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Vol. 6 - December 1st, 2016
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Greetings from the Grand Secretary

Merry Christmas to each one of you, to your family and friends.  May all the Blessings of the Grand Architect be with you throughout the coming New Year. Remember to unwrap your Masonic Obligations and (like the new sweater you are going to get) wear the tenets with equal pleasure to yourself and honor to the Fraternity.

Grand Lodge Conference Room.  There has been an update to the Grand Lodge Conference room. A new display and conference system has been installed. Primarily, this system will support the Executive Committee, the Grand Lodge Building Association and all the other Grand Lodge Committees by enabling virtual meetings with Sococo, GoToMeeting or Skype. Just the savings in gas alone will pay for the new functionality in short order, but add in the time and frustration of traveling in the Seattle area, and we’re to the good already. In addition, the Grand Lodge Staff will be able to meet with their project teams and share documents, designs and ideas in real time. There are plans for training, not only for staff, but we’re planning on Webinars and site training for the Lodges and Lodge members. Just think, you can be trained as a Lodge Secretary right from your own computer at home. (Well, just think about it.)

MRC Update - The MRC Real Estate Task Force has been working with Grand Lodge Office and the buyer to maintain the property and buildings. As you can imagine, a building with little visible activity attracts people whose attention you do not want. Earlier, vandals broke windows and generally made a real mess inside the hospital wing. There have been numerous water leaks from rain and burst pipes. In addition there remains old medical equipment and other items that really need to be thrown out. We have been working with the City of Des Moines Police and a perimeter fence has been installed.  The grounds keeper has cut away much of the bushes and overhangs from doors and windows to keep the winter squatters from using the sheltered areas, as much as their protection and our liability.  The Task Force and the office strive to maintain a positive image of Masons as good neighbors while they continue to work with the buyer. Please take a moment to thank them for all that they are doing.

New Secretaries – The whole office staff offer congratulations to the new Lodge Secretaries. For whatever reason, there seems to be a much larger number of first time secretaries this year than in the past. To paraphrase the Installation Ceremony, the success of a Lodge rests, in great measure, in the responsibilities they have assumed. If you are a New Secretary, please do not hesitate to call on the Grand Lodge Office for any questions or assistance you may need. We will work our way through any problem or issue. If your Lodge has a new secretary and you are not it, please offer your sincere congratulations and assistance.

LSI (Lodge Secretary Interface) – For Non-Secretaries (poor souls) the question is often, “Lodge Secretary Interface?  Interface into what?“  Well, the LSI is the tool that the Lodge Secretary uses to interface with the Database.  He uses it to keep and update your Masonic information, like offices held, proficiency, awards and the like. One of the more important bits is your address. We move, get a new phone and tell everyone; everyone that is but the Lodge. We don’t find out you have moved until your mail is returned.  Please get with your Lodge Secretary and make sure your information is correct and up to date.

For the Secretaries, a Dues and Payment Tracker module is being added to the LSI. This is not a mandatory module, but will allow the Secretary to enter the date that a Brother pays his dues, assessments or contributions.  At the touch of a button, the Secretary can see who (and who has not) paid Lodge dues (and for how long). While many Lodges use a spreadsheet or a paper system to track payments, which is fine, the LSI makes it easy and all in one place. Available in January, the module is fairly self-explanatory, but we’ll add it to the LSI training anyway!

New Lodge Officers – Congratulations to the 2016/17 Lodge Officers, especially the first time Masters. If you have been to the Lodge Leadership Retreat and have your plan in hand, I know that you will have a successful and enjoyable year.  For the other Lodge Officers, remember that the Lodge Leadership Retreat will be in March and to sign up as soon as the registration forms are available.  Lodges; encourage your officers to attend. Your Lodge will benefit as much as the officers that go.

Retiring Secretaries – For those Secretaries that have served their Lodge, the Officers and members, as well as the Grand Lodge … Thank you!  So many of you have invested more than a few years in what is a very important assignment that is critical to the success of a Lodge and to you, a very special acknowledgement from the Grand Lodge Staff and the Grand Secretary in particular. You have a vast store of knowledge and experience that is hoped you will share and transfer to your replacement.

