The 11 Point Plan of the
Grand Chapter of the State of New York,
Royal Arch Masons
The 11 Point Plan was begun in 2010 by ME Jeffrey M. Williamson, and is now in its 5th year, which means in one year’s time every member of the Permanent Six will have implemented it as the foundation of their year’s objectives.
Since the Grand Line of Grand Chapter is progressive from Grand Royal Arch Captain to Grand High Priest, it was decided to capitalize in this fact by deciding upon a long range plan to which everyone could agree, and then consistently implementing it over time.
Just as a stable investment plan which remains in place during the short terms fluctuations of the market wins out in the end, so the application of these 11 Points over a period of time has reaped benefits for Capitular Masonry as a whole. Formerly dying Chapters are now conferring their own Degrees. The amount of charitable donations has consistently exceeded $60,000 over the past four years. Education is flourishing, and the demand for education growing rapidly.
This blueprint for a successful Grand Chapter is not a secret plan. Everyone in the State knows it.
The 11 POINTS are:
- NYRAM Articles
- Chapter Certification
- Membership & Retention
- Education & Growth
- Meritorious Companions Awards
- 50 Year Award
- Royal Arch Seals Program
- District Table Chapters
- Zerubbabel Society
- 100% Participation in the Charities
- Chapter Renewal Team
What do these mean to us?
- 1. NYRAM Articles
As well as the Website, which you will see improve by leaps and bounds this year, our other main means of communication is our New York Royal Arch Magazine (NYRAM). This is how we can learn what is going on all over the State. If you live in New York, you can see what’s happening in Buffalo, or what you’re missing in Massena. If you live in Rome, see how the other half live in the Hamptons, or track the Grand High Priest’s visit to other States. If you enjoy reading the stories, then send some in of your own! All it takes is a few minutes to write down what happened and send it with a photo or two.
- 2. Chapter Certification
No self-respecting Lodge would put on their rituals in a halfhearted manner, with everyone reading form books! Anyway, it’s illegal! Why would we be any less proud of our magnificent rituals? Thomas Smith Webb himself crafted them for our education and enjoyment. Of course, some Chapters are struggling to return to their former glory, and will occasionally have to reach out to other Chapters in their District to help out. That is understandable. But any existing Chapter should be able to Open and Close without books. You need nine to open, so you have enough members to do this! The floor work is minimal, and the only two people with more than two of three sentences to learn as the Captain of the Host and High Priest. Make it happen! And to those who can Open and Close in their sleep, go on to learn a Degree, then another, and before you know it you’re a proud, fully functioning Chapter with a Statewide reputation. It pays to aim high! One last piece of advice: don’t hog parts. If Johnny has been Principal Sojourner since before Methuselah, let someone else have a go: preferably one of those new members, who only need a little encouragement to become lifelong devotees of the Chapter.
- 3. Membership & Retention
Some Chapter are blessed: brothers just seem to line up outside the door asking for petitions. But most Chapter need to work to attract new members. This is the reason there is an ‘Elevator Speech’ car out this year: we need to learn how to sell ourselves in Blue Lodge. Yes, we have Fervency & Zeal, and The Peculiar Stone, two short skits available on this site which a small team can easily learn and put on in a Lodge, or an Open House. We are also making available a short (i.e. 10 minute) Presentation you can give in Lodge about Royal Arch, too. But the best ambassador to Royal Arch Mason is YOU! Invite your Brethren to join. Tell them about its benefits, how they will meet member sf other Lodges and expand their circle of friends. Tell them about the interesting Degrees, the profound lessons, and the deepening of their mystic ties with the Craft. Tell them how it affected you when you joined. Grand Lodge supports Royal Arch. So do the Cryptic Rite and Order of the Temple, for they realize that, without membership in Chapter, they have no recruits! So get the word out! Be a proud Companion!
