Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out

Masons. Live Better


									Living Better
          M i c h i g a n         M a s o n s

          Volume 2, no. 1 • Winter 2010

        Live Better.
Gift Annuities
The smart and simple way to invest in
a better way of life for yourself, your
family and your community.
Are you tired of market volatility and risk? In uncertain economic times such
as these, you may wonder if any investment is safe especially if your working
years are behind you.

A Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation Charitable Gift Annuity provides
a safe way to protect your investment, secures a high rate of interest, and
guarantees a dependable source of income. A two-life Charitable Gift Annuity
also guarantees income for your beneficiary.

By providing immediate tax relief and the potential of tax-free retirement income,
Charitable Gift Annuities offer a smart way to invest your assets while supporting
the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation.

What is a Charitable Gift Annuity and how does it work?
A Charitable Gift Annuity is a contract between a donor and a charity under which
the donor transfers funds to the charity in exchange for a partial tax deduction and
a lifetime stream of income. With a Charitable Gift Annuity you experience the joy
of helping others and enjoy the security and peace of mind that a guaranteed
lifetime income brings.

Want more information?
Call the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation at 800-994-7400 or fill out
and return the postage paid envelope located in the center of this magazine.
You can also visit us online at where
you can use our free, confidential, online calculator to determine the
amount of income and tax deduction you would receive with an
MMCF Charitable Gift Annuity.

                     Volume 2 • no. 1

Officers of the
Grand Lodge

Grand Master
F. Ted Praria
grand Rapids Lodge no. 34
Deputy Grand Master
Frederick E. Kaiser, Jr.
Berkley Lodge no. 536
                                                                     Live Better.
Grand Secretary
Robert W. stevens, PgM
salina-Pioneer Lodge no. 79               5    A Blessed                    6    Grand Lodge
                                               Holiday Season                    Programs and
                                               Grand Master                      Updates
Website:                                       Ted Praria

                                          7   Making A Difference           8    Michigan Masons
                                              Michigan Masons                    Voices of Masonry
                                              Making a Difference

                                          10    Masonic Home                12    Getting In Touch
                                                Give Your Children                With Your Inner
                                                Peace of Mind                     Philanthropist

Living Better is published two
times each year by the grand Lodge
of Michigan, 1204 Wright avenue,
alma, Mi, 48801. Letters or inquiries
should be sent to the grand Lodge
                                          13    Bequests                    14    Calendar
                                                Simple and                        of Events
at the address listed or sent via email
to all              Meaningful                        Dates and
letters become property of the                                                    Locations of
grand Lodge. Every effort will be made                                            Coming Events
to return photographs but this cannot
be guaranteed. Please include a
self-addressed stamped envelope.
We reserve the right to edit all
materials received. a limited number      15    Faces of Masonry            15    Faces of Masonry
of additional copies is available.              They’re Honorable,                Jimmie Hobaugh
address corrections should be given             Proud and Smart
to the secretary of the member’s
lodge for transmittal to the grand
Lodge. The editor cannot process a
change of address. The deadline for
the next issue is March 1, 2011.

                                                                            Living Better 3 Winter 2010
                   May the serenity of this holiday season,

                                fill your heart with          peace.

                              At this time of year,

                               when we reflect on the past,

                                 dream of the future and

                                   celebra the present, the
                                    Grand Lodge of Michigan

                                          wishes you a holiday

                                               filled with    joy.

                              Happy Holidays
Living Better 4 Winter 2010
                                                                                 Living Better

                               Very Blessed
Wishing you a

   Holiday Season
What an incredible honor it is becoming the Grand Master of
this distinguished and life changing organization! I thank you
for this opportunity and would like to take just a moment of
your time to talk to you about some of the great things that are
                            Wishing you a very blessed Holiday Sea
going on in our wonderful fraternity.

