Presentation No. 1 – Lexington Lodge – Strength in Fewness: Sins of the Fathers. By Bro. John Bizzack. – The presentation will focus on the issues of the questionable perpetuity of American Freemasonry and examine the factual history leading to and causing the ravages of the five phases of rapid expansion, failure to pass on aim, purpose, and heritage from generation to generation over the past 230 years.
Presentation 2 - Lexington Lodge – Evolving the existing Lodge culture into a Lodge Community – The presentation offers a glimpse of successes met in changing a worn out lodge culture into a vibrant lodge community by focusing on the wants of the majority of active and involved brothers.
Presentation 3 - Tippecanoe – What Did You Expect When the Lights Turned On? By Worshipful Brother Bathgate, Worshipful Brother Woerl - What did you expect when the blindfold was removed, when the lights turned on? What did you expect when you came to your first stated Lodge meeting? What did you expect when you joined the Lodge for dinner? You probably expected what our forefathers experienced. An awe-inspiring experience filled with music and light. You even thought the stated meetings would be interesting and would be educational and inspiring. So did we. But it wasn’t.
We realized we had choices. We chose to initiate the change in our Lodge in the hopes it would be successful. We first began to investigate what else was out there, how many other Brothers thought this way, and what materials already existed that we could learn from. We wanted to return to how our ritual was originally done. We thought it should be easy! It wasn’t. We met resistance but with many changes, Tippecanoe Lodge transformed itself and its members. No one has said, “I want to go back to the way we used to do it.”.
Presentation 4 - Tippecanoe – Our Journey Forward by Bro. Jeff Okrutny. - How did Tippecanoe Lodge emerge from a small-town Lodge in a shrinking District to become a Lodge with state-wide recognition for excellence in Freemasonry? It’s certainly not a large Lodge. Something has transpired to inspire the members to return to traditional Masonic values and the excellent practice of Freemasonry. Younger members have been attracted to petition the Lodge and then to become active as Lodge officers. A stated meeting may have two Masonic visitors or as many as twelve. What are they visiting to see? This is one of two presentations from Tippecanoe Lodge. “Our Journey Forward” is a summary written from the new Secretary’s desk. We have resumed lost traditions, we have established good dinners with great food, elevated Masonic education as the first item on the agenda and have focused on providing an “awe inspiring experience” for each of our candidates with music, real candles and intentional darkness.
Presentation 5 - Lodge Vitruvian – Music in the Lodge by Bro. Sam Lawson. The material will cover various ways in which music has been a part of lodge life in tyled lodge, in open settings, the greater influence of musician Masons, and advice from old as well as contemporary sources for the use of music in lodge work. Specific examples are drawn from Anderson's Constitutions, notable Freemason musicians, published Masonic hymnals of different centuries. The program will end with a musical benediction to all Lodges taken from a poem by Brother Robert Burns and composed by presenter, Samuel J. Lawson. The format of the program will be lecture that includes musical examples performed by the presenter (not recorded).
Presentation 6 – Lodge Vitruvian - The European Concept Lodge: Education, Fellowship, and the Festive Board by Bro. Brent Arnold. - In 2002 Lodge Vitruvian was chartered as Indiana’s first European Concept Lodge. Inspired by Lodge Epicurean in Australia it strives to emulate the Lodge experience more typically found in Europe. Meeting only five times a year, focusing on efficient business meetings of less than one hour, and providing memorable fellowship and masonic education via the Festive Board Lodge Vitruvian strives to elevate the masonic experience.
This presentation will focus on how Lodge Vitruvian formed and the challenges faced when forming a Lodge attempting to follow a different tradition. It will address the history of European Concept Lodges as established by Lodge Epicurean in Australia and will describe the specific format used by Lodge Vitruvian to improve the Lodge experience. Finally, special emphasis will be given to the history, use, and format of Festive Boards, to how they differ from the Table Lodges, and to how attendees might adopt and adapt them for their particular Lodge experience.
Presentation 7 - Arts & Sciences – Making Masons through a thorough Education – The process of training new Brothers through individual instruction in the Master-Apprentice relationship and the use of Lodges of Instruction for Entered Apprentices, Fellows of the Craft, and Master Masons as practiced by Arts & Sciences Lodge will be offered as one example of how this duty can be fulfilled. By Bros. Richard Frederick and Clifford Nicol.
Presentation 8 - Caliburn Lodge part 1 – Historic data shows that 19th Century Lodges were smaller and had a strong culture of participation…very different from a typical Lodge today. Caliburn vision was to create a small intimate Lodge for younger men who value fellowship and want to enjoy a historic European traditional Masonic experience with solid degree work with strong social activities and charities. In addition to historic perspectives and Caliburn vision, the philosophy to target younger men through Caliburn’s 7 step “getting to know you” path from Prospect to Petition will be discussed.
Presentation 9 - Caliburn Lodge Part 2 – The process of a Petitioner becoming a Master Mason will be reviewed focusing on the slower pace to full appreciate his Masonic Journey. The types of Members of the Lodge are described and how the various needs of different age groups are met across generations. Last will be a review of the Culture of Engagement where the structure of the meetings, the dividing of lectures, social activities, and the Festive Boards all contribute to the Enlightenment Philosophy that is at the core of Freemasonry and the education in the Lodge.
Presentation 10 - Arts & Sciences - Passing the Lodge culture to the next generations. This will be a panel discussion involving representatives from all the Lodges participating in this conference. The focus of this discussion will be on the importance of assuring that the principles, goals, and practices that make a Lodge successful are passed from one generation of leaders to the next. Discovering strategies for purposefully teaching our descendants without promoting mindless compliance will be the primary goal of this discussion. All in attendance will be welcome to participate with questions and comments as the discussion progresses. Facilitated by Bro. Dan Hrinko.