Where’s Sam – Six months in and to all appearances, we are fully moved in. The reason I know this is that Vickie has searched out every box, bag and bundle of Christmas stuff we have ever owned. She is not finished, but there is hardly any empty space remaining. I don’t mind Santa in the living room, reindeer in the kitchen and snowflakes in the hall, but the elves in the bathroom have to go! The house in Mukilteo has not sold, so you know what I’m asking of Santa for Christmas.

Life Changes since becoming a Mason – I was talking to a Brother who has had more than his share of challenges recently and he made a statement that was thought provoking and profound at the same time.  He said, “Masonry saved my life”. I thought at the time that, perhaps, this was a bit of an overstatement, but the more I considered his statement, I came to the realization that, if we took a moment to reflect, that a statement of “Masonry CHANGED my life” could or should be true for each of us. I will talk more about this in the next issue of the Masonic Tribune, but I wanted to give you some time to personally contemplate if this is not a true testimonial for you. See you in the Tribune.

Civility – A Masonic Characteristic – We talked about the National Civility Center Last Month. Their good work with the media and other organizations is catching on. I have seen many news reports and celebrity types making a plea for the people to be more patient and understanding. While there is more to Civility than just being polite, it seems that people are catching on. The Masons in the other Jurisdictions are experiencing grand success in a variety of Lodge programs and activities.
 
Civility Quote:
Use your indoor voice and your grown-up words.  - Dave Howlett

There is more to be found at www.civilitycenter.org (note the joined hands).  

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civility for a Masonic surprise.

If Facebook is your friend and you want to follow civility in action, seek out and join the Civility Ambassadors group.  Tips, tools and working examples can be found there with You Tube links.

Quote of the Month

"I look to the future because that's where I'm going to spend the rest of my life."  

                                                                                                                                      - George Burns
2017 Lodge Leadership Retreat
March 17th - 19th, 2017 - Red Lion Hotel, Pasco, WA

Throughout our Jurisdiction, Lodges are selecting their members into leadership roles. These Brethren being elected and appointed are now being looked upon for their leadership and guidance in setting the direction of their Lodge and its members. Whether you are going through the chairs for the first time, or a Past Master going through again, there will be courses designed to assist you in the skills necessary to better yourself and your Lodge.
 
While the primary focus of the retreat is for Lodge Wardens and Senior Deacons, any Master Mason, including Masters or Past Masters may attend based on first come and space available basis. Ladies are invited and encouraged to attend, with ladies programs and coed courses being provided.
 
Your Grand Lodge is committed to providing the Lodges with educational instruction to invest in the advancement of their officers and members in their future. We ask each Lodge to encourage and support the program by electing to pay or assist in the payment of the registration expenses for the selected members to attend.
 
More information will be distributed this month. Registration information will be forwarded to Lodges and made available on the Grand Lodge web site on January 1, 2017.
 
We look forward to seeing you there!
 


RWB Warren R. Schoeben
Deputy Grand Master
From the Desk of the Assistant Grand Secretary

Brethren,

There have been questions about the proper procedure for requesting Masonic Charity. It is imperative that proper procedures are followed in order to assist a Brother in the most expeditious manner possible. The document linked to this artcle below explains the procedure to follow in order to best assist our Brethren.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PROPER PROCEDURE DOCUMENT

Another item which has arisen is the submission of IRS Form 990-N. The IRS no longer contracts out their submission as in the past. The IRS web site is https://www.irs.gov.  All of the information to file your 990-N can be accessed through their site. If you need assistance I will try to assist in any way possible. 

I’m also tracking all of the requests for information about Masonry from the Grand Lodge website. Since July 1st, there have been over 150 requests. I’ve tried to pass them on to Secretaries or Deputies to contact and hopefully find a suitable Lodge for them. One request I have is that you keep me or the Grand Lodge informed about the progress or lack thereof of any prospects you may receive.
 