Our community outreach programs are working more efficiently
                                 What our communities than
and are having a more positive impact in an incredible honor it is, becoming the Grand Master of t
                             tion! thank you for this
ever before. We really are getting theIword out that Freemasons opportunity and would like to take just a
                             some of the great things
are committed to making a better world by building better men. that are going on in our wonderful Fratern
Our Child Identification Program and Beacon program, along
                                 efforts put forth by our outreach programs are working more efficiently
with the many other charitable Our community lodges,
are making an incredible difference in their communities. In
                             our communities than ever before. We really are getting the word o
addition to these programs, we simply cannot forget that our
                             a better world, men who
primary function as Masons is to ensure that those by building better men. Our Child Identification P
                             by our Lodges in their
join our noble fraternity become well-educated, inspired, and local communities and so many different wa
                             dition to these programs, we simply cannot forget that our primar
devoted members. These men who join, and there are more
of them every year by the way, have a right to expect that
                             men who join our noble fraternity become well educated, inspired,
our lodges are the premier facilities in our communities; that
                             more of winter every year by the way, have a right to expect that our
they are clean and inviting, warm in the themand cool in
                             munities, that conducted
the summer, and that the ritual presentations are they are clean, inviting, warm in the winter and coo
                             are conducted with excellence. We cannot expect the world at larg
with excellence. We cannot expect the world at large to view
us with respect if we do not first respect ourselves. This year,
                             ourselves. This year, lets make a renewed commitment to make ou
let’s renew our commitment to making our lodges and ourselves
                             that people that we want
examples of an organization the we ourselves would want to to see join our lodge. Lets make sure that
                             proud, that we would make             Have a wonderful winter and
join. Let’s make sure that we behave in ways that carry the torch of a new era into the future proudly
                             duct meetings of Masonry
our forefathers proud, and that we carry the torchand programs that are enjoyable and enriching. Give
into the future proudly and confidently. Let’s make sure that
                             all be the better for it!
                                                                        holiday season and
we conduct meetings and programs that are enjoyable and
enriching. Give them “Masonry” and give it to them well. We’ll
                                                                           “Make It So!”
all be the better for it!
                                 Have a wonderful winter and holiday season and “Make It So!”

                                   Ted Praria,
                               Ted Praria Grand Master                           Living Better 5 Winter 2010
                               Grand Master
                Membership in Motion
                                   ◗ Masonic Education Programs                             ◗ Online Masonic Store
Grand Lodge Programs and Updates
                                   Did you know that you can participate in the             When you visit the Grand Lodge website, you can
                                   Grand Lodge Masonic Challenge every week?                also access our Masonic Store! Find everything
                                   Simply go to the Grand Lodge of Michigan website         from branded shirts and hats to gift baskets and
                                   at and register for the weekly          advertising specialties. You’ll be able to purchase all
                                   e-newsletter. Every Monday morning you’ll receive        your Masonic apparel and memorabilia here. Just go
                                   an email from the Grand Lodge office with the            to the Grand Lodge website at and
                                   Masonic Challenge, Masonic Poem, and motivations         click the Masonic Store link.
                                   for the week. Plus, you’ll discover what the
                                   upcoming events for the week are and how you can         ◗ Start Planning Your Summer Events
                                   register (for those events that require registration).   Want to wow everyone at your next community
                                   There is a wealth of knowledge for you on this site.     event? Reserve the Grand Lodge’s Michigan Masons
                                   All you need to do is register!                          trailer! It comes with an event tent, chairs, tables,
                                                                                            displays...everything you need to make a great
                                   ◗ Town Hall Meetings                                     impression! It’s available for use by any lodge in
                                   It was a pleasure to have the Grand Master host          Michigan. We’ll even deliver it! First come, first
                                   several Masonic Town Hall meetings around the state      served though, so contact the Member Services office
                                   this fall. Town Halls were held in Dearborn, Traverse    to reserve the Michigan Masons event trailer today!
                                   City, Saginaw and Battle Creek. At the meetings,
                                   brothers discovered what programs the Grand              William Finkel - New Grand Marshall
                                                                                            Worshipful Brother Bill Finkel hails from Solomons
                                   Master and Grand Lodge are involved in and had the
                                                                                            Key Lodge No. 580 in Allen Park. He is very active
                                   opportunity to ask questions, getting involved in
                                                                                            with the Youth Soccer Organization AYSO. Married
                                   the fraternity in an exciting new way. Town Halls
                                                                                            to Karin and father to Alexia and Kenneth.
                                   for the spring are being planned now so be sure to
                                   attend one in an area near you.
                                                                                            Thomas Braun - New Grand Lecturer
                                                                                            Right Worshipful Brother Tom hails from Cedar Lodge
                                   ◗ Masonic Renewal Programs                               No. 60 in Clarkston. Married to Karen, father to
                                   Plan now to attend the upcoming Masonic Renewal          Tom and Stacy, and grandfather to three beautiful
                                   Programs to be held in March and April of 2011.          granddaughters. Also, proud father to an original
                                   Programs will focus on innovative ways to improve        1930 Model A.
                                   attendance and retention of our members. It is
                                   vital that lodge leadership attend these important           Sign up for the Grand Lodge E-Newsletter!
                                   conferences. Details will be forthcoming in the                     Sign up for the Grand Lodge
                                   Grand Lodge’s weekly e-newsletter and on the Grand                    Members Only Network!
                                   Lodge website.
                                                                                                Go to the web site. Once
                                                                                                there, click on the Private tab. Go to Mason
                                   ◗ MORI Update                                                Access. If you aren’t registered yet, you can
                                                                                                do so there. Once in, you’ll have access to
                                   As most of you know by now, the Grand Lodge
                                                                                                the Grand Lodge’s weekly e-newsletter and
                                   has implemented a new membership management                  the exclusive members only network.
                                   system for use by all lodges. MORI is now fully
                                                                                                These are your best tools to discover more
                                   implemented and to those that have begun using
                                                                                                about the many programs offered by the
                                   it - thank you! To those lodge Secretaries who have          fraternity. While you’re there, you can sign
                                   not yet signed up, please contact the Grand Lodge            up for Facebook and Twitter as well. With so
                                   for information on how to do so. This exciting               much going on, you won’t want to miss any
                                   program will help the Grand Lodge hold down costs            of it...and now you won’t have to!
                                   for many years to come.                                                If you need help, just
                                                                                                   contact the Member Services office!
      Living Better 6 Winter 2010
Making a Difference
                                                                                Membership in Motion

