From the Personal Representative (July, 2010)

posted May 19, 2015, 3:23 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 19, 2015, 3:23 PM ]

Brethren and Friends;

It may well be that my message this month is one that may sound redundant, but I feel compelled to address the subject of membership. It seems to me that, as much as we try to avoid the fact, the subject of membership dominates much of our thinking when it comes to measuring success.  While we, here at the local level tend to focus our attention on the portions of the Masonic experience that inspire us the most; that of the social and charitable aspects, the ultimate measure of our success is the enthusiasm we demonstrate with our brothers in the blue lodges as to how we feel about Scottish Rite Freemasonry and how that enthusiasm translates to encouraging new members. Also, the ultimate measure of success, so far as our Orient is concerned, is the numbers of members we initiate and retain.
In reading the figures from other Valleys in California, we are doing well in the matter of membership. For this last class, the largest number of initiates in most of the valleys has been less than half of ours. Nevertheless, we can’t afford to just rest on our past successes. We have been building a structure in our valley designed to foster our feeling of fraternalism to all the lodges in our jurisdictional area, and it is beginning to produce results. The numbers of our initiations is increasing.
On the other hand, Supreme Council, in recognition of the diminishing membership across the country, is reducing the numbers of “honors” they will allow to be issued and in California, our allotment has been cut in half. This means, that in our Valley, instead of six or seven “Knight Commander Court of Honor” awards we can issue next year, we will be able to issue three or four, and for the “Inspector General Honorary”, that number may be one, or perhaps none at all.
The only way we can see to it that our awards hold steady will be to work even harder to demonstrate to Supreme Council that we are strong and healthy, and that translates to improving our recruitment numbers. I know that some of the smaller lodges experience difficulty in furnishing new members, but we must try. Much of the enthusiasm we experience in Scottish Rite is seeing those brothers who work hard for the Craft achieve the recognition they deserve.
So, here’s my bottom line. If you enjoy your time spent in the company of your brothers here in the Valley of San Jose, share the experience with members of your lodge whom you think would profit there from. If you want to maintain some of the recognition our members are receiving with the KCCH and IGH awards, support them by improving our numbers. If you want to keep clinic strong and healthy, see to it that our support base doesn’t shrink any further.  If you enjoy Scottish Rite as I do, keep up the good work.
We must be doing something ‘rite’ or we wouldn’t be where we are, but let’s try, just try to do it even better.

Thought you might enjoy this as well.—REW

Bob Winter - Personal representative of the Deputy of the Supreme Council in California

The Rite Word - July 2010, Volume 4, Issue 7