Page 4 - Montana Freemason Magazine March 2014
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Montana Freemason                                    March 2014	  Volume 90 Number 1

                   Thom Chisholm

                   Conference of Grand Masters of North America

    Brothers I have just returned from the Conference of Grand Masters of North America (CGMNA).
This year it was held in Baltimore, Maryland, and despite the nasty weather this winter, it was a great time
in many respects. I had the opportunity to visit with the western jurisdictions’ Masonic leaders (west of
the Mississippi and our Canadian Brothers) on some of the key issues in Masonry today.

    One of the topics discussed was based on the relationships between Blue Lodge Masonry and our
affiliated organizations. It was an open, sincere, and polite conversation. It was obvious that there
was some hesitation, but everyone approached the topic with respect and decorum. The end of the
conversation witnessed a rather historic event. That is to say, the conference put forth a recommendation
to be recorded for posterity. To my knowledge and understanding, this does not happen often, if at all.
The recommendation was very simple, and to many it may appear as an axiom, and it recognized that
the Grand Lodge via the Grand Master is the ultimate Masonic authority within a specific jurisdiction.
Again, perhaps a postulate, but it was recognized and recorded, by a unanimous decision, for our future
    A second topic was discussed throughout the conference, and that was the concept of civility in
our fraternity. Indeed, it was the focus of the gathering with breakout sessions, banquet addresses,
and intimate conversations all focused on civility. It was the overall agreement of those attending that
Freemasonry is to be a role model for civility, not only within the fraternity, but especially to the world. It
was also discussed that we must practice civility in order for others to follow our lead. To this end, much
conversation was focused on social media and how it is absolutely necessary to employ civility within this
media for the sake of our fraternity. I would encourage everyone to read the message on social media
that was created by the Grand Secretaries of the Rocky Mountain Masonic Conference in this issue of
our magazine.
    Overall these topics seem basal, but they are important enough that the Masonic leaders of the
Western Hemisphere spent three days discussing them. Perhaps we should spend some time thinking
about them here in Montana as well. I am certain the conclusions will be the same.
    Thom Chisholm, MWGM

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