2021 and 2022 have been very unique years for all and especially Freemasonry. The pandemic had us staying home and trying to organize online video meetings and such just to keep in touch with our brothers. This also gave rise to brainstorming on how we could improve some aspects of the way we do things.
To many Brothers, nothing is more grating a sound to the ears than hearing the phrase “because that is how we always did it”. Now there is always or should always be a consideration for the past. But let’s face it, not everything that worked 20 or more years ago works today.
We often hear that everything moves slowly in Freemasonry. Well, that may be true but the last 2 or so years have seen a paradigm shift in this thinking. Over the last 2 years WMs, District, and GL officers had to “think quickly” and come up with solutions to problems that were neither anticipated nor considered frankly. This led to changes that for the most part were good for the Fraternity or maybe the jury is still out on some.
One change has focused on communications and how lodges, at least in our district, have “solved” or at least attempted to solve. How to keep all who wish “in the loop” when it comes to events and what other lodges are doing. Although it may seem that each lodge is an island unto itself, we cannot allow this to happen. Working in isolated silos works against all our interests. What works for a lodge to help them with members, finances, etc. should not be kept secret and should be shared.
The LIPMA (Long Island Past Masters Assoc.) has been attempting to help facilitate that sharing and collaboration we should be seeing. One way they are doing that is to try and have a consolidated outlet of news and information to distribute to all members of the Suffolk District or others. Some have embraced this and others have not yet. Having a consolidated events calendar is the first focus.
A one-stop-shop for all events happening at Lodges and concordant bodies in and around the Suffolk District. This includes obtaining tickets to paid events and fundraisers. Instead of waiting for tickets to be mailed to a member or lodge, they can go and pick them up anytime they like, 24/7/365. LIPMA even went the extra mile on this to assure that those that post events/fundraisers get their funds from the event quickly and electronically. Several have already taken advantage of this system and are either in progress or soon will be. You can check out events and purchase tickets anytime anywhere by going here and finding the upcoming events you would like to attend -> Suffolk District Events
Another change you may notice is communication on the District BAND. Brothers are signing on and sharing experiences and what’s happening at their lodges, requesting assistance, or just joshing with Brother online. The monthly newsletter is also back and hopefully, many brothers are receiving it and have a look at the goings-on around the District and the jurisdiction and beyond. The Grand Lodge of New York is also collaborating with CraftsmanOnline.com to bring excellent education to anyone who desires it. If you are not getting the District News Letter, you can sign up for that on suffolkmasons.com or go here -> Craftsmen Online – Suffolk Masonic District (suffolkmasons.com) and look for the blue mailbox with the S&Q and type in your email address.
It only took 22 years but it seems to me that Freemasonry is finally taking bold steps into the 21st century.
So here is the recap:
- The suffolkmasons.com for the Suffolk Masonic District is new and improved.
- Online ticket sales have taken off and received well by most. (don’t forget to purchase your tickets for the upcoming District Dinner at Polish Hall).
- every day new members join the District Band. The BAND is for members only and updates the suffolkmasons.com events calendar daily. Feel free to add your Lodge events to the Suffolk District BAND so they can be published on the District Website.
- Post articles of interest on the BAND and they may make it onto the website. Be sure and give credit for yourself and any contributors including photo credits.
- The Suffolkmasons.com site is encrypted and secured, so feel comfortable with using it.
All of these solutions are for the brothers of the district and set up for your use. We are hoping for others to wade in and also think outside the square so to speak and find solutions that work and share these with your brothers. Everybody has ideas and we must seek that noble contention, or emulation, of who can best work and best agree.
A united front on getting information out to the District is critical. Too many times I have heard that “I didn’t hear about this” phrase. In this day in age there is no reason for that. Any member can post to the BAND and add to the calendar. Yes it’s moderated so we must remember our obligations when posting but there is no reason why brothers should be lacking information. I mean come on; we hold in our hands the aggregate sum of all human knowledge on a daily basis. if you didn’t hear about an event then chances are you didn’t want to hear about it.
If you would like more information about some of the changes or to recommend some, please get in touch. Leave a comment below reach out on BAND or send me and email, email@example.com