From the East:
Greetings my brethren! As April came to a close, I have to say it was a banner month in a few different ways.
As Master of the lodge, I feel like I am a leader, a parent, a friend, and ultimately a brother. As a parent it gives me a lot of pride to see the different successes that is achieved by the brethren and the lodge as a whole. But I will get more into that later.
One of the weekends, during the month of April, the Pillars and the Senior Deacon went away to the Warden’s Retreat and as usual, it was always an educational event. It gave the younger brethren an eye-opening experience and hopefully something triggered that will help them lead the lodge successfully.
Next on the hit parade, is our April Initiation. Bro. Richard “Bryce” Wilson. Here’s a new Brother who’s been chomping at the bit to become a Mason, it’s great to see that energy in the new brothers. Let’s see how long it takes for him to return his proficiency. Another wonderful part of that night was the number of brothers who stepped in to help us have a successful degree. Thank you to all the brethren that helped us succeed.
And finally, the part that I am most proud of: over the last 10 years, during the scholarship application process, the most we have ever received has been about 30 applications.
This year we have received 150+ entries applying for our scholarship awards. This is incredible!
It’s a shame we can only help 2 of the 150+ candidates, but at least we are making a difference in helping the future of some students!
And with that, I can sit back and smile with feeling of pride of what we have accomplished.
Thank you to all the brothers who help make Consuelo successful!
From the West:
All along my journey in Masonry, and now as I look toward the East, I have never felt that I am alone. I always sense a strong connection with my Brother’s and that we are experiencing an adventurous journey. As a reflective practitioner, I am constantly assessing and reassessing effectiveness and whether something could, and or should, have been done differently. Not because I am insecure or afraid, but because I have come to realize that there are many, many ways to interpret outcome.
As Senior Warden, my trestleboard articles are supposed to be educational. I hope they are, but I also hope they are engaging and fun to read. Please feel free to send any and all comments on what you do, and or don’t, like about anything that has been written, by me, to email@example.com. Please be candid, open and speak your mind and heart so that I may learn and grow to be better. Until I hear back from you, I will continue to glean my inspiration from my life’s adventure.
At the recent Master’s/Warden’s training conference, there were many avenues of thought to lead to innovation. There was a lot of emphasis on having a vision or outcome in mind for where, it is hoped, the Lodge will be after a year of a Masters servitude. The vision is usually a set of goals that will lead to something being achieved to make something better for the long run. The goals can sometimes tell you where to start.
An example: I wanted to turn my garage into a man cave. I knew that I wanted it to have the look of a comfortable room, not a garage. That was my vision. I then started the process on figuring out what I would needed to do in order to achieve that goal. I found that nearly all of the things, like textured walls, carpeted floor etc., all required that something be done before I could accomplish the task. For instance, I needed to clear the garage in order to put walls up and before I put the walls up, I needed to put in insulation. Before I could put the insulation in, I had to figure out how much I would need and go buy it.
What I found was, that by mentally rehearsing each goal, I ended up with one part of the project that I could do that did not require anything else to be done first. That was the foundation on which I built my vision and where the project actually started. I started with the end result in mind and worked backwards to determine everything that would need to be done, all the way to a starting point.
As I go about planning and setting up for next year, I hope for the biggest impact that we can make toward a common goal. When I ask myself, what is my vision, I remind myself that ego must be left out of the equation. The question should not be what is my vision. It should be what is our vision. I look at our Lodge and I see many of the physical changes that have been made by many of our great leaders and leaders to be. What was their vision?
There are also other changes, that are not physical, that are contained within the faithful breast. Many brothers who have moved on to the Celestial Lodge have left their mark in the hearts of those they left behind. As time moves on, those that they left behind, will move on also. What becomes of the memories that are not passed on? They cannot and should not be forgotten. It occurs to me that our youngest Entered Apprentices might never have had the opportunity to meet or get to know, many of those that have lead me to where I am now. I hope that we may find a way to make the memories, character, and personalities of our departed brothers available so that we may introduce them to our newest brothers. We would all benefit if we could find a way to do this.
From the South:
What is our “Brand?”
