Grand Master’s Class Called for Spring 2020

Grand Master Keith W. Newton has authorized Ohio’s twenty-five districts to hold Grand Master’s Classes on or near May 9, 2020.

His decision provides a new opportunity for men who are busy with work, travel, and other obligations to experience the three degrees in a single day. Since they began in 2002, Ohio has offered a Grand Master’s Class every few years, and today, roughly one in five active Masons in Ohio completed their degrees in such a class. Grand Master Newton recognizes the value of giving men the chance to join in the manner best suited for their needs. He wants to see every good and true man “Step Into the Light” of Ohio Freemasonry.

New for this year: candidates in the 2020 Grand Master’s Classes will also be allowed to join the Scottish Rite or York Rite on the same day.

Where will the classes be held?
The twenty-five districts will be holding classes in locations across the state. Most will be held on May 9th, although a few will be held earlier or later. The chart shows the locations, times, and costs of lunches and refreshments.

Grand Masters Class Schedule
4th & 10th Districts | May 2, 2020 | Kenton Masonic Temple | ;202 N. Main St., Kenton | 8:45 AM | $12.00
5th & 11th Districts | May 2, 2020 | Defiance Masonic Building | 123 Clinton St., Defiance | 9:30 AM | $10:00
2nd District | May 9, 2020 | Dayton Masonic Center | 525 W Riverview Ave., Dayton | 8:00 AM | $15.00
3rd District | May 9, 2020 | Sidney Masonic Temple | 303 E. Poplar St., Sidney | 9:00 AM | $15.00
7th District | May 9, 2020 | Lucasville Lodge #465 | 326 Robert Lucas Rd., Lucasville | 9:00 AM | $10.00
8th District | May 9, 2020 | Fairborn Lodge #764 | 1267 Yellow Springs Fairfield Rd., Fairborn | 9:00 AM | $10.00
9th & 15th Districts | May 9, 2020 | Ohio Masonic Home | 2655 W. National Rd., Springfield | 8:00 AM $10.00
12th District | May 9, 2020 | Morning Dawn Lodge #7 | 307 Third Ave., Gallipolis | 9:00 AM | $10.00
13th District | May 9, 2020 | Lancaster Lodge #57 | 224 South High St., Lancaster | 9:00 AM | $10.00
14th District | May 9, 2020 | Northwest Masonic Temple | 2436 W. Dublin Granville Rd., Columbus | 8:45 AM | $20.00
16th District | May 9, 2020 | Tiffin Lodge #77 | 181 S Washington St., Tiffin | 9:00 AM | $10.00
17th District | May 9, 2020 | Marietta Masonic Temple | 308 Front St., Marietta | 8:30 AM | $12.00
18th District | May 9, 2020 | La Fayette Lodge #79 | 3867 Northpointe Dr., Zanesville | 10:00 AM | $10.00
19th District | May 9, 2020 | Heath Masonic Complex | 875 Irving Wick Dr. West, Heath | 8:00 AM | $20.00
20th & 21st Districts | May 9, 2020 | Canton Masonic Temple | 836 Market Ave. N, Canton | 9:00 AM | $15.00
22nd District | May 9, 2020 | Lyndhurst Masonic Temple | 5516 Mayfield Rd., Lyndhurst | 8:45 AM | $15.00
23rd District | May 9, 2020 | Valley of Cambridge | 935 Wheeling Ave., Cambridge 9:00 AM | $10.00
24th District | May 9, 2020 | Perry Lodge #185 | 788 E. State St., Salem 8:00 AM | $10.00
25th District | May 9, 2020 | Unity Lodge #12 | 4785 Washington Ave., Ravenna | 8:00 AM | $10.00
1st District | June 6, 2020 | Cincinnati Masonic Center | 317 East 5th St., Cincinnati | 8:00 AM | $10.00

4th Degree of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite
Scottish Rite Freemasonry confers the 4th through the 32nd Degrees. Instead of Lodges, the Scottish Rite is organized into Valleys. There are 12 Valleys in Ohio. To join the Scottish Rite, a Master Mason must receive the 4th Degree, which is titled, “The Builder.” Following this, he can attend degrees over time at his convenience. These degrees do not need to be seen in order, and most valleys only offer all 29 degrees over a period of several years. After he has witnessed the 4th and three other degrees, a Scottish Rite Mason can receive the 32nd Degree.

