by Donald L. Albert, R.W. Grand Secretary

In today's fast moving world, it allows little time for us to accomplish all that is desired, but it is important that, in addition to time spent with our families, we are able to make time for God, Country, and Fraternity.

Like most organizations, The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has been developing ways to streamline and modernize the way we do business. However, we also realize the importance of continuing the customs and traditions that have made our Craft so great and unique. The founding principles of Freemasonry are enduring and are for all of us to incorporate into our lives in order to continue to reap the rewards that go along with practicing those principles. In continuing to maintain the standards passed down, we also are working very hard to improve the processes that will allow the Fraternity to operate at its potential with minimal administrative work for all, particularly the lodge secretaries.

Currently, we have more than 300 lodge secretaries working on-line. Secretaries are now able to change lodge members‚ addresses and other related data, along with submitting monthly reports and lodge audit reports on-line. There is also a page for secretaries to process the "Dues" and "Fees" of the lodge. In addition, a section has been set up for the secretaries to document details of the business of the lodge.

Grand Lodge is providing an ISP (Internet Service Provider) CD to interface with the web site for all lodges that use it. The ISP CD, when used in excess of the monthly fee, will provide a return to the lodge at no additional cost. We currently are providing a process on-line to apply for a no interest loan for lodges to purchase a computer from the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. Further information regarding this program can be obtained by contacting the Grand Secretary's Office.

At the recent Conference of Grand Secretaries held in Phoenix, AZ, it was discussed that many Grand Lodges are now, or in the process of, implementing information technology services for their lodges.

It also was discussed that the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania is currently one of the leading Grand Lodges in the field of information service technology. This is due to the commitment of those individuals of our Information Technology team and members of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania who have worked very hard to achieve this goal.

As Grand Secretary, and as part of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania's Information Technology team, I note that it is crucial that continuing education and training programs be implemented and provided throughout the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.