Thursday, September 25, 2008

Are All Lodges Worth Saving?

In my seemingly never ending battle to shake the rust off a once glittering ediface, I have been as of late pondering the question above. For two years now, I have made it my quixotic quest to return a nearly two hundred fifty year old lodge to its former glory. I have volunteered for every comittee, been on almost every investigation, created an amazing website, and generally done everything in my power to save my lodge. I have had numerous conversations with every member I can get my hands on expressing my dream of what our lodge could be. I assumed positions that should not have been mine for years, if ever, all in the name of saving a very old organization from the decay that had pervaded it. While we have made some strides in the right direction I dont think we are any better off than when I started. Yes we have some new members, yes we have done some nice things, but overall my lodge has not lived up to the promise of brotherhood. We go through the motions but very rarely live what we preach.

Leadership is a lost art in my lodge. Flowery messages from the East mean nothing when you only devote the few hours of the actual meetings to the service of the lodge. The few Brothers who constantly take the burden of the lodge on their shoulders will eventually be broken under the strain. I am at a loss. My drive to finish my quest is diminshing. I see other lodges working together under great leadership and realizing their potential, but I am hard pressed to see it in my own.

Is it worth all of the effort???????


The Palmetto Mason said...

It is worth the effort. You may never see the results, but someone that comes behind you may see them - maybe even after your body has been laid to rest for the final time.

Though Masonry is often protrayed as an avenue to improve ourselves in the here and now, I like to think that individual Masons should also be taking action to improve things for those that not yet Masons - even those Masons not yet born.

I often compare Freemasonry's slow movement to the government/society that occupied the centerpiece of Asimov's Foundation series. Anyone who has ever read those books will know what I mean.

Millennial Freemason said...

I concur with what Palmetto Bug has said. I sometimes myself feel what you are feeling, hopelessness, but I just keep working through. What you are doing is laudable. Just reminder yourself that we are just living stones, each one of us separate yet together in one mass a part of the great structure.

simon laplace said...

Freemasonry is supposed to make a man better and it has done so for me. I am better for having it give me the tolerance to put up with the disfunction, discouragement and disappointment which comes with the trying. Without Freemasonry I might not have even tried; with Freemasonry I don't give up. Don't give up.

Still Justa Mason said...

The answer to your subject question is "no." It depends on the members.

A Lodge is not one man. If only one man is interested in doing what's necessary to carry on the work, he either finds others who are interested, interests others, or packs it in. There is no point in having a Lodge if no one cares and it lacks a purpose.


Greg Stewart said...

Yes, it is worth the effort.

The question is will the work net the result you are looking for.

a very wise brother said to me once you make change like easting an elephant, which is one bite at a time.

Set clear steps in what you want to do. Set your goals for what you would like to achieve, and then devise a plan to implement.

If you focus on building any one area, the overall goal will fail as there are no supports for it in the areas not built up.

Yes it is worth it. Great work is hard work, and the reward for a job well done is more work. Keep at it brother, you will see results.

J Fowler said...

I'm am a newly raised brother. I don't have enough experience to answer that question, but perhaps the question should be reconsidered.

Why did you join? When you attend, do you meet with friends and have great discussions?

Is that enough? If not, what more do you want?

I hope your Lodge is worth saving.

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

Yes, it is worth saving! The problem is, when there are only one or two that feel that it is worth saving, usually end up feeling like they had just tilted at the windmill.

I can only voice my opinion, but it seems like there are two or three older members of the lodge who control the lodge, even though they don't sit in the East or any other chair, and they are afraid of change even if it would invigorate the lodge they so dearly love.

More brethren must be vested with the task of keeping our order alive. It is worth it, it is a beautiful system! Keep with it brother.

Tom Accuosti said...

Did you ever hear the expression "throwing good money after bad"? It has to do with one's investment of money into something that is losing money or costing too much - but because you've already put in a large amount of capital, you would feel that it would be a total loss to abandon it.

Most of us do this to some extent.
"If I can only hold on for another year, this lodge will be rocking!"
"Just one more year."
"Just two or three more officers."
"Just a few more repairs on the old roof."

3M, at some point you will need to make the decision as to whether you - personally - would be better off moving on to a more progressive and functional lodge.

You've only got those 8 hours to invest, my friend. Use them wisely.

Paul Chapin said...

I just back from taking my Sunday morning trip to the lodge to do an hour of painting. I enjoy my time there and it gives me time to reflect on my masonic activities. I now have five more meetings until the end of my term as Master and I move on to lead my affiliate lodge which is similar to your lodge.

In my two years there, I have seen progress slow, slow progress. They still can't, don't, won't do many of the activities of my home lodge and like yourself I ask why ? Change is a slow painful process and requires strong steady leadership. I think you can make a difference; keep the faith !

Tom Accuosti said...

Yo, 3M!
Just a reminder that Eric assumes the East for an FC degree on Wednesday.

simon laplace said...

Worth a column in Connecticut Freemasons? Hey, you'd be published again!

M.M.M. from the North Eastern Corner said...

Thank you to all of my Brothers that gave me words of wisdom and solace, you helped me to get over that hump and push forward, although I am seeing things in a different light.
RW Simon, let's see what I can kind of article I can whip up!