It is now February. And although the snow is flying and piling up as I write these words, it will soon be Spring. My term of office is more than one-third complete. Have I completed one-third of the tasks I set for myself? Hardly! And yet, it has been a most rewarding four month.
I saw many of you at one of the 12 Grand Masterís Area Meetings which were held across the state. We had some good discussions on the points of emphasis for this year: Masonic Pride, Masonic Education, and Managed Masonic Change. We discussed the importance of ATTITUDE, and how that is the key to success, whether in your personal life or in the life of your lodge.
The presentations given at these meetings are available on my personal website, which may be found at http://www.iowagrandmaster.org , There are also many other items on this website which you may find of interest. These include educational material, personal comments from me, ideas for your lodge, some books, and a whole bunch of pictures. I urge you to check it out. The Grand Lodge website is also being given a new look. Check that out at http://www.gl-iowa.org .
There is one matter which has been very troubling to me and to the other Grand Officers. While the number of raisings in the state are good, and the number of deaths continues to fall, we are troubled by a continued increase in the number of brethren who are suspended for nonpayment of dues. And a large percentage of those are men who joined the fraternity within the past three years.
Brethren, this is a serious concern. For whatever reason, we are not providing these brethren sufficient value for them to continue their membership. We are not providing them what they were promised; we are not providing them what they expected and hoped to find. And that, brethren, is OUR fault, not theirs. We must provide a valuable Lodge Experience. We must work harder to get our new brethren enrolled into their lodge. Please refresh yourselves on the Passport to Light Mentoring Program, which goes far beyond the required Masonic Enlightenment Course. Look closely at the Ashlar Award, which is an excellent tool for getting new members involved and ensuring they stay that way. And consider creating a membership committee for your lodge. This committee can work with the new brethren to make sure they are enrolled. And they must contact brethren who have not paid their dues to determine the problem, and find a way to rectify it.
We are also initiating a new program, New Master Masons Forums, which will be held across the state. Masons who have been raised within the past three years will be invited to a forum in their area. They will be provided an opportunity to talk with the other New Master Masons. There will be a brief update on state-wide activities. But the bulk of the time will be spent in group discussions, specifically soliciting feedback from these new members. The purpose is to find out what these new members want, what they need, and what they see as strengths and weaknesses in their Lodge and the Fraternity in general. Several sessions will be held this Spring and Summer. I am assured that they will continue next year. If invited to one of these forums, please plan to attend. We need your input.
Officer installations should now be complete. As the snowfall ceases, travel will become more practical. As brethren return from visits to warmer climes, lodge work will also be picking up. Remember, I enjoy visiting other lodges. I love participating in degree work. I really love watching degree work. And I am always happy to answer questions. If you have work, please let me know. If my schedule allows, I will be happy to attend. If you have something else special going on, let me know. Who knows, you just might get a group of Grand Officers sitting on the sidelines. If you and your lodge are interested in a visit, either formal or informal, give me a call. Or if you prefer, call the Grand Secretary.
Donít forget the Grand Masterís One-Day Class scheduled for Des Moines on April 28. And a second one has just been scheduled for Iowa City on August 23.
Remember, ATTITUDE is the key. Keep your attitude positive.
Donald E. Mosier
Grand Master of Masons in Iowa