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BEST PRACTICE: Partnering with Masonic Assistance

HOW-TO: Educate members about support services

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COMING SOON: Masonic Center for Youth and Families

Summer history classes

Question of the month




BEST PRACTICE: Partnering with Masonic Assistance

Keeping our fraternal family safe and secure is one of Masonry’s fundamental obligations. And by partnering with Masonic Assistance, lodges can help members get the help they need, when they need it.

Palm Springs Lodge No. 693 leads by example. Jeffrey Bayer, secretary, reports.

Background: Palm Springs Lodge is a large lodge of 225 members. We’re very focused on outreach. A big part of that is educating members about Masonic Assistance. By spreading the word about support services and helping members and widows get connected with them, we’re protecting our most vulnerable.

The phone committee

  • Check in regularly: The lodge’s phone committee calls elder members and widows once a month. The most important thing about the telephone committee is telling our older members we’re thinking of them, and making sure they know about Masonic Assistance.
  • Plan ahead: The committee developed a phone call script, which includes information about Masonic Assistance and the Homes and phone numbers for each.
  • Involve members from the start: The committee is comprised of some of the lodge’s newest members. Besides getting them involved, it educates them about Masonic Assistance services – important information for their own families.
  • Follow up on red flags: If the committee suspects that a brother or widow needs help, they call more frequently, drop by for a visit, or contact Masonic Assistance to request that they check in on the person. Many of these referrals have led to important support services for the member or widow.

The eyes and ears of outreach

  • Clear contact info: Every secretary should have a direct contact number for members to reach him in times of need. We put that number on the outbound message of the lodge voicemail, too, in case someone outside the lodge needs to relay a message about a member or widow.
  • Be consistent: We consider every call that comes in an opportunity to help. Every time we talk to a widow or an older member, we ask if they’re aware of the support that’s available to them through Masonic Assistance and the Homes. It’s amazing how many have no idea.

Meet the staff
The lodge has built a strong working relationship with the Homes staff and our local Masonic Senior Outreach representatives. Some of the ways we partner with them:

  • Referring potential Homes applicants and Masonic Assistance clients
  • Taking time to introduce ourselves to the people who can answer our Masonic Assistance questions
  • Helping family members fill out applications to the Homes and/or Masonic Assistance
  • Inviting a staff spokesperson to give a presentation on support services at our annual Sweethearts Night

Thanks to our lodge’s relationship with Masonic Assistance, we’ve connected many fraternal family members with the specialized care and support they needed, but couldn’t provide for themselves. We’ve saved lives.

For more ideas, read this month’s HOW-TO article. Visit the redesigned for information about the support services offered by Masonic Assistance.

Have your own Best Practice to share? Fill out this template and e-mail it to



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HOW-TO: Educate members about support services

Many times, members and widows won’t inquire about support because they don't realize or don’t want to admit that they need help. Other times, they don’t know about the support services available to them. One of the most important things a lodge can do is educate members about Masonic Assistance.

Be the local branch of Masonic outreach

  • Make frequent home visits just to check in and say hello
  • Offer transportation to members, such as rides to lodge or doctors’ visits
  • Help with errands such as grocery shopping, mowing the lawn, or home maintenance
  • Refer members who need support to Masonic Assistance at or 888/466-3642
  • Refer potential applicants for the Masonic Homes to 888/466-3642
  • Offer to help with Masonic Assistance/Homes applications

Reach out-of-state members
Remind long-distance members of the benefits available to them as California Masons in good standing

Educate members

  • Form a phone committee to call elder members and widows. In the phone call script, explain Masonic Assistance and provide the phone number
  • Every time you talk to a fraternal family member (or his/her relative), take the opportunity to ask about the well-being of the member or widow
  • Include Masonic Assistance contact information in every Trestleboard. It’s easy: just download this Masonic Assistance ad
  • Bring members and their wives on a tour of the Homes. Contact the Home at Union City at 510/471-3434 and the Home at Covina at 626/251-2232 to set up a tour

Educate yourself

  • Visit the redesigned to learn about the support services offered by Masonic Assistance and the Masonic Homes. Familiarize yourself with the Masonic Homes FAQs and Masonic Senior Outreach FAQs.
  • Use Masonic Homes and Masonic Assistance staff as resources. Contact or 888/466-3642 with any questions.
  • DID YOU KNOW? The Masonic Assistance phone number is on the back of your dues card – a handy reference any time you or a fraternal family member needs it.


Have we forgotten something? Please e-mail additional suggestions to with How-To: Educate members about support services in the subject line.


