It’s been just over a month and progress is being made. I’m learning a lot from super experts. I’m really grateful that the office staff doesn’t roll their eyes or talk under their breath as I ask questions or make suggestions. They are patient, understanding and totally helpful.
All of us are getting into the ‘what else’ mode. This really means that everyone is kicking around ideas that can make life better for the Lodges, the Brethren, the committees and projects, the office and leadership. Not all the ideas can be turned into reality overnight. Some of the better suggestions may easily take months or even years to fully implement. But, like all projects, there has to be priorities and we’re working those that are causing the most pain.
I hope that each of you are enjoying the new newsletter. I think I speak for everyone by saying we all enjoy putting it together. Thanks to the staff for taking the extra time to pull this together and thanks to you for all of the positive feedback.
Suggestions? Send them in. We’re working with several Brothers to see where improvements can be made.
Civility – A Masonic Characteristic
“Do unto others” is the basic concept behind civility. One must show respect if one wants respect. One should be tolerant if one wants acceptance. Where we sometimes run into trouble is in answering the question of who takes the initial step? It should never be a question of ‘who starts’, but a declaration of “Let it begin with me.” Too often we forget our civility after an incident or other expression of incivility. Without waiting to remember that we want patience for our short comings, we react in retaliation for someone else’s flaws or short comings. Road rage and parking lot vandalism are just two examples of taking affront by bad behavior and responding with our own bad or worse behavior.
Masons, guided by their obligations, charges and tenets should (and here I use one of my favorite expressions) live their Masonry, Every Day, Every Way. Do so and you will Be the Difference.
Much discussion around this office is dealing with the Membership (Dues) Cards. The Brethren have been generous in telling us what is wrong with the plastic cards; what they like and dislike. Much of what they have issues with cannot be fixed without big time changes in the database and how it is accessed. While all this can and will be resolved, it can’t be done in time for the Lodges to order and have the membership cards in hand when the secretaries need them. So… you will receive new cards this year and at no cost to the Lodges, however, they will be paper. You will get a separate card for each Lodge for which you are a member. They will be similar to what you have had in the past with a notable difference. The membership card will have a bar code printed on the front. This was a relatively easy addition (as your member number is already on the card) and will greatly assist the Credentials Committee for registration and issuing you a voting pendant at the Annual Communication.
In the meantime, the Credentials Committee will be working with your suggestions and the Lodge Secretaries, Tylers and members to get a plastic, multi-year, multi-Lodge card. Their goal is to have a member card that is vetted, tested and really tested, that works for the member, the Lodge, the Grand Lodge and Credentials all ready for 2017.
I hope to be travelling to the Lodges a lot more (as soon as I can get a pathway to the office door) in the future. I just wanted to let the Brethren know that I will have my notepad and will make myself available for all comments and suggestions on how we can better serve and support.
Quote of the Month
“We serve the Brethren, but support the Brothers.”
MWB Jim Mendoza, Grand Master of Washington
Where's Sam ... Latest Update
Well…. Mukilteo. We talked with several Realtors and have gotten tons of advice. We’ll follow some suggestions but others involve $ or time. In all this, I have made one GRAND discovery and that is Vickie doesn’t do ladders. All in all, baring the unseen and unexpected, the home will be listed near the end of July.
Then…. University Place or vicinity. My recommendation for anyone that is considering downsizing and moving…. ‘Lock the doors and start over’. It will be easier, faster and in the long run … cost less. What keeps us focused on getting stabilized as soon as possible is the commitment of providing the Brethren with full time service and access. Vickie is devoting as much time and gasoline as possible to finding a place for all her stuff… and I am hoping that I am on that list.
