Quality or Quantity

Quantity or Quality

By: Todd M. Paterek ~ Senior Deacon of Blazing Star Lodge #694 F&AM

It is now September and the Lodges that go dark over the summer months are opening their doors to returning Brethren and hopefully with those Brethren will come a few new good men into the Craft. Membership is a highly debated topic these days.  Are we still looking for quality or has quantity taken over?  I understand the need for numbers and with numbers the odds are you will snag a good man here and there.  Some will drift off, maybe will even continue to pay dues but will never show up to lodge again.  I personally am guilty of not making it to Lodge for most of the 2014-2015 year.  All my Brothers say that it is okay because I just had my tenth child and they understand sometimes the Cable Tow is short.  I even spoke with our secretary and asked why do we have so many Brothers but only 10% show up for Lodge?  Here it was at the end of the Lodge year and me making only my second appearance.  So am I a quantity or a quality Mason?

What makes a man a “Quality Mason”?  A quality Mason is proficient in floor work and memorizes every word for his office as he progresses through the line.  He Volunteers for charity fundraisers.  He sits and speaks gently about being a Mason to any who will listen.  He will teach the newly Raised Brother about the finer point of the Craft.  However, what about the Brother who does not show up to Lodge often because he is busy visiting the sick, donating blood, volunteering at soup kitchens, or his son’s baseball team and daughter’s soccer team?  What about that Brother who was Raised and never came back to Lodge but is well adorned with Masonic tattoos and jewelry?  Will a tattoo or a ring make a man a Mason?

Each of us were Raised a Master Mason.  We are all Brothers, and we are all on the Level.  Each of us has something to offer the Craft.  Unfortunately, sometimes Freemasonry does not have anything to offer us. ~ I can already hear the gasps! ~ So who do we look at to rectify this gap in expectations and to help these Brothers return to Lodge?  Remember that we are all “Quality Masons” with something to offer Freemasonry and something to gain from Freemasonry.

So who needs to rectify this gap?  The tasks fall on each of us.

I need to remember that I am responsible for my Brother.  I need to be there for him in his good times, and his bad times.  I need to reach out and invite my Brothers back home.  I need to make sure that there is reason for him to stay and return each week.  I have to put in the effort to make my newest Brothers feel welcome.  I need to stand next to him at a fundraiser or work on memorizing his lines for his office.  I need to show up and visit him when he is sick or if well enough to give him a ride to Lodge.  I need to seek out what is needed in Freemasonry and bridge that gap.  To me, being a Mason makes me a part of something greater than the individual but also something that is as much here for the individual as the individual is here for Freemasonry.

You need to remember that you are a Mason and that comes some responsibility to the rest of us and to your Lodge.  Just paying dues is not enough; it keeps the lodge solvent but does not keep the Lodge alive.  When you were raised the Brothers in the Lodge saw something in you that they wanted to have around them.  They saw a way to learn through you and if you do not make the effort to get to Lodge you are letting them down and Brothers do not walk away from Brothers.

We are a strong Brotherhood of Better men.  We make each other great by being together.  We share our life experiences with each other to help learn through the experiences of our Brothers.  We break bread and discuss our lives outside of Freemasonry.  We alert each other to possibilities in life and warn each other of dangers.  We celebrate new Brothers, new children, new wives, and holidays.  We mourn together when we lose a Brother to the Great Celestial Lodge in the Sky and wait together for the day we join them in Glory.  Meanwhile, we remain behind in the quarries.  Can you imagine my Brothers, what would it be like mining the quarry alone?  No man’s back is strong enough.  We are here for each other.

So is it Quality or Quantity?  Personally I do not care.  You are my Brothers and I will do whatever it takes to bring you back and keep you coming back to Lodge each week.  I will be here for you my Brother, in and out of the Lodge.  One day I too will get the opportunity to lay down my working tools and join our Brethren who came before us and who helped build this brilliant Fraternity.  I hope by then I improved your lives, our community, and the world.

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Quantity Or Quality by Todd M. Paterek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Stone Soup – Historic Grain Elevators @ Silo City

Stone Soup @ Silo City

Our Brothers from the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club are hosting a Stone Soup Volunteer Event April 18, 2015 at the Historic Grain Elevators at Silo City.  “All Lodges, Concordant Bodies, Youth and Women’s Organizations from our Masoic Family of Erie County are encouraged to help” – And join in with the fun!

Please see the below flyer for additional information.  If you want to volunteer please contact Bro. John, or Bro. Mark on the flyer or fill out the below form.

Stone Soup @ Silo City

Blazing Star Lodge #694 F&AM

Blazing Star Lodge

2019 marks our 150 year anniversary! Stay connected with Blazing Star Lodge for updates on our celebration coming Summer 2019!

Standing proud yet unassuming and slightly hidden behind some old growth trees, the East Aurora Masonic Lodge stands as a permanent fixture in East Aurora, New York.  It overlooks the town with a protective eye ensuring all who pass are good and upright citizens.  We like to think that the presence of the Lodge in our town sets a stage of history, pride, and brotherly love among the members of the Lodge and the citizens of the town.

As part of the East Aurora, New York community since 1869 (Current Charter), the Blazing Star Masonic Lodge actively seeks ways to contribute to the success of our neighbors.  We do this by supporting little league baseball, FISH of East Aurora and Scholarships to graduating seniors at Iroquois High School and East Aurora High School.  Most recently the formation of Brother Of The Bread lead by Brother Andrew Egressy.  We are interested in our community and the people who call East Aurora home.  Since the 1800’s our Lodge stood as a building of humble men striving to better themselves and in-turn make the world a better place.  This is what we do.  We would love to talk to you more about Freemasonry please contact us anytime.

Our members meet in the Lodge every second and fourth Tuesday of each month September through June.  Dinners begin at 6:30 pm with communications starting promptly at 7:30 pm.  We encourage social discussions before and after official communications are complete.

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