A couple of Saturdays ago, I attended a Leadership Retreat for the Officers of the Valley of Syracuse, AASR.
The session was very well attended by our Valley Officers both present & past as well as some from neighboring Valleys as well. An enjoyable time was had by all and here is a couple of things that were mentioned by attendees:
Several Brothers mentioned the great programs being spear-headed by the Southern Jurisdiction and would like to see the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction follow suit.
One Brother mentioned that there seems to be a trend to dumb down our Rituals and Teachings - many were in agreement and expressed disappointment in this trend.
I am in agreement with both of these observations. A lot of Brothers come to the organization looking for "more light" - sometimes light of a more esoteric nature, only to attend a degree that seems to be a badly written version of a morality play that has been revised to death to be more likable to a "modern" pallet. There's a treasure trove of symbolism in those Scottish Rite degrees and it seems to be a shame that we in the NMJ have to constantly look to the SJ for what we crave.
It's probably up to those of us here in the trenches to get something started at the ground level - maybe that's how it been done in the SJ only to be picked up & supported bu the Supreme Council. I don't know.
I have been tempted to get a group together locally to study this sort of thing but under a general "Blue Lodge" heading. Maybe I should get it together with some Scottish Rite Brothers, start with a study of the Symbolic Degrees and then move onto the 4th though the 32nd Degree. What do you think? I welcome all suggestions and idea, especially from anyone in the area.
It was announced at our gathering that I, along with fellow Brothers Norm Kruth and Harley DeShane, had received the Valley's Dedicated Service Award and we are therefore eligible to wear the Blue Hat pictured above. Wish me luck as I enter my two year term as our Consistorial Orator and Secretary of our Knights of St. Andrew Chapter.