Membership Crew Launches "Operation Rescue/Recovery"

Operation Rescue/Recovery is underway and already making a positive impact in two vital areas of membership concern: By retaining Brethren who are in jeopardy of being suspended for non-payment of dues or by bringing former members back into the family, and by inviting relatives and friends to learn about Freemasonry and experience the fellowship of the Fraternity.

This two-pronged attack is the program of the new Membership Committee of the Grand Lodge. It is designed to stem the tide of declining membership by spreading the light of Freemasonry locally through the lodges. Personal interaction is a key in both targeted areas ­ Brother-to-Brother in rescuing faltering or former members and Friend-to-Friend in recovering our membership status. Accordingly, there is the opportunity for every Brother to help. It involves talking Brother-to-Brother, inviting a worthy friend, and being part of a comfortable Friend-to-Friend get-together.

The Membership Committee wasted no time in diving into this Operation. During the first quarter of this year, the effort was introduced to hundreds of lodge officers at various Masonic schools, workshops, and meetings.

Recovery: In lodges across the state, Masons already have hosted or scheduled to host worthy men in informal get-togethers designed to acquaint them with "Who we are, what we are, and what we are all about." The Friend­to-Friend meetings are designed and presented by the local lodge. Generally they are evening meetings, perhaps preceded by a dinner or with refreshments following; however, some have opted for luncheon or breakfast get-togethers.

Rescue: A practical, new initiative was introduced for this phase; whereby the Committee on Grievance of each lodge is the hub of the activity. The Secretary of the lodge provides the Committee on Grievance with a list of existing suspensions and then notifies the Committee whenever he receives a request for a resignation. A member of the Committee makes a personal contact in an effort to ascertain the reason for his loss of interest. The Membership Committee feels optimistic about this phase of the program because, though it is very early in the effort, there have been members rescued. There is an additional benefit for the Fraternity because it follows that the data acquired by the personal contacts is to be turned over to the Lodge for future planning.

John E. Adams, Jr., is Chairman and Terry D. Bentzel, P.D.D.G.M., is Assistant Chairman of the Membership Committee that includes ten P.D.D.G.M.s.