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HOW TO ORGANIZE A FELLOWSHIP NIGHT


SECTION 17 - HIRAM'S HANDBOOK

Men are often attracted to Masonry through a family member or friend, who is a Mason and whom they respect. Often they join as the basis of that relationship alone, believing that some good men would only belong to a worthwhile institution.

But what of the men who have no family connection or whose masonic friends are not good at explaining masonry or its purposes? This question has confronted many Masters who know that there are many men in his community who would make good Masons and who would join if they just knew more about it. For some men, many Masons feel uncertain about explaining the Craft to non-Masons.

In response to this problem, Grand Master George Pulkkinen organized a series of Fellowship Nights with the purpose of explaining masonry to non-Masons. Over a period of time, he and R.W. Brian Paradis learned what appeals to non-Masons and developed a format that has been successful everywhere it has been used. Lodges or Districts are, of course, free to try something different. If you want something which is tried and true, and yields results, the formula on the attached sheets worked everywhere it has been used.

TWELVE SIMPLE (but essential) STEPS FOR ASSURING
GROWTH IN THE MASONIC FRATERNITY
BY PLANNING AND EXECUTING A SUCCESSFUL FELLOWSHIP NIGHT

1. Help Brethren realize they want/need to have candidates in their lodges to survive and grow and spread the good works of Freemasonry (Lodges must raise 5% of their base memberships every year for 20 years to replace the members of today who average 64 years old.)

2. Select a Lodge Membership Leader for each lodge. He must be a man who understands the need to raise 5% of the base membership annually. And he must be a man who gets things done.

3.Help the Brethren identify two friends/relatives they would like to share their Freemasonry with. Suggest they consider as prospects their sons, brothers, sons-in-law, cousins, the men they fish or golf or bowl with, or go to church with. Just two names because the Brethren have a responsibility to get these guests to the meeting, and two guests (plus their wives) is about all anyone can easily handle.

4. Get the names and addresses of these two men on a guest sheet and make certain they get to the lodge Membership Leader. (Sheet attached.)

5.  Choose a Fellowship Night date. (IT TAKES 8-10 WEEKS TO ADEQUATELY PREPARE!)

6. Lodge Membership Leaders should send invitations to guests selected to attend. All invitations for the same Fellowship Night should be mailed at the same time, about two weeks prior to the FN. (Sample invitation attached.)

7. 3-4 days after invitations are mailed, each brother should contact his invited guests and tell them ďIíll be by to pick you (and your lady) up at 6 p.m.Ē Then do it. We are inviting these guests to an evening of friendship. Itís pretty unrealistic to expect a man to show up alone at a strange place. And itís not a very friendly thing to do, either. Remember, the guest doesnít know where the invitation came from until his friend -- our brother -- calls and tells him.

8. 2-3 days before the Fellowship Night, the brother should call his invited guests again to remind them of the event and that heíll be by to pick them up.

9..Fellowship Nights work well with 6:30 suppers followed by 7:30 meetings with everyone on the; way home by 9 p.m.

10..Program should be kept simple with a tight focus. The message should be Freemasonry... what it is...what it does. ..and why. Itís important to realize that most of our guests probably know nothing of the Craft or its structure, or its concordant bodies. Attempts to talk about too much makes: for a confusing meeting with a garbled message. Part of the great beauty of Freemasonry is its simple, timeless truths. Thereís plenty of time to talk about our other parts later on.

11. Remember! Your Grand Lodge Membership Team is ready to help you with your Fellowship Nights. We'll do the entire program if you like.  Another important fact: the 23 Fellowship Nights already put on by the team have enjoyed a success rate of between 65-100%. That means between 6 and 10 of every 10 guests at every meeting have asked for a petition.

First Guestís Name/Address _____________________________________

Second Guests Name/Address ___________________________________

Your Name/Lodge/Phone Number ________________________________

First Guestís Name/Address _____________________________________

Second Guestís Name/Address ___________________________________

Your Name/Lodge/Phone Number _________________________________

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Last modified: March 22, 2014