“Brother LEO, do you have an education program for us?”
For some new LEOs (and a few of the more experienced ones) this is an anxiety inducing question. We often wonder, “How am I going to come up with a new idea for every meeting?”
“Worshipful, why are there members of your Lodge not in attendance?”
For every Master (and most of the active membership) this seems like an age-old question we continuously struggle to answer.
Why not try for two birds with one stone? LEO programs do not always have to be a reading of a well written article, an emotional poem, or a deeply researched topic. Often the programs that come from the heart are the best – the ones that may be a little rough around the edges. Remember, every Brother in your Lodge has a story to tell. Maybe it is the reason they became a Mason or a way they have been touched by the Fraternity. And most of the time, they are just waiting to be asked.
For your next meeting, consider asking a Brother to tell his story in Lodge. Use it as a way to learn more about new members, a way to let older members reminisce, or a way to encourage “lost” members to return to Lodge. If nothing else, the Brethren will learn a piece of Lodge history which they may not have been aware, hear a heart-touching or inspiring story, be reminded of why they are Masons, or just give some a reason to come to Lodge.
Make the best of this Fraternal experience and enjoy what you do.
David L. Daugherty
DEO, 2nd Masonic District
MSA: A Good Source for Education Programs
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.