While the Shrine Parade season is winding down, it means Grand Chapter is just around the corner. I received my confirmation for Grand Chapter via email today. I will be hosting the hospitality suite in my room during Grand Chapter. I talked with several persons who will be attending Grand Chapter (including more than one High Priest) and also had a nice discussion with REC Harold Daniels who is a PDDGHP from the 3rd district. While he seemed to still be fairly weak health wise, he was joking around and wanting to talk about Royal Arch Masons.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The past couple of days have been busy. First I started off with a Grand Chapter planning meeting and started to get some 2013-14 membership items clarified. Next I had a Shrine Cabiri meeting were we discussed changing the meeting dates (they ask my opinion and I indicated unless they held it at midnight I would have a conflict). Afterwards I headed to the Commandery meeting where we decided on when to practice drill but more importantly I got my new Commandery coat. Tonight was another great night as I headed to Vandalia Lodge where I met up with MWB Mike Himes and MWB Mike Watson along with RWB Randy Clark as we witnessed the presentation of the letters Temporary for a DeMolay Chapter to be restarted in Vandalia. I was proud to be there as I was able to help them out by training many of their new advisors. MWB Watson and Brenda are going to help them out on the Advisory Board. I also discussed a potential reopening of a DeMolay Chapter in Eaton of which they are planning to hold a meeting on soon. Things are looking up for DeMolay in the 2nd Masonic District area.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
WOW what an event... Last night over 1,000 Masons in one room witnessing several Native American who travelled from Oklahoma to Ohio to raise one of their candidates at the Dayton Masonic Center. Definitely something I won't forget. This again is something I think our Chapters should think about. Doing something unique, something that will draw folks from many locations to witness. I plan on adding a few pictures from this event but it showed what planning and promotions can do to ensure the success of this event. It was promoted over various media.... Facebook... Emails... Twitter... newsletters... websites... calendars... calls... and word of mouth to bring this crowd from all over the state and even some from out of state to make this a success.
This weekend was a big time for Antioch Shrine. The President Doug Sorrell (from Lodge Minerva) put on a great weekend. While the GLSA consists of a 6 state 21 Shrine area and we haven't had a President of the Association in around 20 years from Antioch (who by the way was also from my Lodge), it was ran like we had just held one last year. Hundreds of emails, many planning sessions and hundreds of members were asked to help assist with the effort. Friday, I attended the Presidents dinner where several times those who helped were thanked for their efforts. This planning, organizing, controlling, delegating and recognizing those who helped method of executing the event was the key to its success. Many things never before attempted were done and the parade recognizing all areas of Masonry really highlighted the bond between the various Masonic organizations. From the York Rite to the Scottish Rite to the Eastern Star and Masonic youth groups over 100 people were in the parade in addition to hundreds of Shriners. I was proud to represent the Royal Arch Chapter in the parade.
Thursday, September 12, 2013
In June, several of the members of my lodge got up and noted the dining room at our temple, while clean, really needed an updated look and feel. At the next meeting, the Worshipful Master present a budget and plan to transform a room from 1900 to today. The plan didn't involve spending large sums of money or hiring folks to do the work... It involved the members doing the work, updating broken items or possible safety issues, improving the lighting installed right after electricity was put into the building, removing the shuffle boards marked on the floors which were last used in the 40's or 50's and using the activity to build a sense of closeness among the members. While, not completely finished, the plan has worked and several hundred hours of work has been done to transform this room. It now looks brighter, larger, cleaner and more importantly more inviting as a place to spend time socializing before and after meetings. I can remember when not so long ago after our meetings folks would socialize for an hour or more but lately had fallen off as the room was really starting to show its' age. There was an excitement and anticipation voiced at the meeting over the changes. I've also noticed a closeness among those helping with the progress and a strengthened sense of pride for the lodge. Giving members the opportunity to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment for something THEY personally did is often a key between the active lodge and the one who just meets.
Monday, September 9, 2013
Tonight was the regular stated meeting for the Shrine. One thing that I took notice of was the distance many drove to get to the meeting. We had nothing special planned. We had no big concerns being discussed at the meeting and yet several in the room traveled more than an hour to get to the stated meeting. We need to ask ourselves in Chapter...why is it we are not even getting folks out who live on the same street as the temple. Maybe it is because the stated meeting are being treated as a chore rather than a social gathering time for the members. So what do I mean about that comment? For the Shrine stated meeting they had one group in the temple do a fund raising dinner to bring folks down before the meeting. They had a person come in to teach line dancing to the ladies (who came with several of the men to the stated meeting) during the meeting and after the meeting had refreshments set up. Do we go to this "trouble" for our members at a stated meeting or do we open the building 5 minutes before the meeting starts and close it 5 minutes after the meeting ends.... Not my idea of motivating members to attend a stated meeting...
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Early Friday morning I headed off to drive to Kansas City for a special DeMolay International Supreme Council Meeting. After almost 9 hours, we arrived in time to have dinner with MWB George Braatz. For most of the day on Saturday we were in meetings to discus some important financial and strategic direction for the growth and well being of DeMolay International. We were all basically worn out at the end of the day and went to bed early. On Sunday, we started on the long ride back to Dayton. I'm glad I rode with Ted Korn (who still had to drive back to Toledo after he dropped me off) as it made the time pass more quickly as we solved the worlds' problems.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Well I had to take the past couple of days off attending meetings to try to set up the cast for the 5th Degree being put on in the Scottish Rite at Dayton at our fall reunion in November. The cast was basically a recasting as many are busy with other degrees and have other commitments. I think we are now under control and headed down the path of a successful degree after the recasting. I'm glad I have an Assistant Director to help keep me straight!
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Well tonight we had an informal meeting as we have a smaller membership and some of our regulars were not able to make it due to other meetings moved to this night due to the holidays, we just went over the critical items. We did take the opportunity to discuss some areas where we might improve and some potential new upcoming opportunities. We also talked about what we might do the improve membership and the upcoming degree work in October.