Well Begun AND Half Done

There is much that has been done, and much still to do.

By: Thomas L. Schenk
Grand Master of Masons in New Mexico

Thomas L. Schenk Grand Master of Masons in New Mexico

It’s hard to believe that it is already Fall and we are in the middle of October, the Holidays will be here before we know it!

October always marks the halfway point for each Grand Year, and I am happy to report that all your Grand Committees are hard at work and making great progress.

 Accounts Ways and Means has prepared a balanced budget and all the Lodges should have already received a copy for review.

The Committee on the Annual Communication is busy working with the Inn of the Mountain Gods preparing for the 2024 Annual Communication which will be held in Ruidoso, New Mexico March 14th thru 16th. Details for registration and reservations will be out during the holidays. Please take advantage and book early, there will be special room rates given by using a promo code attached to the announcement.

 Foreign Correspondence has been working on the approval of recognition of various jurisdictions around the world and will make their presentation at the next Grand Lodge.

 Investment Advisory, along with our Charles Schwab representative, have been working overtime keeping tabs on Grand Lodge investments, making sure that they are performing as best they can even during this time of market uncertainty.

New to our list of committees is the Real Properties / Legal Advisement Committee, there purpose is to review all gifts and bequests presented to the Grand Lodge of New Mexico, and make sure that they are being handled properly in accordance with the giver’s intentions. They also research the legalities of certain cases and advise the Board of Directors on various matters. It’s important that the Grand Lodge of New Mexico has a means of understanding, receiving, investing and dispersing monetary gifts and properties that can have long lasting benefits for the future.

Juris Prudence has been receiving Lodge requests for bylaws changes and has been handling them with great care to ensure that they are following our Constitution.

The Committee on Membership is continually sending out the latest “Masonic Leads Sheet” to all Worshipful Masters, Senior and Junior Wardens as well as the DDGM’s so that they can contact individuals that express an interest in Freemasonry, all within our very own communities. I hope that each Lodge is taking advantage of this opportunity and following thru with this list so these men can possibly join our ranks.

Now that we have officially made the change from Groupable/Mori to Grandview, both the Technology and Education Committees are going to do everything they can to make that transition as smooth as possible. There will be some difficulties, and even confusion at times, but in the end, we will be operating with a superior data system that is not only more user friendly but has so many other features that will allow us to communicate, educate and even plan events better than we have ever been able to do so in the past.

Our Masonic Youth Committee has done a fantastic job working with all the youth groups. DeMolay, Rainbow and Jobs Daughters have benefited greatly from their guidance as well as had a fun time along the way. There have been many planned fundraisers and activities which not only benefit these groups but have also attracted many new members and potential candidates thus creating growth and a more solid future. All the Masonic Youth Groups need our continued support, I would ask each of you to take the opportunity and attend at least one youth meeting, or event, I guarantee you will leave totally impressed and your presence will have an even greater impact.

And finally, in my opinion, probably one of the most important committees is the Long-Range Planning Committee, this year RWB Robin Justice, Senior Grand Warden, is chairman. Robin is taking a very proactive approach in addressing many of the issues we face as a Grand Lodge, many of these issues have always been a continuous problem, and its time to face and address them, and that’s FINANCES. Your Grand Officers both elected and appointed have been working overtime to try and figure out what is the best approach to deal with matters such as the Annual Budget, Per-Capita and especially the Endowment Fund, and have them perform positively rather than negatively. Some simply by their design have become troublesome. Let’s look at the Elephant in The Room squarely in the eye and address it!

This year’s Annual Budget Meeting will be held November 18th, 2023. At 9:00 am we will meet at the UNM Continuing Education Building located next to our Grand Lodge office, 1638 University Blvd, Albuquerque, New Mexico to go over our proposed annual budget. Both during and especially after we approve the Annual Budget for the 2024-2025 year, together, we will be discussing our future and how we should proceed. This will also be a hybrid type meeting in which we will use Zoom for those who want to attend online.

A program of ideas will be presented and discussed in an open forum so that everyone has a better understanding of the financial goals we all strive for. The Long-Range planning Committee hopes that all the Lodge delegates or their representatives will take part in these discussions and help plan for a brighter and financially better future.

A complete schedule for the Annual Budget Meeting will be sent out to the Lodges and the Craft prior. All the Masonic Youth Groups will be on hand providing refreshments as well as having a brief program. Lunch is currently being planned. Bro. Nic Coriz will be catering the event and will be on site with his ever-famous food truck.

Brethren, I hope that this update meets with your satisfaction, there is so much more that goes on in executing a successful masonic year, and I would like to thank each one of you for your dedication to our Fraternity.

March 2024

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