October 2020

Contents

A New, Easy Way to Pay Your Dues

Earlier this summer, Grand Lodge launched iMember 2.0, the new member management system for the fraternity. As part of the development and upgrade of the system, 30 lodges participated in a pilot program that allowed members to pay their annual dues directly into the system via credit card. 

Members liked the program because it was an easy and convenient way to pay dues, and they could access their virtual dues card immediately. Secretaries liked it because it helped streamline the process of collecting dues from members.  

Now, this new feature is rolling out to all lodges. To help you get ready and make the most of this exciting new development, here are a few important steps:

  1. The Grand Lodge will email and send physical mail dues notices and invoices to all members directing them to make their payment either by credit card through iMember 2.0, or by sending a check to Grand Lodge.
    • If the member chooses to pay via credit card, a processing fee will be included in their payment. 
    • Members of more than one lodge will receive an itemized invoice that includes the dues for all lodges of which they are a member.
  2. Once posted, payments will automatically be updated on the member’s record in iMember 2.0. Members may then immediately access their virtual dues card. Secretaries will be able to see that they’ve made their payment through a special dashboard. And for lodges using Intacct, that system will also be automatically updated.
  3. Every month, lodge secretaries will receive a check from Grand Lodge and an itemized report for all of funds collected, minus any credit card processing fees. 

Of course, members are also welcome to pay their dues directly to their lodge secretary, who will record the payment in iMember 2.0 manually.

The first dues notices and invoices for the 2020–2021 year will be sent to all members following Annual Communication October 10–11. Please update any email and home addresses prior to this date.

We hope you find this new service convenient and useful. It is our hope that by rolling out these features, we can reduce the workload on our secretaries, who are the backbone of our lodges.

Online dues payments are only one of several updates being rolled out through the end of 2020 in iMember 2.0. Learn about other development and key usage statistics in the first quarterly iMember 2.0 report here. 

If you have questions, please contact Member Services at (415) 292-9180 or by email at memberservices@freemason.org.

Lodge Officers: Claim Your Ballots for Annual Communication

Registration is now open for the 171st Annual Communication, which will be held entirely online for the first time ever. Saturday’s business sessions are open to all Master Masons, while Sunday’s public ceremonies and installation are open to all members and the public.

Lodge officers and past masters can claim their voting ballots now by registering for Annual Communication through iMember 2.0. Once logged in, those approved to vote can either claim their ballot or release it for another approved lodge officer or past master.

This year’s ballot will include voting on incoming Grand Lodge Officers, approving the budget, and weighing in on the Grand Master’s Recommendations; however, there is no other legislation being considered for 2020–21.

Prerecorded video reports are now available to view online from Grand Lodge Officers including Grand Lecturer Ricky Lawler and Grand Chaplain Bayani Rico, as well as members of the Masonic Youth Orders. View all video reports here.

This year’s event will also include a spouses and partners event on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 11 a.m. Join Dana Trauner in celebrating the fraternity’s support of public education. Guests will hear from past Teacher of the Year Award recipients, Investment in Success graduates, and Golden Apple Award winners. Attendees will receive the First Lady’s specially designed pin, commemorating the fraternity’s support of public education, while supplies last.

Reminders and Masonic News

Stay safe this wildfire season: As wildfires continue to threaten communities throughout California and the west, please be sure to take all necessary precautions to keep yourself, your family, and your community safe. If you or your family are in need of assistance, access our statewide relief services by calling Masonic Assistance at (888) 466-3642. If your lodge hall or property is damaged or threatened, please contact the Grand Lodge Real Estate team to determine appropriate next steps. They can be reached at realestate@freemason.org.

Online Speaker Series Continues: The first-of-its-kind Online Masonic Speaker Series is continuing through the fall with more enlightening lectures on a range of topics germane to Masonry, all of which are entirely free and open to all. On Oct. 6 at noon, Dr. David Harrison will discuss the mysterious “lost rites” of Freemasonry that were developed in continental Europe during the 18th century; on Oct. 21, Dr. Christopher McIntosh will explore the long relationship between the Rosicrucian movement of the 17th and 18th century and early speculative Freemasonry; and on Dec. 27, former Grand Secretary John L. Cooper presents a lecture on St. John the Evangelist, one of two patron saints of Freemasonry.

Crown a Masons4Mitts Champion: Beginning October 14, Masons from around California can vote for our first-ever Masons4Mitts World Series champion. Throughout the baseball season, California lodges posted videos of their best Zoom rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” The results were … interesting. Now’s your chance to declare a winner! To vote, visit Masons4Mitts.org and find the Video Challenge link. The “playoff” videos will all be posted there, where you can vote for your favorite. If you haven’t already, be sure to donate today to Masons4Mitts and help us continue this important program to help kids across California.

Your October Checklist

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

Executive Committee

  • Make plans for your lodge master, wardens, or other representatives to attend the virtual Annual Communication this month. Your vote is important to the future of Freemasonry in California.

Senior Warden, along with Executive Committee

  • Identify and approach members for the 2021 Audit, Membership Retention, and any other committees.
  • Urge presumptive master, wardens, and senior deacon to perform their Master Mason’s proficiency soon, if not already completed.
  • Urge the presumptive master, wardens, and senior deacon to qualify early with the inspector in their office’s ritual.
  • Urge respective officers to answer the master, senior warden, and junior warden questions early.
  • Set calendar for 2021 and identify event leaders.
  • Continue preparing 2021 budget.
  • Finalize your installation date/venue and prepare the installing team
  • Review all candidates’ progress toward 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

  • Grand Lodge is centralizing the dues process to allow members to pay their annual dues directly into the system via credit card. See the October Leader feature article (above) for more information. 

Treasurer

  • If your lodge has employees, file quarterly federal payroll tax form 941 (unless IRS has approved an annual filing of form 944, due in February).
  • If your lodge has employees, file quarterly state payroll tax form DE9/DE9C and deposit form DE88.

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

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

Question of the Month

Last month we asked what discussion topics your lodges were most interested in. Of those that responded:

  • 51% Esoteric education
  • 49% History of Freemasonry
  • 46% Leadership/self-improvement
  • 8% Current events (non-Masonic)

Here is your next question.