Bring a Friend to Lodge Program Synopsis – Oct. 4, 2016

At the Officer Leadership Training Program that I attended this past Summer, I was introduced to a new member-recruitment-program — called the Bring A Friend to Lodge Program — that reportedly has been successful around the country. I found it to be quite powerful as a potential recruitment tool.

This Program begins with a short video, entitled Freemasonry and the Fabric of America, in which the late Governor of Wisconsin, Lee Sherman Dreyfus, 33o,  explains the history and importance of Freemasonry to a non-Masonic audience.

This inspiring video is followed by a program held in the Lodge Room, in which Masons give five presentations to audience members, who convene at various stations and places about the Lodge Room.

What follows is a brief sample of the script for each of these presenters, beginning with the speaker at the Junior Warden’s station, who presents a brief History of Freemasonry in Texas, an excerpt of which follows:

            “The Texas Revolution took power away from the centralized government of Santa Anna and gave it back to the people. What if I were to tell you that Stephen F. Austin was a Freemason? Sam Houston? William Barrett Travis? Jim Bowie? Davy Crockett? … From the very first shot of the revolution in 1832 …, to the defeat of Santa Anna by General Sam Houston and his troops at San Jacinto in 1836, Freemasons led the fighting men. … It also is noteworthy  that all the Presidents and Vice Presidents of the Republic of Texas were Masons.”

Remember, this is just a brief excerpt to give you an idea of the content. From this point, the audience members move to the station of the Senior Warden, where the speaker presents on the topic of Masonic Philanthropy. Here is a brief excerpt:

“Masonry is not primarily a philanthropic organization, even though, in the United States alone, Masons contribute more than $2,000,000 each day to charity. … The Scottish Rite, a Masonic organization, supports the Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, located right here in Dallas, which provides orthopedic and neurological services to any child, through age 18 — all at no charge to the patient’s family. … While Masonry is not primarily a philanthropic organization, much of what we do is charitable giving. Through our annual dues and our fund-raising activities, we support worthy causes, in the spirit of giving to those less fortunate.”

Again, this is only a brief excerpt from a longer text. From this point, the audience members move to the podium located at the center of the North wall, where a speaker presents on the Philosophy of Freemasonry. Here is a brief excerpt:

“Freemasonry is not a religion, but it is spiritual in nature. Masonry requires that a man believe in a Deity and in the immortality of the soul, that he display good moral character, and that he practice brotherly love. We do Open and Close our meetings with prayer, but not under the auspices of any particular religion. A Mason’s religious beliefs are his own. … We only acknowledge and thank the Supreme Being in whom each of us, as individuals, believes. ….”

Again, this is only a brief excerpt of a longer text. From this point, the audience members move to the station of the Worshipful Master, where the  speaker presents on the Ritual of Freemasonry. Here is a brief excerpt:

“Freemasonry is not a secret organization. … Yet, some of the ways in which Masons recognize one another are kept private, so that when we encounter a man who claims to be a Mason, we can verify whether he actually is a Mason. … Keeping a few signs and symbols private also is in-keeping with the age-old tradition practiced by operative Masons, those who built majestic temples and cathedrals, and who protected their reputations and their livelihoods by not giving away their knowledge to those unworthy because they were not actually trained in the Craft of Freemasonry … .”

Again, this is only a brief excerpt of a longer text. Finally, from this point, the audience members move to the Holy Altar, where the  speaker presents on the Symbolism within the Lodge Room. Here is a brief excerpt:

“Every item of furniture in a Lodge Room has its own place and its own meaning. But the most important location in the Lodge Room is — before the holy altar — where you are standing now. The importance of the holy altar is that it is where we place the holy bible, the foundation of our faith. … But because Lodges are open to good men of all faiths, other holy books also may be placed upon the altar. … Because of our faith in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man, this altar, and what rests upon it, is what binds us together as Freemasons.”

Following the presentation at the altar, the audience members are invited to take seats within the Lodge Room for a Question-and-Answer session. Hopefully, one of the questions will be, “What do I need to do, now, to become a Mason?”

My Brothers, I have two recommendations to make to you this evening. First, that — due to time constraints — a brief version of the Bring a Friend to Lodge Program be presented at the Grand Master’s Open House on Sunday, October 23, and second, that the normal, full-length version of this program be adopted as a new-member recruiting program by our Lodge.

Thank you, Worshipful Master.