                                                                                                             by Rikka Bos

Ask a Mason how he became interested
in Masonry and there’s a good chance
that he’ll tell you “charity.”

Without trumpets or fanfare, Masons make a real
difference in their communities every day. Because
these men are not the bragging sort, the communities
in which they serve are often unaware of the good work
being done around them. However, for the many people
whose lives are personally touched by the kind hand of
a Mason, the lack of publicity does little to detract from
                                                             Left to Right: Francis Martin, Secretary; Jerry Chambers,
the importance of the help they give.                        Treasurer; Greg Dostal, Worshipful Master; Dr. Michael
                                                             Miller, Medical Director of the Diabetes Center; Mary
Take for instance the gentlemen of Centre Lodge No. 273      Greeley, Diabetes Center Manager
in Midland, Michigan. Over the past 20 years, these
generous fellows have raised and donated over $40,000        in the Diabetes Self-Management Training classes
to the MidMichigan Medical Center-Midland Diabetes           offered by the Diabetes Center. Unfortunately, Mr. H.’s
Center scholarship fund, which helps individuals             lack of health care coverage left him without a way
without insurance learn how to manage their diabetes.        to pay for the classes, necessary testing supplies and
Every year in April the men of Centre Lodge pool their       medication. Thanks to the existence of the Diabetes
talents and resources and, together with family and          Center scholarship fund, however, Mr. H. is now armed
friends, host a successful spaghetti dinner. This year’s     with information on heart healthy eating and diabetes
dinner was the most successful yet, bringing in over         management and is doing well.
$2,200. A $1,500 matching community charities grant
from the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation              Centre Lodge’s involvement with its local hospital is
bolstered the lodge’s donation to over $3,700.               just one example of how Michigan Masons, together
                                                             with the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation, are
What will the Diabetes Center do with that money?            encouraging positive change in their communities.
Use it to help individuals like “Mr. H.” Mr. H., a forty-
one year old man with 3 children at home, regularly
works 50 hours a week as a mechanic. His long hours            To learn how a partnership with the
and family commitments left him without the time or            Foundation can help your lodge make an
resources to properly manage his health, a fact that           even greater impact in your community,
undoubtedly contributed to his eventual admission              call 800-994-7400 and ask about matching
into the hospital with an elevated blood glucose level         community charities and scholarship grants.
of 506 mg/dl (normal levels are between 70 and 140             Or visit the Foundation on the web at
mg). After being stabilized and discharged from the  
hospital, it was recommended that Mr. H. participate
                                                                                                Living Better 7 Winter 2010

