Because You Said Yes!

Bro. Cody J. Spangler

At this point of the year most PA lodges have already held their elections and installation of officers for the ensuing Masonic Year. So now that the elected positions are set it becomes the Worshipful Masters duty to select his appointed officers.

Now if you at any time expressed the interest to become an appointed officer, chaplain, deacon, Master of Ceremonies ect… Don’t be surprised if your Worshipful Master asks you to take one of those chairs.  Now there are two answers you can give him, yes or no.  There is no in-between. If you say no then you have no commitment and if you fill in a chair here and there the Master will be very happy with your help.  However, if you say yes… You best be in your place at meetings.

We all know that life happens and sometimes no matter how well you plan, things can come up on meeting nights.  If you know that these events are common in your life be sure to answer the Master accordingly by saying no thank you.

The voids created by members who think they want a position and don’t show up take a lot away from a meeting.  In my lodge it is not uncommon to ask our visitors to fill in chairs for us.  This to me is completely uncalled for.  I have visited several lodges and the enjoyment of visiting is the ability to relax and see what everyone else is doing.  If you are an officer in your lodge you don’t want to get called back into work while visiting.  We say its not a problem but deep down it is.

Past Masters, we already understand, can’t say no.  That’s the real reason past Masters always seem to fill in the chairs.  Since I can speak for some of us, there are nights we’d like to sit on the sideline and wear our fancy aprons and jewels.

There is something to say about following through on a commitment.  It is an unwritten Masonic virtue.  There are some members who want to be Master but if you can’t show up for your deacon duties, how can we ensure you will show up for your Warden duties.  Bottom line, if you agree to take a chair we expect you to be in it. Why? Because you said Yes!

Bro. Cody Spangler, P.M. is soon to be a two time Past Master of Armstrong Lodge #239 in Freeport, PA.  He is also a Past High Priest of Orient Holy Royal Arch Chapter #247, a member of Kittanning Council #52 and Holy Rood Commandery #100 in Kittanning, PA and a member of the Valley of New Castle AASR.  He focuses highly on the philosophical and symbolic importance of the fraternity and the promoting of Masonic Education.

Bro. Spangler can be reached at: masonicrezon@gmail.com

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2 thoughts on “Because You Said Yes!

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  1. While I agree completely with the need for commitment to your obligations, I, as a Past Master, enjoy taking chairs when needed. Visiting is an enjoyment to me and I love to assist where and when I can. I know there are some who might be upset, but I believe most enjoy ‘the work’ of the Lodge. As for the acceptance of a chair, appointed or elected, the desire to: perform well, learn, and show up must be there from the start. The labor of the Lodge is where the changes in self take place, usually only noticed from the outside, not from within. Others will see the improvements long before one sees it in himself. Also, we must keep in mind that very often we use a little extra pressure to ‘lure’ a Brother into a chair. This must be kept in check and you need to be completely honest with each other. The Labors of life should always come before the Labors of Lodge. Family and work priorities change frequently, especially for our younger Brethren, but if your “other” commitment is chicken wings with the guys for Monday night football (on Lodge night), then you have not been fair with the Lodge. We must be sure that we don’t imply, in any manner, that you only need to do the job to minimal standards and show up when you want. It would be better to leave it filled meeting by meeting. I will happily feel honored to sit at any Lodge and proudly represent my Fraternity, my Lodge, and my duty to fill any chair that I am qualified to do. Great topic, BTW.

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  2. I agree. I joined the fraternity after months of deliberatoin. Part of that deliberation was commiting that I would participate. “If we are united” the brotherhood will grow. Part of being united is sharing what we know and learning from others that know what we don’t.

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