Mark Master Degree by the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons
The York Rite of Freemasonry consists of the Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Council of Royal and Select Masons, and Commandery of Knights Templar. In Ohio, there are four degrees in the Chapter, three degrees in Council, and three degrees or orders in Commandery. The first step in this series is the Mark Master Degree, which is based upon the traditions of medieval stonemasons and symbolic Freemasonry. After becoming a Mark Master, the new Mason will return to his local chapter to become a Royal Arch Mason. He can then continue to the Council and Commandery to complete is York Rite experience. Expect an outstanding Masonic experience

Regardless of whether a candidate chooses to join the Lodge only or to also join the Scottish Rite or York Rite, he is guaranteed to have a complete and outstanding Masonic experience at his Grand Master’s Class. Each District will pull together its best ritualists for the work of the day, and the experience of sitting with men from across the district will be something that he remember forever.

What to say to potential candidates?
So how do you go about talking to your friend, golf buddy, son, nephew, or church member about becoming a Mason? It’s easy. Tell him three things:
  1. You believe he would make a good Mason because he is a man of honor and integrity. The men in your Lodge would enjoy getting to know him.
  2. He would enjoy getting to know the men in your Lodge and building new friendships with good men who can be trusted to do the right thing.
  3. You would be honored to carry his petition to Lodge and sponsor him for membership, but the decision has to be his.
As a Mason, you can say all of these things. What you have to do is let him make his own decision. He needs to “knock on the door” of his own free will and accord.

Where can you get a Petition for your candidate?
The best place to find a petition is at your Lodge. If you can’t get to a meeting, call your Lodge secretary and ask him to send you one or two. You can also find a general petition on the Member Portal of Grand View in the Master Mason Resources. This petition does not list the amount for degree fees as that will vary from Lodge to Lodge. Again, the Lodge Secretary can help with that.

When do you have to turn in a Petition?
Ideally, you want to turn in your candidate’s petition in January, February, or March. The Lodge must still have time to receive the petition at a stated meeting, investigate the candidate, and vote on the investigation report. The Lodge then needs time to order supplies such as Aprons and Bibles and turn in the paperwork to Grand Lodge by early to mid-April.

Before all this can take place, most Lodges will want to invite a potential candidate to any Lodge activities that are open to the public: breakfasts, awards presentations, and the like. In this way the members get to know the petitioner, and he in turn, gets to know the Lodge. This is also important because two members of the Lodge must be prepared to sign a petition, and those two men should truly believe in the moral qualifications of the petitioner.

How do you get a Scottish Rite or York Rite Petition for your candidate?
The best option is, as with the Lodge, to call the local Valley or Chapter. Generally, the Lodge Secretary will know who you should contact.

What can you tell a potential member about Freemasonry?
The Grand Lodge of Ohio offers excellent information on its website: www.freemason.com and on its Facebook Page, Grand Lodge F&AM of Ohio. There are three important messages to tell someone about Freemasonry:

  1. Freemasonry is thriving in Ohio. Each year, we can see several thousand men join the organization. Be Positive. This is a great time to be a Freemason!
  2. Freemasonry is a system that unites men from all walks of life who want to improve themselves, and by so doing, make a positive difference and do good in the world.
  3. Ohio Freemasonry, though not a charity itself, donates several million dollars a year to charitable works and its members contribute thousands of hours of volunteer service to good causes.
Other sources of Masonic information
In addition to the Grand Lodge website, good information about Freemasonry can be found on the Scottish Rite and York Rite websites as well as that of the Shriners. The Shrine offers a website BeAShrinerNow.org and there is a new website BeAFreemason.org, which will go live in mid-February. Both of these sites offer honest and accurate information.

Is there something for women?
Freemasonry is a fraternal society for men. For those candidates who are looking for opportunities to do something with their spouses, there are other organizations such as the Eastern Star or Order of Amaranth, which are related to Freemasonry but welcome both men and women. Contact information for these organizations can be found on the Grand Lodge website, Freemason.com.

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