Bob Moninger was installed as the 153rd Grand Master of Masons of Nebraska on Saturday, February 2, 2019.
There is great concern about membership numbers and the direction they are going. As we all know, our membership has been in a steady decline for many, many years. Suspension for non-payment of dues and the Great Architect of the Universe calling Brothers to that Celestial Lodge above far exceeds the number of men which are raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason each year. This is not a problem that is unique to Nebraska, but to nearly every jurisdiction in the United States.
To address Membership, we will be implementing a simple program which each Lodge can conduct themselves in an effort to attract new members. There is no silver bullet to solve this long-term problem and this program can be modified by each Lodge to fit their individual circumstances.
Last year we only raised 127 Master Masons.The average for the previous 5 years was 203 Master Masons per year. The previous five years before that averaged 298. My Brothers, something needs to be done. I am asking each Lodge to embrace this program in an effort to change this trend. I am also asking each Brother to give serious consideration of becoming a spark in their lodge in the recruiting and mentoring process of not only replacing themselves, but recruiting one more for growth. There will be many who say we can’t put on the degrees so why do we even bother. We have DGC’s and DGC’s at Large which we can call on to assist in conferring of degrees and putting together degree teams. Together we can make a difference.
I would also ask the membership committee of each Lodge to make a greater effort in calling Brothers who have not paid their dues and who might be subject to suspension in an effort to determine what the Lodge can do to retain them. What about Brothers who have been suspended over the past few years? Are we reaching out to them requesting them to rejoin the Fraternity or are we just forgetting about them? I fear once a brother has been suspended he is just forgotten and no more effort is made to contact them. I would also ask the membership committee of each Lodge to carefully read the retention manual on the Grand Lodge website. While I have mentioned the Grand Lodge website I am asking all Masons to check out the information that is contained in the many publications. A Brother recently discovered there is a wealth of information on the Grand Lodge website that he did not know even existed.
Leadership seminars will held across the state as was done last year. They will again be held in various locations with the goal of assisting brothers in governing their Lodges. Much can also be learned from the cross-pollination of ideas among Lodges at these seminars. Please make a concerted effort to attend a seminar close to you. Dates and locations will be announced in the coming weeks.
Financial security is a concern for everyone. We will be exploring an initiative to generate funds for the Nebraska Masonic Endowment Foundation. Whether it may be an immediate financial gift or consideration of a gift left in a will, every bit helps. Ritual improvement has grown by leaps and bounds in terms of progress in the last few years thanks to the initial effort of MW Patrick Barger. The DGC’s and DGC’s at Large will be called on to assist more Lodges in becoming proficient in opening and closing along with working with Brothers who desire to become individually proficient. Together we can raise the bar in improving our ritual.
Public Relations will be working with Membership and Leadership committees on the completion of a video promoting our fraternity among other projects to put Masonry in front of the public in a positive manner. It truly an honor to serve the Craft and I look forward to working with each Lodge this year as we further our efforts in the advancement of Masonry. Together we can.
2019-2020 Grand Lodge Officers
|Grand Master||Robert W. Moninger||Burwell|
|Deputy Grand Master||Ronald D. Stites||Papillion|
|Grand Senior Warden||James A. Carlton||Bellevue|
|Grand Junior Warden||Alex F. Straatmann||Kearney|
|Grand Secretary||Reginald S. Kuhn, PGM||Lincoln|
|Grand Senior Deacon||John L. Millington||Lincoln|
|Grand Junior Deacon||John B. Ferguson||Kimball|
|Grand Chaplain||John R. Herbolsheimer||Gretna|
|Grand Orator||Michael W. Stuhr||Omaha|
|Grand Historian||Kevin H. Scheele||Waco|
|Grand Custodian||Delmar A. Jones||Kearney|
|Grand Marshal||Robert C. King||Valley|
|Grand Senior Steward||Stanley L. Weidner||Bassett|
|Grand Junior Steward||Jock H. Faris||Alliance|
|Grand Tyler||Larry D. Donner||Burwell|
|Personal Rep of the GM||Michael D. Beall||North Platte|
|Personal Rep of the GM||Tyler S. Loontjer||Bellevue|
|Personal Rep of the GM||Wayne E. Vian||Grand Island|
Nebraska Living Past Grand Masters
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|First Name||LastName||Term Start|