   Voices of Mason
   Brotherly love, relief and truth
   Variations of these three ideals         safe car seats for their newborns.
   have attracted men to Masonry for        Merlin has also been a staple of
   hundreds of years. What’s more,          the annual National Cherry Festival
   these same ideals continue to speak      celebration, where he produced the
   for what Masonry has been, what it       broadcast of the entire Cherry Royale
   is and, if these three guys have any     Parade until as recently as 2008.
   say in it, what it will continue to be   This loving husband, father of three
   for generations to come.                 children and grandfather of three
                                            grandchildren doesn’t see retirement
   Merlin Dumbrille                         (he “officially” retired in 2009) as an
   Past Master Merlin Dumbrille has         excuse to rest on his laurels though.
   been around for awhile. In fact,         He explains, “Masonry isn’t all
   his voice has graced the airwaves        degree work. It’s about community.
   of Northern Michigan for over half       You have to be involved in your                                     Dave Eddy
   a century, hosting, among other          community, you have to do things
   things, the popular “Farm and            for your community. Masonry offers        Dave Eddy has been behind the
   Orchard Time” agricultural program       you that chance, to be of service to      microphone since 1960. He’s been a
   on WTCM radio in Traverse City. Born     others. When I go to bed at night, [I     fixture in peoples’ lives even since
   and raised in Traverse City, Merlin      know that] I’ve got another chance        his teen years when he hosted the
   has been active in his lodge (Traverse   to help someone tomorrow.”                “Pop Shop” on WALM in Albion,
   City No. 222) and community nearly                                                 Michigan. Though fresh out of high
   all his life, making him a living        Dave Eddy                                 school himself, Dave became quite
   example of Masonic relief. Aside         Better known in some parts of the         a celebrity among the young people
   from working within his lodge            state as “the Morning Mayor”, 33rd°       who swarmed the Western Auto
   since 1971 to help charities like                                                  Store in Marshall each afternoon to
   Camp Quality, a camp program for         “Masonry isn’t all                        hear him play their radio requests.
   children with cancer, Merlin has         degree work. It’s about                   Dave’s celebrity stayed with him
   been a Kiwanis member for 47 years,      community ...”                            through his move to WBCK in Battle
   where he’s helped with projects                               – Merlin Dumbrille   Creek, from where he would retire
   like supplying new parents with                                                    from full-time broadcasting in 2008.

Living Better 8 Winter 2010

nry           by Rikka Bos

  Dave’s introduction into Masonry        Travis Freeman
  came through his father, whom Dave      He might not be old enough to             “If you see a man
  describes as an “honest guy” who        remember the songs when they came
  would “always try to do what was        out, but that doesn’t stop Yooper
                                                                                    wearing a square and
  right”. Interestingly, however, Dave    Travis Freeman from spinning the          compass, you know
  was unaware of his rather extensive     oldies at Oldies 93 in Newberry and
                                                                                    you can trust him.”
  Masonic lineage until he had been a     Sault Saint Marie. Even before he
  Mason for many years (his uncle is      was out of high school, Travis recalls
  PGM Charles Burdette Eddy), begging     being called out of class by the
                                                                                    Newberry Market Manager and
  the question, “what attracted you       school secretary, who would give him
                                                                                    National Sales Director for his radio
  to Masonry?” In response, Dave          the message that the station would
                                                                                    station group. He is also married
  offered a story of a little girl who,   like him to cover an “air shift” (radio
                                                                                    and has a 9 year old stepdaughter,
  when faced with traveling alone         speak for the time a deejay will
                                                                                    Laney. Travis is a relatively young
  for the first time, was instructed by   be on the air). Teetering between
                                                                                    Mason when compared to some of his
  her parents that “if you see a man      Generations X and Y, balancing
                                                                                    brothers. But the difference in age
  wearing a square and compass, you       all the responsibilities of young
                                                                                    and life experience seems only to
  know you can trust him.”                adulthood, Travis is also the
                                                                                    enrich his membership at McMillan
                                                                                    Lodge No. 400, where Travis is
                                                                                    currently serving his third year as
                                                                                    Worshipful Master. Aptly borrowing
                                                                                    a phrase from a recent commercial,
                                                                                    Travis explains that Masonry really
                                                                                    does offer “the brotherhood that
                                                                                    goes deeper than Sunday football.
                                                                                    You could be having problems in
                                                                                    daily life, but as soon as you get into
                                                                                    lodge, you know your day is going to
                                                                                    get better. Hearing old war stories, or
                                                                                    funny jokes from a younger member,
                                                                                    [it’s] that cross-section of life, where
                                                                                    everybody is on the level.”