- 4. Education & Growth
And with attracting new members and keeping them is the big question: how? Most people join an organization because they want to learn something they didn’t know before. The Blue Lodge, and for that matter daily life, and other competing Masonic and non-Masonic Orders, already offer an abundance of social events, dining opportunities, fellowship, charities and group experiences. What is our ‘unique sales proposition’, as marketing men say? Why join the Royal Arch? Surely the main answer is, More Light In Masonry. We have the most comprehensive educational series of any Masonic Body. We also have some of the most profoundly moving rituals. And we have one of the oldest histories of any Masonic body. Check out our Education Page to see all the learning opportunities we offer our new members. Make use of them, they’re there because of YOU!
- 5. Meritorious Companions Awards
We all know them, that Companion who always seems to be in the background in any photograph, yet is front of the line when it comes to volunteering. They keep our building clean, the cook the meals, they come in when there’s a flood. In fact they’ll turn their hand to just about any job except sitting in the East. For their love of the Craft is in the fellowship rather than poring over lines of ritual. They may never want to become High Priest, but that’s no reason we can’t treasure them, and show our appreciation by presenting them with a Meritorious Service Award. Surely there’s at least one Companion in your District who deserves to be honored? Contact the Grand Chapter Secretary’s Office for details on how to obtain an Apron & Certificate.
- 6. 50 Year Award
Now these are rare as hen’s teeth! Imagine, you have to be a Master Mason to become a Royal Arch Mason, so there won’t be anyone out there less than 71 years old. Chances are they’ll be a lot older. Don’t forget our link with the past: these brave Companions were probably around in the Second World War, and almost certainly saw service in the Korean or Vietnam Wars. Let’s honor them with a dinner, or if they cannot get out, then let’s go to them! Either way, make sure the event is captured in a photo so everyone in New York can see this great event in NYRAM!
- 7. Royal Arch Seals Program
The Royal Arch Seals are beautiful! Redesigned a few years ago by a Brazilian Companion, they are vibrant and modern. What better way to adorn your letters, notelets and packages than with one of these handsome seals on the back? Better still, they only cost $2 for a page of 15 varied pictures. And best of all, every penny goes directly into scholarship to help our children buy books when they go to college. Support your children, support your friends’ children. But the seals!
- 8. District Table Chapters
This works on so many levels. What better way to get together with your Companions, meet Companions from other local Chapter and make new friends. Kick back and let someone else do the ritual! Good times, good toasts, fun rituals, perhaps even an invited speaker. And the profits go to Charity! Some have even themed their Table Chapter by dressing in costume, or associating it with a local event or special anniversary, such as – a 50th Capitular Anniversary or Meritorious Service Award! The Ritual is available on-line here.
- 9. Zerubbabel Society
This is a vehicle for giving which has proved so successful, several other States are following our example (not to mention one of more York Rite Bodies we could name!). Simply agree to give a minimum of $100 a year over ten years – $1,000 in total, to become a member if this Society which gives you a pin and jewel to wear with pride, and an annual Champagne Reception in Albany ach March. It’s a great way to make a significant commitment to charity and to be able to budget over the years. Of course, if you can afford to give it all in one go, or in fewer years, we won’t say no! And this is a Companion’s agreement: if you fall on harder times and can no longer afford to make the payments, nobody will embarrass you (or call to take back your jewel!). We’ve all been there, and we will understand.
- 10. 100% Participation in the Charities
This is more than simply how much money we can raise. While some can write a check for a large amount without thinking twice, others on fixed incomes have to account for every penny. But everybody can try to give according to their means. And if they can’t afford to give financially, then how about your time? This is about being a Brotherhood, about coming together to help one another and those less fortunate. By participating in some way towards charity, with the intention that it be in the name of Royal Arch Masonry, you bond with your Companions on so many levels, and the sum of what we give and do is so much greater than the individual contributions.
- 11. Chapter Renewal Team
And when all else fails, do we close the Chapter? Not until everything has been tried! The Chapter Renewal Team is the Chef Gordon Ramsay of Chapters (hopefully without the swear words!). It is their task to meet with the Companions of that Chapter to see what can be done to turn it around. They have expertise learned from turning other apparently lost causes around. In 2013 the Grand Line did a One Day Class to bring in nearly 20 new Companions to a Chapter the Grand High Priest had visited only months before to close down! We can do it, Companions!
Please help us by supporting these initiatives! If we work as a team, there is nothing we can’t achieve!