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Find it at is your web destination for learning about the support services offered by Masonic Assistance and Masonic Homes of California - and now it has a fresh new design.

Besides an updated look, now has a number of added features.

Three distinct support services

  • Masonic Homes for Seniors
  • Masonic Senior Outreach (formerly MOS)
  • Masonic Family Outreach

New features

    Under Masonic Homes for Seniors tab, for each campus:

    • Comprehensive information on Services, Features, and Recreation page
    • Fee schedules
    • Aerial views
    • Google maps and directions
    • New photo galleries
    • Resident perspectives video clips

    Under Masonic Senior Outreach tab:

    • FAQs
    • Links to specialty services provided by related Masonic organizations

Visit the redesigned, take a look at the photo galleries, and view the clips of residents talking about life at the Masonic Homes for Seniors.

Share the news! Download and include this ad in your next Trestleboard.


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Doing more for our children, our members, our communities

Masonic Center for Youth and Families opens November 2010

Anyone who knows a child struggling with behavioral or learning problems knows how confusing and difficult it is to understand the cause and get professional help, especially due to the critical shortage of assessment and treatment planning services in California.

As an expansion of the Masonic Homes of California’s commitment to serve children with and without Masonic affiliation, the Masonic Center for Youth and Families was created to serve youth age 4 to 18 and their families in a needed, meaningful, and more innovative way. We are taking leadership in a difficult, complex, and fragmented area of psychological services by providing single-point-of-service care with an industry-leading professional team. The Center will provide critical services in a comprehensive, integrated manner that is unavailable anywhere else in the country.

Filling the critical services gap with child-first philosophy

At the Masonic Center for Youth and Families, a multi-disciplinary team of experts will assess the complete child from all angles – from cognitive, personality, and neuropsychological tests to conversations with the child’s teachers, coaches, and ministers. From this, the team will develop a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses the child’s and the family’s needs. Most importantly, with the help of a compassionate clinician and the Center’s child-first philosophy, youth will have the opportunity to learn more about themselves and be able to realize their potential.

The Center will be located in San Francisco, but designed to serve Masonic and non-Masonic families throughout the state. Masonic families will always be granted priority. We will help Masonic families pay for travel costs as necessary and appropriate for the initial on-site assessment and meetings with the treatment team to discuss findings and recommendations for treatment. The team will identify appropriate resources in the family’s home community to implement the treatment plan and maintain ongoing contact with the family.

Services available November 2010

Details about accessing services at the Masonic Center for Youth and Families will be provided in the coming months. The Center’s website will launch in August, and more detailed information will be available at Annual Communication. If you have questions at this time, please contact Steffani Kizziar at or 510/675-1245.


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Summer history classes

Across countries and centuries, Freemasonry has shaped governments and societies. But until recently, only limited academic research and coursework was devoted to the subject.

That changed in 2008, when the Grand Lodge of California initiated an important partnership with the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Margaret C. Jacob, one of the world's foremost Masonic scholars, led the development of two courses on the history of Freemasonry. They debuted this spring at UCLA.

This summer, Grand Lodge and UCLA are offering you the chance to participate in accelerated versions of those courses.

Join Dr. Natalie Bayer and Matthew Crow as they explore Freemasonry's

  • impact on European and American history from the Enlightenment through today
  • role in the early development of modern thought, culture and politics
  • contributions to the evolution of individual rights and democratic societies

Course details

  • Meet once a week for three consecutive weeks, 6:30 to 10 p.m.
  • Participants expected to read selected material from primary and secondary sources, including works by John Anderson, Margaret Jacob, Steven Bullock, David Stevenson, Jessica Harland-Jacobs, Edgar Allen Poe, Rudyard Kipling, and Robert Putnam
  • Classroom lectures and discussions
  • Thanks to a generous scholarship from the California Masonic Foundation, just $60 registration fee

Classes will be offered at the following locations and dates:

  • Sacramento: July 12, 19, and 26
  • Oakland: July 13, 20, and 27
  • Orange County: July 14, 21, and 28
  • Pasadena: July 15, 22, and 29
  • San Diego: July 15, 22, and 29
Download and submit the registration form by July 7. Contact Kim Hegg, program coordinator, at 415/292-9111.


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Question of the month

Last month we asked if your lodge has an electronic version of its Trestleboard. Of the 94 that responded:

83% - yes
16% - no
1% - didn't know


Of those that answered yes, 42 percent said that they prefer to receive the Trestleboard via e-mail (versus print version or posted on the lodge website).

Here’s your next question.





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