The Renewal of a Lodge

by Midnight Freemasons Contributor
Gregory J. Knott
St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph Illinois

        Recently St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph Illinois hosted Most Worshipful Brother Terry L. Seward, Grand Master of Illinois AF & AM for the raising of a brother to the sublime degree of Master Mason.  This was quite a special visit for our lodge.  We are a group of brethren that has brought a lodge back from the brink of death to become a vibrant, growing and active lodge in our area.
Having the Grand Master present was special because it really solidified all the hard work that has been done by the members over the last 5 years.  St. Joseph Lodge has grown in membership four consecutive years, won the Illinois Grand Masters Award of Excellence twice; in 2011 we became the first lodge in Illinois ever to win the Mark Twain Award from the Masonic Service Association.
We have increased our awareness in the community by sponsoring our high school Scholastic Bowl Team, the annual community Memorial Day service, established a Scouting Venturing Crew, award a scholarship to a high school senior, began an outreach program to our widows, involving our families with our annual picnic, Thanksgiving dinner and a movie night for kids in the lodge room.
To recognize the community we give our annual Community Builders award, honoring members of our community who make significant contributions to our community.
For our brethren we have had events such as Saturday morning Masters Breakfasts, Lodge education nights, walking in a 5K and an election night gathering.
Phoenix symbolizing rebirth.
I bring our story to you for the purpose of encouraging you to improve your lodge.  Give the brethren a reason to come to your stated meetings. Try something different other than reading the minutes and paying the bills (we don’t read our minutes by the way they are printed and handed out).  
Start with a simple goal of improving one thing for your lodge this year.  Perhaps you bring a new brother in as member, provide a masonic education moment at a stated meeting or reach out to your widows.   
I can assure you that the effort you put into lodge will be returned to you tenfold.

Sincerely & Fraternally,

W.B. Gregory J. Knott

WB Gregory J. Knott is the Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), and Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL). He's a member of both the Scottish Rite, and the York Rite, and is the Charter Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club in Champaign-Urbana. He's also a member of the Ansar Shrine (IL) and the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. Greg is very involved in Boy Scouts--an Eagle Scout himself, he serves the Grand Lodge of Illinois A. F. & A. M. as their representative to the National Association of Masonic Scouters.

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