Secretary, Treasurer & Temple Board Training
We are working on exciting new training programs for Secretaries, Treasurers and Temple Board Trustees. We will be conducting training at Audubon Park Lodge in Spokane, WA on Sunday, October 9, 2016 and at Shoreline Lodge in Seattle on Sunday, October 30, 2016. Both training programs will begin at 11:00 am with Temple Board Trustee training followed by Secretary training (to include an overview of the Lodge Secretary Interface - LSI) and Treasurer training. Lunch will be served for a small donation. This is a great opportunity for anyone who is currently serving in one or more of these positions or is thinking about making themselves available in the future. We look forward to seeing you there. To sign up for the free training, please click on one of the options below:
Brethren of the Jurisdiction of Washington: Are you interested in putting your name forward for consideration as our next Junior Grand Warden or Grand Secretary? How about serving on the Grand Lodge Building Association or maybe as a Trustee of Washington Masonic Charities? If so, you will want to attend an informational session being hosted by the Grand Master at the Grand Lodge Office on Sunday, August 7th, from Noon to 3:00. This will be a great opportunity to find out about each position in great detail, the expected commitment of personal time & resources, and to ask questions. If you are married, you should also bring your spouse as your decision to serve will impact her as well. If you are planning on attending, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. As your Statement of Availability will be due in the Grand Lodge Office by September 1st, you will want to make the time to attend this informational session.
We Want to Help Bring Business to Your Lodge!
Grand Lodge often receives inquiries from the public regarding renting Lodge space for events. If you would like Grand Lodge to direct these inquiries to your Lodge, please send us your information including current contact information for rentals of your building and facility space. You can email this information to email@example.com and we will compile a list of rental venues available to provide when inquiries are made.
Non-Exempt Use of Tax Exempt Property Owned by Nonprofit Organizations
Your Legislative Task Force has been busy working with the Washington State Department of Revenue (DOR) to get specific guidelines for who, what and how the Lodges can get or maintain a tax exempt status. After another meeting with the DOR, here is what they sent to us:
Subject:Revenue Provides Concise Explanatory Statement (CES) for Adoption of WAC 458-16-300
Congratulations and thanks to the Task Force and all that attended the meeting with the DOR on June 21st, 2016.
Updates to the Grand Lodge Website
We are currently working with our web team at the Marketeering Group to roll out some exciting updates to the Grand Lodge Website and how you receive information! In order to take advantage of these updates and gain full access to the member section, you will need to login to the 'For Members' section of the site. If you do not already have log in credentials, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your first and last name, Lodge name, member number and preferred email address. An account will be set up for you within 48 business hours.
Grants Management Training in Tumwater / Olympia, WA
Thurston County Sheriff's Office and Grand Writing USA will present a two-day grants administration workshop in Tumwater / Olympia, September 22-23, 2016. In this class you'll learn how to administer government grants and stay in compliance with applicable rules and regulations including OMB Circulars. This training is recommended for grant recipient organizations across all disciplines. Beginning and experienced grant managers and administrators from city, county and state agencies as well as nonprofits, K-12, colleges and universities are encouraged to attend. You do not need to work in the same profession as the host agency.
Tuition is $595.00 and includes Grant Writing USA's 500-page grant management workbook and reference guide. Seating is limited, online reservations are necessary.
The Grand Master recently dropped off a basket FULL of handmade thank you cards created by the Washington Idaho International Order of Rainbow for Girls for the Honor Flight Mail Call. Thank you Rainbow Girls!
DUES CARDS & STATEMENTS: Annual order form will be mailed to Lodges August 15th, 2016.
MONTHLY REPORTS: Reminder - You still need to send in a Monthly Report for the months that your Lodge is dark.
ELECTION FORMS: Please send in this form as soon as your Elections are complete, if you do not have all of the appointed officers, you can e-mail those to email@example.com after they have been appointed/installed.
MUR (Membership Update Report): Due date is September 1st, 2016. Please verify addresses and annotate any changes, this is to ensure that your Due’s cards/statements have the correct mailing address on them.
MASONIC TRIBUNE: Fall Issue - Submission Deadline is September 1st, 2016. Please send articles to firstname.lastname@example.org.