Masonic Ritual is the foundation of our fraternity; the sole characteristic that identifies us as Masons. Over the past few years the Grand Lodge of Nebraska has placed a heightened focus on improving the quality of Masonic Ritual, and thereby the quality of Masonry, across the State. In 2014, to facilitate this goal, the Grand Lodge of Nebraska implemented annual Individual Proficiency Classes in several Nebraska communities. Guided by Grand Lodge Officers and Deputy Grand Custodians, these classes provide motivation, structure, and assistance to brothers wanting to learn and perfect our Masonic Ritual. The Classes have, in a few short years, greatly increased the number of individually proficient Nebraska Masons.
In addition to the Individual Proficiency Classes, the Grand Lodge College of Ritual has introduced Full-Form Answer Classes. These classes are being offered throughout the state and are held for thirty days on four consecutive Sundays. See below for information.
How can I get involved in an Individual Proficiency Class?The Grand Lodge of Nebraska currently offers Individual Proficiency Classes in the following locales:
Omaha Area Individual Proficiency ClassClass Date & Time: Third Sunday of every Month at 5:00 p.m.
Class Location: West Omaha Masonic Center, 2424 South 135th Avenue, Omaha, NE 68144
Point of Contact: Tyler S. Loontjer, (402) 660-6415
2018 Omaha Class Syllabus
Lincoln Area Individual Proficiency ClassClass Date & Time: Sundays at 2:00 p.m. (See Schedule)
Class Location: Lincoln Masonic Temple, 1635 L Street, Lincoln, NE 68508
Point of Contact: Brent Myers, 402-770-0901
Hastings Area Individual Proficiency ClassClass Location: Hastings Masonic Temple
Point of Contact: Roger Deininger, 402-984-5030
Sidney Area Individual Proficiency ClassClass Date & Time: Third or Fourth Sunday of every month at 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
12:30 p.m. Class Location: James L. Eatmon Lodge No. 294, 104 South Walnut Street, Kimball, NE 69145
2:00 p.m. Class Location: Frank Welch Lodge No. 75, 1830 Illinois Street, Sidney, NE 69162
Point of Contact: Patrick Barger, 402-475-4640
Wayne Area Individual Proficiency ClassPoint of Contact: Michael Tomasiewicz, 402-838-9977
INDIVIDUAL PROFICIENCY CLASS: ONE-ON-ONE LEARNINGWe are excited to announce that as another result of the newly-created “Deputy Grand Custodian At Large” program, the Individual Proficiency Class for full ritual certification is changing! We are now offering this year-long class to students in a one-on-one setting with a DGC, personally tailored to your learning style, schedule, and pace. Using the same proven curriculum that has graduated over 100 students certified individually proficient in the Nebraska Work since 2013, a DGC will work personally with you and provide instruction and helpful techniques that make it easier to learn. Your personal class session can start at any time, any place.
Register online at http://bit.ly/glneproficiency and select the option for Individual Proficiency One-on-One Learning, or call the Grand Lodge office at 402-475-4640.
What are the objectives of the Individual Proficiency Class?The Individual Proficiency Class seeks to provide motivation, structure, and assistance to Nebraska Masons wanting to learn and perfect our Masonic Ritual. By the end of the annual class, graduates will:
What format is used to learn and perfect Masonic Ritual?The courses are presented in a combination of lectures and practical exercises. At the beginning of each class, students are evaluated on memorization of the previous class assignment. Students are evaluated at numerous way points by the Grand Custodian, a Grand Lodge Officer, or a Deputy Grand Custodian on their level of proficiency in the ritual. The decisions of the Grand Custodian, Grand Lodge Officer, and Deputy Grand Custodians are final.
Students are evaluated in a “Round Table” format: seated around a table, a designated student will recite the first few lines of the assignment. The student seated next to him will recite the next few lines. The designated speaker will continue to change until the first student is reached. This rotation repeats until the entire assignment is completed. Students are rotated often and never sit in the same order, therefore they must memorize and be prepared to recite all of the assignment, as they never know what part will be their responsibility. Students will be provided materials that highlight methods to remember ritual content and order.
The instructors hope that students will find themselves looking forward to attending class meetings. Attendance is not mandatory, but remedial assistance is difficult to justify if students frequently miss class. With the short time allotted, students risk their ability to be certified if they do not attend. Students may also request to test out early for any segment of instruction. If they fail in an early attempt they may continue the program and re-test with the rest of the class. We also ask that students be aware the class pace may need to be slowed or accelerated once its flow is established.
When a student successfully passes all three formal evaluations, he will be certified Individually Proficient by the Grand Custodian.
Full-Form Answers ClassesAs part of our ongoing effort to inspire new Masons to stay with us for their entire life, we are now offering the firm, meaningful foundation they have been asking for. Beginning the second Sunday in September in Omaha and other area locations, as well as in North Platte at Platte Valley Lodge, the Grand Lodge will be conducting a 30-day program that meets once each week. Hosted by a Deputy Grand Custodian, this class focuses on the full-form Answers in the Entered Apprentice Degree. After completing the assigned curriculum coupled with home-study/lodge mentor assistance, the student will be well-prepared to recite the Answers not only for proficiency advancement to the Fellow Craft degree, but to build a solid understanding of what he experienced during the ceremony and be able to communicate it to others throughout his lifelong Masonic journey.
This class is for everyone regardless of their current rank status, not just an EA Mason. All seasoned Masons—especially those assigned to mentor new ones--are encouraged to attend these classes as well. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the EA Questions now; a good leader understands life is a continuous learning process and the only thing to be ashamed of is an overall refusal to learn something new.
Also starting the second Sunday in September at Mercer Lodge in Omaha, the Grand Lodge will offer an identically-structured class focused on the full-form Answers in the Fellow Craft Degree. To round it out, we will launch a full-form class focusing on the Answers in the Master Mason Degree at Bellevue Lodge on the second Sunday as well. Which degree class the student seeks will determine the lodge location he travels to. For the North Platte sessions, all three degree classes will occur at Platte Valley Lodge.
Classes in all locations will meet four times on Sundays for 30 days.
We will also unveil the new Entered Apprentice Questions and Answers mini-cipher in this class! Fellow Craft and Master Mason Questions and Answers mini-ciphers are currently under development.
In addition, all graduates who never learned the Questions and Answers before these classes began will receive a separate, distinctly different Grand Master’s Coin for Full-form Proficiency Excellence coinciding with the specific class they successfully complete. Thirty (30) days following the start of each of these three classes, students will graduate and another trio of classes will start. This allows your new candidates to remain engaged in Masonry between their degrees and still reach their goal of becoming a Master Mason in due time. And they’ll be armed from the start with the knowledge they need to fully comprehend and embrace our fraternity through investing a part of themselves in it—and much less likely to walk away.
Due to the increased availability of instructors through the new “Deputy Grand Custodian At Large” program, the Grand Lodge will offer this class in any part of the state where there is sufficient interest.
Although not mandatory, Worshipful Masters should offer and encourage this method of learning to their new Masons. Don’t assume they won’t want to do this; research indicates this is EXACTLY what most new Masons want! And remember, these classes are open to all Masons.
Register online at http://bit.ly/glneproficiency or call the Grand Lodge office to be added to the list.