The Midwest Conference on Masonic Education was formed in 1949 at a gathering of interested Masons from Illinois (including Alphonse Cerza) and Iowa. Since then, the Conference has provided a forum for sharing best practices in Masonic Education with each of its member jurisdictions.
The outcome was to continue getting together by establishing its first Annual Meeting which was held in December 1950 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The organization is comprised of a loose and ever-changing collection of Masonic educators from Grand Lodge jurisdictions located in twelve north central states and the Canadian Province of Manitoba. Other participants frequently include chairs of Masonic Education as well as Grand Lodge officers.
The aim of the Conference is to promote Masonic Education, in part by providing a forum for educators to gather, freely discuss Masonic issues, socialize, and learn from sharing experiences while building beneficial relationships. In addition, the Conference initiates special projects such as collecting data on educational practices across all North American jurisdictions, as well as encouraging Masonic research and writing by individual educators.
The Conference meets once a year, usually in late April or early May, in one of the member jurisdictions. Responsibility for conducting the Annual Meeting rotates each year, eventually being hosted by all member jurisdictions before repeating.
A typical program schedule includes presentations by well-known Masonic speakers, experiential as well as scholarly participant presentations, roundtable discussions, and jurisdiction reports. Sufficient time is also arranged to provide informal chats among attendees.
The 2018 conference will be held in Rapid City, South Dakota on April 20 - 22, 2018. This promises to be another outstanding program of speakers and great hospitality by the Grand Lodge of South Dakota. Speakers this year include Jim Savaloja, and keynote speaker, Mark A. Tabbert, Director of Collections for the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. More speakers are expected to be added as the date approaches. If you have an interest in presenting, please contact Yancey Smith at GM@mygrandlodge.org.
Registration is $160.00 for both Masons and Ladies. The cost includes Conference materials, social time with hors d’ oeuvres Friday night, Breakfast and Dinner Saturday and Continental breakfast Sunday. Hospitality room will be open Friday and Saturday nights after the events.
Men’s registration also includes lunch on Saturday at the Ramkota. Ladies registration includes a Saturday trip to the Journey museum, a private tour of the StavKirke Chapel in the Hills, lunch at the Firehouse Brewing Company, and shopping at Prairie Edge Trading Post.
Registration for the Conference closes April 13, 2018, so don’t delay; register today.
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Ramkota Hotel, 2111 Lacrosse Street, Rapid City at $92.99 plus tax per night. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel at 605-343-8550 (mention the Masonic Education Conference to get this rate). The Ramkota will hold this block of rooms until March 20th.