From: dryfoo@MIT.EDU <dryfoo@MIT.EDU>
To: Matthew Henderson <email@example.com>
Date: Monday, March 16, 1998 3:47 PM
Subject: Re: Question about Joining a Lodge
No, actually it's a really great question! I won't post it though,
since you asked.
The answer is that you can certainly ask to visit and meet the
members of one lodge, or a few, before deciding where to join.
For instance, you might find that one lodge is full of much older
guys and may be running out of steam, while another has more people
about your own age, with lots of activities. While the latter might be
an obvious choice, some guys might prefer the former because it would
give them a chance to move right into line and provide a challenge in
trying to get things moving again.
Or you might find that one lodge is mostly drawn from one "class" --
professional men, blue-collar, students, retired, technical types,
millitary, or whatever, while another has more of a mix. Again, your
own preferences could be your guide either way. There's no "right" or
Who knows, you might walk into a lodge "open house" or "information
night" and run into someone you know.
You might be interested in that new lodge that's meeting in the
school, as that might be a chance to help a new group make its early
history. You could visit with some of the members and ask them why,
with so many lodges in town, they decided to form a new one? Are they
planning something different? Do they have particular goals or ideals
that interest you?
Those established lodges with their own Masonic apartments: those
buildings usually have a directory that lists when each of the member
lodges meets there (1st Tuesday? 4nd Thursday? whatever). You could
show up on a lodge night (wear a jacket and tie at least) and ask to
meet the Master or the Secretary. Introduce yourself and tell them you
may want to become a Mason and would like to know when you could meet
with some of their members so you can get to know each other. There are
exceptions (you might show up on a terribly hectic night) but you can
generally judge the friendliness and organization of a lodge with that
simple visit. They might only have time (right before a meeting that
MUST start at a specific time) to get your name, phone, number, etc., so
don't expect a big welcome, but they should be courteous and helpful.
I often recommend, especially when someone lives in an area that will
have so many lodges, as yours must, that the person contact the grand
lodge, office of the grand secretary, and ask about some lodges
convenient to where they live or work. And if you happen to have a
long-standing committment on some given night ("I always practice with
my church choir on Tuesday nights" or "My Star Trek Apprciation group
watches videotapes every Monday" or whatever) you can ask about lodges
that meet on nights other than that one.
The grand secretary's office will give you the name and probably the
address or phone number of the master or secretary of some lodges. Then
you can contact them and tell them you'd be interested in meeting some
of the members and finding out more about the lodge and about Masonry in
general. Don't be bashful about saying right up front that you've been
advised that it's okay to visit 2 or 3 lodges at the start.
Or perhaps the grand secretary's office will want to pass your name
and number along to some lodges. That's often done. Just ask by when
you can expect to hear from someone (just so you'll know if someone
drops the ball, or if it's the normal waiting time around those parts).
In any case, you can't expect to attend a lodge meeting to see what
it's like. The meetings are for members only -- except for "open"
meetings such as an annual installation of officers. A lodge might be
willing to invite you to a dinner after (or before) a meeting, or if
they're hosting a public event (eg. my lodge holds Sunday morning blood
donation drives a few times a year) you could go to that, or they should
at least put together a membership committee to meet with you.
See, I told you it was a good question. Please stay in touch and let
me know how you make out.
| Gary L. Dryfoos <firstname.lastname@example.org>| MPS; PM: Mt. Scopus Lodge, Malden, MA;
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142 | & Ocean Lodge, Winthrop, MA;
| http://web.mit.edu/dryfoo/Masonry/ | B'hood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not;
| w: 617.253-0184 f: 617.258-6875 | Int'l Guild Masonic Webm@sters, Pres.MA
| "...one sacred band, or society of Friends and Brothers, among
| whom no contention should ever exist, save that noble contention,
| or rather emulation, of who best can work and best agree."
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