Thursday, January 17, 2013

Happy New Year!

OK, that greeting is slightly belated, but we’ve been busy.  Since our last posting we’ve experienced numerous parades, the 12 days of Christmas, 24 days of college bowl games, and New Year’s Eve celebrations that found most of us exhausted by 10:30pm.  Both the gift-giving and gift-returning seasons are now in our rear view mirrors, and while college football continues with a flurry of all-star games, those are quickly winding down too.  What does that mean for us?  Time to get back to work!

With the J.C. Musser Work Day now behind us, Inspection season starts in earnest this weekend at Mt. Gilead #206.  As indicated, our inspection is March 23rd, and the last inspection of the season is listed as April 13 at Bellefontaine #209.  The full schedule is listed on the 15th District web site, available through the link on the left.  Please check their information frequently for updates or adjustments, as changes are posted whenever they are received.

There are dates on our calendar of note.  Obviously our Inspection is one of the more important, but the Grand Master’s Reception for the 15th Masonic District occurs the same weekend.  This year it will again be held at the Huntsville Events Center in Huntsville, Ohio, on Friday, March 22nd.  Ticket information is not yet available, but details should be shared soon.  For those who have never attended, this is an opportunity to meet and mingle with the Grand Lodge officers and their ladies, as well as members and officers of other Lodges within the 15th District.  It is a great opportunity to talk to those responsible for guiding the craft, and receiving personal insight into what goes on behind the scenes.  With the recent relocation of the Grand Lodge office to the Springfield Masonic Center, this will certainly be one of the more active topics.

One of our favorite segments of the Grand Master’s Reception is presentation of the Grand Master’s Excellence in Youth Award.  This is given to a young person who displays the qualities of leadership, character, and community involvement which are prized by our fraternity.  This year we were pleased to nominate two young people for consideration of this award, feeling they are certainly deserving of this recognition.   

For those who have not kept track at home, we have had considerable good fortune with previous nominations.  Our track record reflects that for 8 consecutive years a young person nominated by our Lodge has been selected for this award. We would love to take sole credit for such an accomplishment, but can’t.  The real credit is due to the young people, supported by their parents and families, who choose to display the qualities of character and community involvement which are the focus of the award. While each community has them, we are pleased to assist in seeing ours receive proper recognition.

Frequent readers will recall discussions on the MORI system adopted by Grand Lodge several years ago.  It allows Lodges to track membership information, and provides a convenient method of organizing the financial aspects of Lodge operation.  We have participated since its introduction, and have attended a variety of training opportunities on the topic.  Last year participation in this system became mandatory for all Lodges in Ohio, rather than voluntary.  The resulting changes in our operation have been subtle but steady.  Previously during meetings, all member information could be obtained by opening the proper file drawer and selecting the correct folder.  Now that is not the case.  With implementation of the MORI system, internet access is required to perform the same functions or retrieve information. 

At the first meeting in January the Lodge voted to obtain a new laptop computer to assist with the MORI activities, and to investigate the options for internet access for our Lodge.  Although we are only in the initial phase at this time, we hope to have things in place soon to take full advantage of MORI’s many features.  During our implementation discussions a member brought up the humble beginnings of our Lodge.  He told us to think back to that group of Brothers huddled in the covered bridge on their way home from Richwood in the early 1870’s.  Imagine the looks on their faces had they been able to see the flickering screen of a laptop bringing images from around the world, or pulling up their membership information by striking a few keys.  It makes you wonder what the next 140+ years will bring.

At our next meeting (or three) we will be practicing the FC degree in preparation for Inspection.  Shortly after we will be scheduling a Masonic Awards program, complete with dinner.  We will post the dates as soon as they are determined.  Until then,

See you at Lodge!