W. Bro Richard Friedman is a Past Master of Ancient
Craft Lodge #943 Rochester NY and currently is Assistant
Grand Lecturer of the First Masonic District (New York). He
brings to us a program of how to present the Lodge and its
purposes to the public! And the program works! If you consider presenting such a program, please check with the Grand
Secretary of your Grand Lodge for approval.
Brother Bring a Friend Night:
A Program Worth Trying
by W. Richard C. Friedman
Brother Bring a Friend Night was a vehicle which
was employed by Ancient Craft Lodge #943,
Rochester, NY, in its desperate days when the Lodge
faced the real choice of survival or death. The program is now utilized annually because it is fun and
provides a constant potential source of new
The purpose of the evening is to expose qualified
men to our gentle Craft. On that night, if the program runs well, these men will be exposed to
Masonic History, a Masons Commitment to his
Community through Masonic Charity and Community Service, Masonic Literature, The Degree
System and Masonic Costumes, the uplifting symbolism of the Working Tools and last but perhaps
most important: Masonic Fellowship and Fun.
What follows is a SUGGESTED PLAN of action for your Lodge should you want to pursue the
program. Please feel free to be CREATIVE AND
INNOVATIVE SO AS TO IMPROVE ON THE
Steps to Arranging Brother Bring a Friend Night
Brother Bring a Friend Night consists of a dinner and a series of 3 five minute presentations
presented to your guests. The following is a
guideline for organization:
1. An Action Team is appointed with three or
four Brothers responsible for the following: A. Invitations, B. Reservations and Phone Committee,
C. Dinner, D. Arranging for Speakers and Audio
Visuals, E. Display Tables, F. Supplies eg: Petitions,
Q&A's, Concordant Body Brochures and the like,
G. Program Agendas.
2. The brothers must commit to bringing guests
and should submit names and addresses to the
committee so that guests may be invited in plenty
of time and you will have a somewhat accurate
3. Let's break down each action team:
A. Invitations: Can be plain or fancy, but
should contain an explanation of the event and relevant information such as dress, times etc.
B. Phone Committee: should reach out to
members and get a count of those who will attend,
also encourage participation.
C. Dinner: We have had good luck with a buffet prepared by the Brothers but other Lodges have
had the meal catered or put on by Star Chapters,
with excellent results.
D. Speakers and Audio Visuals: EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: Enlist Brothers who can speak
well and impress the guests. As an alternative,
several good films and slide shows are available such
as "Brotherhood and Service", "The Quiet Frater-
nity" and "Symbol of Pride" should the Lodge
desire. We have done it both ways with equal
E. The Display Table consists of several sections to be described later. The tables are set up in
F. Supplies: We found that the Q&A (Masonic
Information Brochure), and the concordant body
brochures were most informative and our supply
was almost depleted. Petitions should be at the end
of each table and offered to viewers. All guests
should leave with one!
G. Agendas: Having a typed agenda can be
snappy and classy. It also provides for a tight
The suggested program could go as follows:
Receive guests and dinner
(Dining Room) 7 pm-8pm
Program (In Lodge Room) consisting of the
Welcome by the Master
Sneaker 1: Masonic History and some
Speaker 2: Community Service:
In your Lodge
Masonry as a Whole 5 min.
Speaker 3: What Masonry offers you
and why should you join this Lodge?
How to join, degree system, how to
fill out petitions. 5
Last Word by Master/MC who then leads the
procession to Display Tables. INVITE QUESTIONS! The viewing of tables with Brothers
behind them to invite and answer questions gets
the candidates talking Masonry Have a brother
give a Q&A along with a petition to each man.
Back to Dining Room for Dessert and FELLOW-
Suggested Outline for Speakers
Speaker 1: Masonic History and Famous Figures:
This speaker touches on Origins, Influence on
America, What we stand for: eg. Friendship,
Morality, Brotherly Love. Note some famous figures
Speaker 2: Community Service: This speaker
highlights I million a Day for Charity, Charities of
your Grand Lodge, Shrine Hospitals and other Concordant Body efforts, Local Masonic endeavors
with a focus on your Lodges participation.
