James (Jim) Baum
Southwest Regional Deputy General Grand Master
Well summer is over, and all of the Grand Sessions in the Southwest are done. It's time to start thinking about advancing station and proficiencies. We in the Southwest still have two major events coming up. First, we are going to the river; the Colorado River that is, for the annual Colorado River Fall Festival. It centers around the four of the five Southwest states but has drawn from across the United States and into several other countries. All three bodies of York Rite Masonry confer the degrees and orders. It is a great time to renew old friendships and establish new ones. It is also a time to observe degrees and orders form a different perspective as each Jurisdiction performs the degrees in a slightly (or much) different manner.
The next event is our Southwest Regional Conference to be held in downtown Las Vegas. For Cryptic Masonry this will be a challenging afternoon. A good deal of controversy has been brought up throughout the year regarding the General Grand Council's role and relationship with affiliated Grand Councils. A question has arisen as to the value of belonging to General Grand Council. Are you as a Grand Council or even a local Council getting your monies worth? We will be answering these questions and providing a perspective of what is being offered and what new programs are being unveiled at this meeting. A standardized ritual, Emergent Leadership training, education, and on-line management program to start.
I have strived in the Southwest to increase communications by giving each of the Grand Recorders in the Southwest all my contact information, which is to be sent out to the local Council Recorders. If you have not gotten this information, please (click here) to get my contact info or send me a message. The most important thing in our relationship is communications. If you can’t get to someone in the organization, you feel left out and that leads to questioning the relationship. We as an organization have pledged to serve you. That is what you paid for and that is what you should get.
One last comment. This conference is not just for the Grand Officers, but it is designed for ANYONE (who is affiliated with a Masonic organization - ladies, youth, etc. are also welcome). The Emergent Leadership program is designed for those coming into the leadership arena. We have long let our future leaders down. We have placed them in positions that we have not trained them for and that is ALL OUR fault. We now have the resources to assist them in being great leaders. This is one of the major areas that will be discussed in-depth at the conference.
An historical event will also take place at this conference: Recognition of Prince Hall General Grand Council, International! It is interesting that the movement to recognize Prince Hall started at a six-way reception. It moved to the Grand level and now will be recognized at the International level. This has been too long overlooked. We need to work with our Brothers and bring Masonry back to the forefront.
If you believe in Cryptic (Royal and Select) Masonry, please joining us to celebrate the new possibilities and opportunities!