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iMember 2.0: Masons in (Cyber) Space!

Digital Masonic Education from Grand Lodge

Your May checklist

For Your Trestleboard

Find it on Freemason.org

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iMember 2.0: Masons in (Cyber) Space!

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that rapid communication isn’t just a luxury—it’s a necessity. And for Masonic lodge officers, it’s now a requirement of the job.

Thanks to a new update to iMember, California Masons will soon be in a position to offer just that. From getting messages out to members, processing dues online, and conferring with other officers and district officials, iMember 2.0, which will roll out July 1, gives Masons and lodge officers an entirely new set of tools with which to stay in touch. What was once a dream for lodge secretaries is now just a keystroke or swipe away. And with the membership suddenly more comfortable with adopting nontraditional communication tools like Zoom, there’s never been a better time to adopt the new system.

A Tool for All Officers
A unique all-in-one solution, iMember 2.0 will not only replace the old iMember system, but also serve as the new and enhanced Member Center. Once up and running, all members—officers and non-officers alike—will therefore be utilizing the same platform. Of course, just like with the current Member Center, officers will have different permissions levels than non-officers, allowing them to access unique reporting features not available to rank-and-file members. And, although there will be some features unique to each type of officer, all officers will be able to utilize the important communication features. For instance:

  • Features available to all members: Members can pay dues, locate lodges worldwide, and access training programs like the Candidate Learning Center and Lodge Management Certification Programs.
  • Features available to all officers: Officers have access to these same tools as well as a dashboard of member information relative to their office, including communications tools for getting in touch with members.
  • Features available to lodge secretaries: Secretaries retain all of this access, plus all the functionality from iMember 1.0, along with increased reporting and visibility into member activity and engagement.

According to Jordan Yelinek, the director of lodge development and training, a main selling point of the new system is its adaptability. For instance, officers can use the app to communicate directly with members via their preferred media. So, if your 80-year-old member doesn’t use email, when you send him a reminder about next week’s stated meeting, iMember 2.0 can either send him an automated phone call or text message instead. “This is going to allow officers to communicate in a way they’ve never been able to before: easily, efficiently, and all in one place,” Yelinek says.

If that sounds more hi-tech than members are ready for, think again, says Jeff Clark, part-owner of Grand View, the company behind iMember 2.0. Clark, himself a Master Mason in Louisiana, points out that the average age of iMember 2.0 users in other Masonic jurisdictions is 67 years old, the vast majority of whom have picked up the system as second nature.

Among its other features, perhaps the one that will most warm the hearts of lodge leaders is the way iMember 2.0 solves the issue of the physical dues card. Long the bane of lodge secretaries, the complicated hard-copy system of keeping track of member dues will now be replaced by a self-serve feature wherein members can renew their dues online, instantly updating their status on the secretary’s roster.

Getting Schooled on iMember 2.0
Eager to take the new iMember 2.0 for a test drive? Grand Lodge has you covered with three different ways you can learn the new program.

Self-Guided
If you’re the kind of person who learns by just jumping in and wading around, go right ahead! Visit this website to log in using your existing member number. Although not fully up and running, the beta version of the platform is enough to show officers that iMember 2.0 can be a powerful tool in their arsenal. Just remember that any information input today will be wiped out when the system formally launches July 1.

Live Webinars
If you already signed up for an in-person training for iMember 2.0 before the COVID-19 crisis, Grand View is now offering live webinars three days each week to get members up to speed on the system. Registration is open to all. To sign up, log in to the site, then click the Portal page and choose Seminars to view a listing of open dates.

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Digital Masonic Education from Grand Lodge

Stated meetings may still be postponed, but Grand Lodge is providing opportunities for Masons to come together for fellowship and to learn. A new Masonic Speakers Series is bringing experts and other dignitaries to California Masons for a series of live virtual lectures that are free and available to all. And new training webinars are available now for Masonic lodge officers. Simply register online to reserve your spot.

