Mizpah Lodge means a lot to all of us. This is incredibly apparent when we look at the attendance, engagement, and fellowship at our monthly Templecraft Days. On September 19th, we hosted another such day, and conversations and lodge planning far outshined the hard work that went into cleaning and upkeep. I want to emphasize the importance of this, as the cleaning is not the point of these days. It is merely a medium for the real points, which are leadership, fellowship, and growth.
These three categories are incredibly important to masonry. As such, they deserve the hard work and attention that we as officers have been trying to bring to them. Let’s move to the difficult part. Sometimes the task of emphasizing the importance of these is not as easy, and sometimes it can get uncomfortable. For instance, future planning of the lodge will continue to focus heavily on leadership skills in the future, which can be an uncomfortable subject at times, if done right. In doing so, we must continue to acknowledge and focus on improving areas where we as individuals need to grow more than other areas at that time. This is uncomfortable for all, as it is not easy to tell a brother of their potential shortcomings. But without this type of interaction, we are failing to provide our brothers what we OWE them, which is good counsel.
I have had many difficult conversations over the last few weeks and many conversations of opportunities and possibilities. All of these conversations were and will continue to be about providing what I owe each of you, which is mentorship. On that same note, each and every one of us owes the other the same mentorship. Whether you are sitting in the East or on the side, in a white apron or an intricate one, and Entered Apprentice or a Master, we owe our brothers our mentorship and counsel.
I want to take this time to emphasize again the point of elections in November. If you do not agree with the direction of the lodge with me in the East, or any elected position for that matter, it is your duty to make your voice known through ballot. You owe the lodge good counsel, as opposed to a potentially damaging tradition of just moving someone to the next chair because “it is their year”. I do not believe that any year is “someone’s year”. Elected positions should never be given without reason. Next year, if elected as Worshipful Master, I will continue to emphasize this. I will continue to have these difficult conversations and will continue to make decisions that I believe are for the good of masonry. As with my opinions on long-form proficiency and time spent in each degree, my continued emphasis on not moving people to positions that they are not prepared for yet may not be as agreed upon by all in the lodge. That is okay! These are just the aspects that I hold dear and what I believe is absolutely vital if we are going to reset masonry and ensure that this institution that we love exists and flourishes in the future.
Jeremiah David Jones