Speaker 3: What Masonry offers and why should
you join this Lodge? This speaker focuses on:
Fellowship, Friendships all over the country and the
world, Service to humanity, the chance for self improvement, Petitioning and the degree process, and
The Display Table is one of the most important
parts of the evening. We have found that guests,
escorted by the Brothers who invited them, are
much more apt to ask questions and seek answers.
We usually set up the Display in an L shape. Each
exhibit should have a written explanation attached
to it. Here are the exhibits we recommend using.
The Degree System in Freemasonry and its
Costumes. This exhibit should include a full candidates cost
The Entered Apprentice Apron. We usually have
a Past Master's and Purple Apron on display as
well, with a corresponding write up. This usually
spurs questions about the differences.
Masonic Literature. This display should have a
wide range of old and new Masonic Books of all
kinds, the Local Masonic News, Grand Lodge
Publications, Philalethes, Royal Arch, Scottish Rite,
and anything else you may think of. This display
is meant to show the guest the richness of our
heritage and the extent of our doings.
Your Lodge's Working Tools and Volume of Sacred
Law. A short explanation of the working tools
should be highlighted. The Volume of Sacred Law
is self-explanatory, however, someone should be
prepared to answer questions about its importance
to Masonry. Note: Picture books of the Lodge in
action, news clippings and most importantly the
Q&As and petitions should be available.
Each station is manned by a Brother and there
should be plenty of interchange as the guests go
through the exhibits.
The fellowship following the formal part of the
evening is our opportunity to reveal in our own lives
the lessons of friendship which we espouse. Make
sure the guests are attended to and are not left standing alone. Many people do not join organizations
because they fear the initial period of getting to
know everyone or are tense in strange social situations. Your brotherhood and sincerity can turn the
internal key for a man to really want to be a part
of your lodge and allows him to feel that it is really
possible to do so!
All Lodges need new membership for various
reasons, not the least of which is that each new class
of candidates gives us all an opportunity to once
again be exposed to the wonderful lessons within
our Masonic Teachings. This program is offered as
an easy way to stimulate interest and has been proven to be successful in garnering candidates. We
have found that the unintended benefit of the evening is that the level of pride stirred in Masons talking to guests about their beloved Craft turns THEIR
intensity level up a notch and the Lodge is the recipient of a renewed and more vigorous Brother. Not
convinced? Our Brother Bring a Friend Night held
in June 1990 brought 23 potential candidates to our
Lodge. At our first meeting in September 1990
SEVEN men made the commitment to seek light
in Masonry. We also received one petition for dual
membership! Trying this program is certainly a no
lose proposition. Apply the following paraphrased
ancient wisdom of the great Rabbi Hillel to your
lodges situation: If I am not for me who will be?
If I am not for others what am l? If not now when?
The WHEN for Masonry my Brothers is clearly NOW !
The Short Talk Bulletin
Begun in 1923 as an experiment in Masonic
education, not even its proponents envisioned the
speakers' library into which it would develop, or
prophesied the enthusiastic reception of these
Not intended to be complete expositions of the
various subjects--how cover "The Holy Bible," for
instance, in a dozen small pages?--the Bulletins are
popular interpretations of their topics. Written for
the average Mason, the Short Talk Bulletin has
made its place in Masonic education. Lodges have
them read, memorized, and spoken, abstracted.
Speakers here find addresses on more than 660 subjects ready for use. Libraries use them to answer
inquiries, writers consult them for subject matter,
educational committees use them in instructing new
brethren. The Masonic press continually reprints
them for the enlightenment of readers.
All back issues are in stock. They are reprinted
often, as calls for them are many, and a subscription list is maintained for those who wish to receive
The Short Talk Bulletin is sent every month to
all lodges in member Grand Jurisdictions, mailed
either to Masters, Secretaries, or Lodge Education
Officers, whichever the Grand Lodge prefers.
(Carl Claudy 1933)
(Now carried in data format on HIRAM'S OASIS, The
Masonic BBS. 703-938-4990)