Food For Thought
"Well what does Freemasonry give me?" a prospective candidate might ask.
The answer could be "Nothing!", but that would be incorrect. As we all know you get out of any organisation what you put in. And often you may get much more than you put in.
However, if you are just prepared to come along on the one night a month, that is what you get. One night of ceremonial, fellowship before and after, and a little food and refreshment in the refectory. To many this is quite enough, to others it is not.
To increase one's enjoyment one can take part in the ceremonials, learning charges, and so re-inforcing masonic principles in one's mind. Additional rehearsals, and fellowship before and after will add to the experience that is Freemasonry.
Many lodges have a selected Management Committee, but some have a Steering Committee, which all Master Masons can attend, it is a further time when Freemasonry can be partaken. Taking part in the management of any organisation can be both stimulating and hard work. The splitting up the various tasks into the responsibility of different committees and groups can ease the burden, and frequently introduce a well deserved diversification in tasks over the years.
Visiting other Lodges for their Lodge Meetings gives the opportunity to all to meet brethren from a wide area. And for those who are relatively new to Freemasonry and wishing to join the jobs and officers of the Lodge, it gives them a chance to meet others from around the District who are doing likewise in their Lodges. Many lifelong friendships can be forged in these evenings.
Participating in the ranks of Lodge officials can prove most rewarding, as well as a challenge to each who does so. Overcoming those challenges, and doing it well can be very satisfying. A good job well done is reward enough for anyone.
Outside the Lodge, are District, Division and National ranks in Grand Lodge, and numerous tasks and committees in which one can participate and accumulate enjoyment.
Most Lodge's have social functions and these can give real fellowship to all who come. Functions that are placed on the Lodge calendar normally require some measure of serious planning, and time to organise.
There can also be inter lodge competitions when other lodges are prepared to continue the challenges.
Some lodges have even tried to establish social clubs for brethren, wives, widows, friends and acquaintances, purely social clubs that are outside the normal Lodge structure. Then of course there are small groups of friends who just meet from time to time for coffee or a get together.
So when asked "What does Freemasonry give me?" you can say "It depends on you."
SOURCE: Amended from my Editorial of the:Alpha Gazette June 2005
John Barns Graham
Well, What does Freemasonry Give me?