four hundred years.

The ritual, floor work and furnishings of the lodge made a deep and lasting impression on those of us that were fortunate to be initiated into a lodge in which the stewardship of the work was taken very seriously.  Those impressions are, in a great measure, responsible for the cohesiveness of the fraternity. 
To allow that, to slip away, is to allow the significance of the order to slip away, also.


Stewardship - is our sacred obligation to pass on what we had the privilege of experiencing,
to those that will follow. If we are not willing to do this – we may as well apply for liquor licenses
and become like the rest of the social fraternities.


The “alternate proficiency” was a major step away from the quality of the work that is passed on to the newer members. Under this, the newer brothers are not being given the benefit of a solid foundation and learning experience on which to build their Masonic careers, but, more particularly,
have a solid foundation to learning  the lectures and rituals.


While the alternate proficiency must be recognized, and any mason who chooses this path is to be recognized no less, than one who has taken the “traditional” path,  I intend to strongly urge that all the brothers keep the stewardship of our lodge and the fraternity in mind when explaining
the proficiency work required to the prospective members.


I perticularly urge any brother who is signing a petition for the degrees to carefully explain to the
prospective member, the requirements and ramifications and advantages of the traditional proficiency.


Petitions are being sought and accepted without counseling the candidates on what is expected. What the degree and proficiency procedures entail. Too many are coming in with the idea that they show up,
go through some ceremony, and they are masons.
The “instant gratification” is not what builds character in men, or societies.


If we do not decide to reinstate stewardship to our lodges and to the work, the quality of the work and consequentially the significance of the fraternity will continue to degrade.

THINGS I AM GOING TO STRESS

Proper memorization

 of the ritual work. There has been an increasing trend over several years toward “paraphrasing” the meanings in place of the actual ritual. While no-one is going to be perfect all the time, I expect a sincere effort to minimize repetition of errors.  Errors should be pointed out to any brother, perhaps in quite, personal conversation.  I expect to receive these pointers as well.

Proper floor work

 This can be somewhat nebulous, in that each lodge has variations on how particular parts are to be done. Much of the floor work is a result of custom or tradition. I intend to impose on our District Lecturer to attend our meetings and practice sessions and give us his best interpretation of proper floor work.
There will be several 4th Wed., and/or Saturday, meetings for floor work and ritual work,
as well as some in-lodge instruction.


Mentoring

Each EA, FC and MM will be assigned a mentor who will be responsible for seeing that each has access to the proper work as well and proper instruction in the mysteries of the craft.
It was the practice in past years that the first line signer was to be the mentor responsible
for a candidate in this regard.
Brothers signing a petition for the degrees should keep this firmly in mind.


Officer Prepration

Each officer is expected to see to it that the next officer in line is properly prepared
 to take the next position should that officer not be able to attend a given meeting.


All officers are expected to be able to open first, second and third along with the proper closings.
There will be several opportunities to practice this.


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