                                                            Dave Eddy - 1968

                                                                                                  Living Better 9 Winter 2009
   Masonic home

         Give Your Children Peace of Mind
             this Holiday Season

   Tell them about
   Masonic Pathways
       If you are a              Give your family peace of mind        Exclusive to Master Masons and
                               this holiday season by assuring       their wives, widows and mothers, the
       Michigan Mason,         them that you will always have        Masonic Advantage Program ensures
                               a home at Masonic Pathways.           you will never go without the love,
       you can give your       Because, once you’ve achieved         relief and care you have earned as a
                               ten continuous years or more as       member of the Masonic Brotherhood.
       children the greatest   a Michigan Master Mason in good       Order of the Eastern Star members,
       gift of all this        standing, you become eligible to      with ten continuous years in good
                               receive the benefits of the Masonic   standing, may also qualify for the
       Holiday Season.         Pathways Advantage Program.           Masonic Advantages Program.

Living Better 10 Winter 2010
                                                                                       Masonic home
   Located in Alma, in the heart         Most importantly, we offer           Masonic Pathways
of Michigan, Masonic Pathways is       financial assistance to all Michigan   welcomes Michigan
the best kept secret to exceptional    Master Masons (and their wives,
                                                                              Masons of all ages, and
living. Whether you are able to live   widows and mothers) who otherwise
independently, seek assisted living,   would be unable to afford to live      their family members, to
require short-stay rehabilitation or   at Masonic Pathways. The Masonic       visit us in person or online
long-term nursing, Masonic Pathways    Assistance program covers room,        at
has a lifestyle to meet your needs.    board, meals, medications and          to discuss individualized
                                       medical supplies, health insurance,
                                                                              retirement options. To
                                       and more.
       Members of the                                                         schedule a personal tour
                                         As you plan for your retirement,
  Masonic Advantage Program
                                       tell your children you are an          call 800-321-9357.
    receive these benefits:
                                       affiliated Michigan Mason and make
 v Rate discounts for each of the      them aware of the Masonic Pathways
   lifestyle options at Masonic        Advantage Program. We encourage
   Pathways.                           you to refrain from giving away cash
                                       assets as you approach your need
 v Priority access to higher levels    for financial assistance, and make
   of care at Masonic Pathways.        sure you maintain your membership
                                       with the Michigan Masons. With a
 v Priority standing on all wait-      small amount of pre-planning your
   ing lists at Masonic Pathways.      children will never have to worry
                                       about your retirement future.

                                                                                      “Make sure
                                                                                      your children
                                                                                      know you are
                                                                                      an affiliated
                                                                                     Living Better 11 Winter 2010

