Live-Blogging From the Grand Lodge Leadership Academy

9:27 a.m.  The Leadership Academy has kicked off on-time with a huge crowd of 160 registered guests (and as yet uncounted unregistered Masons and their wives) in the very impressive House Chamber of the Kansas Statehouse.

9:35 a.m. W:. Cliff Porter, Master of Enlightenment Lodge No. 198 in Colorado and author of The Secret Psychology of Freemasonry begins the opening address.

Some Highlights:

“If Masonry can improve members of a lodge – can’t Masonry also improve upon Masonry?”

“In communications theory we most revere the senses of hearing, seeing and feeling,” which is very similar to Masonic thinking.

“In my work, I am an old crusty guy five years from retirement, but in Masonry, I am a punk.”

“I’ll trade a hundred guys with great ideas for one guy with a broom.”

“The idea that Masonry doesn’t grow, progress or change is radically, radically, false.”

“When you look at old grand lodge photos from the 1920s – the men we in their twenties.” The best thing we can do in Masonry, Porter stressed was to prepare the way for our successors.

Following Porter’s address, the attendees attended various breakout sessions.  Here in the House Chamber, R:.W:. Cole Presley, DDGM #35 addressed the responsibilities of Wardens in Kansas Masonry.


Leadership Academy Materials Online

Rev. Robert H. Schuller is quoted as saying, “Spectacular achievement is always preceded by spectacular preparation.” 

To that end, materials for the October 1, 2011 Leadership Academy have been posted in the Downloads area of our web site.  Please feel free to browse these items prior to the session in Topeka.  Contact your District Deputy Grand Master or the Grand Lodge office if you have any problems getting access to the download area.


Oklahoma Masonic Indian Degree draws 279

In the waning September 24th sunlight at an abandoned Silverdale rock quarry near Arkansas City, 279 Master Masons gathered from as far away as Oklahoma City and Leavenworth for a spectacular outdoor event. At the conclusion of a delicious steak dinner cooked over a charcoal fire, Silverdale Quarry lodge was opened in due form and turned over to the Oklahoma Masonic Indian Degree Team who, in native American costume, exemplified the second section of the third degree on a live candidate. The team which formed in 1948, conferred their 999th degree that evening in an outdoor lodge with furnishings hewn from the nearby limestone.


Schedule for Oct 1 Leadership Academy


Schedule for 2011 Leadership Academy

8:00 Grand Lodge building open with coffee and donuts

9:00 Statehouse opens

9:15 Welcoming, introductions, comments. All, House Chamber

9:30 Plenary;

  • Typological Leadership Cliff Porter, House Chamber

10:30 The Wardens;

  • Strength and Establishment of the Lodge; Cole Presley,House Chamber
  • The Changing Face of the Average American Male; Statistics and Trends; Tim Hamilton, Senate Chamber
  • Wives Section Block 1; Wives team; First floor committee room
  • Secretary’s Block 1; General Introduction to the Role of the Secretary, Grand Secretariat, Old Supreme Court chamber

11:30 Strategic Planning;

  • Strategic Planning for Lodges – Jumpstart; Rick Reichert, House Chamber
  • Rethinking the nature of investigations in the lodge; Cliff Porter, Senate Chamber
  • Wives Section Block 2; Wives team, First floor committee room
  • Membership policies, forms and paperwork, and records/minutes; Joey Stiles, Old Supreme Court chamber

LUNCH in blocks. Secretaries and Wives offsetting Warden’s attendees.

 

1:00 Questions, answers and case studies; Don Newman, House Chamber

  • Wives Section Block 3; Wives team, First floor committee room
  • Secretary’s Block 3; TBD Grand Secretariat, Old Supreme Court chamber

1:30 Lodge Finance Course; Vernon Butt, House Chamber

  • Defining the Culture of a Lodge and it’s Experience; Cliff Porter, Senate Chamber
  • Wives Section Block 4; Wives team; First floor committee room
  • Secretary’s Block 4; TBD Grand Secretariat, Old Supreme Court chamber

