Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Filling The Masonic Calendar

One of the things that I have really been noticing as I have combed through the various emails and papers for the lodge summer newsletter is all the events that are taking place in the fall. While the lodge itself has a number of things on the schedule, there are a slew of other places where brethren will be congregating. From Grand Lodge to appendant bodies, there are countless dates and times that I am having to sift through… while I would like to include everything, it is becoming less and less likely that all of these events will be represented on the calendar.

So, with the long list in hand, I have had to figure out a means of prioritizing them. First, our lodge. This is pretty self-explanatory. We need to make sure that all the brethren are aware of all the events that we have planned for the remainder of the year. This includes an open house, blood drive, various programs, and all the usual meetings and fellowship nights that we have all become accustom to seeing on the calendar. While the last two aren’t really necessary (as we all know this part of our masonic schedule), it is a helpful reminder for all of us and it demonstrates the importance of these regular meetings.

Next on my list are the variety of events of which I have received notice from the Grand Lodge. In addition to the quarterly and annual meetings at the end of the year there are also other events such as a corner stone laying ceremony in September. Grand Lodge events are a great way to meet brethren from across the Commonwealth. I have enjoyed every one of them and always encourage new brothers to do so as well. Personally, I have not been able to attend a cornerstone ceremony so I will be sure to mark it on my personal calendar along with the others.

Things are already starting to fill up the remaining months of the year. Here is when I look to the other district and family events. They are both, theoretically, close to home and also provide each of us the opportunity to bring our families to dinners, picnics, Autumn Days in Elizabethtown, and other events. I always enjoy the opportunities to share these great times of fun and fellowship with my family.

Here is where things kind of go back and forth for me when working on the calendar. With hardly any space remaining, I have to be careful as to what I can fit on the page and what has to be disseminated by other means. There are youth events as well as other appendant body events that are vying for space. Generally, I usually select those with the closest ties to the lodge. If there is a brother being honored by an appendant body (i.e. Shriners, Scottish Rite, etc.) I put that event on the calendar. If there is a youth event beneficial to those pursuing the Master Builder Award, I include those events. Other Master Builder optional events follow.  

By this time the calendar is almost certainly full. If there is a space or two left I usually put in a couple of things that I am interested in attending. It is by no means a perfect system but it seems to have served me well and I have yet to field any complaints. After all, you can easily get caught up in all that is happening in the fraternity because, for some, freemasonry only requires one night… seven days a week. We have to keep our balance, measure our days, and choose wisely when it comes to creating our own masonic calendars.