MSA: A Good Source for Education
David L. Daugherty, DEO
If you are not familiar with the Masonic Service Association (MSA), it is a Masonic organization that was formed in 1919 and, as their website will tell you, is as relevant today as it was a hundred years ago. The three major functions of the MSA are Education, Disaster Relief and Hospital Visitation. You are encouraged to fully explore their website at www.msana.com, but for this article we focus on the educational offerings of the Association; in particular, the Short Talk Bulletins. The Bulletins are published monthly and include writings under the categories of Leadership, Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, Master Mason, About Individuals, Body of the Craft, Bypaths, Civic and Patriotic, Historical, Inspiration & Charity, In the Lodge, Literature, Philosophy, Religion & Ethics, Symbols & Symbolism, and The War and After.
If your lodge has not already subscribed to the MSA Short Talk Bulletins, you are encouraged to do so. Although a select few are available at no cost on various websites and you can peruse the catalogue of titles in order to purchase individual publications, the subscription cost of $12 per year is an insignificant cost for the educational opportunities and insights provided in the relationship with the Association. Additionally if there is interest, your lodge may purchase collections of past bulletins dating to the 1920’s.
There are many sources available for educational programs. You are therefore encouraged to search and read widely to find programs that are appropriate to the needs of your lodge (or perhaps create your own). You are also encouraged to discuss and share possible programs with Brothers within and without your Lodge. Therefore, the MSA Short Talks are not going to be the only source you need to maintain a healthy, growing Lodge. Nonetheless, they are a good set of tools to have in your bag when the need arises.