I can usually be reached at the office from 8:30 am-12:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and all day Wednesday.

Don Campbell
Assistant Grand Secretary
Communication - Sharing Information with your Lodge Members
 
The Grand Lodge Newsletter and the Masonic Tribune are sent to the Lodge Secretaries either in paper format or as a direct e-mail.

Does the information go any further? Here are some ideas as to how to share the information with your Lodge and/or fellow Brethren:
  • Lodge Bulletin Board: Print a copy of the newsletter and post it in Lodge.
  • Forward the Email Newsletter: Click the forward option within your email application and forward to the desired recipients.
  • Share the Online Location: Share where to find the Grand Lodge Newsletter & Masonic Tribune on the Grand Lodge Website (http://freemason-wa.org). No log-in required! Go to the News & Events tab and choose one of the below options from the drop down menu:
  • Directly Subscribe to the Email Newsletter: Share that anyone can subscribe to the Grand Lodge Newsletter, which means it will be sent directly to the Brother’s e-mail address each month. Just click the “subscribe to newsletter” button when viewing the Newsletter on the Grand Lodge Website. *a subscription to the Masonic Tribune is not available at this time.
  • Lodge’s Website: Place a link for both the Grand Lodge Newsletter & Masonic Tribune on your Lodge's website.
Brethren want and need to be informed. 
Life Membership Summary Lodge Report

Just another reminder that the Life Membership Summary Lodge Report will be mailed out to each Secretary whose Lodge participates in the Endowed Life Membership Fund during the second week of December 2016. Also enclosed will be a letter with instructions for the review and return of the Summary Report to me.
 
Due date for corrections to the Summary Report is December 27, 2016. This deadline is driven by the annual internal audit of the Fund by our CPAs which occurs during January 2017. Please only indicate changes (if any) to Life Membership issues on the report. Do not report any deaths, dimits and so forth on it. That information must be submitted on the Lodge’s Monthly Returns.
 
If you have any questions, please email or call me at the office.
kathleen@freemason-wa.org or 253-625-7891 x203

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
Kathleen Lau
End of Year Return
 
Happy Holidays!!!  I just wanted to remind all Lodge Secretaries to watch their mail for the End of Year Return.  The returns will be mailed out the 3rd week of December.
 
If you have any questions, please email or call me at the office.
lynneb@freemason-wa.org or 253-625-7891.
 
Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!
 

Lynne Blaylock
Masonic Service Association of North America

The Masonic Service Association among other things has representatives at the various Military Hospitals and clinics and also state sponsored veteran’s homes. In order to do this there is a requirement for Masons to volunteer at these various places. The State of Washington has four military hospitals, two state Soldiers Homes and a VA clinic. Each should have at least an appointed representative and can have additional deputies. Sadly, only four of the seven entities have any Masonic representation. American Lake in Lakewood, Spokane and Bremerton Hospitals have representatives and Retail Soldier’s home also have someone. The hospital in Seattle, the clinic in Walla Walla and the Soldier’s Home in Orting have none. The time and effort needed to be a representative can be very minimal or can be time intensive. The representative must be approved by the MSA after nomination by the Grand Master.

What better way to serve and assist our Brothers who are veterans. If you or your Lodge are located in one of the areas where these hospitals and other facilities exist, please consider volunteering or assisting in finding someone who has some hours available to volunteer.

I can tell you that there is no more satisfying feeling then receiving the appreciation of a Vet you may have assisted or even just said hello to and thanked them for their service.

I will assist in any way I can whoever desires further information

Don
Assistant Grand Secretary
Happy Holidays from the Grand Lodge Staff!

During the Holiday Season more than ever, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress possible and in this spirit we say, simply but sincerely, thank you and best wishes for the holiday season and a Happy New Year!

