The 2006 wave of district meetings is now in the past. The
Grand Lodge Officers visited each of the thirteen districts during the
period September 8 to October 20, 2006. At each of the meetings,
veterans received service recognition buttons, a Citizen of the Year was
honored, the district provided an evening program and several of the Grand
Lodge Officers presented interesting commentary as food for thought as
we continue to improve ourselves in masonry.
A few evening programs of note were: an organ “recital” of
patriotic music while at District 2 on 9/11; a photo presentation on life
in Iraq by a veteran in District 3; a presentation on cancer and life in
District 9; and scouting and its relation to masonry in District 13. All
evening programs were well received.
The Grand Lecturer brought to
light the importance of religion in masonry, but that, as we learn in the
2nd degree and throughout masonry, it is not a religion, that we accept
men of any faith given their belief in a Supreme Being. He offered
three questions for each mason to consider: How
do we get the message out to those who have chosen to leave our fraternity
because of their perceived conflict of religion versus freemasonry? How
do we help the non-mason understand this? How do we encourage the
good men, of any religion, to join us in our work?
Most Worshipful Grand Master John R. (Jack) Campbell, Jr. closed out each
meeting with enthusiastic remarks about the health of freemasonry in Vermont
and some thoughts about five questions each mason should be prepared to
answer to any person inquiring about the fraternity:
- Where did freemasonry
- Why can’t women belong?
- Why can’t
black men belong?
- Freemasonry is a secret society, right?
- What do you do?
The Grand Master has received excellent feedback from
attendees on his remarks and how straight forward and helpful his answers
to those questions were. His remarks will be posted on the website.
Congratulations to District 5 for the highest attendance for all meetings:
Finally, thanks to all attendees and several lodges who contributed to
the phone card program. Each $7 card provides 100 minutes of phone time
for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to call loved ones at home. This
is the third (and record) year for these sales, the only jurisdiction in
the United States that provides an avenue for individual donations. Exactly
$7,800 was raised, and money is still coming in to the Grand Lodge Office.
Thanks to all for making the district meetings a wonderful success.