It’s been two months now and I am beginning to find my way around. I’m still learning new things every day and asking questions to which staff patiently answer and explain. In short, the training continues.
In the two months in this chair, I have learned one very valuable lesson and that is that this office is totally dedicated to supporting the Lodges and Brethren of this Grand Jurisdiction. They are ready to answer your questions and address your issues and problems. They are willing to go the extra mile. However, I ask that you remember that some of our systems have hard and fast limitations, our processes are somewhat restrained and our list of improvements endless. We will work through the challenges of systems that include computers, databases and software. We will review and update the business processes and procedures. We will develop and implement, by priority, new projects and training materials to help: the Brethren define and share who Freemasons are and what they do; help the Lodges maintain and preserve their heritage, records and data, and develop and improve the delivery of services from the Grand Lodge.
Civility – A Masonic Characteristic
Until very recently, Wikipedia (the all-encompassing source of all knowledge) had NO definition for ‘Civility’. Oh, it had the meaning and tons of examples of uncivility. It is only through the diligent and persistent efforts of Freemasons on the National Civility Team and Trustees of the National Civility Center that there is NOW a well written and thought provoking definition of what ‘Civility” is… and is not. Take a moment to check this out for yourself at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civility. Take a special note of the last paragraph of the overview.
It might, at first glance, appear to be a simple and easy thing to update Wikipedia. However, being a member of the Civility Team I can assure you that it is NOT. It took hundreds of hours and many people (Masons and Non-Masons) dedicated to the belief that Civility is the single most important foundation of civilization to get Wikipedia to add the word – civility. It was a long and arduous task, not without setbacks and obstructions.
While visiting the Wikipedia site, also note in the contents the references to the Movement[s] to foster civility in Canada and New Zealand. Just so that you know, there is the beginning of a Civility Movement in this Jurisdiction, by Masonic Ambassadors that will be working to restore civility in society by reminding the Brethren of their Obligations, which fully incorporates all the principles of civility, but to get the State to declare a “Day of Civility”.
There are two places to check into if you would like to join in or support Civility. Contact the Grand Secretary for information on and about the Civility Ambassadors, or the Civility Center website at www.civilitycenter.org for tools and news on steps you can take to restore Civility. (Note the S & C on the Home Page)
I had a good start to making more Lodge meetings, because for the last month, I’ve had no yard, no house and no wife. For some events, however, I decided it best to disguise myself to travel. You may or may not have recognized me, because I looked a lot like RWB Don Campbell for the William H. Jett and Riverside consolidation in Wenatchee and VWB Clint Brown for the re-constitution of Naches Lodge, No. 211. A special recognition for VWB Cary Cope for, what Vickie terms junk removal and I lovingly refer to a project car, helping relocate my 1957 [88 2 door hardtop] Oldsmobile. My personal and heartfelt gratitude to these and so many other Brothers for their support while Vickie and I got settled.
Department of Revenue!!!
Good News (for some). The Department of Revenue has released general reporting guidelines for temple boards that want to maintain or request property tax exemption. It’s as simple and easy as a spreadsheet. In brief:
Calendar listing of all organizations (including yours) which used the facility during the previous calendar year. Include the following information:
Total time used (example Boy Scouts used the hall from 1 pm to 5 pm = 4 hours) *this is a new requirement due to the updated rule*
Name of organization using hall
Nonprofit status Y/N
Purpose of use
Fee for use
Income and Expense Statement:
Provide a statement of all income and expenses for the previous calendar year:
List the source and amount of income derived from the property
List the reason and amount of all expenditures for the property
This month there are two notable quotes. Neither are directly Masonic, but with a slight change in perspective, they become very relevant to every Mason.
“Unity is not the same as uniformity” RWB John D. Keliher , Grand Secretary Emeritus
“Being male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of age. But being a gentleman is a matter of choice.” Vin Diesel Actor, Producer, Director, Screenwriter
Where's Sam ... Latest Update
As I write this, all my belongings are in a truck, headed to Lakewood and the new homestead. By the time you read this, hopefully we will be well established and I will have found my socks, toothbrush, and the like. I have actually been residing in the area for the whole month, and just moved into the new place last week. Let me give you the full and complete inventory of furniture.
Sam’s Furniture Inventory List:
2 Folding Chairs
1 Full size air mattress
1 10” frying pan
1 Broom (not sure how it works)
1 cat (doesn’t work)
Assorted plastic cutlery (just what is cutlery? Looks like forks, spoons and knives)
Lesson…. Do not cook with plastic cutlery.
Brethren Running for 2017-2018 Grand Lodge Offices
Office of Junior Grand Warden
VW Jerry D. Buchner
VW Christopher J. Coffman
WB John R. Lawson
Office of Grand Secretary
MW Sam Roberts
Trustee, Washington Masonic Charities
VW Jerry D. Buchner
WB Larry D. Foley
Trustee, Grand Lodge Temple Board
VW Edward C. Woods
Help Us to Help You!
