Fostering an enduring, meaningful bond with new Masons is vital to our survival. Masonry ought to create a lifelong connection that can never be systematically and appropriately described and understood over coffee, packaged cookies, and cold sandwiches. I embolden you to mentor new Masons to embrace the time-honored wisdoms of our fraternity through the legend of Hiram Abiff. The former traditional practices insured candidates understood what it means to be a Mason and it prepared them for the possibility of service as a lodge officer and conferring degrees. This has never been about exact word memorization, but a solid understanding and fraternal bond with a Masonic mentor and the proper understanding of the Craft that all lodge leaders should possess. With the simplification of the process years ago, many of our newly obligated brethren are left unprepared and nervous about agreeing to serve as a lodge officer, and we find quickly increasing numbers of lodges unable to open, close, or confer degrees. You never know who will provide the spark of needed leadership for your lodge, our state, and the fraternity, but you’re not going to find him by stumbling across it. You have to grow it in new Masons. And not overnight.
In my travels this year I was frequently asked what advice I would give a Mason who seeks a leadership role in the fraternity. That is a very comprehensive issue, but as I narrow it to the context of Nebraska Masonry, I find one overarching cultural malady that is something every potential Masonic Leader should consider. In my tenure as a Grand Lodge Officer, and certainly during this year as Grand Master, I became increasingly exposed to those who stand on their Masonic title rather than on their accomplishments and contributions to the Craft. It is because of this I spent much of this year implementing and promoting leadership matters such as the immensely popular and well attended Lodge Leadership training conducted across the state by Past Grand Masters Bruce Baker, Reg Kuhn, Rex Moats, and Russ Reno, leaders all who stand on their accomplishments and contributions to the fraternity, not their titles. Further, I placed an emphasis on leadership in every Masonic Education Committee email to the Craft for which I was invited to comment, and as was heard in my installation speech, I firmly subscribe to the notion that:
Leadership is a Responsibility, Not a Reward.Men don’t deserve to be rewarded with leadership positions, titles, or the respect associated with it because of where they own property, no one else was available, or it was simply their turn. They merit it because they earned it, and continue to demonstrate that during their tenure as a leader.
Among other important matters, good leaders should use their “power” to work toward fixing an organizational problem. Opening and Closing twelve Regular Communications where all that is accomplished is paying the bills and such is not fixing a problem, but routine and preventive maintenance. If your lodge has no problems to fix, please share your recipe for success with the rest of Masonry.
My advice to any Mason seeking a leadership position in Masonry is:
earn your position and use it to get something done.
Our fraternity is a precious gift bestowed upon us by our ancestors. It serves as an aide to living a well-spent life, but only if you work toward it through the time-honored tenets of Masonry. This will never occur quickly and never ensues without effort. Properly understood and embraced, it has the power to transform your life if you subscribe to its ongoing teachings.
To my Brethren wherever dispersed across this jurisdiction and the rest of the world, I offer my humble and heartfelt thanks. You have shown me great respect and given me great inspiration. I wish each of you a fruitful, gratifying, and lifelong journey discovering the hidden mysteries of Masonry.
2018-2019 Grand Lodge Officers
|Grand Master||Patrick D. Barger||Lincoln|
|Deputy Grand Master||Robert W. Moninger||Burwell|
|Grand Senior Warden||Ronald D. Stites||Papillion|
|Grand Junior Warden||James A. Carlton||Bellevue|
|Grand Secretary||Reginald S. Kuhn, PGM||Lincoln|
|Grand Chaplain||Charles J. Odorizzi, III||Omaha|
|Grand Orator||Kevin H. Scheele||Waco|
|Grand Historian||Russell G. Reno, PGM||Lincoln|
|Grand Custodian||Scott J. Krieger, Sr., PGM||Hastings|
|Grand Marshal||John R. Fairlie||Omaha|
|Grand Senior Deacon||Alexander F. Straatmann||Kearney|
|Grand Junior Deacon||John L. Millington||Lincoln|
|Grand Senior Steward||Robert C. King||Valley|
|Grand Junior Steward||David C. Norton||Bellevue|
|Grand Tyler||Tyler S. Loontjer||Bellevue|
|Grand Musician||F. Graham House||Lincoln|
|Personal Rep of the GM||John R. Herbolsheimer||Gretna|
|Personal Rep of the GM||Michael E. Tomasiewicz||Tekamah|
|Personal Rep of the GM||David A. Wetrosky||Nebraska City|
Nebraska Living Past Grand Masters
The table below can be sorted by any of the column headers. Simply click on the column header to change the sort order.
|First Name||LastName||Term Start|