- The Grand Lodge Staff
Lodge Secretary's Corner
DIRECTOR & OFFICERS INSURANCE: Director & Officers Insurance is not covered under the Grand Lodge Insurance Policy for Constituent Lodges. It is however available through PayneWest Insurance. The current approximate annual premium costs are:

$398.00 for $   500,000.00
$446.00 for $1,000,000.00

If your Lodge is interested or would like more information, please contact Eddie Eugenio at 509-363-4001 or eeugenio@paynewest.com.  

LODGE SECRETARY INTERFACE (LSI) TIDBITS:
  • The Member Report is NEW & IMPROVED!!: This report now shows if a Member is Proficient
  • Searching for Members: Remember when you want to search for members, the Search by Lodge Status defaults to All Active Master Masons, you will need to change that if the member you are searching for is not a Master Mason, you can either change the search to Any Record or the individual selection you want to search.  Then hit Search for Matches.
GRAND LODGE WEBSITE LOG-IN: All of the Grand Lodge forms and publications are available on the Grand Lodge Website, all you have to do is Log-In to have access to them. (under “For Members”)
If you do not have a log-in and password, please email chantal@freemason-wa.org with your Full Name, Member Number, Lodge Number and Preferred Email Address. A username and password will be emailed to you within 48 business hours. 
 
TRAINING POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS: The Grand Lodge Website has PowerPoint presentations for you to use as a tool and/or refresher, under the “For Members” tab (log-in required) then go to Training Resources.  Available presentations are:
  • Secretary and LSI Training
  • Treasurer Training
  • Temple Board Governance Training
ROSTER OF LODGES & GRAND LODGE TEAM DIRECTORY: Both of these valuable tools are available on the Grand Lodge Website under the “For Members” tab (log-in required).  Direct links are also provided in the footer of each email newsletter (found below the Monthly Events section).  Each Directory is updated on or before the 1st of each month.
 
NEW CANDIDATE EDUCATION PROGRAM  (NCEP): The New Candidate Education Program has been updated and is now available in the following formats. 
  • On-line Study Sections: Candidate study sections for each Degree, are available for viewing or downloading online. Access links are available on the LSI or by contacting the Grand Lodge Office.
  • Downloading: The New Candidate Education Program, Coach’s Manual, Checklists, Test Worksheets and the separate sections are now available by download on the forms page of the LSI.
  • Ordering: The complete New Candidate Education Program can be ordered by calling the Grand Lodge Office at 253-625-7891 or by sending an e-mail directly to LynneB@freemason-wa.org.
ELECTION FORMS:  Please send this form to the Grand Lodge Office as soon as your Elections are complete, if you do not have all of the appointed officers yet, you can e-mail those to Jane – jane@freemason-wa.org after they have been appointed/installed.  It is IMPORTANT that the Officers meet the qualifications in WMC, Sec 15.03 B.L.
 
CURRENT PUBLICATIONS: Do you, your Lodge and/or Lodge Officers have the current/up-to-date Publications?
  • Washington Masonic Code:  2003 w/2016 Changes
  • Standard Work-Freemason’s Guide - 2014
  • Lodge Officers Handbook - 2016
  • New Candidate Education Program (NCEP) – 2016 - please DISCARD all old copies of the NCEP and ONLY use the 2016 Edition
GRAND LODGE DUE DATES:
Election Forms……………………………December 20th
Life Membership Report…………………December 27th  
(report sent out to Lodges the 2nd week of Dec)
December Holiday Hours
Christmas Day Observed - Grand Lodge Office Closed
Monday, December 26th, 2016

New Year's Day Observed - Grand Lodge Office Closed
Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Click on the underlined event heading for additional information 
Grand Lodge Website
Grand Lodge Website Member Login
Current Directory
Current Roster of Lodges
Contact Us
The Grand Lodge Newsletter is automatically sent electronically to the Grand Lodge Team, Past Grand Masters, and the Worshipful Master & Secretary of each Lodge, who have an e-mail address in the database. The Newsletter is also available on the Grand Lodge website under the News & Events menu heading (no log in is required).
Anyone may subscribe to the Newsletter, which means it will be sent directly to your inbox each month. CLICK HERE to subscribe.  
You may also unsubscribe in the footer below.
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