Occasionally, a Secretary presents us with a tool that we should share. One recent example is a dues calculator that WB Ole Helgerson of White Salmon Lodge, No. 163 uses to assist in figuring out how much dues is required each year to support the Lodge budget.
We each approach our duty as Secretary in different ways, so I thought I’d ask each of you to send your ideas about what you think would be helpful to make our jobs easier. If you would like to present something that you feel would make life easier or better for a Lodge, we would be happy to share some of these tools upon request while giving full credit to the individual who presented the idea. Please contact the Assistant Grand Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-625-7891) if you would like to participate in such a program and also to find out if there is something that we currently have (like the dues calculator) that might be of assistance.
We now have a procedure for assisting a Brother in need of Lodge, Grand Lodge Charity Committee, Washington Masonic Charities, Masonic Service Bureau or other sources of assistance. Please contact the Grand Lodge office if you are interested in more information.
RW Don Campbell
Assistant Grand Secretary
Don't Forget to Purchase Your Grand Master's Pins, Ties & Coins
PINS: $5.00 each. All proceeds go to the Puget Sound Honor Flight Organization TIES: $20.00 each. All proceeds go to Puget Sound Komen for the Cure COINS: $10.00 each. All proceeds go to the Masonic Youth
Are you interested in purchasing a Masonic License Plate? Ask about them at your local Department of Licensing, they are called “Helping Kids Speak License Plates” or CLICK HERE to go to the Department of Licensing website for more details about cost, etc.
Facility Use Agreements for Lodges & Temple Corporations
The Grand Lodge has revised the form exemplar Facilities Use Agreements and Commercial Lease Agreements for Lodges and Temple Corporations. These exemplar leases can be found under the Temple Board Forms section of the Grand Lodge website. These leases are not a “one size fits all” lease and should be used as a guide only. Each Temple Corporation should review the exemplar leases carefully and should consult with a lawyer if they have any questions about whether these forms will work for their particular situation. CLICK HERE to go directly to the forms page of the Grand Lodge website.
Grand Lodge often receives inquiries from the public regarding renting Lodge space for personal and community events. If you would like Grand Lodge to direct these inquiries to your Lodge, please send Clint Brown (email@example.com) the current contact information for rentals of your building and facility space. We will be compiling a list of available rental venues to provide to the public when inquiries are made.
Secretary, Treasurer and Temple Board Training
Also, as a reminder we will be conducting Secretary (to include LSI), Treasurer and Temple Board Governance training at Audubon Park Lodge in Spokane on Sunday, October 9, 2016 and at Shoreline Lodge in Seattle on Sunday, October 30, 2016. Both training sessions begin at 11 am. Please contact Chantal Stevens (firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-625-7891) or click on the desired location below to register for the training.
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 email@example.com 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.
Around the Office
The Grand Secretary along with Washington Masonic Charities and the Grand Lodge Staff celebrated the gorgeous August weather with an outdoor BBQ/potluck! We enjoyed a variety of options including steak, chicken, bratwurst, pasta salad, potato chips, potato salad, watermelon, brownies and even home-made jalapeno poppers provided by VW Clint Brown. Thank you for organizing, barbecuing AND cleaning for us, Sam!
THANK YOU’s & KUDOS: It is that time of year when there are some changes in Lodge Secretaries. To those Secretaries who have served their Lodges with distinction a HUGE thank you. To those that continue on, or are becoming new Secretaries, thank you for all that you do for your Lodge and its Brethren.
MURs (Membership Update Report) Thank you to the Secretaries who have returned their MURs, all of the changes you noted have been updated in the database, your dues cards/statements will now have current addresses on them.
DUES CARDS/STATEMENTS ORDER FORMS: Due date to the Grand Lodge: September 23, 2016.
ELECTIONS 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 Jane – firstname.lastname@example.org after they have been appointed/installed. It is IMPORTANT that the Officers meet the Qualifications in WMC, Sec. 15.03.
WA MASONIC CHARITIES NEWSLETTER: The monthly email newsletter contains helpful information, notices of activities, talks, and more. If you are interested in subscribing please CLICK HERE.
Washington State Fair Rodeo Parade
Grand Lodge of Washington, Corinthian Lodge and Masonic Family of Puyallup Representation
September 9th @ 9:00 am
Washington State Fair Grounds, Puyallup
For more information please contact: VWB John Adamson (email@example.com)
September 10th @ 5:30 pm - 10:30 pm
Masonic Lodge, 7910 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle
September 10th @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Kettle Falls, Lodge No. 130
Please RSVP by August 26th to Gordon Olsen (509-738-2908 or firstname.lastname@example.org)