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Thursday, October 12, 2017

MSA Short Talk Bulletin Collections: Reprint Volume 1?

The Masonic Service Association of North America is trying to determine if there is enough interest to reprint Volume I of the Complete Collection of the Short Talk Bulletins. The first printing sold out very quickly in 2013. Volume V will be arriving in coming months.

The MSA has published a Short Talk Bulletin (STBs for short) virtually every single month ever since back in 1923, and has mailed one of these articles faithfully to every lodge in each supporting jurisdiction. They were conceived of in pre-internet days as a partial answer to the howls from Masons back in the 1920s and before—right up to today—who begged for even a lousy five minutes of Masonic education at a lodge meeting. If Masons wouldn't do research themselves, and grand lodges published lousy newsletters and magazines, so the thinking went, at the very least the little STB always offered a monthly dose of ready made, discussion-provoking material.

The trouble has always been that if a lodge Secretary bothered (or bothers today) to open and read it aloud, or even just boringly announces that "the MSA bulletin is available on my desk if you're interested," it would almost instantly vanish in most cases, never to be seen or heard from again. That's a damned shame, because there has been very serious work done to create these articles, for just shy of a century now, and written by many of the greatest Masonic heavyweights of the 20th and 21st centuries. Indeed, quality authors and decent articles are still desperately needed for it today.

Starting in 2013, MSA embarked on the monumental task of assembling these gems of brief Masonic education into bound volumes, in order, freshly edited and typeset—and most of all, INDEXED. It is now possible to own complete, bound sets on subjects that range from Masonic history and symbolism, to philosophy and biographies. The books are edited and assembled by Brother S. Brent Morris, editor of the Scottish Rite Journal. I own all four volumes today, and they are indispensable at least once a week in this household. These collections should be in every lodge in the country, and they can easily serve the purpose they were designed for in the first place. Pull out a book at random, flip it open to any article, and there is a bit of Masonic education for your meeting night. Virtually every new Worshipful Master is charged either publicly or privately never to open and close his lodge "without giving a lecture, or some section or part of a lecture, for the instruction of the Lodge." to his members. That doesn't just mean to recite a memorized charge or some other mindless repetition, either.

The pre-sale pricing has just ended, but MSA is taking regular orders for Volume V of the STB series, that includes more than 700 pages of individual articles covering the years 1983-1997. With the exception of the sold-out Volume I, each massive volume in the series can be ordered online at www.msana.com. There are two different bindings available, priced at $98 or $158, and shipping is included in the United States. Out of country pricing is available from the MSA office. Anticipated shipping for Volume V is late this Fall.

The STBs are everywhere acknowledged as most widely distributed Masonic publication in the world. One copy is sent each month to every MSA member lodge and grand lodge officer free of charge. And if you're tired of never hearing them or reading them for yourself, subscriptions are available for $12 per year at www.msana.com.
If you are interested in having a copy of Volume 1 and wish to vote for its reprinting, be sure to complete the short survey at: https://goo.gl/forms/N6RbTyaT0p6k5oQt1

(And please don't just click yes, and then not bother ordering one later.)


  1. Years ago then then Grand High Priest of the Royal Arch Grand Chapter in Mexico was desperate for material and I was able to get all the hundreds of back issues, not bound of course as in the present handsome form. It certainly solved the problem of what to talk about - they are timeless in many respects.

  2. Would love to see the first published again as I've wanted the others, but wanted to get the Volume 1 first so that I could get the entire set.

  3. I wanted to pick up the newer volumes but was waiting for the first to be published (or to find a second-hand copy). I hope this happens!

  4. We are looking to determine if there is enough interest to reprint Volume I of the Complete Collection of the Short Talk Bulletins. Please complete the short survey below:


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