I hope Thanksgiving was a great time for all of you and that you are looking forward to the Holidays. The time for Annual Returns is nearly upon us. For those of you who are using the database system, I have good news.
You will be able to print your Annual Return from the MORI site, sign it, attach the check, and mail it in. As long as you have kept up to date records, the Return printout from MORI will take the place of hand written form. The time and energy you have invested in learning this system will bear fruit in the Annual Return and many other ways going forward.
For those who chose not to use the database, please use the Form 8 that was mailed to you earlier in the year. Also, please remember that you must send monthly status reports (due by the 5th of the following month) and Certificate of Election Reports as soon as the new officers are installed. NOTE: On the Form 8 Annual Return, the officers listed are those who were in office on 12/31/2012. It is this date that determines the reported information. If you need forms, they are available on the Grand Lodge website — https://www.mainemason.org/resources/glforms.asp or by contacting the Grand Lodge Office.
A complete list of forms, books, Lodge supplies and other items for sale by this office will soon be available on the Website also. Lodges have an open account and may order by e-mail or telephone and be invoiced for their items.
Individuals may now use credit cards to place orders by telephone or in person at the office. Individual orders that require items to be shipped will be subject to a $2.00 shipping and handling fee. We hope you will find this new service convenient and helpful as you shop for the things Masonic you need.
The Grand Chaplains need your help. One of their responsibilities is to contact the widow of a recently deceased brother on behalf of his Lodge and Grand Lodge. It is truly an important outreach. Will you help them by going through the member records of your Lodge and making sure the spouse’s information is present and accurate? We committed ourselves to care for our brother’s widow. Let’s help the Grand Chaplains reach out in a time of grief.
The operative masons use mortar to build structures that last. The knowledge of how to mix the mortar was critical to their success. Cathedrals then and now are witness to their ability to share that information across generations.
As speculative Masons, the mortar we use is information which allows for strong decision making. The decisions we make build a strong basis for the building of the Craft going forward. Without the “mortar” we need, the potential for failure is great. We must not fail. We committed ourselves to represent the Supreme Architect as we make good men better and, through them, make the world a better place. As secretaries, we must provide the Craft with the best information we can. The decisions made with that information make all the difference.
I wish you and yours a joyous and sublime holiday season. I look forward to our work in the year ahead. Changing systems and learning new procedures is a challenge. Good men thrive on challenge. As with the generations before us, we will meet the challenge and continue to serve the Craft with fraternal commitment.
Mark E. Rustin