It was a wonderful degree, with the work being near perfect. The candidate was very impressed and was processing mentally the experience he had just came through. The Master of the lodge thanks the brethren for coming and assisting to bring the brother to light. Then it happens….
The Master now says, “its’ time for the dreaded announcements.” For the next ten to fifteen minutes, brethren stand up and announce dates for the next degree, pancake breakfasts, blood drives, about a door that is squeaking, etc.
After a recent degree, I wondered what impression this left on the newly raised brother. After all, this night was supposed to be about him. Is this his first indication of things to come in Freemasonry; reading of the minutes and paying of the bills?
Let me be transparent and admit, I freely chime in and announce when the next High Twelve meeting is or when the Scouts are having a fish fry.
But maybe it is time to put our focus back on why we assembled to begin with; the newly initiated, passed, or raised brother.
But how are people supposed to know what is going if you don’t have the announcements? Here are some suggestions:
- Printed list - this might seem like an old fashioned way of conducting business, but having a list of upcoming events that could be handed out at the degree would be very useful.
- Develop an email list - this is a quick way to distribute information to brethren who wish to receive it. But keep it simple, don’t use an attachment such as .pdf file for a flyer. Just put the message in the email itself. Most people are reading email on their smart phones and viewing an attachment on a phone is a hassle.
- Facebook – many lodges have FB pages now as do some masonic districts, Grand Lodges, etc.
- Area calendar – I have developed a Google calendar that shares when lodges in my area are having stated meetings, degrees, events, etc.
- Call-em-all – the Grand Lodge of Illinois has set up a means whereby lodges can use this very efficient system to send messages to their members either via phone or text.
- Come to the monthly stated meetings – what better way to know what is going on, than to actually come and participate at a lodge meeting.
Let’s return our focus at degree work on why we assembled to begin with, our new brother.
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), Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC. He’s a member of the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, Eastern Star and is the Charter Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign-Urbana. He is also a member of ANSAR Shrine (IL) and the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. Greg serves on the Board of Directors of The Masonic Society and is a member of the Scottish Rite Research Society and The Philathes Society. Greg is very involved in Boy Scouts—an Eagle Scout himself, he is a member of the National Association of Masonic Scouters.