In Cleveland, Ohio Freemasonry is flourishing under the leadership of the Grand Orient USA and the officers of Halcyon Lodge No. 498. Just a few short years ago Masons like Edward King and Christopher Hodapp were prognosticating the failure of Halcyon when they divorced the Grand Lodge of Ohio in acrimonious court proceedings in 2008. Today, it is clear just how wrong they were. Halcyon is the most successful lodge in Cleveland. Ohio. It is growing rapidly while all the other lodges are failing and closing their doors. Even the venerable Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite has been financially forced to sell their beautiful Masonic temple downtown. Halcyon, on the other hand, is restoring its magnificent temple, and adding modern amenities. Their partnerships with the local community, business and government brings Freemasonry out of the lodge room and into Main Street America. What’s so special about Halcyon?
Back before the Masonic divorce one member of Halcyon got right to the heart of the matter when he said: “The Grand Lodge doesn’t want to help us succeed, they’re purposefully trying to force us to sell out. The Grand Lodge cares more about themselves than they do the lodges!”
It’s true, the American Grand Lodges are in self-preservation mode while the Grand Orient USA is helping lodges understand their problems and how to resolve them. It’s an entirely different approach to managing the fraternity. The Grand Orient views the lodges as the Freemasonry, whereas the Grand Lodges view themselves as Freemasonry.
Halcyon Lodge didn’t just magically become successful under the Grand Orient. They adopted the strategies laid out by Bros. Jeffrey Peace, Richard Graeter and Christopher Michalek. These brothers took the time to study the issues faced by all American Masonic lodges and started developing solutions and a path to future re-birth and renewal. The Grand Orient adopted the same strategy and setup a Masonic leadership system that reinforced the solutions and empowered the lodges to take the actions necessary for the future survival of the Craft in America. It was a win/win solution.
The Grand Orient has a unified vision for all of American Freemasonry, including the Rites and Shrine. The present way of doing things where fifty Grand Masters point in different directions and then those change every year is a pathway to failure. It doesn’t work, nor has it worked in over sixty years. The fly-by-the -seat-of-your-pants business model has resulted in a 70% decline in membership since 1960. It’s time to solve that problem.
In the near future the lodges, Rites and Shrine will begin to work seamlessly together for the benefit of the Craft in America. They will be able to work together as a team of Masonic organizations that are empowered to lead, instead of follow.
Halcyon is a part of the model of the future. If you’re new to Freemasonry or interested in the future of the Craft in American we recommend that you take a look at Halcyon Lodge, Halcyon Charities, and Reform Freemasonry. More American Masons are working with the Grand Orient every day to help build the future, and save the Craft. This is the beginning of a bright future for Freemasonry.
You can make a difference! Help promote Freemasonry in America by linking to the Grand Orient USA on your blog or website, and using the Google +1 button.