|Mark Tabbert||George Washington Masonic National Memorial||
American Freemasons: Three Centuries of Building Communities
An intriguing and refreshing look into the fabric that is American Freemasonry and how the Society helped shaped early America. What exactly is Freemasonry? Why have three centuries of American men - from Paul Revere and Ben Franklin to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, Harry Truman and Thurgood Marshall - been drawn to its rituals, symbols, and precepts? What is the evolving role of fraternalism within the framework of American society.
|Jordan Yelinek||Grand Lodge of California||
New and Renewed Lodges
People are often afraid that if a new lodge forms, existing lodges will lose members. But the reality is that although the average size of a lodge in North America is around 170 members, the attendance is roughly 30 members or less. As lodges expand, it becomes difficult for leaders to provide sufficient 'meaningful work' for large groups of members, and it can be difficult for everyone to feel as though they have a true connection with their brothers in the lodge. Most lodges don't have 100 plus active members.
|Oscar Alleyne||Grand Lodge of New York||
The Prevalence of Clandestine Freemasonry in the United States
Unrecognized lodges poses significant challenges with respect to regularity and recognition between mainstream Grand Lodges in the United States and their Prince Hall counterparts. Learn how clandestine non-Masonic groups have impacted legitimate Freemasonry; how the Masonic community can differentiate legitimate versus unrecognized organizations; and about the need for a unified, universal Masonic approach to protect the integrity of the Craft.
|Patrick Craddock||The Craftsman's Apron||
Admit Him if Properly Clothed: Three Centuries of American Masonic Regalia
An enlightening history of the heritage of Masonic aprons through the centuries. How they evolved and why.
|Allan Casalou||Grand Lodge of California||
A Tender Branch: The Masonic Lodge in 21st Century America
From its revolutionary beginnings to its rise to great prominence and subsequent steep decline, is American Freemasonry poised to keep its footing in this new century? Allan Casalou explores Masonic traditions and contemporary ideas that could cause more lodges to bloom and grow insuring another century of the Masonic experience in the U.S.
|Thomas W. Jackson||Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania||
Festive Board Keynote
A History of the Future of Freemasonry
We credit the phenomenal achievements of Freemasonry and its contributions to society to the visionary leadership that structured and led it, therefore if failures in its capacity to continue to produce achievements and contribute to society, the responsibility must also be placed upon the shoulders of those who lead. Visionary leadership is required to supplant the external challenges that has confronted Freemasonry, as it always has for 300 years, or have we become nothing more than a reflection of society.
Very little rationalization is required on our part to recognize that unless there be a major change in the thinking of our leadership, the demise of Freemasonry is almost inevitable in North America, at least in any form for which it has been known. For the past 40 years we have continued to think that our survival depended upon large quantities of members instead of the quality of the individual member and we have dedicated far too much of our efforts in trying to buy back respect through the support of public charities. If this remains our vision we can quite possibly write the history of the future of Freemasonry today.
|Andrew Hammer||Grand Lodge Virginia||
Keynote - Conference Opening
|Jon Ruark||Grand Lodge of Virginia||
Data Driven Masonry
Members of the Masonic fraternity have witnessed a marked decline in membership worldwide for over 50 years, yet the fraternity's understanding of the reasons for this decline, as well as other phenomena currently affecting organizational membership, remains largely anecdotal with little empirical data to support the claims of Masonic scholars and leaders. Mr. Ruark will be presenting his first cut at gathering and interpreting targeted, cross-jurisdictional data to enable Freemasonry's leaders to make prompt decisions and take action to greatly improve the quality of the Craft well into the future.
Join us at the 2017 Conference of The Masonic Society, September 7-10 in Lexington, Kentucky. Featuring nationally renowned Masonic speakers, panel discussions on Freemasonry, formal festive board, and tours of the Kentucky Horse Park and Henry Clay's Ashland estate.