This message was passed along today from A&S' Master, Dan Hrinko:
I am proud to announce that Arts & Sciences Lodge No. 792 was issued a Charter at the most recent meeting of the Grand Lodge of Ohio. We were constituted and consecrated on October 30, 2010 after working for one year under Dispensation. During that year, we met all expectations of a Lodge chartered under the Grand Lodge of Ohio exemplifying each degree at least twice (we Initiated, Passed and Raised 2 brothers during this year) and meeting all administrative requirements.
We have formed our Lodge to make meetings more interesting and inspirational by incorporating a discussion into EVERY meeting even those where we perform degree work. We have removed 99% of administrative business from our meeting times to make room for these discussions. We have incorporated many elements of a Traditional Observance or Best Practices Lodge while remaining within the rules of the Grand Lodge of Ohio. We strive for excellence in all we do taking our Ritual quite seriously for maximum impact on the Candidate. We also take our fellowship equally seriously beginning each evening with dinner at a local pub and ending the evening with social times at a different pub after the meeting.
Several of our discussions have addressed interesting topics. We have produced summaries of several of these discussions and have posted them on our website www.as792.org under the Education heading. I encourage each of you to visit our site and review these summaries.
Of particular note is the discussion we had regarding the process of training and selecting officers. We have decided to use a very limited progressive line beginning at Junior Warden. All other positions are open elections and appointments. The discussion offers more details into our plans and rationale.
We have eliminated much of the pomp and ceremony associated with most Lodges referring to each other as Brother regardless of Masonic record and all wearing unadorned white leather aprons in Lodge. We like to think that we have begun to strip the practice of Freemasonry to the philosophical essentials and focused on these elements rather than doing what we can to impress others with non-essential activities.
We describe ourselves as a Craft Driven Lodge where the Master is responsible for planning and implementation of the ideas that are offered by the Craft as to topics of discussion, social activities, charitable activities, etc. Therefore, it is not the 'plan' or goals of the Master during 'his year' but the Master being the servant of the craft providing leadership rather than dictating the agenda and goals.
We have already been approached by several Lodges who are nearing extinction for assistance with making changes and improvements in how they operate to improve their vitality. We do not have all of the answers and do not wish to create clones of ourselves. However, discussing the process of exploring options and focusing on a quality experience on essential items rather than being distracted by administrative or ceremonial issues is very enlightening.
We see Lodges such as ours as part of a growing 'reformation' in Freemasonry to meet the needs and demands for a more intense and focused experience in Freemasonry that does not get lost or watered down in the process of doing things the way we always have been doing them referring to a perpetuation of the past 50-70 years.
We trace our roots to the principles articulated in the Enlightenment and do what we can to implement them as we create a dynamic Lodge that will evolve and change the way it operates as the composition and needs of the Craft change over time.
Dan Hrinko, WM
Arts & Sciences Lodge 792
Grand Lodge of Ohio