The annual communication of the Grand Lodge of Kansas AF&AM meets this Saturday, and the leadership is presenting a bitter pill to their members. They are proposing the annual per capita paid to operate the Grand Lodge be raised from the current $24 a year, to $60 by the year 2024.
Kansas faces the same situation nearly every jurisdiction is currently confronted with: namely, the severe drop in membership, combined with an aging one (average age in Kansas is 68), resulting in sharp losses in income to operate the fraternity. The losses are predicted to continue.
I know that in Indiana, we made a catastrophic economic error in the late 1940s, by passing a rule that exempted Masons in our state who had been members for 50 years from paying any dues at all. Anyone who could have read an insurance actuarial chart in those days should have known what a ticking time bomb that was financially. Attempts in recent years to repeal or even tinker with this provision in any responsible way have been met with shrieks of horror.
The Grand Lodge of Kansas circulated this video to all of its members in an effort to sell their proposal. I am curious to hear if it passes. But make no mistake - this will not be an isolated case as time marches on.
The vote in Grand Lodge today was about 50/50, but required a 2/3 majority to pass.
Another year of kicking the problem down the road, as the numbers continue to fall and the income decreases further...