The “3 X 3 Program”
Membership should always be at the forefront of a Chapters concerns. Without members, active members at that, a Chapter cannot exist. Recruitment activities should always be considered in every Chapter’s long AND short range planning. Grand Chapter provides many forms of recruiting. There is the “Elevator speech”, a power point presentation, as well as two short skits, “The Peculiar Stone” and the “Fervency and Zeal” program. Word of mouth is the most effective tool that we have, though. As Royal Arch Masons, we are all Ambassadors of the Capitular craft. Talk to our Brothers about Royal Arch Masonry. Invite them to join. Tell them about the beautiful degrees and lessons. Tell them of the fellowship among the Companions.
Retention is just just as important. There has to be a reason for the new and “seasoned” Companions to come out. Remember, we are bidding for their time. There should always be an interesting program (a lecture, educational course, guest speaker, Awards ceremonies, Table Chapters, ect.). Recognize the Companions for their efforts and accomplishments. Everyone likes to be appreciated and when recognized it may rejuvenate their enthusiasm.
A Chapter needs a purpose or goal. Yes, creating new Companions is a purpose or goal but one thing many successful Chapters have in common is they have an outside project, whether it be a fundraising activity, community project or just something to cause them to work together as a team.
Companions, we need to keep the Companions involved and interested. Get these Companions involved in the line of officers, on committees, in projects. But be aware that you do not want to overtax an individual. Asking too much can have the same effect as not including them.
1) Zerubbabel Society
2) 100% Participation from all Chapters
3) Fundraising programs/activities by individual Chapters
Charity is one of our principle tenets. It is one of the many reasons that attracts men to Masonry. The amount of “good” that we, as Royal Arch Masons, accomplish is immeasurable. For some, a large donation is easily come by and appreciated, while for other a small amount donated may be a struggle but not less appreciated and should always be treated and recognized as such. A chapter’s goal should be 100% participating of its membership. These donations allow us to be able to do what we do.
Donations to the Royal Arch Charities programs can be made individually or through your Chapter throughout the year. We do hold two major campaigns each year but that does limit the timeframe contributions may be offered.
An additional way that donations can be offered is by joining the Zerubbabel Society. This program was started in 2010 and has proven to be highly successful. Basically, a commitment to is made to contribute $1000.00, which can be broken into smaller payments to be fulfilled over 10 years, at which time a diamond pin would be presented. To show our appreciation upon joining you will receive a pin and jewel which can be worn to show your generous donation. If you are able to and choose to, you can pay it early or make a one time payment of $1000.00. You can then continue to donate and earn multiple diamond pins. You will also receive an invitation to attend an annual Champagne Reception which will be held during the Annual Grand Sessions held in March.
1) Certification/recertification of Chapters
2) Exemplification of Degrees
3) Educational programs
Ritual is the one aspect of our fraternity that sets us apart from other organizations. The ritual that we present in the Capitular degrees is, arguably, the most beautiful and meaningful ritual throughout all of Masonry, especially when presented with effort and feeling. We all must strive for that excellence, that distinction of presenting our ritual to the very best of our ability. Each Chapter should be “certified”, and “recertify” every year, in the opening and closing ritual. We are all aware that a Chapter, at times, may require assistance to perform these tasks…that’s ok. The effort is there. If a Chapter can proficiently open and close, it should strive to confer degrees. If it is not possible to confer all four degrees, ask for assistance from neighboring Chapters or do a “District-wide” degree, drawing Companions from all the Chapters throughout the District. A piece of advice…do not “hog” parts or overburden a Companion. The ritual is meant to be shared and enjoyed. And if something should happen and this Companion were no loner available, confusion could ensue trying to refill all of his committed parts. This has happened in many Chapters, in the past.
Education, also an important part of our journey towards refining the rough ashlar, and Ritual walk hand in hand. Both teach us lessons and provide information. One more subtly than the other. We are most fortunate that Grand chapter offers several Capitular courses that have been recognized by sister grand jurisdictions throughout the world. The Introduction to Capitular Masonry (ICM) course and the Capitular Development Course (CDC) are ideal as programs for a meeting. Especially when broken up in sections.
There are also some additional “tools” from the Grand Chapter of NY, RAM “tool box” that should always be used for reference. The Grand chapter website (ny-royal-arch.org) provides a tremendous amount of information and reference material. The NYRAM E-news, The general Grand Chapter Magazine with the NY state inserts, social media and all great ways to get the word out and highlight the activities of your Chapters. And for Chapters that feel that assistance is required, your District officers, Regional Officer/Grand Line, and the Chapter Renewal team are there and ready to work for your Chapters.