However, there was something vital to further expand my Masonic circle and experience — the Internet. There are countless social media groups on Freemasonry, many of which are frequented by the leaders of our jurisdiction. We ask and answer questions, compare notes between our experiences, and gain awareness of a global Masonic culture in all its diversity. We may stray into politics, or even worse, argue over which way a ring should be worn. And it may seem superficial being virtual, but there are countless meetings and presentations you could not otherwise “visit” or attend. Since COVID started, the opportunities have become endless.
Such access gave me courage to write for online publications, such as TheMidnight Freemasons, and meet other Masonic authors. I discovered Masonic podcasts, and even was interviewed on one. I started reaching out to Brothers who wrote or are mentioned in articles or books — they are an email or PM away. I discovered that these intellectual and scholastic giants will meet Brotherson the level in a way that doesn’t happen outside the bonds of our Fraternity.
Not everyone is a member of Grand Lodge, but we all have access to channels of information and relationships in ways that were never conceived of by those who wrote our Constitutions. You don’t have to be a writer or scholar. You certainly don’t have to be a webmaster, although I have made connections with other webmasters who serve the Craft on a scale far greater than my own.
Too many Brothers stare at the walls of their own Lodge, never venturing outside their immediate community. There was a time when being a Traveling Man required time and expense. We went from carts to canals to railroads, highways, and air travel. But now you can instantly touch the whole world from whenever you sit. The insularity or expansion of the experience of your faith and practice is entirely a matter of choice.
I am still profoundly grateful to the Brothers who believed in me and asked me to serve Grand Lodge. But even if I were to find other Masonic work, or switch vocations tomorrow, the meaningful relationships will live on. And I’m only getting started. Who’s with me? Are you ready to be a Traveling Man in this new age?
Bro. Ken JP Stuczynski is a member of West Seneca Lodge No.1111 and recently served as Master of Ken-Ton Lodge No.1186. As webmaster for NYMasons.Org he is on the Communications and Technology Committees for the Grand Lodge of the State of New York. He is also a Royal Arch Mason and 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, serving his second term as Sovereign Prince of Palmoni Council in the Valley of Buffalo, NMJ. He also coordinates a Downtown Square Club monthly lunch in Buffalo, NY. He and his wife served as Patron and Matron of Pond Chapter No.853 Order of the Eastern Star and considered himself a “Masonic Feminist”.