   Getting in Touch with your

      Inner Philanthropist
   for the Women of Masonry

   Everyone knows that women have          of them. By having a thoughtful
   always been integral to improving       plan of how you want to give, it will
   the communities around them.            be easier to be discerning. You’ll
   They volunteer, raise money, and        be empowered to say, for example,
   organize, doing everything from         “I would love to give to your
   making cupcakes for PTA bake sales      organization as it is clearly worthy.
   to helping community hospitals          However, my personal giving plan           Diane Young
   build new wings. But, did you also      is centered on helping children get a
   know that women today actually          quality education.”                       Planned Giving is donating an asset
   give more money to charities than                                                 after your death. It could be cash,
   men? Over the past 100 years            Of course, you do not have to limit
                                                                                     investments, real estate, or proceeds
   women have made great strides           yourself to one organization. You can
                                                                                     from life insurance or annuities. Any
   both politically and economically.      give a little to several organizations,
                                                                                     of these types of giving can benefit
   With those achievements came            or you can give greatly to just a
                                                                                     an organization, but again, how you
   new responsibilities toward the         few. It all depends on your personal
                                                                                     choose to give will depend on how
   community at large. Because of          goals. For example, many people feel
                                                                                     you’ve chosen to construct your
   this, today’s women need to educate     they can make a greater impact by
                                                                                     personal giving plan.
   themselves on the best way to utilize   giving more funds to fewer groups.
   the assets they have accumulated        (There may also be more recognition       As you begin to devise your own
   over their lifetime. They can do this   opportunities with this strategy, a       personal giving plan, it is important
   by getting in touch with their inner    consideration that may or may not         to work with financial professionals
   philanthropist. Here are a few ideas    be important to you.)                     who can help guide you as to the
   to get you started.                                                               best strategy for your circumstances.
                                           Next, it is important to understand       A good advisor will help you
   First, develop your own personal        the different types of giving. Annual     determine the best way to implement
   philanthropy goals. Ask yourself,       Giving is usually accomplished from       your plan and how to navigate the
   through what channels do I want to      personal income. Other types of           complex tax rules.
   work to help improve my community       giving such as Capital Campaigns or
   and the world? There are many           Endowments, are usually achieved
   giving options available, including     through a donation of an asset
   religious or fraternal organizations,   such as appreciated stock or real           Diane L. Young is the President
   social service agencies, learning       estate. (Keep in mind that the less         of The Athena Group, a financial
   institutions or arts and cultural       liquid the asset, e.g. real estate,         services firm dedicated to the needs
   organizations. Take time to think       the less likely the non-profit will         of women, located in downtown
   this through as there are many          benefit from your donation as there         Rochester, Michigan. Securities and
                                                                                       advisory services offered through
   worthy organizations, and it can        is often a greater cost to maintain         Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.,
   be frustrating to decide among all      or sell these “illiquid” assets).           member FINRA/SPIC

Living Better 12 Winter 2010

    Simple and Meaningful
    Of all the gifts you could offer a charitable organization, one of the most meaningful
    — and one of the easiest to make—is a bequest. By definition, a bequest is a gift
    you pass to a person or entity through your will. There are several ways to write a
    bequest, each yielding a slightly different result.

    Charitable bequests are unique in that they provide unlimited deductions from federal
    estate and most state inheritance taxes. Leveraging this benefit can often result in a
    larger estate passing to your family and friends.

    If you decide to make a charitable bequest to our organization, you’ll need to choose
    the type of bequest that best fits your needs.

                                            Specific bequest: This kind of bequest specifies
                                            an exact dollar amount or specific asset from your
                                            estate, such as stocks, bonds, or perhaps a piece of
                                            real estate or artwork if appropriate.

                                            Residuary bequest: This bequest directs that either
                                            all or a percentage of your estate’s residue — what’s
                                            left after the other terms of your will have been
                                            satisfied — be paid to the charitable organization.

                                            Percentage bequest: A bequest may be expressed as
                                            a percentage of your estate. Expressed in this way,
                                            your wishes are guaranteed regardless of whether
                                            your estate grows larger or smaller.

    Here are a few samples of bequest language to get you started:
    OPTION 1: “I give all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate to the Michigan
               Masonic Charitable Foundation located at Alma, Michigan to be deposited in
               its Endowment Fund.”

    OPTION 2: “I give the sum of $_______ to the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation
               located at Alma, MI to be deposited in its endowment fund.”

                                                                      Living Better 13 Winter 2010
 Calendar            of Events

                                              Florida Reunion
                                              January 29, 2011

                                  Arizona Reunion
                                  February 26, 2011

                                 Masonic Pathways Junior Deacon Day
                                 Saturday, March 19, 2011
                                 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

                                 Grand Lodge
                        Annual Communication
                           May 24 and 25, 2011
                  soaring Eagle casino and Resort
                                 Mt. Pleasant, Mi

Living Better 14 Winter 2010
                                                                                                   Faces of Masonry

