Friendship: It’s what’s for dinner
A guy stopped by my work who happens to be a brother in a small, struggling lodge. For the last two years, this brother has been a Steward, and has gone out of his way to make sure that there is dinner & refreshment for every meeting. He started small, and his efforts were rewarded by guys who started coming back to lodge to have a meal and hang out with old friends. They charged half price for the meal, making up the difference with some lodge funds in order to get the word out. The lodge looked like it was climbing out of the membership hole.
But the new WM this year decided that he didn’t want to spend more lodge money on dinners, and didn’t want the hassle of dinners at every meeting. So his “will and pleasure” was that there would only be dinners for degree nights, brothers must make reservations ahead of time, and they would be charged the full price $10 to $15.
Within 2 months, attendance had dropped off.
Now, dinners are not Masonic instruction. They aren’t even spiritual instruction. But they are a reason for members to come down: the pre-meeting dinners are a time to renew old friendships, to catch up with what old friends are doing, and to make acquaintances with the new members of the lodge.
You have new members of your lodge, don’t you?
There’s a lesson here, someplace. We need to give both the old members and the new members a reason to come down. It’s certainly not to hear the minutes, or to complain about the latest Grand Lodge requirement, or even to listen to some bit of Masonic history that they could easily have gotten from The History Channel.
What reason does your lodge have that makes it worth your time to come down?