Together we make a profound difference

Community service

Good neighbors

Mark 300 years of Masonry with the adventure of a lifetime

Your August checklist

For your Trestleboard

Find it on freemason.org

Question of the month

 

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Community service

It’s been a busy few years for Green Dragon Masonic Fellowship UD. The former fellowship group recently organized as a lodge in Bakersfield and began working toward a charter, all the while expanding its mission of community service. The “Green Dragons” have since become supporters of community causes, with lodge members volunteering around town every week of the year.

Master Gary Jackson explains.

Toys for Tots

Last year the local Toys for Tots chapter suddenly found itself in need of a sponsor. The coordinator had heard about our service mission and called us. We met with her the same day, forming a Steering Committee. Now, a handful of brothers oversee planning and we all pitch in on volunteer responsibilities. Throughout the year, we service, pick up, and help with the distribution of toy boxes from more than 200 local businesses. We bring toys to area shelters, pediatrics wards in local hospitals, and anywhere else needed. It sounds simple, but a toy can help reduce a child’s trauma and give comfort in a difficult time. The Toys for Tots coordinator also organizes a busy calendar of fundraising events, for which our brothers provide manpower. In 2015 alone we volunteered at 24 events. One of our members, who is a chef, has a close connection to a fine dining restaurant in town. We were able to help organize a major fundraising gala there in July, and our brothers served as parking lot staff, greeters, waiters, and bussers during the event.

Other partnerships

  • The Children’s Advocate Resource Endowment (CARE) provides grants to children’s charities throughout Kern County. CARE puts on an annual fundraiser, known as VillageFest, with hundreds of local vendors. We started volunteering in 2010 as a fellowship group. Now, Green Dragon Masonic Fellowship UD is a member of the Steering Committee and we provide 30 to 40 event volunteers to help out all year long.
  • We have a close relationship with the local Society for Disabled Children. They permit us to use their building for lodge meetings, and we check in regularly to find out what we can do for them. We’ve provided financial support for their golf tournament, repaired things around the property, and will plan a fundraising gala for them this fall.
  • The Kern County 999 Foundation assists families of local peace officers who have died in the line of duty. Every year it holds a motorcycle run at a local restaurant, and we provide whatever manpower they need, such as setting up and breaking down. One of our members also runs the sound system.
  • Each year we volunteer at the Scottish Society’s annual Games & Gathering event and Celtic Music Festival.
  • Our members attend local elementary schools on Read Across America Day to read Dr. Seuss stories to the children.

Final thoughts

We’re proud to partner with so many worthy organizations to help facilitate their work in the community. Our emphasis on service is what drives us. We have a small but energetic membership, and we feel most engaged in Masonry when we are serving the community.

Contact: Gary Jackson

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Good neighbors

The lessons learned in Masonry are often best applied outside lodge walls, serving people and causes in your community. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Volunteer at a local charity:

  • Public school
  • Community center
  • Library
  • Cultural organization
  • Retirement home
  • Hospital
  • Food bank or soup kitchen
  • Meal delivery for elderly and ill residents
  • Rehabilitation center
  • Neighborhood cleanup
  • Preservation project
  • Boys & Girls Club
  • Animal shelter
  • Neighborhood watch
  • After-school program

Host a community program:

  • Blood drive
  • Clothing drive
  • Book drive
  • Food drive
  • Holiday event, such as a Thanksgiving meal
  • Community gathering, such as a picnic or performance

Honor local “heroes”:

  • Civil servants, such as police, fire, or EMT departments
  • Veterans
  • Teachers
  • Volunteers
  • Local nonprofits

Support community causes:

  • Participate in fundraiser walks or activities
  • March in local parades
  • Attend charitable events
  • Join the Chamber of Commerce and/or Historical Society
  • Purchase ad space in school yearbooks or event programs
  • Sponsor a youth sports team
  • Promote community events and causes on social media

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Mark 300 years of Masonry with the adventure of a lifetime

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of Freemasonry in 2016, Deputy Grand Master John R. Heisner and his wife, Margo, invite all California Masons to join them on the adventure of a lifetime. From June 12-26, 2017, journey to the place where the fraternity began – the United Kingdom. Visit three of the oldest grand lodges in the world: the United Grand Lodge of England, the Grand Lodge of Ireland, and the Grand Lodge of Scotland. See first-hand historical architecture, such as tours of Scotland’s famed Edinburgh Castle and Rosslyn Chapel. Tour landmarks of literary culture, including Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon and the favorite haunts of Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats. And, enjoy the best of regional performance and cuisine with a medieval-style banquet inside Dunguaire Castle, and more! Detailed information and registration details will be announced soon.

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Your August checklist

Stay on track of lodge business and prepare for important deadlines. Here’s your August checklist:

Executive Committee

Senior Warden, Along with Executive Committee

  • Identify and approach members for 2017 open elected and appointed officer positions.
  • Urge the presumptive master, wardens, and senior deacon to perform their Master Mason’s proficiency soon, if they have not already completed it.
  • Urge the presumptive master, wardens, and senior deacon to qualify early with the inspector in their office’s ritual.
  • Urge respective officers to answer the master, senior warden, and junior warden questions early.
  • Identify and approach members for the 2017 Audit, Membership Retention, and any other committees.
  • Set your lodge’s calendar for 2017 and identify event leaders.
  • Continue preparing your 2017 budget, referring to the grand treasurer’s memo for help. (Note: Retreat numbers are based on the current year; costs have not yet been determined for 2017 retreats and events.)
  • Set installation date and approach the installing officer, master of ceremonies, and chaplain.
  • Review all candidates’ progress towards advancement.

Secretary

  • Present the semiannual report of membership activity.
  • Pay lodge per capita.

Treasurer

  • Present the semiannual financial report.
  • Pay lodge per capita.

Hall Association

  • Present the semiannual report.

Questions? Contact Member Services at memberservices@freemason.org or (415) 776-7000.

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For your Trestleboard

Celebrate Make a Difference Month

With October just two months away, it’s time to start coordinating your Make a Difference Month project with youth orders and your local Masonic family. Use this ad to build anticipation and commitment. How will you serve your community this October?
Download the Make a Difference Month Ad

 

Help Promote Acacia Creek

Our fraternity’s not-for-profit continuing care retirement community reached 100% occupancy this year - but your promotion is still valuable. Help your members be aware of the successful aging lifestyle that can be theirs at Acacia Creek.
Download the Acacia Creek Ad

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Find it on freemason.org

Looking for a new source of Masonic education? Grand Lodge has created short documentaries that will immerse you, your candidates, and even the general public in the history and culture of Freemasonry.

Masonic education videos

  • Diverse, Yet United: California Masonry's global cultural influences
  • The Art of Masonic Education: Masonic art as a lodge teaching aid
  • The Holy Writings: purpose and impact of sacred texts in the lodge
  • Emblems of Innocence and Honor: significance of the Masonic apron

To access the videos on freemason.org, select the Education dropdown, then Videos.

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Question of the month

Last month we asked how your lodge has adopted new technology in the past year. Of those that responded, the most popular answers were:

48% - Intacct
48% - Lodge app
45% - Electronic Trestleboard
36% - The Vault

Other popular tech additions included the Candidate Learning Center (24 percent), online dues payment on the lodge website (24 percent), and embracing new social media (30 percent).

Here's your next question.

 

 



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