Changing Faces
      of          Masonry
                                                   by Robert Conley
This might come as a surprise to you, but more and
more younger men are joining the Masonic fraternity
in Michigan. Like you, I wanted to find out why. What
were these young men looking for and did they find that
                                                               his life; it really connects us together in a way that you
something when they joined? And, just as importantly,
                                                               can’t find anywhere else.” In their Masonic life, the
what can we do to make sure they stay?
                                                               connection between the generations is a very powerful
I recently had the pleasure of meeting with a group of
newer, younger Masons to whom I could ask those very
                                                               As our conversation progressed, I developed a much
questions. What I found particularly encouraging from
                                                               clearer perspective of what these younger men want and
their answers was why they had sought us out and the
                                                               hope to obtain from their membership in the fraternity.
manner in which they had done so. Not one of them had
                                                               I also discovered that those desires aren’t really very
an existing connection to the lodge that they joined.
                                                               different from my own. They want quality social
Instead, they had used the Grand Lodge of Michigan’s
                                                               programs, festive boards and table lodges, and programs
website to begin the membership process. Though two
                                                               and events that they can share and enjoy with their
of them had grandfathers who were Masons, the others
                                                               families. At the same time, they all enjoyed and were
didn’t have any family connections at all. And all of
                                                               very proud of the excellence demonstrated by Michigan
them had either completed college or were currently
                                                               Masons in ritualistic presentations. The degrees for each
                                                               of these men hold great meaning.
Regarding their expectations, all of them had the desire
                                                               I learned too that the younger Mason does view the
to become a part of something bigger than themselves.
                                                               world through a set of eyes quite different from my
They wanted a place in an organization that had high
                                                               own. Today’s young men like to stay in touch with their
expectations of itself and its members. They expected
                                                               lodges even if they are forced to miss meetings due to
to be educated about both the history and the culture
                                                               out of town work obligations. Fortunately, through the
of the organization. They wanted to learn how the
                                                               use of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter,
lessons taught in lectures and Masonic ceremonies and
                                                               lodges now have the ability to “span the miles” and keep
rituals could be applied to their experiences in daily life.
                                                               in touch with busy members much more easily than ever
They expected to have access to quality programs that
included their respective lodges, and they expected to
expand their network of friends and associates.
                                                               My conversation with these young men reinforced my
                                                               belief that the future of Masonry is very bright indeed.
The young men commented that one of the great
                                                               These men are smart, ethical, proud and honorable.
experiences in Masonry is the connection in each of
their lodges between older and younger men. One
                                                               As they begin to take over the fraternity, they will take
young Mason commented that, “In most of our lives, we
                                                               it to places that can only be imagined.
socialize with people our own age. We don’t have older or
younger people in our circle of friends. But in the lodge,
                                                                 Personally, I’m looking forward to the ride!
we sit next to an older man, he talks to us, tells us about
                                                                                                 Living Better 15 Winter 2010
                                                                                                                       nonPRoFiT oRganizaTion
              The grand Lodge of Michigan F & aM                                                                           U.s. PosTagE
              1204 Wright ave.                                                                                                PaiD
              alma, Mi 48801                                                                                            RoyaL oaK, Mi 48068
                                                                                                                            PERMiT #95

 “You will always have a home at
         Masonic Pathways...
    If you are a Mason in need,
            we can help.”

The Masonic Advantage Card...
Have You Received Yours Yet?
   In May of 2009, Masonic Pathways began      insurance card, but we urge you to carry        services, or just need someone to help you
distribution of the Masonic Advantage Card.    it alongside your other medical cards.          find the best solution for your retirement
Available to all affiliated Michigan Masons,   Should you find yourself, your wife or your     needs, we welcome all inquiries.
this special card is intended to identify a    mother in need of Senior Support Services          If you are a Michigan Mason living outside
Michigan Mason as someone who has earned       (Independent and Assisted Living, Short-        the State of Michigan but have maintained
the right to the benefits available through    stay Rehabilitation or Long-term Care),         your Michigan membership, your card is not
the Masonic Pathways Advantage Program.        present it to any Discharge Planner or Social   valid at Masonic Homes outside of Michigan,
If you have achieved ten continuous            Worker to identify yourself as an affiliated    but you would be eligible to return to
years or more as a Michigan Mason (or a        Michigan Master Mason entitled to the           Michigan and receive the Advantage Card
member of an OES Chapter in the Michigan       benefits of the Masonic Pathways Advantage      benefits at Masonic Pathways.
jurisdiction), you are affiliated and you      Program.                                           If you have not yet received a card, or
qualify for our card.                             The card contains all the information        if you’d like additional cards to share with
                                                                                               your spouse and/or children please call 800-
   Hopefully you’re among the 28,850           they will need in order to reach Masonic
                                                                                               321-9357, ext. 3805. You may also request
Masons who have already received their         Pathways seven days a week, 24 hours
                                                                                               cards online at
card. The card does not replace your           a day. Whether you choose to use our

To top