Ring! Ring! Hey, It's The Worshipful Master!
Twitter, Facebook, Internet, e-mail? How about using the telephone? You remember, that old-fashioned device that sits on a table and rings occasionally?
Well, the Grand Lodge of Connecticut is all about offering varied communication vehicles for its lodges so they can better update their members and encourage participation in events.
When then Deputy Grand Master Charlie Buck was in Philadelphia at the July 2009 Northeast Conference of Grand Masters, he heard an interesting presentation by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania. They used an Internet program named Call 'em All, through which lodges send short voice messages to all their members through a single telephone call. At the Philadelphia conference, Bro. Charlie heard that attendance in some lodges had risen up to 40% as a result of the program.
In February, at the Conference of Grand Masters of North America, it was found that the grand jurisdictions of Illinois, North Dakota, Virginia, and New Hampshire had similar programs in place and their leaders were very enthusiastic about the results.
Now, Grand Master Buck has instituted the program in Connecticut. Call 'em All is just what it sounds like. Worshipful Masters are easily able to record a telephone message that can be sent at a predetermined time to every member of their lodge who lives in Connecticut.
On Sunday, April 25 at 5:00 p.m., MW Charlie Buck sent a message to 38 Worshipful Masters inviting them to participate in Call 'em All. His message informed them of how it could be important for their lodge, and what they would have to do to join the effort. Grand Master Buck further related that the cost would be borne by the Grand Lodge for the first year.
"Call 'em All" is important because many members simply don't focus on when their lodge meets. Perhaps a certain day of a certain week of the month can be confusing; a simple reminder is all some brothers need. Since many Masons may not be reachable by electronic means, the telephone is an important tool for a lodge to connect to its members.
As lodges implement the program, brothers are urged to request that their families pass on the message if they answer the phone. The message will also be left if the call reaches an answer machine. For those with caller ID, calling the displayed number will replay the message.
Another important use for the Call 'em All program could be to gather members on short notice, perhaps to perform a Masonic funeral. Phone trees often break down, e-mails sometimes aren't viewed, so the ‘old-fashioned’ technology of the telephone may be our best means of timely communication.