Thursday, April 3, 2008

I would have had them sleeping if it weren't for you meddling kids!

For the first time, I kind of stepped on toes in lodge.
With all of the Fellowcrafts my lodge currently has, it was decided to have a lodge of instruction on the degree. My mentor, who has run things for so long, had a program gathered, and planned on doing an interactive Q&A session with a walk through on the degree. As our meeting grew nearer the W.M. and I exchanged emails about what to do for the L.O.I.

Our W.M., who is my "Middle Chamber" hero, wanted to go over the long form of the lecture and discuss the finer points of the degree. I was on board for that and asked what I could do to help. These email exchanges happened a few days before our scheduled meeting and trailed off without any concrete plans for our Masonic education for our new Fellowcrafts.

The beginning of lodge night is always a blur for me having to plan for the food and get the lodge set up for the evening. Tonight, I was also playing handyman around the building which kept me from the fellowship of the before lodge meal. Before I knew it it the gavel was dropped and as I settled back into my chair in the South we proceeded to open our lodge.

I have to admit, it was nice to be back in the South, although I enjoyed being Senior Warden for a night. Only two of our Fellowcrafts were able to make the meeting and we had a surprise visitor from a lodge upstate from us but we almost had a complete officer line as we attended to some buisness. Two more men were voted into our lodge including my very good friend whom I have written before on this blog.
On to the education.
The WM addressed our Fellowcrafts and explained that we would go over the Fellowcraft Degree and stated that there was a long form of the Middle Chamber lecture that they were given and that he just wanted to touch on some of the topics covered in depth in the long form. He then stated that its a really long lecture and didn't want to read them the whole thing.... then proceeded to read them the whole thing!! Head down in the book, he started reading the lecture for all gathered, and as he went on and on looks were being shot back and forth among the gathered brethren. He was losing them all really fast. I looked down at the F.C. brothers and although they were politely looking up to him in the East, they too started to adjust their watches and aprons and wedding rings. I saw our night of Masonic education going quickly down the tubes. I felt as if I didn't do something fast, it might be a long time before anyone wants to do one again. So when the WM paused in between sections of the lecture I politely asked him for the floor, which he politely relinquished, but no-one had any idea what was coming next.
Not to offend the WM I gave a long story short version of all the aspects of my favorite lecture and then proceeded to expound upon the higher meaning of the F.C. degree. I got up in front of our F.C.'s and started getting ESOTERIC which got back their attention, along with the rest of the brethren assembled. It was awesome for me and the applause after, I think, proved that my brethren liked it too. I then turned back the floor to the WM who insisted I finish reading the lecture even after my protest. I started speed reading through it, which he stopped me from doing and I then started reading it and expanding upon the material as I read. I was glad he stopped me from running through the rest and I think our F.C.'s got something from it all, but I felt as if I did wrong by upstaging my WM., even though he reflected some of my points to the brethren after.
I apologised to him afterwards and I think he was alright with it all, but you never know.
Masonic education should not be boring. It should not be a high school lecture on the liberal arts. It should be interactive and exciting. It should be delivered with all the excitement that our wonderful craft deserves. What we do is not boring, it is enlightening, we just need to refine our delivery for modern men.

1 comment:

J.L.M. from The North-East Corner said...

Dear M.M.M.,

I am having the same problem within my own lodge, the Worshipful Master wants to reintroduce the Masonic Education "Feature" into our lodge, but it is turning into just another lecture where we are falling alseep. He tries to garner comments and discussion from the brethren there-in assembled, yet only a few of us respond, and many of the older members look as if their pacemakers easily slowed down. As a young mason, without much experience, what are some ways to get a discussion going throughout the educational part of the meeting.

S & F,