2:30 Lodge and the Law; Michael Halleran House Chamber

  • The Effect of Recessions and the Business Cycle on Future Planning; Tim Hamilton, Senate Chamber
  • Wives Section Block 5; Tour of GL Building/Explanation of Lodge room Wives team, Grand Lodge building, Grand Lodge’s Lodge room
  • Secretary’s Block 5; Database Overview Bob Pfuetze, Old Supreme Court chamber

3:30 Final comments, questions, answers, thanks, etc. All, House chamber

  • Wives Section Block 6; Explanation of Lodge room Wives team, Grand Lodge — Lodge Room
  • Secretary’s Block 6; Q & A from database users,
  • Time permitting Qs and As; in general from Secretaries Grand Secretariat, Old Supreme Court chamber

4:00 Policing of materials/debris & Departure from statehouse; complete Grand Lodge building open for tours, store open, available for questions or concerns.


District 35 lodges jump-start Strategic Plans

The flyer beckoned Masters, Wardens, and any other officer or brother with a stake in their lodge’s future.  And they came.  Hosted by Cole Presley, District 35’s Deputy Grand Master, fifteen brothers representing eight lodges invested a September Saturday in a Morland cafe discussing problems, plans, and getting ideas to chart their way forward.  “These brothers jump-started their planning and we all came away with tons of great ideas”, said Rick Reichert, Grand Senior Warden.  “Strategic planning may sound like a big mountain to climb,” says Brother Presley, “but once we break it down, organize it, and put it to paper, it is a lot simpler than it first looks.”  Brother Reichert hopes that the participating lodges will share their plans and ideas for posting to the Vision 2020 area on the Grand Lodge web site so other lodges in need of ideas can get their plans going.  Next opportunity to get live help is the October 1st Leadership Academy in Topeka.


Starting Your Strategic Planning

Still stewing on how to get going on your lodge’s strategic plan?  When asked why there is no standard Grand Lodge planning template, Rick Reichert, GSW, responded, “The plan is secondary to doing the planning.  Whether you chisel your brief plan in stone, create a 30 minute slide show, or detail it in a one-inch bound volume, the most important thing is that you’ve thought about what you want your lodge to be in 5 – 8 years and then devise a way to get there.”

Take a look at the Vision 2020 page.   One of the resources there is entitled, Strategic Planning for Lodges, which talks about why planning is a good thing.  There are accompanying slides to help you motivate your lodge officers to get excited about the planning process.  External links take you to sites that guide you easily through the planning process using a variety of methods and complexity.  Browse through the links and see if there is a version that suits your style.

Check the Vision 2020 page often.  Notes from the 35th District planning session  in September and materials for the Leadership Academy in October will be added in the next few weeks.


Grand Lodge Phones Up and Running

In an email message today, Joesphe Stiles, Assistant Grand Secretary, reports that phone service to the Grand Lodge has been restored.


Grand Lodge Phone System Down

Due to last week’s storm, the phone system at the Grand Lodge remains down, although the Grand Lodge building is open.


Fall Kansas Mason plus Online Survey

Well in advance of the September 15 deadline, the Fall 2011 issue of the Kansas Mason is now online.

This issue features information and a registration form on the new Grand Lodge Leadership Academy along with details of that event which will be held in the Kansas Statehouse on October 1.

In addition, the issue also features insightful commentary by Grand Senior Warden Rick Reichert on Masonic unity which should not be missed.

Also in this issue,  J. Howard Duncan reviews Andrew Hammer’s Observing the Craft, and Nolan Sump provides answers to the burning questions of the Craft.

Our regularly featured departments, including columns by the Grand Secretary and the Grand Master, as well as Masonic news and events from around the state round out our Fall offering.

A lot has changed since we redesigned the Kansas Mason at the end of 2009—including our readership.

Our on-going commitment to the Craft in Kansas is to provide fresh and relevant content, add new content through our digital platforms, and build our visibility in Kansas Masonry and beyond. We are energized to continue our engagement with you—our readers—but we need your feedback.

So that we might better understand how to serve you, please complete this short reader’s survey.

We will publish the results in the next issue of the Kansas Mason.


Grand Lodge Offices Closed Due to Power Outage

A fast-moving thunderstorm that rolled through Topeka last night has knocked out power to the Grand Lodge offices.  The office will be closed on Friday, August 19, but will reopen on Monday, August 22.