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Grand Lodge Messenger - GM Edition 2nd Quarter
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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
 
The installation of officers is always a big event in the Lodge calendar, as it is an opportunity to give thanks to the outgoing Master for all of his hard work, to give best wishes to his successor, and to pledge the support of the Brethren to the new 'team'. I recall my installation as Master of Frank S. Land Lodge, No. 313 as a joyous occasion. The energy in the room was electric. I could feel that no one wanted me to fail. This is a uniquely Masonic phenomenon.
 
This celebratory nature of the event notwithstanding, there is a greater significance to the installation of a new Master that needs to be considered. To quote my good Brother Owen Sheih, Past Master of Honolulu Lodge:
 
Men like Washington, Franklin, Roosevelt, Truman and countless others honed their leadership skills while serving as Masters of their Masonic Lodges and went on to change the world, to Be the Difference; to follow in their footsteps will be both a humbling and an enlightening experience. Preserved in our Lodge ritual are the words that gave birth to our US Constitution. Enshrined within the memories of our eldest members is the history of our nation. Emanating from the bright eyes of our youngest initiates are the ideas that will make this world a better place for our posterity.
 
No other organization in the world has more effectively inspired its members of all faiths to share in the moral allegories of the Holy Bible but walk away with lessons that can enhance one's personal conception of "Divine Providence." More than anything, I hope you appreciate the opportunity (and challenge!) to lead such an ecumenical brotherhood in this era of deep religious and political divide in the world. I know not what the future road will bring, but this experience will inspire you to care, to listen, and to understand your fellow creatures... to see and to know that even in the midst of our faults, there is a story behind every smile, every tear, and every laugh; that in order for us to make this world a better place, we must first celebrate the miracle of life itself, in all of its duality, recognizing that in every friend, we find a blessing; in every foe, we find a teacher.
 
My newly minted Worshipful Brothers, Look well to the East.

 
One of the great joys of being Grand Master is the annual DeMolay Grand Master’s Class. As a Senior DeMolay, I was looking particularly forward to this event— I just didn’t realize how special it would become. In many ways, my Masonic journey began when I took my obligation on the DeMolay altar. The words from the DeMolay ritual are part of my daily speech, and I hold the ceremonies from DeMolay near to my heart.

Without a doubt, my favorite DeMolay ceremony is the Flower Talk. For those not in the know, the Flower Talk is a tribute to motherhood. Prior to the event, I was approached by State Master Councilor, Luke Walker, who asked if I might be interested in sharing delivery of the Flower Talk at the Grand Master’s Class. This was an opportunity I could not deny. That said, it was important to me that Luke do the heavy lifting.

We met the morning of the Class, and did a run through. There was no doubt in either of our minds that we were going to deliver something special. Trust me, there were not too many dry eyes when we were done. It is a memory that I will cherish.

It’s been more than 30 years since I crossed the threshold of DeMolay. The teachings of the Order continue to drive who I am as a human being. Do yourself a favor—Visit a DeMolay Chapter or a Job’s Daughters Bethel, or a Rainbow Girls Assembly. You’ll be glad you did. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll feel the desire to become an advisor and Be the Difference in the life of our Masonic Youth.

 
Six Supports of 20-20 Vision
 
As we approach the mid-point of the term, it is important for me to share with the Brethren that what was started in this term is in many ways a continuation of previous terms and will continue into subsequent terms.

To that end, please take due consideration of this report from the Chairman of the Long Range Planning Team, VW David Colbeth:

The Long Range Planning Team has been hard at work developing the Six Supports of 20-20 Vision. This Long Range Plan will be supported by and aligned with any new Programs and Initiatives that the Grand Master, the Elected Grand Officers and their appointed committees want to implement. The plan will be clear and concise, but allow for flexibility and creativity on how the outcomes are achieved.

In it’s final version, which will be presented at the Annual Communication, the Long Range Plan will be the touchstone that the Grand Master, the Elected officers, committees and every Mason in our Jurisdiction should be able to use as a guide to make sure something they are about to do or implement aligns with the Plan.

