I trust that you and your Lodge are deep into the important work of the work of the Craft. With Degree work comes the need for diplomas, ciphers, Bibles, and lesson books. Be sure to order the items you need in a timely fashion making sure you have them on hand at the appropriate time. In addition to the diploma, we send a dues card, welcome letter from the Grand Master, Rookie Program paperwork, and a Ben Franklin DVD in the package. (Note: Order dues cards for new affiliate and Foreign affiliate members when vote them into your Lodge.)
As you send out dues notices, be sure to include the Grand Lodge Assessment as part of the total due. Because the member liability insurance coverage in not collected as part of the assessment any longer, the billing for this year is: the Per Capita of $14.10 remains the same; a $2.00/member assessment for the Maine Mason Magazine; and a $1.00/member assessment for a contribution to the George Washington Memorial. The total per member assessment to be sent to Grand Lodge with the Return is $17.10.
You can make the filing of the paper Annual Return form obsolete and have current information about your Lodge and its members at your fingertips by signing on to Grand Lodge database. In addition easy form preparation, e-mail, mailing labels, meeting records, dues cards, financial records, reports, and so much more are the working tools awaiting you within the database. Make your Lodge the beneficiary of these powerful tools.
For those Secretaries not on the system, you must file Monthly Status Reports with this Office by the 5th of the month. The data is essential to the orderly work of the Grand Lodge. If you use the database to update information, you need not file the monthly status report.
The Lodge Open Houses is scheduled for October 19th. Don’t forget to order any materials you may need for this fall’s Open House. The Membership Committee has banners, membership packets, DVDs, and other material to assist you in making the Open House a vital part of your Lodge year. If you choose not to hold a formal Open House, plan a Lodge “spruce-up” day, a Lodge family picnic, or other public event and be ready to greet curious members of the public should they drop by. They key is to let your community know that Freemasonry is a vital presence in your area.
There will be a Secretaries’ Meeting in each District two hours before dinner at the official District Meeting. We will meet and discuss various aspects of Secretarial duties as they relate to this Office. I look forward to working with you to find ways of make both of our jobs more productive.
Also note, extended office hours. Mondays evenings the Office will be open until 7:30 PM unless that conflicts with a District Meeting.
Remember: No job is finished until the paperwork is done.
Thanks for all you do,
Mark E. Rustin