Together we make a profound difference

Outstanding ritual

Practice makes perfect

Your June checklist

For your Trestleboard

Find it on freemason.org

Question of the month

 

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Outstanding ritual

In the city of Ventura, situated along California’s scenic central coast, Channel Islands Lodge No. 214 is known for excellent ritual. It has achieved this reputation by focusing on trust and thoughtfulness, and not sweating the small stuff.

Officers coach David R. VadBunker explains.

Practices and rehearsals

  • Like most lodges, our officers rehearse together once a week, and choose which ritual to rehearse based on upcoming degrees.
  • We have a core group of eight to 10 brothers who show up every time, including a past master who is our rock. That consistency and commitment pushes all of us. There’s a foxhole camaraderie: Nobody wants to run up the hill alone.
  • We begin every rehearsal by expressing our appreciation to everyone for being there. It sounds simple, but it’s important.
  • If any brother needs extra help, we’ll schedule a special private or small group session.
  • We strongly encourage attendance at the Officers School of Instruction (OSI), which takes place 10 months of the year.

Big picture

  • We have discussions and ask: What does the ritual mean to you? What does it mean to me? What do we think it means to the grand lecturer? So much of the ritual is old English that, if we’re not really thinking about the meaning, it can become just pointless words and we’re lost. If brothers know why they’re doing something, they’re more inclined to get behind it.
  • The time we spend on ritual springboards into the ideas and discussions at the heart of Masonry – in other words, it helps us to improve ourselves.

Teamwork

  • In our lodge, the commitment and camaraderie between brothers is what really makes the ritual work.
  • Everybody’s got your back. If one of us messes up, there’s no complaint; no issue. That’s where brotherly love comes in. Anybody showing up and doing the work is doing it better than the guy sitting at home.

Masonry is a way of life – a way of treating your neighbors, coworkers, everybody that you come in contact with in life. Ritual is the truck that gets us there, through fellowship and exchange of thoughts.

Contact: David R. VadBunker

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Practice makes perfect

Every time you perform ritual, you’re retracing a centuries-old tradition and making an impression on your candidate. Your effectiveness depends on everyone working together, which can only be achieved through practice. Here are tips.

  • Commit plenty of time to individual practice and group rehearsals. Set a schedule and stick to it.
  • When members take on a new part, encourage them to enlist a coach. It’ll improve their performance, and it’s an opportunity for fellowship.
  • Ask everyone to learn more than just his own part. If one brother forgets his line, the rest of you will be able to carry on or prompt him.
  • Instill trust. Once your group trusts each other, you can rely on each other’s lines and movements to cue your own.
  • Critique each other’s pronunciation, inflection, and delivery to preserve the true intent of the ritual.
  • Talk about the meaning of the floor work. How do movements serve as “symbols in space”?
  • Ask a brother to sit in on degree practice and give “big picture” feedback – the overall emotion and impact.
  • Appreciate how the ritual’s significance deepens over the years and with different combinations of brothers.

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Your June checklist

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

Executive Committee

Senior Warden

  • Along with the Executive Committee, identify and approach members for 2017 open elected and appointed officer positions
  • Identify and approach members for the 2017 Audit, Membership Retention, and any other committees
  • Set calendar for 2017 and identify event leaders
  • Continue preparing 2017 budget
  • Set installation date and approach installing officer, master of ceremonies, and chaplain
  • Review all candidates’ progress towards advancement

Secretary

  • Send list of members with late dues to the Retention Committee
  • Send any suspension notices via certified mail
  • Provide necessary information so Charity Committee can consider remissions
  • Review roster for accuracy in preparation for the end of the Grand Lodge membership year, June 30

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

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For your Trestleboard

June is Masonic Homes Month, a time to reflect on the importance of Masonic relief. By partnering with Masonic Assistance, you can make sure your fraternal family knows where to turn when they need support. This special installment is an overview of the Lodge Outreach Program, which trains division lodges to coordinate outreach with each other and Masonic Outreach Services staff.

This month: Lodge Outreach Program
Publish in your Trestleboard, email to your membership, or print out and post at the lodge.

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Find it on freemason.org

A Masonic funeral service is an important rite for a deceased brother, his family and brethren. All the information you need for planning and performing it is available in the Funeral Service guide.

  • Proper certification
  • Tips for CMC compliance
  • Planning checklist
  • Location-specific guidelines
  • Updated ritual

Log into the Member Center on freemason.org, then click on Resources & Publications and select Ceremonies. The downloadable Funeral Service guide is about halfway down the list.

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Question of the month

Last month we asked if your lodge has its own strategic plan. Of those that responded:

59% - Yes
37% - No
4% - Don't know

Among “yes” respondents, about 25 percent said their lodge’s strategic plan was developed within the past year.

Here's your next question.

 

 



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p: (415) 776-7000

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