The Masonic Education Steering Committee, under the chairmanship of Edward H. Fowler, Jr., R.W. Past Grand Master, has been meeting regularly since December to develop an innovative approach toward improving the understanding of Freemasonry and its programs. Toward that ambitious goal, the Committee adopted the following Mission Statement:
"The Education Committee of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania shall assist the Grand Lodge in fulfilling its mission by creating and implementing programs and disseminating information that acquaints and educates better both the membership and the public about the mission of Freemasonry. Further, the Committee shall prepare programs and present information which develop moral, intellectual, and social character and which explain, instruct, and demonstrate Masonic ideals, principles, and activities and how Freemasonry improves the quality of life for our members, their families, and their communities."
The Committee said that it hopes that during 1998 each lodge will develop a program that defines better for its members "What Freemasonry is and what Freemasons do and why."
In carrying forth this agenda, the Committee has been restructured and the job responsibilities of lodge, district, and regional chairmen have been redefined "... to permit those filling the important positions (to have) a greater degree of latitude in working together in this critical endeavor."
Regional Masonic Education Chairmen have been appointed: Region 1 - Jerry Hamilton, Southampton-Radiant Star Lodge No. 806, 8th Masonic District; Region 2 - George D. Savers, William S. Snyder Lodge No. 756, 2nd Masonic District; Region 3 - Lowell D. Shaffer, Cambria Lodge No. 278, 41st Masonic District; Region 4 - Jay E. McElravy, Youghiogheny Lodge No. 583, 49th Masonic District; Region 5 - John W. Postlewait, Hobah Lodge No. 276, 52nd Masonic District; Region 6 - William R. Rininger, Old Fort Lodge No. 537, 21st Masonic District; and Region 7 - John R. Thomas, Oriental Lodge No. 460, 35th Masonic District.
The Committee will continue to review various material and media for the dissemination of information related to its Mission Statement. That will include the development of a Masonic Education web page, a video program to be used by the Committees on Inquiry when they visit candidates and their families, and a major revision of the Masonic Education Handbook with updates for clarity and relevance.
The annual Masonic Education Seminar is planned for Oct. 9 and 10 at Elizabethtown.