Thinking back to the first couple of weeks I went searching online for information about the Freemasonry, there were two types of sites that were instrumental in my decision to ask to become a Mason:
- Factual: Sites that discuss Masonic history and fundamentals; the nuts and bolts of how a lodge works and what the degrees are about
- Experiential: Sites featuring first-hand accounts of what it's like to be initiated and become a member of a lodge
Recently I attended a district meeting, standing in for the vacationing Brother who usually represents our lodge. Lots of things were discussed, but among them were not the finer esoteric/philosophical points of Freemasonry. The question of retention and how we can provide new Masons with a better experience was raised, and agreement was pretty much universal that we need to do better - and ideas were discussed. The same sorts of ideas that get thrown out across the internet by solitary Brothers lamenting the state of the craft in their local lodges, to be read by Brothers on the other side of the country who can't do much but commiserate. At a real-live face to face meeting though, suddenly you're in a room full of Masons who can effect local change. What a difference!
Otherwise, it was mundane stuff... planning events for the coming year, discussing logistics and delegating responsibilities. The sort of thing that any organization has to do. There was nothing inherently mystical or ritual about it, but there was good fellowship and a mutual understanding that everyone there had given this lovely weekend evening out of their supposedly "dark" summer out of devotion to the Craft.
I guess what I'm saying is, between that meeting and the ambassador training I attended last week, I feel like I've done more to improve Masonry in my Lodge and district in one week than I have in 15 months of blogging.