BROTHERHOOD FOR LIFE!
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It is with my deepest gratitude that I express thanks to you for allowing me the high honor of serving as Grand Master in Oklahoma during the year of 2023. The greatest honor a man can receive is the selection by his peers to lead them and I am both humbled and privileged to have such an opportunity. Patti and I will make each day count towards the betterment of our Jurisdiction for our Masons and our Families in Oklahoma. I give thanks to the numerous Masons who have stepped forward to serve our Grand Jurisdiction as Grand Lodge Officers, Elected and Appointed, also our District Deputy Grand Masters and Deputy Grand Lecturers around the State.
In Oklahoma, our Masonic family is strong and united! All of our Masonic Appendant, Concordant and Androgynous Bodies are working hard to carry our teachings and values forward. We all agree the future of our communities and State rest heavily on the success of our Masonic Jurisdiction. Let’s all continue to work together to bring new members into the local Lodges, Chapters and other Masonic bodies. We will then have the honor of handing to the next generation, a Fraternity and jurisdiction they are proud to call their own.
We have many challenges facing our fraternity and it will require all of our efforts to face them. We must bring to the forefront of our minds the experience and education we are providing our Brothers and ensure that experience is worthy of their time, their efforts, their purse and their labors. This begins with all of us. Remember, at the very first handshake we are projecting Masonry to the potential Mason. If we do not project the tenets of our Fraternity in our words, deeds and actions, we are not doing everything we can to improve the current conditions. If we do not serve the needs of our members in every way possible, we will fail to retain their interests.
The mission statement that I am setting forth this year is “Masons are Mentors!” That means all of us. From the youngest Entered Apprentice to the most seasoned Past Master. We are all Mentors to the Masons that are here or will come behind us. Our Masons will all have questions, and we should stand ready to answer them or help them find a path to pursuing the answer. Mentorship is not by accident, but it is Life on Life and the generations of men who came before practiced that action which is how our Fraternity has survived. We must continue this in every aspect of our Fraternity.
When a good man approaches the door of Freemasonry, we can be sure they possess two things. A story of their individual life prior to finding a lodge, and a hope of being a part of something that will enhance the experience they are having or change the path they are on. If we fail to realize and value either of those, we may very well have lost them even before we have begun to accept him.
Each man who enters our doors has a story. We ought to do our best to find out what his story is. Where is he from? What are his dreams? Who is he? Does he have family? What are his likes and dislikes? What does he stake his greatest achievement? What are his principal challenges? This will allow us to begin a relationship with the man who has approached our great Fraternity.
I believe if we take the time to listen to his answer to one our very first categorical question, “Whence come you?” We will start to make the experience of Freemasonry mean as much to him as it does to each of us. Value is the key to keeping a new Mason engaged. Through true and deliberate mentorship and leadership we can give a valuable experience to all of our Brother Masons and develop a real desire to attend lodge, extend brotherly love and cultivate the lessons of our great Fraternity. Find out about your Brothers and encourage them to share the story they come with. Also, share your story with them. This creates the bond Masonry holds as the strong foundation upon which to build trust and confidence, fellowship and Brotherly Love.
When we hear this year’s motto, “Brotherhood for Life,” do not intend to only communicate it as a matter of time, or that our Brotherly relationships with each other will last until we are no longer part of this physical world. It also means we find in this Brotherhood, a way to live a full and complete life with love and laughter, joy and affection with other Men who choose to walk the same path of goodness, moral uprightness, temperance and tolerance.
This unique fraternal experience gives the joy of a full life which allows us to learn from each other and build ourselves by setting to work the tools we are given during our degrees and ceremonies. For the full experience of true Masonry, a good and full life, our Brotherhood is for Life. We are here to learn, to listen and to give as well as receive, all the benefits of that well spent fraternal life.
My Brothers, remember to always look for, express and enjoy, our BROTHERHOOD FOR LIFE!
Glen Allen Chaney, M:.O:.H:.
Grand Master 2022-23