We are Consuelo Lodge #325 F&AM. We are a Masonic Fraternity located on South Escondido Boulevard, in the state of California. That is us in a nutshell. Plain and simple. We have a name, we have a location, we even have a history, but what is our identity? A brand to most is a name, a catchphrase, or flashy symbol that represents a company, and to many, that’s all it is but, it can be a whole lot more. A brand can also be the personality or identity of an organization. So, when I ask, “What is our brand?” I am asking, what is your perception of the personality or identity of our Lodge?
On April 12th through the 14th, I had the privilege of attending the Master and Wardens retreat. Personally, I would like to see a conference of this nature open to a more broad Masonic audience, as I found it very informative and inspiring, and everything I learned in that conference, not only could I apply it to Lodge, but I could also apply it to my professional and personal life. The conference focused on leadership, the undertones of the conference focused on setting a vision and incorporating goals, how to give Brothers a say in the Lodge, and recognizing when changes need to be made. In every session, we were asked to consider what our Lodge “brand” is.
Let me ask you, what is Consuelo Lodges’ Brand? What is our identity? What is our characteristic that separates us from all the other Lodges in Southern California? What are we known for in San Diego County? How are we recognized within the 911 district? How does the city of Escondido describe us? Whatever it is that Consuelo Lodge stands for, will set the tone for the vision of the Lodge. That vision is the direction the Lodge will be going in for the foreseeable future, and without the buy in of a majority of Brother’s there will not be any consistency. That consistency is necessary for us to create a plan, which needs to be followed in order to continue the Lodge’s success.
In the upcoming weeks, I would like to hear from all of you as to what Consuelo’s Brand is, in your own words. Your input as to our identity will set the path that Consuelo will be taking, and your participation will dictate what the return is, in regards to how successful we are as a Lodge, and achieving our goals. Moving forward we need to navigate change and promote harmony, as a whole. After all, we are a fraternity of those who can best work and best agree. In order to best lead the lodge, us Pillars need to understand and follow what the Brothers want out of their experiences. Though the Pillars are the leaders of the lodge, we cannot accomplish anything without the most important part of the Lodge, YOU! At the conference I heard many times, a leader without any followers is just a man on a walk. So without YOUR input, without YOUR buy in, and without YOUR vision of where the Lodge needs to go, we the Pillars, cannot steer this Lodge in the direction YOU feel it should be going. Also, keep in mind how short the role of a Pillar is. A Pillar’s position passes quickly, so we all need to make sure we are all prepared to take on that next role, and that we are truly invested in the future of the lodge.
As a leader of the Lodge, elected by my Brothers, my goal is to serve you all by creating an environment where everyone will have the opportunity to have the best possible Masonic experience. It is my responsibility to ensure that those good men, who take our obligation, are afforded every experience to become better than they were the day before. In order to do that, we all need to determine what Consuelo Lodge is, in terms of its identity. We need to consider, when another Lodge speaks of us, how they will describe us. When we gather with the rest of the 911 District, we need to consider what characteristic will set us apart from the rest of the Lodges. The last thing to consider, when a citizen, non-Brother, of Escondido walks or drives past the square and compass lit up on our Masonic Temple what will they factually know about us, and what will their attitude be towards our craft?
Consider the questions above. Ask yourself why they matter, and how will answering these questions improve the Lodge. I will leave you with one more piece to consider. Many men have come through the doors of Consuelo Lodge, and each one had their own distinct impact on how Consuelo Lodge met the needs of the Brothers. Many of those men are gone. They have either laid down their working tools or have moved on to some other adventure in their life. The only person left to ensure that Consuelo Lodge is fulfilling its duty to the Brothers is us. We all have been left with the duty of creating an environment for men to learn and grow as leaders. If we don’t take some part, no matter how small, in continuing to seek improvement and pushing the lodge to become better than it was yesterday, than who will?
- May 13th – Stated Meeting & Dinner. For reservations, please send an email to:firstname.lastname@example.org
- May 20th – Officers School of Instruction (OSI) in Santa Maria Lodge.
- May 27th – Consuelo will be dark! Memorial Day weekend.
Brothers – Who would be interested in having a casual get-together with some hot dogs, drinks and brotherhood? Or will more people be out of town? If you are interested, please let the Junior Warden know ASAP so that the event can be planned quickly!