Last week at the close of one of the Masonic bodies where I am a member a Brother stood up and gave us that ubiquitous reminder, "Don't forget... we need petitions."
I could make this a long article by listing the reasons I joined the fraternity. Among those would not be, "I joined so I could go out and get petitions."
Like everyone, I'm happy to see new members join any part of our Masonic family. To me, a new member means a new friend, a new opportunity to share all the aspects of Freemasonry, new support for our programs and services.
Unfortunately, when I hear, "Go out and get more petitions," it translates in my mind to "Get more dues, more donations, more money and more dishwashers for the kitchen crew — if they breathe, drag 'em in and sign 'em up."
A couple of days after that meeting I sat down to read one of my Dad's old Masonic magazines. It was from back in the "heyday" of Masonry. Back then, the fraternity was thriving. They had over twice the membership we have today; and according to the magazine, do you know what they needed?
Have I mentioned that's not why I joined the fraternity?
Seriously, it's not what I want to do as a part of Masonry. Even though it's legal to "ask" in my jurisdiction, I'm still more of a "2B1ASK1" kinda-guy.
I'm also not excited about advertising the fraternity or its related bodies. To me, the best way to get members is to demonstrate the worth of the Craft by our actions. We have to be active and visible in the community and attract existing members to other bodies by showing them that the meetings are interesting, exciting, educational and more than a droning of the minutes and routine business transactions.
It seems this is a popular point of view within the membership. I know because many times we discuss it ….while the Secretary drones on reading the minutes.