Thursday, August 11, 2016

Beginning My Next Chapter . . . With The Grand Royal Arch Chapter Of Illinois

I've got a new job in the Fraternity that I'm pretty pleased about.  I was recently appointed Excellent Grand Orator of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of the State of Illinois.  I'm pretty excited about it, because it fits right in with what I've been working on for ten years . . . bringing Masonic education back to the forefront of our Fraternity.  As the Grand Orator I'll be doing some writing (of course), I'll be doing some talking, and I'll be helping put together a program to recruit and train a select team of Royal Arch Masons to become teachers, speakers, and educators that can travel our Chapters here in Illinois.

We've already started down this road with a brand new Chapter I'm involved in--Admiration Chapter.  In fact, some of the things we're doing in that new Chapter is how I got this gig as Grand Orator for the State.  I'm basically taking what we've started doing at the Chapter level to the State level.

Admiration Chapter is still under dispensation, but we're hoping to get our charter in the next few months--we have but one hurdle left.  Admiration started with a very different model in mind.  We do all the same things as a regular chapter of the Royal Arch--we do degree work, and have regular meetings, etc.  But we're an education chapter--that's what we want our primary focus to be.  We keep our business meetings short, and that's been easy to do because we always have something more interesting on our agenda that our members want to get to--a speaker, an education presentation, or a group discussion on a topic we've announced in advance (our first moderated discussion was on the topic of civility).  I've been to a lot of Masonic meetings in my decade as a Mason, but I can tell you, I truly look forward to our Admiration Chapter meetings.  And judging by how fast this Chapter is growing (even without a charter yet), I'm not the only one.  It's working.

And I've taken this enthusiasm back to the Blue Lodge.  I was recently installed as Master of Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL).  I plan on making every meeting an event as well--inviting speakers, having a presentation, or having a group discussion about a topic of interest to Masons.

Admiration Chapter's plans down the road include becoming a resource to the local Blue Lodge--to help provide this kind of educational support.  Perhaps that would be canned presentations the Lodges could do themselves, or perhaps we could send them a speaker that could talk on a particular topic.

That's what our new members want.  They want to take something away.  These millennials are the first generation to come around in a long time that want from Freemasonry the things that Freemasonry originally offered in the beginning--the opportunity for enlightenment, for self-improvement, and for fellowship.  And of course, all those other virtues, characteristics, and tenets that Masons have valued for more than 300 years. 

If we want to grow again as a Fraternity, and there's every indication there's interest from this younger generation, these are the basics we have to get back to. And I'm pretty pleased to be able to play at least a small role in helping to do just that.

~Todd E. Creason

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on the new job Todd and I'm sure you'll do well.


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