By Midnight Freemasons Senior Contributor
W.B. Gregory J. Knott
It’s been over four months since I last attended an in person meeting at our local lodge. So when fellow Midnight Freemason Darin Lahners and my son Hayden recently went to St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 to perform a deep cleaning, it was like seeing an old friend again. Everything was there just as we had left it after the last stated meeting.
As we did the sweeping, dusting and deep cleaning, I couldn’t help but think about all the great times I have had in that lodge over the last decade. I had met numerous new brothers, we had brought the lodge back from the brink of closure and been very active in the community.
As Worshipful Brother Lahners outlined in his last piece our lodge has lost some momentum and some of those brothers we had raised over the last decade had faded away, moved away or simply left Freemasonry. As WB Lahners once again goes to the East, we will have some work to do in once again energizing the lodge.
I have to be honest and say that over the last few weeks I have thought maybe it would just be easier to turn the lights out and merge with another nearby lodge. But I keep coming back to the impact St. Joseph Lodge has had in our local community since 1914. In this day and age, once the lights go dark, more than likely they will never be turned back on again.
It’s not that you should work to keep the lights on just for the sake of keeping the lodge tradition going, rather I believe that local lodges can be a source of personal growth for those men seeking to make themselves better. In turn these men go into the local community and are active in their churches, schools, scouting units, local government etc. In other words we offer a value proposition that can serve as a vital link in bettering individuals who in turn better their communities.
So as we return from a post COVID-19 break, take a moment and think about what role your lodge can play in helping to support the community. Look around for those men that could benefit from what Freemasonry can offer. How can your lodge offer programs that help men grow? What support can you give your brethren, some of whom may have had personal difficulties over the last few weeks.
WB Gregory J. Knott is a founding member and Senior Contributor of the Midnight Freemasons blog.
He is a 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. He is a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch
Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D. and serves as its Secretary. Greg is
very involved in Boy Scouts—an Eagle Scout himself, he is a member of
the National Association of Masonic Scouters. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org