Last night several Lodges from the Southeast Area came together for a School of Instruction on the Degree Lectures. The weather outside was cold and windy yet inside was warm with brotherhood. We had around 30 brothers present from 10 different Lodges and several of the lectures were put on by Brothers that are spending time learing the work for the first time. All of the work was done with great care and every brother left having learned some new piece of the ritual whether it was a pronunciation, the meaning of a word, or part of why we use a certain word here in Minnesota. A great thanks goes out to the brothers of Evergreen Lodge for hosting the school and making sure the heat was turned on, and to WB Brian Beerman and WB Don Olson for taking time to drive down from the metro to instruct the school. Our next school will be held in March in Rochester.
Last night I was in a Lodge that was doing the first degree for six candidates. The Lodge room was filled with 30+ brothers present. The degree work was great and the hard work of the brothers really showed. The first section of the lecture was presented by two brothers that had just been raised in December and they knocked it out of the park. It was great to see two new brothers step up and do such a great job.
The second section was presented by me. I have presented this lecture at least twice a year since I was first raised in 2001 so I am pretty comfortable with it. I got to "neiter naked or clad" and drew my first blank, with a prompt I was back on track until I got to the "altar" at which point it was totatlly gone. While I only needed a word here or there it was a very scary feeling standing in front of that many brothers and start drawing complete blanks. I felt that I had let my brothers and our new candidates down. I know many brothers who are very self-critical of the work they do (I am one of them), just remember we do the work for our new brothers and I have yet to meet one that doesn't appreciate the time and effort.
Thankfully, on Thursday 1/29 we will be having an Southeast Area School of Instruction for the lectures in Clyde. I know that I will be there listening and asking questions trying to learning new parts of the lectures. If you are working on learing a lecture for your Lodge's spring degree work this will be a great chance to get some help.
Yesterday I received an email from a brother that I greatly respect. This email was whispering good council into the ear of a brother. He was looking at this blog and noticed that it has not been kept current. His reminder was that if you are going to do something DO IT and do it to the best of your ability. To the Old Past Master thank you for the reminder and with that I will put more effort into keeping this blog up to date.