The Leader
March 2021: Sister Lodges


Sister Lodge Initiative in 2021

As the first degree instructs, Freemasonry offers the opportunity for those who might otherwise be at a distance, the chance at friendship. At the start of his tenure, Grand Master John Trauner started the sister lodge initiative, which set out to pair rural lodges with their urban counterparts in a relationship meant to encourage camaraderie between brothers from disparate parts of the state. This initiative continues under Grand Master Arthur H. Weiss. So, as your lodge forges ahead in 2021, consider the benefits of symbolically joining with another California lodge, as Nevada Lodge No. 13 and California Lodge No. 1 have chosen to do. Like them, it might be an opportunity for expanding your Masonic horizons.

Sister Brothers, from Mountains to Bay Area

The purpose of the initiative,” says Jordan Yelinek, Director of Member Services for Grand Lodge, “is for two lodges from different parts of the state to connect and learn more about each other, with the idea being that only good things could come from such a meeting.” That, at least, was Sean Metroka’s hope when, as Master of Nevada Lodge No. 13, he broached the subject with his counterpart at California Lodge No. 1, Doug Ismail. “I was really interested to get to know brothers from an urban lodge,” says Metroka, who is now Junior Grand Warden, “I knew that my brothers at Nevada Lodge knew mountain Masonry, but here was an opportunity for them to benefit from seeing how other Masons conducted Masonry.” After exchanging emails and getting a draft of the Sister Lodge Initiative Resolution passed through both lodges’ membership, they were ready to go. “The first thing we were going to do was take a trip down to San Francisco to participate in a degree ceremony,” says Lee Wilbourne, current Master of Nevada Lodge. “Then COVID-19 hit.” “The pandemic has certainly curtailed the initiative somewhat,” admits Yelinek, “but with lodges being able to vote on things remotely, they can vote on the Sister Lodge Resolution and begin that relationship now.” Looking ahead to when lodges can reopen and get back to some semblance of normalcy, Worshipful Wilbourne sees a future for the initiative at his lodge. “Once we get grounded again and settled, we definitely intend to start the relationship back up with California No. 1.” Even though they haven’t yet been able to enact their plans for travelling to San Francisco, the Masons of Nevada No. 13 can clearly see the benefit of the program. “How else can you get lodges to travel around the state to see Masonry in different forms?” asks Worshipful Wilbourne. Metroka agrees. “It’s a way of expanding our idea of Masonry,” he says, “and in the end that’s what the initiative is all about.”

Finding a Sister Lodge

There’s no need to wait for the pandemic to end and lodges to return in person to start a relationship with another lodge in the state. “Right now, the distance from you to lodge is only as far as your computer,” says Yelinek, “now’s the time to take advantage of that and meet other lodges remotely.” Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Consider what other lodges your members are already affiliated with. These are lodges with which you already have built-in connections.
  • Although the original intent of the Sister Lodge Initiative was to connect mountain lodges with those elsewhere in the state, there’s no reason why one lodge can’t become the sister lodge of the one down the road.
  • Schedule a Zoom call with the officers of a potential sister lodge to get to know your counterparts better. Even if at the end of the call you decide not to join together as sister lodges, you at the very least got to meet other Masons in the state.
  • The Sister Lodge Resolution only needs to pass with a simple majority vote. This resolution is non-binding. “It’s basically a resolution of intent,” says Yelinek. Your lodge can choose to do as much or as little with you sister lodge as you both want.

Reminders and Masonic News

The online 2021 Speaker Series continues with Andrew Farleigh The Origins and Customs of the Festive Board, Wednesday March 24, Noon

When Masons meet, Masons eat. But as with all things Masonic, the customs and traditions behind even wining and dining have incredibly deep roots. Join Masonic researcher and orator Andrew Farleigh as he discusses the origins and customs of the Masonic festive board, from the Premier Grand Lodge of London to present-day lodges around the globe.

Farleigh is the grand orator for the Provincial Grand Lodge of Middlesex, England, and orchestrates a team of more than 30 Masonic lecturers in talks given around the world. He also serves in several Grand Masonic capacities in Great Britain.

Freemasonry offers members a pathway to self-improvement, fellowship, and community. For the committed few, it holds the promise of even more. 

9th Annual International Conference on Freemasonry
Hidden Meanings
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Register Here!

For more than 300 years, Masonic teachings and symbolism have attracted those in search of deeper, secret meanings about the natural and even supernatural world. These esoteric pursuits, shrouded in mystery and mysticism, have endured through the centuries and even today, continue to fascinate seekers around the world.

Online for the first time, experts and scholars on Freemasonry will meet on April 10 to discuss the eternal quest for esoteric knowledge and its broader relationship to the craft. The ninth annual International Conference on Freemasonry is a rare chance for Masons and non-Masons alike to dive into metaphysics, antiquity, and the occult.

iMember 2.0 Trainings are FREE and online and on-demand. Log in now!

Participate in the 2021 Member Restoration Campaign

Lodge Management Certification Program is now FREE and on-demand:
Hall Administration Course available now!

Get ideas for your lodge: Download the Build a Vibrant Lodge book.

Your March Checklist

Stay on track of lodge business and prepare for important deadlines. Here’s your March checklist. Executive Committee
  • Schedule inspector’s official visit and examination of the books, due by end of the month.
  • Attend, or make plans to attend, the Master & Wardens Retreat. Register now.
Senior Warden
  • Begin preparing 2022 program plan.
  • Begin preparing 2022 budget, remembering to set aside funds for retreat attendance
  • Begin preparing 2022 officer appointments.
  • Begin preparing 2022 installation of officers.
  • Review all candidates’ progress towards advancement.
Junior Warden
  • Begin 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.
  • Continue to collect delinquent dues from members (were due on January 1).
  • Send list of members with late dues to the master for the Retention Committee.
  • Send any suspension notices.
  • Charity Committee considers remissions.
  • File financial reports with Grand Lodge (unless your lodge uses Intacct, in which case you do not need to submit anything).
  • If your lodge has employees, file W-3 with IRS along with copies of all W-2 forms.
  • File financial reports with Grand Lodge (unless your lodge uses Intacct, in which case you do not need to submit anything).
Audit Committee
  • Audit lodge books, to be completed by end of April.
Questions? Contact Member Services at or (415) 776-7000.

For Your Trestleboard

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

Distressed Worthy Brother Relief Fund

MCYAF Telehealth

Question of the Month

Last month we asked if your lodge reached out to its restored members over the past year? Of those that responded:
  • 73% Yes
  • 27% No
Here's your next survey question