Number 328 – May 24, 2011
Masonic Education the Fun and Easy Way
By Ed Halpaus, FPS
I’ve been asked many times to explain the duties of a Lodge Education Officer (L.E.O.), and I’ve answered each question individually. This time I thought it might be good to put some ideas regarding the Lodge Education Officer in this issue of More Light.
Being a LEO and making certain there is good Masonic Education presented at each stated communication of the Lodge doesn’t need to be complicated; it’s really fairly simple and fun to do. Being a LEO is a great reason to indulge into an activity you really enjoy; learning more about Masonry. Being a LEO really is as simple as reporting to others what you’ve learned and found interesting. If you find some information that’s good and pleasant to know about, others will enjoy hearing you report on it.
An effective L.E.O. will become involved an a wide variety of activities that are very enjoyable to be involved in, such as;
a. helping make the Worshipful Master’s job easier,
b. helping develop future Lodge Officers and Committee Chairs through his Lodge Education Committee,
c. making certain that there is a part of every stated communication devoted to Masonic Education.
Item C takes the cooperation of the Master to schedule adequate time in the agenda, so the L.E.O. can provide Masonic information and education. Anyone (the LEO or another Brother) who prepares something for Masonic Education in a Lodge will spend hours (sometime many hours) in preparation, and it is very discourteous to not allow adequate time for the presentation that has been prepared.
That said Masonic Education and the delivery of it in Lodge should, and can be fun and easy; the delivery of it should add to the enjoyment of the Lodge experience for everyone. This can happen when all of us in the Lodge are willing to pitch in and help the L.E.O. and the Lodge.
One truism about Masons is that if another Mason needs help he is willing to step in and lend a hand; if his brother needs to know something that will make his life better he’s willing to pass on information and good counsel. Freemasons don’t like to keep secrets when it comes to helping a Brother learn.
Another truism is that every Freemason wants to learn about our Fraternity; we all want to learn something of what Masonry has to pass on to us: And we all love to attend a Lodge where we enjoy the fellowship and the learning. When a Lodge is strong on fellowship and learning then more of its members will be found attending. Actually if they aren’t able to attend Lodge they most likely would miss not being there: Here’s a question; if you’re unable to make it to one of your Lodge communications, do you miss not being there?
Another Truism is that every Lodge has many Masons who are quite knowledgeable when it comes to things Masonic: Their participation is one element that helps make Masonic education fun and easy.
Standing up in Lodge to relate to our Brothers something we know about, and are happy to know it, is nothing more than talking with and informing a Brother about something he will enjoy learning too. Masonic Education doesn’t need to be of a certain length; it only needs to be long enough to communicate the information, so that those hearing it will understand it: Communicating in that way is better than trying to fill a certain length of time.
Another idea is for Lodges to have those who deliver some good and interesting Masonic education to go to neighboring Lodges to deliver it there too; that way more Masons will enjoy hearing it and getting to know a fine Masonic Brother from another Lodge. It pays for the Masters, Wardens, and L.E.O.’s of neighboring Lodges to phone and meet with each other regularly, so that they can help each other in making Lodge Communications enjoyable to attend for the members of their Lodges.
There is no reason to do things the hard way; Masons like to help one another. Any Brother can deliver some good and interesting Masonic information and education, he doesn’t have to be the LEO; the more participating in Lodge for various reasons – including Masonic education presentations – the better, and I know of no L.E.O. who would not welcome help and information from a Brother.
Much Masonic Education doesn’t need to be in a tiled Lodge. There are many times when having a more extensive Masonic education presentation may be better delivered over the Lodge supper. When this is done a shorter bit on Masonic education can then be presented during the communication.
Much good Masonic education and information can be passed from one brother to another in a Masonic discussion group: A Masonic discussion group can be held at the Lodge; either before or after a communication; at a restaurant after a communication; or at another time during the week. A discussion group can meet for 30 to 60 minutes or longer with one or more topics of discussion scheduled. One good thing about Masons is that when we get talking about Masonry we can have a very good and informative conversation where everyone has a good time learning something new about our beloved Craft.
One Lodge I know of built a patio with a fire pit in it: What a great idea; to sit in fellowship around a campfire discussing Masonic education. This kind of Masonic discussion group could also be held in a Brothers back yard if the Lodge doesn’t have the space.
The office of L.E.O. is an enjoyable and important office to hold. The L.E.O. with some effort to involve other members of the Lodge in some way will help add to the enjoyment of attending Lodge for everyone
We all love to attend a Lodge where we enjoy the fellowship and the learning, and the learning should be as easy to deliver, and as enjoyable to receive, as it is to participate with our friends and Brothers in fellowship.
Words to Live by: “Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere.” Chinese Proverb
The Education Videos by the education committee of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/glmned
The latest Masonic Monday Question, and some of the past questions, can be viewed at www.Lodgebuilder.org and at www.mn-masons.org
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