But, there is a member of Canyon Lodge who is a great man. As our friendship has grown I have had the opportunity to get to know his family, a family that I consider an extension of my own, his children being near the same age as I am. My brother and I have had numerous discussions regarding his children join the Lodge. He always asks and comments, "What do I tell them when they ask, 'What do you do?' We sit in a lodge room and aruge over raising dues and then go downstairs and have a cup of coffee." Now, since this time Canyon Lodge has grown; the amount of degrees we perform have increased meaning our membership is growing, our lodge meeting inlcude educational features and more meaningful discussions, and we have an active community presence by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.
Yet, does the lodge have the corner on these markets? The short answer is no! So it must be asked, what draws men back into the lodge room? Men can participate in rituals in most organizations from the boy scouts to organized religions. The search for education and philosophy can be obtained through any good book and good discussion. And men can volunteer with any number of people through the Red Cross or the Salvation Army. It comes down to two of our most excellent tenants; Friendship and Brotherly Love!
I have found a Brother in Lodge who has become a Father figure, a man who I look up to and admire. There is a crotchety old timer who always like to "complain" about these days, but you can't help but enjoy listening to their stoires, just like grandpa. In the Lodge there are uncles and cousins, light-hearted jokes and someone searching for another to pull their fingers. This, I believe, is the essence of Masonry. These are the connections that bring men together and keep them together.
Now does Masonry have the corner of this market? No! Go to any family reunion and you will get the same experience, aunts included (perhaps one should join the Eastern Star for the full experience :)). But when a person looks at everything that Canyon Lodge has going for it; more meaningful degrees, more meaningful lodge meetings, charity, and Friendship and Brotherly Love, one sees what the mystic tie is of Freemasonry. I personally believe that lodges that are growing are the lodges that meet these four requirements, and perhaps for the lodges that are not, they should see which ones they are lacking. Hopefully, more lodges can become more like Canyon Lodge #13.