Iowa Masonic Membership Retention Forums

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We have been evaluating our membership numbers.  Raisings are up.  Deaths are down.  These are both reasons to celebrate.  But we are not celebrating.  Why?  Because Suspensions for Non-payment of dues (SNPD) and Demits are both up.  And not only are they up, but the men who are leaving through this path are largely men who have been Masons for less that three years.

To figure out why that is the case, we have been holding a series of meetings with these men.  Elsewhere on this website I have talked about the New Master Masons Forums we have been having.  Read about them HERE.  The men have been telling us a lot of things. But mostly what they are telling us is that they NEED more mentoring, that they WANT more mentoring.  And the questions they are asking prove that they need more mentoring.  For example, these are the questions we heard the other night in Davenport:

What is an MI or a DL?
What are the duties of a Lodge officer?
What is this book that the Lodge gave me that is just a bunch of letters that I cannot read?
What is a lodge of instruction?
What is the York Rite and Scottish Rite?
How do they and the Shrine fit into the fraternity?
You mean the Grand Lodge only meets once a year?  Why not every month?
How do you get elected Grand Master?
Why can't Roman Catholics be a Mason?  (Not even a valid questions since they can!)

And these are questions from men who have been Masons for a year or more!  Can you believe that?  I can.  I was there.  But I would not have believed it a couple months ago.  I don't like believing it.  But it is true.

The Lodge Service Committee is now holding their annual series of Neighborhood Area Meetings.  They have talked about mentoring.  In short, most of the attendees know less about how to mentor a new Mason than the new Masons appear to know about the fraternity.  Most have never heard of the Passport to Light.  (Have you?  If not, look it up on the Grand Lodge web site.)

So, we are having 19 meetings or forums across the state over the next two months to talk about this.  The figures will be presented.  Opinions will be asked for.  Discussions will be held.  And we will talk about HOW TO MENTOR NEW MASONS.  The Master, Wardens, and Secretaries of each Iowa Lodge will receive a letter inviting them to these meetings.  They will each be expected to attend one of them.  They will also be asked to bring others from their lodges.  All are welcome, Young, Old, New Mason, Seasoned Mason.  Here are the dates for the meetings.

 

Iowa Masonic Mentoring and Membership Retention Forums

(All meetings start at 7:00 PM unless indicated differently below.)

April 2008 Meetings

21 April     Grinnell, Hermon Lodge No. 273 928 Main Street

28 April     Cedar Falls, Black Hawk Lodge No. 65 212 Main Street

30 April     Mason City, Benevolence Lodge No. 145 302 First Street SE

30 April     Columbus City, Columbus City Lodge No. 107 Market & Columbus Streets

May 2008 Meetings

05 May     Spencer, Evening Shade Lodge No. 312 103 East Fourth Street

07 May     Fort Madison, Claypoole Lodge No. 13 4709 Avenue J

10 May     Des Moines, (10:00 AM) East Gate Lodge No. 630 2501 East Grand Avenue

10 May     West Des Moines, (10:00 AM) Gnemeth Lodge No. 577 218 Fifth Street

13 May     Postville, Brotherly Love Lodge No. 204 201 South Boody Street

14 May     Dubuque, Metropolitan Lodge No. 49 1155 Locust Street

19 May     Sioux City, Morningside Lodge No. 615 4110 Morningside Avenue

20 May     Carroll, Signet Lodge No. 264 2002 North Highway 71

20 May     Nevada, Nevada Lodge No. 99 1001 Sixth Street

20 May     Osceola, Osceola Lodge No. 77 100 South Park Street

21 May     Council Bluffs, Bluff City Lodge No. 71 130 South Sixth Street

21 May     Webster City, Acacia Lodge No. 176 739 Second Street

27 May     Ottumwa, Ottumwa Lodge No. 16 611 East Pennsylvania Street

29 May     Cedar Rapids, Mount Hermon Lodge No. 263 210 Sixth Street NE

29 May     Davenport, Brubaker Lodge No. 675 511 East 65th Street