Note: Unless stated otherwise, dinners will be held at 6:30pm
This year is quietly wrapping up as we head towards the holiday. Here are some notes on our schedule for November:
At our Stated Meeting on the second we will be celebrating the contributions of our Brothers who served in the Armed Forces and Law Enforcement. If you are one of those Brothers, please wear your uniform and/or medals for this evening’s meeting.
We will be holding our annual Veterans Appreciation dinner on the ninth. It is open to all Masonic veterans and spouses. We ask that you come to help celebrate our local Veterans and make a donation to the UNLV Student Veterans group.
We are hoping to hold an EA degree on the sixteenth.
Now that we’ve gotten the schedule out of the way, I’d like to offer some Food for Thought regarding elections:
Lodge elections are held in order to allow the brothers to have a voice on the kind of leadership they feel will safeguard not only their interests, but those of the Lodge as a whole. Therefore, those individuals elected into office have a responsibility of ensuring that the Lodge is run efficiently and effectively; to promote prosperity, safeguard the brotherhood and provide programming and activities that not only support our mission and goals but are also interesting and meaningful for the brothers.
Our Lodge elections are just as meaningful as national elections. It is the one opportunity our brethren possess to have a say in the leadership of the Lodge. Traditionally, Vegas 32 has encouraged a progressive line of officers, which means once a brother is appointed to a key seat in the line, he is expect ed to advance up the line of officers which culminates with him becoming Master of the Lodge.
In a progressive line, the incoming Master appoints a team he feels will fulfill the various roles necessary for the Lodge to complete its required duties. It is incumbent upon the Master to appoint brothers who he hopes will become the future leaders of the Lodge. However, most incoming Masters also feel obligated to advance those brothers who have been previously appointed to line positions by the Masters who came before him. If a progressive line works as designed, the leadership of the Lodge is determined by the incoming-masters as they appoint brothers they feel will make the best future leaders for the Lodge. If they do their job well, then the vote for the Wardens and Master becomes a simple rubber stamp of approval on their past decisions.
There are numerous theories as to the purpose of a progressive line. One point is that it provides an opportunity for the appointed brothers to be active in the Lodge, while at the same time giving them the lessons and experience they need to learn the operations of the Lodge, as well as providing them the opportunity to develop into proper leaders of the fraternity. It also provides an opportunity for the members at large to witness how the appointed officers complete their duties, thereby allowing the members to determine whom they deem are worthy of leading their Lodge. As such, Lodge leadership should be viewed as a privilege granted by the brethren and not a right to be conferred upon someone as a result of doing good ritual.
Officers, once elected, are accountable to the Lodge at large. If they prove themselves to be less than effective in the performance of their duties, demonstrate a lack dedication, exhibit signs
of un-masonic behavior or treat people disrespectfully, then they should be replaced. Elected positions such as treasurer, secretary and the trustees should not be life terms forever granted to the incumbent officer. As we have seen in recent years, brothers in those roles may allow personal egos and goals to get in the way of what they’re elected to do, which is to “serve the Lodge and support the sitting Master.”
When electing a Junior and Senior Warden, by your vote you are saying that you believe they will support the sitting Master, that they will guard the West, lead by example and exemplify the values of all masons. But more than that, you are declaring that you feel they are worthy of becoming Master, that they have the appropriate temperament, that they possess a proper vision for the Lodge, and that they have proven themselves as a suitable leader who will act and part upon the square.
On the other hand, if you feel they don’t exhibit these masonic values while in their appointed roles, if they have shown themselves to be guided by personal agendas or they do not possess the qualities of leadership needed to oversee the business of the Lodge, then it is your obligation not to elect them to move through up progressive line. Peace and harmony will not prevail.
I ask that you spend some time in November contemplating, observing, and remembering how your brothers have lead the Lodge this year. Have they served you well? Treated you with respect? Do they exemplify true Masonic values? After reflecting on these questions, I ask that you choose wisely, my brothers. Guard the West and be a part of your Lodge’s future. Come to our Stated Meeting on Dec. 7th and let your voice be heard.
It is amazing how quickly the holiday season is approaching, isn’t it? We just finished Halloween (also known as Nevada Day) and will be barreling toward Thanksgiving and then the December Holiday Season. With that approach comes the inevitable change of leadership in the Lodge and the attendant functions associated with it. At the next stated meeting I will be presenting the proposed Lodge budget for 2019 which will be only the second one that most of us can remember here at Vegas 32. That being said, we do owe a debt of gratitude to WM Mitch Hostmeyer for showing us that not only could we put one together, we actually have the ability to stay within it!
You will be receiving it in printed form at the November stated meeting so that you will actually have a month to review it and ask questions about the expenditures that are being allocated from our funds. We will be voting on it in December and will utilize it as our financial guide throughout 2019. I will be asking the Worshipful Master to allow time at each subsequent meeting to answer any questions that you may have and I will also encourage you to give me a call (my number is listed in the Trestleboard). I am happy to discuss the line items and dollars allotted. It is my goal that when it comes time for you to actually vote on the budget you will be fully informed on what you are voting on. By the way, one change that I will be implementing is that any expenditure above $1000 will be brought before the Lodge for review, so that even if it is in the budget it is subject to a final approval from the Lodge.
Which brings us up to the elections; please remember that at the December Stated Meeting we will be electing the Master, Wardens, Secretary, Treasurer and a Trustee for next year and it is your vote that determines who will sit in those chairs. It is not a decision that should be taken lightly or without careful consideration because it will set the course for the next year in the Lodge. I say this to all brothers interested in serving as an officer in Vegas 32 (either elected or appointed), it is a true commitment of your time and talent and if there is any question on whether or not you can fulfill the duties of your office, consider holding off until time or circumstances will allow it. Let us all remember our noble contention about who can best work and best agree and cast your votes accordingly.
Finally, a quick breakdown of the month of December; Elections will be Friday December 7th at the Stated Meeting, Installation will take place on the following Friday, December 14th at 6:30 with dinner immediately following. The Grand Master of Nevada is scheduled to preside as the installing officer, so anticipate a number of guests that evening. As our final scheduled activity for the year, on Friday December 21st at 6:30pm, we will be celebrating the Lodge holiday party with a special appearance from Santa Claus and a Magic Show! As is our custom, you will be asked to sign up for the children you will be bringing to the party so that each one (12 years old and under) may receive a present from the Lodge. There will be food, fun and holiday magic throughout the evening so that we can truly enjoy our bonds of fellowship and brotherhood at this special time of the year.
I am pleased to announce that a number of our brothers are utilizing the Lyft car service to come to our meetings and we are delighted to see them there. There have been a few hiccups (and admittedly some of the driver’s choice in music is not exactly what our older brothers would have chosen) but by and large it seems to be working. Remember; if you need transportation down to the Lodge for a meeting or Family Dinner please call our Secretary so a driver can be arranged for you. Your brothers were delighted to allocate the funds to insure that you can be here with us.
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