The Masonic Restoration Foundation conducts certification seminars for newly organized groups of Masons desiring to form into a Traditional Observance Lodge(TM) or existing lodges desiring to make a complete transition to the TO model.
Certification is required to attain recognition as a TO lodge. The information and training provided in the certification seminar is essential to any TO group's success. Participants in the seminar become properly informed on all issues related to TO Masonry, the way it can benefit them and their local Masonic communities and the role they can play in restoring the strength of Freemasonry on a national level.
The seminar usually takes about six hours, but could go longer, depending on the needs of the group. The seminar outlined below is for groups desiring to form a new TO lodge. A somewhat different version is available for existing lodges seeking to transition into a TO lodge.
Certification Seminar Outline
A typical seminar schedule might run as follows:
10:00am-10:30am – Introduction
Masonic Restoration Foundation (MRF) history and purpose
10:30am-11:30am – Traditional Observance (TO) Lodges
TO guidelines in detail
Stated Meetings and Planning Meetings
Lodge of Instruction (LOI) program
11:30am-12:00pm – Masonic Formation (MF) in TO Lodges
Background and development
Masonic Formation Committee (MFC) and its responsibilities
Applicant/Candidate/Member progress and growth
Noon – Lunch
1:00pm-2:00pm – Moving Forward: From Club to Lodge
Educational events and developing relationship with academic institutions
Growth through affiliations and visitor support
Website development and image
Developing Club/Lodge library and informational resources
3:00pm-3:30pm – Concluding Remarks
The cost of the seminar is $1000 for up to 25 participants, with $50 for each additional participant (discounts may be available upon request for smaller groups).
Travel and lodging expenses for the speaker(s) must also be covered by the hosting organization.
Each participant receives a one year membership in the MRF.
The cost of the seminar is designed to cover basic expenses, expand MRF membership and ensure that a group is serious about Traditional Observance Masonry.
The hosting organization must provide the following:
Private and dignified meeting space that will comfortably accommodate all participants.
Seats, tables, notepads and writing materials for participants.
Video projector and screen for a PowerPoint presentation. Microphone, if needed.
Water, light refreshments and lunch.
The dress code for the seminar should be conservative business suit.
Seminar Goals and Objectives
Holding a seminar will ensure that the group will:
Achieve sustainable success in its endeavors with TO Masonry.
Fully understand the purpose and vast potential of a TO lodge.
Receive expert knowledge of the mechanics of a TO lodge.
Quickly identify obstacles and develop solutions.
Benefit from the experience of existing successful groups.
Rather than just being a lecture, the certification seminar is structured to involve the group in a planning and discussion process to identify the needs and desires of those present and outline a plan for implementation. The MRF undertakes research on the hosting jurisdiction to ensure that the group will be informed on the technical processes involved in forming, or transitioning to, a TO lodge.
By the end of the certification seminar the participating group will have firsthand knowledge of all the most important issues related to Traditional Observance Masonry. The group will also have the benefit of the experience of other groups, the challenges they have faced and what they did to overcome them. Participants will leave with a clear sense of TO Masonry and a solid plan of how best to become a successful TO lodge in a reasonable timeline.
Seminars are modeled to best fit the needs of the participating group.