Together we make a profound difference

Beyond the lodge

Special edition

Your July checklist

For your Trestleboard

Find it on

Question of the month


Printable Version


Beyond the lodge

In Santa Barbara County, the MASONRY AT WORK newsletter is something of an institution. For 62 years, it has served as a communal Trestleboard-newsletter for area Masonic organizations. Today, that comprises Santa Barbara Lodge No. 192 and Carpinteria Lodge No. 444; the local York Rite, Scottish Rite, and Shrine club of the Al Malaikah Shrine; and the Santa Barbara Chapter of DeMolay.

The combined newsletter keeps fraternal families up to date on all the Masonic news in their area, while lightening the administrative load on the lodges and organizations that participate. It also encourages event attendance and interaction between Masonic bodies, and fosters an overall sense of community.

Editor Scott Doyle explains:


  • We have a global readership of about 900 Masonic brothers and their families. Most are members of one of the local Masonic organizations – but we even have some subscribers who are not.
  • Subscription is automatic with membership in any of the local Masonic organizations, blue lodge or otherwise.
  • Print and distribution costs are funded with a $12 annual subscription per member, tacked onto the lodge or organization’s membership fee.


  • We maintain a traditional printed newsletter. For a long time, we paid someone to typeset it, but a few years ago, we began designing it in house, using Adobe InDesign software.
  • Two years ago, we introduced a digital version of the newsletter, too. We use MailChimp to design and distribute it. We email it to the readership about a week before the print version becomes available.
  • We have a MASONRY AT WORK Advisory Committee, made up of the leaders of each participating organization. I handle design and production, and Assistant Editor Bro. Bruce Rick collects columns from each issue’s writers, gathers calendar info, and handles other editorial tasks.

Special sections

  • Each lodge or Masonic body gets its own section, including at least one column from a leader; calendar info for that month; and often, pictures, a list of officers, and special news, reminders, and announcements.
  • We feature a combined calendar for each month, which lists all of the organizations’ events together so readers can see what’s happening at a glance.
  • We recently started a trivia section, and the first person to answer correctly wins a free dinner at three participating Masonic bodies. It’s a fun way to get fraternal family to visit lodges and organizations other than their own. We encourage spouses and families to enter.
  • A special section lists the brothers who will celebrate their third-degree anniversaries that month.
  • Another section, called “First Thoughts,” is devoted to notable Masonic publications. Currently we’re working our way through Albert Pike’s “Morals and Dogma of the Ancient Scottish Rite of Freemasonry”: Each month, we publish the first paragraph of the next chapter in the book.
  • Going forward, we are especially interested in personalizing the newsletter with articles about local Masons and their families. We encourage readers to submit meaningful stories, essays, pictures, and quotes.

Final thoughts
By combining a number of Masonic organizations into one newsletter, we create a lot of interaction among fraternal family. Rather than isolating ourselves in our separate groups, we feel like one big community.

Contact: Scott Doyle

[Back to Top]



Special edition

The Trestleboard is designed to share important lodge news, but it’s also an opportunity to engage families in the fraternity and keep your brothers invested in lodge priorities. Consider including these special sections.

  • Lodge strategic plan: Track goals and provide updates
  • Contests: Trivia, essay, and photo challenges
  • Family: News and stories about lodge families and outreach
  • Youth: Celebrate contributions by Masonic youth and share upcoming events
  • Lodge history: Facts, photos, “this month in history,” etc.
  • Masonic history: Facts and photos about California and worldwide Masonry
  • Masonic education: Essay series on a topic of lodge interest
  • Book review: Recommended Masonic reading
  • Travel: Photos and facts about lodges abroad, with personal anecdotes from member travels
  • Beyond the lodge: Information about nearby lodges and Masonic organizations
  • Masonic Assistance: Reminders, resources (see “For your Trestleboard,” below), and contact info

Does your lodge already have a great Trestleboard? Enter it in the Lodge Communications Awards by July 31 and you could win two complimentary tickets to the Saturday evening Grand Master’s social event during Annual Communication; publication as a Best Practice in an upcoming issue of The Leader; and recognition in the 2015-2016 Masons of California annual report. Show us what you’ve got! Learn more.

[Back to Top]



Your July checklist

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

Executive Committee

Senior Warden, Along with 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



  • If your lodge has employees, file quarterly federal payroll tax form 941 (unless IRS has approved an annual filing of form 944, due in February)
  • If your lodge has employees, file quarterly state payroll tax form DE9/DE9C and deposit form DE88
  • Begin preparing semi-annual financial report, due in August

Hall Association

Questions? Contact Member Services at or (415) 776-7000.

[Back to Top]



For your Trestleboard

By partnering with Masonic Assistance, you can make sure your fraternal family knows where to turn when they need support. Refer to this Q&A to address member questions about Masonic Homes services and eligibility, and supply it as a resource for your lodge outreach committee.

This month: Masonic Homes FAQs
Share with lodge outreach leaders, post at lodge, and distribute to members with questions about the Masonic Homes.

[Back to Top]



Find it on

New! Document search is now available in the Member Center. Find the resources you need more quickly and easily.

Use keywords for a broad search, and narrow your results by document type (text, PDF, PowerPoint, etc.).

To access the Document Search link, you must be logged into the Member Center.

  • In the Member Center: Link is located at top right, in the red banner menu
  • On the home page: Link is located in the Member Center box at left

[Back to Top]



Question of the month

Last month we asked if your lodge has ever visited one of the Masonic Homes campuses. Of those that responded:

70% - Yes
13% - No
17% - Don't know

Among “yes” respondents, about 35 percent said their lodge made a special field trip to educate brethren about the Homes.

Here's your next question.



View past issues

Please email questions to



Contact Us

Grand Lodge of California
1111 California Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

p: (415) 776-7000