The 6 Supports are identified as follows (in no certain order):
Membership Experience
Masonic Education
Leadership and Management
Beyond the Lodge
Philanthropy
Technology

Membership Experience
One of the 6 Supports noted above is Membership Experience which is defined as “Engaging and retaining members and their families through an enhanced, sustaining, and relevant membership experience.” But how do we do that?

Here are some basic ideas and tactics that might be used to implement this support of Membership Experience:
  • Create more opportunities for the newest Masons to get involved in the Lodge
  • Create a strong candidate coaching program and improve the advancement experience
  • Provide meaningful, high-quality ritual
  • Improve engagement of family members with family-friendly activities and resources
  • Improve the application and investigation process; improve prospect education
  • Improve Lodge programs
If we continue that same idea with the next 5 elements it might include ideas & tactics such as these:

Masonic Education          
Definition: Educate members and communities about the Fraternity’s intriguing and enduring history, values, practical application of our principles, and relevance to society today.
Ideas & tactics:
  • Develop a comprehensive, modern Masonic education program available for a variety of learning styles and uses
  • Expand Masonic education events
Leadership and Management
Definition: Strengthen our leaders and cultivate new ones; strengthen management and governance effectiveness at all levels.
Ideas & tactics:
  • Develop new leadership and management training for Lodges
  • Provide team-oriented training for masters, wardens, and other Lodge Officers
  • Expand the use of technology to increase access to training
  • Improve applied leadership training and resources for Lodge finance, administration, and building management
Beyond the Lodge                       
Definition: Instill a wider Masonic perspective, inside and outside the Fraternity, by deepening the connection between members, Lodges, the worldwide body of Freemasonry, Concordant organizations, and the Public at large.
Ideas & tactics:
  • Develop joint Lodge and district activities and programs
  • Connect members and Lodges with the worldwide Fraternity strengthen youth orders
Philanthropy                     
Definition: Focus our philanthropic efforts through Washington Masonic Charities
Ideas & tactics:
  • Increase community involvement
  • Increase public awareness of the Fraternity
Technology
In all areas, leverage technology for communications, education, management, charities, and deepening the connections of members to our Fraternity.
Ideas & tactics:
  • Expand use of technology to deliver education modules, programs, and events
These are just some ideas, but we need your help. Over the next several months, members of the Long Range Task Force, the Elected Grand Lodge officers and myself will be visiting; District meetings, Lodge meetings, Installations and other events to connect with the membership and try to help define additional ideas and tactics that YOU want to see implemented.

We also want to know if you agree with the 6 Supports as they are currently identified and defined or if you feel they should be changed in some way.

These ideas and tactics and suggestions will then be summarized and provided to the entire Task Force team members, the Grand Master and his Committees.

Then, from this revised summary a final draft of the 6 Supports will be developed and presented at the Leadership Retreat to gain additional feedback and to continue the message of it’s purpose.

Ultimately, the finalized version of the 6 Supports, their definitions, and narratives will again be brought to you; at District meetings, Lodge meetings, and other events to garner your feedback so that ultimately it can be presented at the 2017 Annual Communication for your official approval as a Fraternity.

If you can take the time, I’d like to know your comments.

You can submit your responses at: http://6Supports.Weebly.com My Brothers, here’s a chance to Be the Difference that you want to see.
The holidays are a time of religious and moral reflection that inspire many people to reach out to those who are in need. Less altruistically, but still just as important, donors make their end-of-year giving decisions by December 31st to qualify for a tax deduction in this calendar year.

Though Freemasonry is not a charity in the truest sense of the word, charity is an inseparable part of Freemasonry. It is my belief that you cannot be a Freemason if you are not charitable. Being charitable is one way that you can Be the Difference.

If you are looking for opportunities to give, I encourage you to speak with the folks at Washington Masonic Charities. As the charitable arm of the Grand Lodge of Washington, Washington Masonic Charities invests in youth and education through the Masonic Model Student Assistance Program, provides support for seniors and those in need through Masonic Outreach Services, and preserves and shares the Masonic heritage of Washington State through the Library & Museum.

Please consider making a donation to the work of Washington Masonic Charities,
https://wa-masoniccharities.org/webhost/donate.

 
Merry Christmas
God Bless Us, Everyone
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