The North Carolina Mason

July/August 2018

North Carolina Mason

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July/August 2018 The North Carolina Mason Page 5 E very year I look forward to the Wilkerson College Lodge Sympo- sium and Ritual Compe- tition. It never fails to be enlightening. On June 30, with the sun blazing away at meridian, I was seated among the Craft in the cool, rarefied air of the Greensboro Masonic Temple, listening to world- class Masonic speakers and thinking about the richness of Masonic education in North Carolina. We are blessed. We have Masons who live up to their answer to the question "What came you here to do?" anks to the steady labors of a number of brethren, ranging from newly raised Master Masons to sitting Grand Masters and Past Grand Masters, our jurisdiction boasts the finest and most compre- hensive Masonic education program in the country. With advances in information technology, pent-up demand for quality Masonic educa- tion and the energy of brethren who are passionate about the subject, the 21st Century has seen quantum leaps in the production of new programs in our state. e rest of the country is taking notice. I'm not saying North Carolina Masons were groping in the dark until our generation discovered Masonic education. e Lodge System of Masonic Education (LSME), issued in 1936, is one of the most impactful tools we have. With LSME, the lodge arranges for a group of experienced Masons to instruct the candidate and new Mason. As the preface to the LSME states, "It is simple, practical and employed under the direction and immediate authority of the lodge. It works where education is most needed and appreciated. e method, when used consistently and intelligently, guarantees positive results. e candidate meets with the committee once before receiving the First Degree; once after the First Degree; once after the Second Degree; and twice after the ird Degree – five times in all." Here's the cool 21st Century part: Last year the Grand Lodge Committee on Public Rela- tions made the LSME available as a podcast. e text and audio files are on the Grand Lodge website. So is every program described here. Just click on the Educational Resources tab ( ). Program for Progress, which dates to 1996, distills a tremendous amount of Masonic experience and common sense into a guide for orienting and educating candidates, developing leadership skills for lodge officers, and keeping members involved through communication, continuing education and activities. Every lodge officer should review Program for Prog- ress at least annually, and act on its lessons. It is timeless and it is a goldmine. Wilkerson College and Wilkerson College Lodge #760 were founded in 2002 and are the catalysts for many of the newer Masonic education initiatives that set us apart. Wilkerson College is North Carolina's school for Masonic leadership development. Its mission is to help the future lodge master prepare for his year in the east. Wilkerson meets in the spring for three weekend sessions (Friday evening through Saturday afternoon) at the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford, WhiteStone in Greensboro and the Grand Lodge office in Raleigh. Applications for admission are accepted beginning Oct. 1, and deacons have first priority in admis- sion. Students get to know Grand Lodge officers and are able to build networks with Masonic leaders from across the state. I've never met a graduate who didn't benefit from Wilkerson's sessions on lodge management and leadership, and who didn't value the relationships formed over those three weekends. Financial aid is available, and many lodges pay part or all of the tuition. It's a win for lodges to have Wilkerson graduates in the chairs. We have the data to prove that lodges led by Wilkerson College graduates perform better. Since its inception, 524 Masons have gradu- ated. e shocker is that of 371 lodges in the state, 221 have never sent a student. e college is named in honor of WB and retired Marine Gen. H. Lloyd Wilkerson, one of the finest men, Masons and leaders I have ever known. Wilkerson College Lodge #760 was formed by the first class of Wilkerson College graduates. ey wanted to extend their experience in the college by providing Masonic education programs across the state. It's a traveling lodge and meets on the second Saturday of the even-numbered months. Speakers and topics are uniformly excellent and program announcements are posted on the Grand Lodge's Facebook page. e annual symposium and ritual competi- tion are usually held on the second Saturday in June unless speaker schedules dictate otherwise, as was the case this year. From the Grand master What came you here to do? By Speed Hallman Grand Master see HALLMAN, page 9 Find out more about our educational programs at the Grand Lodge's website

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