|Volume LIX||January 2012||Number 1|
Friend to Friend & Mentor Programs - Renewed
"I've Heard the Term 'Friend to Friend.'|
What Does it Mean?"
Let's face it: we're a brotherhood of diverse men, in different phases of life, who share the same principles of and love for Freemasonry.
The truth is, there are good Masons who attend lodge infrequently and sometimes, due to the many other obligations in life (family, career, other volunteer commitments) may ponder why they continue to pay dues. They lose their appreciation for the values of Freemasonry - for the benefits, both tangible and intangible - that are theirs through membership.
As a consequence, these same brethren may feel at a loss to discuss the advantages and good works of Freemasonry when a curious relative, friend or neighbor asks, "Why should I be a Mason?"
The Friend to Friend program, often depicted with the clasping of hands in a gesture of friendship, helps good men - in our families, in our neighborhoods, at work, in our places of worship, and yes, even in our own lodges - to learn about and appreciate the values, principles, character and benefits of Freemasonry.
The Friend to Friend program promotes reaching out to Pennsylvanians with the facts about Freemasonry: who we are, what we stand for, what we do and how we give help to a brother and to mankind.
This program, begun by R.W. Past Grand Master George H. Hohenshildt in 1994, will be revived to improve and expand the experience of Freemasonry ... Friend to Friend.
How, you ask?
In many different facets, but most importantly, through the open houses Grand Master Jay W. Smith has challenged all lodges or districts to host throughout 2012. Welcoming the public to explore Freemasonry through these Friend to Friend-themed events will increase the fraternity's visibility and goodwill in our communities.
Through the use of educational materials, such as videos and brochures, and by teaming up with other Masonic bodies, youth groups and ladies' organizations, the family of Freemasonry will benefit as a whole.
As a precurser to this program, the 1st Masonic District held district-wide open houses on Aug. 20, 2011. While all of the lodges offered refreshments, each made its event unique, with one featuring a flea market and many showing Masonic videos. The turnout for the events varied from lodge to lodge, but overall it was a very successful day for Freemasonry with a strong possibility of welcoming 15 new members into the fraternity.
Start planning now to make your local open house a success!Why Reinforce the Mentor Program?
The mentor program was established to properly welcome every candidate and ensure he is properly instructed in the fundamentals of the Craft, its purposes and ideals.
Freemasonry is a great centuries-old fraternity with a rich history; an intricate system of laws; many purposes, ideals and obligations; a set of rights, privileges and duties; and a number of meaningful landmarks to be preserved. Trying to learn everything about the fraternity can appear to be an overwhelming prospect for new candidates and members.
That's where the mentoring program helps, by encouraging the candidate to grow in knowledge, involvement and confidence so that he, his family, his community and the lodge may benefit from and enjoy his membership.
As an experienced brother, the mentor's responsibility is assuring that his assigned candidate is afforded Masonic information and experiences so he can best appreciate and understand his commitment as a Freemason. As a dedicated companion, the mentor leads his candidate throughout the first year of his Masonic journey, assisting in developing his best potential not only as a Mason, but as an individual in society.
Informed Masons derive the greatest rewards from Masonry and, in turn, contribute greatly through their active participation in the fraternity. A thorough understanding of the Craft will enlighten and motivate each new member to become an active participant ready to take his own proper place in the lodge's work.
The mentor program is not intended to take the place of appointed instructors in the lodge who assist the candidate in preparing for advancement through the degrees. Instead, it is intended to lend more meaning to the lessons contained within each of the three degrees of Freemasonry and beyond.
R.W. Grand Master Jay W. Smith and his wife, Nancy,
Invite You to Attend a Masonic Reunion
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