Happy Cryptic New Year, Companions!
The first of the three years of this Triennium has quickly passed, but not without a great deal of progress! As the incoming officers, we decided to focus on three fundamental areas: communication, lasting results, and exampling the idea of being “servants to the servants”. Much of the effort of your officers and committees has been directed toward establishing methods and habits of exchanging information leveraging the web, email and personal contact. We are ensuring that all projects and goals are discussed among the leadership before action is taken and that the results we produce may be continued, but are malleable enough to adapt to the ongoing needs of our General Grand Council. Finally, we are intentionally working to promote and provide the example of serving those who serve our membership, the Lodge, and our future Cryptic Masons.
All of our main efforts have been inspired, guided, or directly suggested by our members. Here are some of this year’s wins and learning experiences to allow us to stage an even better second year:
- Membership and growth are hot topics in just about every Masonic meeting. The Committee on Jurisprudence is spending a great deal of time reviewing General Grand Council Constituent Council bylaw submissions so they can be chartered. They will continue to do this work and provide advice on our ongoing business.
- As cooperative bodies in York Rite; Grand Lodges, General Grand Chapter, General Grand Council, and the Grand Encampment can leverage each other’s independent efforts and optimize member’s time and money investment. In addition to our Committee working toward Cryptic program interactivity, the Grand Encampment has asked me to Chair the Committee on Cooperation. We should all look forward to a great deal of sharing and leveraging ideas and the work of Masonry.
- One of the most discussed topics at our Regional meetings this year, and THE top response from the survey we did in May, is education. The committee has been diligently compiling lists of existing programs, contacts who have provided material, and resources for sharing information. We will shortly start seeing information published on the website. In addition, working with the Technology Committee, we are in the process of developing another website – http://rabboni.org is being setup as a Learning Management System intended to serve all bodies of the York Rite has been installed. At this time we are putting together testing and procedures for publishing courses.
- Another item of information from the survey – there is interest in re-publishing our History of Cryptic Masonry volumes! If the Historical Committee can confirm at least 100 purchases, it will be re-ordered.
- One of the main concerns regarding the budget was the international travel. In response the Constitution & Bylaws Committee is doing the due diligence to investigate establishing Continental or area Provinces, which would centralize several Grand Jurisdictions. This will allow for up to six visitations to be one.
Dr. Michael Murphy
Chair of ICVBM
- Another of the major requests that have been communicated is updating the Cryptic Ritual and making it available. The work of the Ritual Committee has been quite intense, but they expect to publish the new ritual books online no later than the fourth quarter of this year (and hopefully sooner than that)!
- Your General Grand officers have been opening lines of communication with several of the non-affiliated Grand Councils to mend fences and see how we can re-stablish functional partnering. Many of the other items listed here are in direct support of these efforts.
- The Corporate Foundation is currently working with the College of Preservation to change the Order of the Secret Vault requirements and availability so that it may become more prestigious. This includes changes to Deans, lowering the number of recipients allowed each year, and strengthening the review process. In addition, they are making a Veteran’s Medal available by September to honor all who have served!
- This year, the Cryptic Freemason has been published on time, and with some GREAT content! Our current editor, after having served for ten years, is looking for an assistant who might replace him for the next Triennium. If you have an interest, please contact me – if not, please take a look at the archive on the website ( http://ggccmi.org/index.php/en/newsletters)! Great information!
- One key to many aspects of how we will better communicate is by effectively leveraging technology to optimize investment of time and money. The Technology Committee has started this newsletter to get regular input from around the world and into your hands. The website has become more modern on the face and translated into several languages; and the committee is currently working toward a new and more accessible underlying site for easier access to information. We (the committee and your officers) have also started to leverage social media to help spread the word as well.
- Finally, growth – we have two new General Grand Constituent Councils, and two new Under Dispensation (UD): one in Ecuador and one in Germany. We have Chartered three Grand Councils and have two UD. And in Peru specifically, we have one chartered Council and four Councils UD, which once chartered, will form another Grand Council. Cryptic Masonry is GROWING!
We are not where we want to be. We would like to have many of these projects done and in place, but they take time. We have had a GREAT first year, and have used the time wisely to test some things and work toward making them better and more workable. We need all Cryptic Masons to contribute ideas and experience so that we can all improve and grow. Look for the new resources, and please promote and plug in so that they can grow and become better.
We’re looking forward to making 2018-19 even better with each and every one of you!
General Grand Master