Masonic Speakers Series
Wednesday, May 13, 5-6 p.m.
Dr. Oscar Alleyne

A published author and presenter in the field of applied epidemiology, health policy and public health, Dr. Oscar Alleyne is senior advisor for public health programs at the National Association of County and City Health Officials in Washington, DC. There he is responsible for providing executive leadership, strategic visioning, senior management, and technical assistance to the country’s 3,000 local governmental public health departments. He directly oversees a portfolio of Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Public Health, Pandemic and Catastrophic Preparedness, and Public Health Informatics. Dr. Alleyne is also the junior grand warden of the Masons of New York, and lectures internationally on historical, ritualistic, and philosophical topics of Masonic interest.

Register Now

Wednesday, May 27, noon–1 p.m.
Dr. Andreas Önnerfors: The Development of Scandinavian Freemasonry

Dr. Andreas Önnerfors is an associate professor in the History of Sciences and Ideas Department at the Universities of Gothenburg and Lund and is the current master of the Quatuor Coronati Lodge of Research. Dr. Önnerfors is the author of Freemasonry – A Very Short Introduction, and numerous other papers on Freemasonry and fraternal culture. He regularly lectures on Freemasonry in academia and the general public and is frequently consulted by international media on various subjects.

Register Now

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COVID-19 Resources from Grand Lodge

Distressed Worthy Brother Relief Fund
Get information about accessing services and funds if you’ve experienced hardship as a result of the outbreak, or if you or your lodge would like to donate to the effort.

Guidance to Hall Associations on the CARES Act
A new round of funding means there are more opportunities for Masonic Hall Associations to apply for federal grants and other relief measures. Learn more about applying here.

COVID-19 Updates
Your all-in-one home for updates from the Grand Lodge, including video messages from Grand Lodge Officers.

Grand Lodge staff are still available to assist you:


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Your May Checklist

Stay on track of lodge business and prepare for important deadlines. Here’s your May checklist.


Senior Warden, along with Executive Committee

  • Identify and approach members for 2021 open elected and appointed officer positions.
  • Identify and approach members for the 2021 Audit, Membership Retention, and any other committees.
  • Set calendar for 2021 and identify event leaders.
  • Continue preparing 2021 budget.
  • Set installation date and approach installing officer, master of ceremonies, and chaplain.
  • Review all candidates’ progress towards advancement.

Junior Warden

  • Continue tracking 100% officer giving to the Annual Fund, with officers setting an example through gifts that represent their capability as well as their commitment to our charitable programs.

Secretary

  • Send list of members with late dues to the Retention Committee.
  • Send any suspension notices via certified mail.
  • Provide necessary information so Charity Committee can consider remissions.
  • Begin reviewing roster for accuracy in preparation for the end of the Grand Lodge membership year, June 30.

Treasurer

  • By May 15, submit IRS form 990 and FTB form 199 (unless your lodge has previously agreed to have Grand Lodge prepare and file these forms). Please contact financial services at (415) 292-9170 for any questions.

Hall Association

  • By May 15, submit IRS form 990 and FTB form 199.
  • By May 15, submit form 200 to Grand Lodge.
  • Pay insurance premium.

Questions? Contact Member Services at memberservices@freemason.org or (415) 776-7000.

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For Your Trestleboard

Use this content to spread the word about the Distressed Worthy Brother Relief Fund, and MCYAF’s Telehealth services.

This month:
Distressed Worthy Brother Relief Fund
MCYAF Telehealth

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Find it on freemason.org

In response to the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grand Master John E. Trauner has launched the Distressed Worthy Brother Relief Fund and encouraged members to contribute whatever they could. Your response has been overwhelming, making this the most successful online campaign in the fraternity’s history.

For those who find themselves in need as a result of COVID-19, the relief program, administered by Masonic Outreach Services, is just a phone call away at (888) 466-3642, or visit the website here. Please include this information in communications with your members.

The Relief Fund is made possible by the generosity of our fraternity—and of the generations that came before us. Now is our time. Please donate if you have the means. It could mean the difference between affording rent, groceries, and medications for a distressed brother you know. Donate here.

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Question of the Month

Last month we asked what efforts your lodge has taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Of those that responded:

  • 78% - Reached out to elderly and widows/updated contact information
  • 39% - Organized grocery/medication delivery for elderly members/neighbors
  • 17% - Donated funds to the Distressed Worthy Brother Relief Fund or another charitable cause
  • 28% - Other (Virtual social gathering)


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