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Greetings from the Grand East

             Brian J. Murphy, Grand Master

              Brian Murphy, Grand Master            observed images of Table Lodge banquets lined
                                                    with well-dressed, distinguished gentlemen
     “The secret of CHANGE is to focus all          enjoying Masonic camaraderie and fine food,
     your energy, not on fighting the old, but
     building on the new.” - Socrates               toasting and singing odes to the fraternity and

Many of the ‘buzz words’ overheard during the       the glory of God. The young prospects of today
recent Conference of Grand Masters of North         come hungry for knowledge and preloaded with
America were ‘change, retention, education,         wonder and awe and great expectations before
paradigms, connectivity, technology, social         they ever knock at our door. They’re anticpating
media, communication, security, perceptions,        great leaders who will offer them guidance and
traditions’ and so forth. These notions are         mentorship. Someone to fill their sails and help
nothing terribly new. We’ve been hurling them       them navigate our world’s tumultuous waters.
about for years, but these days they are certainly  And if not the enlightened societies of Voltaire,
being emphasized to a much greater magnitude.       Mozart, Washington, and Churchill, they’re
                                                    hoping to at least be accepted into a fraternity
There appears to be a consensus amongst             that promotes philosophical discourse and
many that THIS IS A GREAT TIME to be a              provides instructions for personal improvement.
MASON! Things ARE changing in a positive            If not drawn to the pageantry and mysteries of
way! Worthy young men ARE seeking what              Masonry, young men have forever been lured
we offer in Masonry, and boy, do we ever            by the core ideals of Freemasonry. They’re
need them a BIG way. But here’s the           expecting Freemasonry to fulfill it’s purpose
rub… many have done their homework. They            and do what it actually claims to do, and has
                                                    done for generations. And when that ravenous
do what they do best. They use the tools and        neophyte finally wanders up to knock at the door
                                                    of your Lodge, what will he find?
technology they are familiar with. The internet
has made the world a very small place, so they      Brothers, I’m of the firm belief that we do not
go online; read articles; research the pros and     have a membership problem, we have a new
cons; delve into our historical significance; view  member retention problem. So even when we do
Youtube videos showing austeur men dressed in       gain a zealous disciple, and IF that new Master
tuxedos and white gloves performing precision-
driven floorwork to grandiose music amidst          Mason can somehow manage to overlook the
elegant and palatial surroundings. They witness
learned men of stature reciting meaningful          worn out carpet, peeling paint, dead flies on every
and profound dissertations meant to provoke         windowsill, shoddy ritual work, empty chairs,
thought and capture hearts. They’ve probably        lack of education, lousy food (I once had cold
gone on Facebook or other social media and          spaghetti on a paper plate), inconsistent dress
                                                    code, and absence of the intellectual enrichment
                                                    he’s craving, and decides not to commit
                                                    ‘Masonic suicide’ but stays on because he sees
                                                    an opportunity for himself to benefit the Lodge

                                                    with fresh ideas and build the Masonry that suits

                                                    his needs, like his grandfather would’ve ...will
                                                    we let him? Will we allow him to question our
                                                    outmoded ways? And if we do, will we empower
                                                    him to appeal our outworn M.O.s and introduce
                                                    us to his world? Will we permit him to improve
                                                    the menu with tastier recipes?

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