Masonic Open Houses: “Welcoming the Public!”
Masonic Open Houses present an amazing opportunity for our Craft and our buildings to welcome the public; teaching them about Freemasonry’s history, purpose, and vision!
The beautiful Windsor Masonic Temple has taken part in several Open Houses, and is scheduled for another Open House (“Doors Open Windsor”) September 24th, 2022 and September 25th, 2022. Anyone in Windsor curious about Freemasonry, we hope you will attend!
Coming up (much) sooner, on August 20th, 2022 Clarence F. Smith Daylight Lodge is hosting an open house. Square & Compass has had the pleasure of visiting Clarence F. Smith Daylight Lodge both in-person and we have had the pleasure of interviewing several of their members.
We were happy to speak with W. Bro. David Karp, who kindly answered the following questions regarding the Daylight Lodge’s Open House!
Q: Why is the Lodge/Hall holding an open house? What are the benefits of holding an open house (both for the Craft and community);
This is language from the Grand Lodge of California, 2025 Strategic Plan and is a good summary: “Hold open houses on a regular basis. Welcoming the public into the lodge can be one of the best ways to create positive awareness in local communities. Providing opportunities for the public to visit and learn more can be an effective way to address misconceptions.”
Open houses also give potential applicants an opportunity to learn about the Craft and to consider asking for a petition for the degrees after several visits.
Q: What advice would you give to any Lodge or Masonic Hall considering holding an open house or other community based event.
Ideally, the event should be well advertised, well in advance, utilizing social media, strategically placed flyers, press releases, word of mouth, etc. Do not expect an overwhelming attendance: If you have a 5 percent response to your social media campaign, that’s pretty good. Have a script to present material orally or have someone speak spontaneously but with knowledge of what to say.
Give the visitors something in writing to take home and review. Follow up with a thank you email. Invite the visitors to return for more social interaction or at events that are public. Ideally, have all officers positioned in their stations with their regalia during a presentation. Have a few speakers to relate their experiences etc. If you get one or two who ultimately come back afterwards and then ask for a petition for the degrees, you’re doing well. Even if no one asks to join, it’s still important for public awareness. Invite your significant others to attend, e.g., spouses etc. (they probably won’t though). Answer questions except for the secret stuff. Show them around the lodge room.
Give them food and drink.
Make them feel welcome.
We at Square & Compass hope all of us will (in 2022 and beyond) make everyone feel welcome!