|Volume LV||November 2008||Number 4|
Call 'Em All Update
At the beginning of the year, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania kicked off a program, appropriately called "Call 'Em All," which allows lodge leaders to record messages and send them to every brother's phone number in their databases through an auto-dialer service. While lodges do not have to use the program, those that adopted this service sponsored by the Grand Lodge have given it rave reviews.
Lodges use the service to remind brothers about just about anything - lodge meetings, special events, deadlines for dues, special needs and funeral services. Call 'Em All makes informing brothers easy, ensures brothers all receive the correct messages and makes it possible to reach everyone in just a few minutes. "This offered us a one-stop-shop to reach the masses," District Deputy Grand Master Ed Stein, 7th Masonic District, said.
"It works great. I think it's one of the best programs initiated by a Grand Master in a long time," District Deputy Grand Master Barry Wheeler, 31st Masonic District, said. He's also impressed with how easy it is to send a message to everyone. Before, he had to call 10 brothers, who would each call several brothers, and so on until everyone received the message. The old message system took a lot of time and provided much room for human error. "Now, zingo! It just takes one person," Bro. Wheeler emphasized, "It's really, really simple."Technology Concerns
"For me, I have to be honest with you that it was easy to use the system," Bro. Stein said. "Everyone I know is on board with the program as a means for opening dialogue and communication within the lodges."
While the new Call 'Em All program has raised technological concerns amongst some brothers, the overwhelming majority find that they can operate the system easily, especially if someone takes the time to demonstrate how it works.
Bro. Wheeler worked with the Worshipful Masters in the 31st Masonic District to help them through the new program. "I tried it first and then went to the other lodges. I told them, 'Listen, it's not hard; you don't have to be a rocket scientist,'" he said, to ease any apprehension.Impressive Results
The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania had high hopes for Call 'Em All, and it has lived up to R.W. Grand Master Stephen Gardner's expectations.
Bro. Stein has seen the Call 'Em All program at work in the lodges in his district. He's noticed that the program has helped to bring more people to lodge events such as picnics or ladies' night. "Maybe one thing leads to another and a person attends a picnic and through seeing friends and the fraternal bond, it revitalizes his interest in the lodge," Bro. Stein said.
Call 'Em All also has a family aspect. "What you're doing with the Call 'Em All program is you're getting a family involved," Bro. Wheeler said. "The family can feel, 'I'm part of that now - part of the Freemasonry family.'" The camaraderie formed among brothers is enhanced when family members also support and get involved in Freemasonry.
Call 'Em All has also made the fraternity more informed. "The service was a wake-up call that the database wasn't where it should be," Bro. Stein said. When Worshipful Masters and Lodge Secretaries began entering phone numbers into the calling service, they started to realize that some of the information databases were not complete and updated. Call 'Em All provided the incentive to update these databases so everyone has access to the most current information.Continuing Trend
This powerful technology gives lodges the tools they need to reach out to brothers in unprecedented numbers. Call 'Em All's potential to grow the fraternity and share relevant information is limitless if lodges continue to adopt this program and use it regularly.
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