Brothers attend the 4th degree in Suffolk County
In 2018, at Valley of Rockville Centre we accepted 22 new members and as we approach the halfway point of 2019 we have welcomed a total of 48. We’re proud to say that this year we are on track for welcoming a great number of new Brothers joining 32° Scottish Rite Freemasonry.
Over the last few years, we have made member retention and recruitment a primary focus at the Valley of Rockville Centre and, thus far, the results speak for themselves. Our new initiatives include additional educational programs meant to stimulate member interest, innovative ways of bringing the 4° to more Brothers, and an increased cadence of our reunions. The Suffolk Scottish Rite Club has also been a key part of sharing our work with members in the outlying areas of Long Island.
Emphasis on education
It’s clear throughout the jurisdiction, not just in Rockville Centre, that Brothers are eager to further their Masonic education, learn more about our history, and have the opportunity to do so in a more casual atmosphere. In 2019, a few of our members started a “Magus Guild” which coordinates informational programs covering more esoteric subjects. The “Magus Guild” held an event where a historic 14° Franken ritual was read and discussed. The event gathered about 25 Brothers, all of whom participated in the reading.
The Digital 4°
Technology has also played an integral role in increasing our ranks as we have made it part of our mission statement to bring the 4° video to our club meetings. We do this simply by advertising ahead of time via email so that interested Brothers can go to our Valley website and fill out a petition. From there, our secretary collects the petition(s) so we know who will be completing the 4° presentation in addition to any other video degree we advertise beforehand.
During our April 29th, 2018 meeting at Riverhead Lodge in Suffolk, we had seven new candidates present for the 4°, and in January 2019 we had three more candidates. Thanks to the video degrees, we were able to have a total of 10 new members attend we likely would not have had at a regular reunion. Holding these video degrees also makes it possible to bring the opportunity to become part of our fraternity to outlying lodges that are up to 100 miles from the Valley in Rockville Centre.
We also intend to take advantage of additional recruitment opportunities by keeping the Valley active over the summer. Each July we host an annual BBQ for members and encourage them to bring their Masonic friends. Each year, we advertise the 4° presentation for that evening to attract any non-members interested in joining while their lodges are dark for the summer.
Proven Track Record
Through the first several months of 2019, we have proven to ourselves that providing our Brothers with opportunities to deepen their knowledge of the Scottish Rite history and degrees truly encourages member retention. Heightening member enthusiasm can be contagious, as our members pique the interest of their Masonic friends when they mention these programs, which ultimately encourages them to join the Scottish Rite. It is our hope that other Valleys are considering implementing similar initiatives and that we continue to see our fraternity grow across the jurisdiction.