By Dean R. Alban, Director of Membership Services
Our Supreme Council has been holding regional leadership conferences for decades. However, 2010 will see something new: the first-ever National Scottish Rite Leadership Conference! The Sheraton New Orleans Hotel in New Orleans will host the conference on Friday and Saturday, April 16–17. New Orleans was chosen as our venue not only because of its rich history and culture (and great food!) but also because it is the location of the first “Lodge of Perfection” in the United States, Loge de Parfaits d’Écosse, 1764.
Come to New Orleans and return to the roots of Scottish Rite!
The Supreme Council will host only one National Leadership Conference in 2010 to better focus the collective efforts of the entire Southern Jurisdiction on the most important part of our fraternity—our members. This year’s conference promises to be full of fresh ideas and new, practical tools for the Rite’s current and future leaders. Attendance is open to any Scottish Rite Mason who is a leader, who aspires to be a leader, or who is just interested in advancing our fraternity.
Today, in your Valley, a surprising number of your members are being lost. Tomorrow, with no changes, the number of lost members will only increase. But, through active leadership, you can stem the tide of membership loss Rite Now! Today and tomorrow, our members are the single most important element of our organization.
Our theme, “Membership though Leadership (Rite Now!),” was chosen to highlight how leadership affects membership in the most immediate way. This theme will be carried though each of the five breakout sessions which will teach our leader-attendees how this concept can work every day in every Valley. The topics to be covered in the breakout sessions are: •Leadership, •Education, •Public Relations, •Finances, and •Membership.
And that’s not to mention the fun and fellowship that promises to be had in our host city, the “Big Easy.” The Valley of New Orleans is the oldest continually operating Scottish Rite Valley in the world, and they have promised to treat our leader-attendees with a fantastic once-in-a-life-time opportunity to experience Masonry as only New Orleans can offer. On Friday evening, April 16, there will be an exemplification the Scottish Rite Entered Apprentice Degree. Only a score of the 10,000 American lodges work the Scottish Rite versions of the first three degrees, and most of them are in Louisiana. The ritual comes primarily from a French tradition, not English, and has many rituals and ceremonies seen no where else. From the decorations of the lodge room to the preparation of the candidate through the final symbolic lesson, it is a unique Masonic experience. New Orleans was home to first high-degree body related to the Order of the Royal Secret, immediate ancestor of the Scottish Rite, and they have preserved distinctive and ancient Masonic traditions.
You can register online now. The cost is $200 through March 15, afterwards it’s $250, and walk-in registration the day of the event is $300. Special conference rates are available at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel for $109 per night plus tax. The Leadership Conference will be held immediately after the RiteCare Conference in New Orleans, April 15–16. For more information, contact Ill. Dean Alban, 33°, Director of Membership Services, firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-777-3109. To see the preliminary conference schedule, please click here.