Together we make a profound difference

Coming Home

Veterans Day is November 11

HOW-TO: Finalize your installation plans

Best ritual team

Operation Greatest Gift

Save the dates

Question of the month




Coming Home

Coming Home is a fraternity-wide effort to bring all members, new and senior, active and inactive, back to their blue lodge, beginning with the February stated meeting. It’s an event that will reaffirm our fraternal commitment, celebrate our shared Masonic experiences, and reach out to inactive brothers. It will be the largest California blue lodge gathering in decades!

The cause
We took a vow to care for our brothers – and that includes helping them stay connected to the fellowship and shared values at blue lodge.

Active, participating members are critical for a viable lodge. To achieve a high level of engagement, we must plan programs that bring men back to the lodge.

The challenge
Contact every member of your lodge. Make an earnest effort to have a conversation with each brother – don’t simply leave a voicemail or send an e-mail. If they haven’t been to lodge in awhile, check on their well-being. Remind them that they are valued assets of the lodge and that they matter.

Invite them to the February stated meeting. Together, determine what would inspire them to return to blue lodge long-term, and develop lodge programs that will keep them coming back.


The preparation

  • Download and include this Coming Home ad in your Trestleboard through February.
  • Download the Coming Home Guide. Senior wardens will receive a guide in the mail.
  • Watch the Grand Master’s Coming Home Video. (You can also view it by selecting the Coming Home link on Senior wardens will each receive a DVD in the mail, which can be shared at lodge.

The guide and DVD will be mailed this month to every senior warden.


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Veterans Day is November 11

This year, we are making a special effort to recognize and thank our veterans.

In honor of Veterans Day, plan a remembrance at your November stated meeting. This could be as simple as a break from the meeting for a moment of silence.

Some ideas:

  • Make a brief statement recognizing and thanking the lodge’s veterans
  • Observe a moment of silence or play a patriotic song
  • Invite veterans to stand and share their name, rank, and military branch
  • Prepare small patriotic gifts or thank-you cards for veterans

Our veterans defended our country, our families, and our freedom. This Veterans Day, let’s show them their service has not been forgotten.


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HOW-TO: Finalize your installation plans

Use this checklist to stay on track for a successful installation ceremony.

By now, you should have

  • Selected the date and reserved the lodge building
  • Selected the installing team
  • Created a budget
  • Created an installation plan, including
    • theme
    • reception/dinner arrangements
    • entertainment/music
    • special presentations
    • youth group involvement

    TIP: Review last year’s installation plans to ensure you’ve covered everything.

Eight to 10 weeks before the event

  • Set deadlines for design and printing of materials, including
    • invitations
    • programs
    • fliers/advertising
  • Delegate or request volunteers for the following roles
    • create and send invitations
    • guest book and program attendants
    • flag bearers
    • photographer
    • musician/vocalist/sound technician

Four to six weeks before the event

  • Mail invitations to
    • past masters and officers and their ladies
    • your inspector
    • neighboring lodges
    • Grand Lodge officers in the area
    • youth orders
    • community organizations
  • Include
    • date, time, and location
    • dinner/reception details
    • whether reservations are required
    • suggested attire

One to three weeks before the event

  • Publicize via press release to local media (click here for a template press release, found in the On The Level CD)
  • Print installation programs, including
    • date, time, and location details
    • officers to be installed
    • members of the installing team
    • program agenda
    • list of individuals who helped with preparation and ceremony

    TIP: Include your lodge strategic plan and calendar for the upcoming year. On the calendar, note activities to which ladies and families are invited.

The week before

  • Rehearse with the installing team and officers (your inspector will require this), including musicians or sound technician
  • Consult with your inspector to get approval or assistance
  • Finalize the program script, including introductions, presentations, and remarks

    TIP: Write everything you wish to say after the formal ceremony, too, including the names of all those you want to introduce.

For more details on planning your lodge’s installation, consult the Lodge Manual, found in the Member Center under Publications/Leadership Manuals.


Have we forgotten something? E-mail suggestions to with Finalize your installation plans in the subject line.

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Natoma Lodge named “best ritual team”

Congratulations to Natoma Lodge No. 64, overall winner of the 2009 Ritual Competition, and to all divisional winners.

  • Overall winner: Natoma No. 64
  • Div. 1:            Napa Valley No. 93
  • Div. 2:            Madison No. 23
  • Div. 3:            Friendship No. 210
  • Div. 4:            Natoma No. 64
  • Div. 5:            Burbank No. 406
  • Div. 7:            Torrance University No. 394
  • Div. 8:            Temecula Catalina Island No. 524
  • Div. 9:            Oceanside-San Dieguito No. 381


The lodges were tested on the marshal’s first degree interrogation, the perambulation for all three degrees, and the charge for all three degrees.

Could your lodge be the 2010 winner?
The Ritual Committee will travel throughout California to choose winning lodges at divisional and state levels.

This year’s challenge will be all three proficiencies in the long form. The team leader from each divisional team will be recognized at a ceremony during the 2010 Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of California.

Lodges must submit registration forms to district inspectors by February 1.

Download the Ritual Competition registration form and guidelines.


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Operation Greatest Gift

World War II ended in 1945, but it wasn’t until 2004 that a memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. to the 16 million who served in the armed forces during that war.

Health and financial obstacles have prevented most surviving veterans, now well into their 80s, from taking the long trip to honor their fallen friends and their years of service.

Operation Greatest Gift, the Grand Master’s Project for 2009-2010, will provide an assisted visit to the memorial for as many California veterans as possible. To accomplish this, the project will organize and fund several three-day trips to Washington, D.C.

Commitment to care
The Grand Master’s Project will also raise funds to support the work of the Masonic Hospital Visitors Program Committee. This committee of dedicated Masons ensures that there is always a presence at our state’s veterans’ hospitals by providing friendship, social programs, and regular visitation.

Together, we can show our veterans that their service has not been forgotten.

To contribute, contact the Office of Philanthropy at 415/292-9117 or visit

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Save the dates 2010

Secretaries’ Retreat
February 5-7, San Ramon
February 26-28, Irvine


Wardens’ Leadership Retreat
Junior Wardens
March 19-21, San Ramon
April 16-18, Ontario

Senior Wardens
April 30-May 2, Ontario
May 14-16, San Ramon


Lodge Management Certification Program
June 12, Newport Beach
June 19, San Diego
June 26, Sacramento
July 10, Pleasanton
July 31, Santa Rosa


10th Annual California Masonic Symposium
June 5, San Francisco


161st Annual Communication
September 24-26, San Francisco

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Question of the month

In September we asked if the majority of your lodge’s older members connect to the Internet. Of the 118 that responded:

41% - yes
59% - no


Just 10 percent said their lodge currently helps its older members connect online. About 78 percent said it would be valuable to have a lodge program for this.

Here’s your next question.





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Grand Lodge of California
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San Francisco, CA 94108

p: (415) 776-7000