The Valley of El Paso, Orient of Texas, Scottish Rite Strategic Plan
It is the Vision of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, SJ and the Valley of El Paso, Orient of Texas, to be a robust fraternal organization with a stable membership; financially secure in all domains; and recognized, respected, and valued by its members, the Masonic world, and the public at large for its ideals, values, philanthropy, and positive contributions it makes to its members and communities in which they reside and work. It is the vision of the Valley of El Paso to be the Masonic center of excellence in West Texas; led by motivated, forward thinking men of Masonic character and to make a positive impact on the quality of life for its members and society at large by teaching and practicing traditional moral, ethical, and Masonic values.
To attract, retain and develop Freemasons through proactive leadership, citizenship, and benevolent programs which ensure that brotherhood is the peculiar characteristic of Freemasonry; that its principal tenets are brotherly love, relief and truth, that we are one sacred band or society of friends and brothers who have but one aim and that is to promote peace and harmony among ourselves and our community.
Foreword – The Valley Membership Achievement Project (VMAP) created by the Supreme Council is a program that provides tools to aid in the conceptualization, planning, and implementation of programs that allow a Valley to meet many of the objectives in our Strategic Plan. Utilization and participation in the VMAP program will remain a high priority in the Valley of El Paso and will prove to be a vital program that addresses our Strategic Objectives and will support the vision of the Orient of Texas and the Supreme Council visions.
Strategic Objective 1:
Improve membership trends in the Valley of El Paso by increasing new members and reinstatements while decreasing NPDs and demits.
Strategic Objective 2:
Enhance financial strength via effective Finance and Development efforts and increasing membership endeavors.
Strategic Objective 3:
Have a recognized and respected Public Image that is valued by its members, the Masonic world, and the community.
Strategic Objective 4:
Maintain, keep in good repair and make progressive improvements to the El Paso Scottish Rite Temple.
Strategic Objective 1
(Improve Membership trends in the Valley of El Paso by increasing new members and reinstatements while decreasing NPDs and demits.)
Operational Strategies that support and must be accomplished to achieve Strategic Objective 1:
1. Effective, coordinated, and synergistic Membership focused Programs, Tools, or Processes (PTPs).
2. Active, effective, and committed leadership (individual and committee) to provide guidance, stability, and ultimate success of Membership focused Strategic Objectives, Operational Strategies, and PTPs.
3. Effective, coordinated, and synergistic Strategic Communication plans and execution that support Membership focused Strategic Objectives, Operational Strategies, and PTP’s.
Membership focused Programs, Tools, and Processes (PTPs) that support the Operational Strategies (in priority order):
VMAP – VMAP participation by the Valley of El Paso.
Membership and all other Committees –
Active, effective, and committed Committees that have a Mission and stated Goal. Appoint a Membership Chairman to oversee a Committee whose duties will consist of strategies that will assist in membership retention by personal contacts and outreach to our membership.
Strategic Communications Team –
Active, effective and committed Valley Strategic Communications Team.
NPD Outreach Analysis –
Conduct and disseminate a comprehensive NPD outreach analysis.
New Member Packet –
Continue to produce and distribute a top quality New Member Packet.
Continually update and improve an effective and innovative Valley Website.
Leadership Meetings –
Continue to hold Valley Meetings that support, enable and identify Membership focused Strategic Objectives, Operational Strategies, and PTPs in support of the Scottish Rite Strategic Plan.
Membership Goals –
Develop and promulgate specific Valley Membership goals in areas of new initiations, restorations, and attrition.
Best Practices, Lessons Learned, and Success Stories –
Collect, analyze, and promulgate Valley Membership best practices, lessons learned, and success stories.
Celebrating the Craft Webcast –
Promote and participate in the annual Celebrating the Craft Webcast from the House of the Temple.
Contact Information –
Dedicated effort and process to obtain email addresses, addresses, and phone numbers for every member.
Master Craftsman –
Continue to support and encourage participation in the Master Craftsman Program.
VMAP Coordinator or Committee –
Establish and utilize a VMAP Coordinator and/or VMAP Committee.
Journal and Newsletter Articles –
Submit and/or publish Scottish Rite Journal and Valley Newsletter articles that support Scottish Rite Membership focused Strategic Objectives, Operational Strategies, and PTPs in support of the Valley Plan and highlight Membership focused activities.
Social Media Programs –
Have coordinated, synergistic, and effective Valley Scottish Rite Social Media programs that support Scottish Rite Membership focused Strategic Objectives, Operational Strategies, and PTPs in support of the Scottish Rite Strategic Plan. Make extensive use of the Valley Calendar, Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.
Valley Newsletters –
Continue the quarterly Valley Newsletter.
Arm-In-Arm Program –
Continue the Valley Arm-In-Arm Program under the direction of an Arm-In-Arm Chairman that focuses on continuing social activities for Members and their families.
Knights of Saint Andrew –
Utilize the Valley Chapter of the Knights of Saint Andrew to recruit and mentor new Scottish Rite Members and fully engage them in Valley activities.
Ambassador Program –
Appoint a Scottish Rite Ambassador to every Blue Lodge within the jurisdiction of the Valley. These Ambassadors will serve to promote the Scottish Rite and its programs and serve as a recruitment tool by seeking out new prospective members.
Strategic Objective 2
(Enhance financial strength via effective Finance and Development efforts and by increasing membership.)
Operational Strategies that support and must be accomplished to achieve Strategic Objective 2:
1. Active, effective, and committed leadership (individual and committee) to provide guidance, stability, and ultimate success of Finance and Development focused Strategic Objectives, Operational Strategies, and PTPs.
2. Effective, coordinated plan and execution that support Finance and Development focused Strategic Objectives, Operational Strategies, and PTPs.
3. Effective partnership(s) with financial institution(s) to devise and execute successful short and long term financial strategies and investment policies to achieve the best possible financial results and overall financial health.
4. Transparent accounting, staffing, and compensation practices that promote and achieve efficient and effective financial operations and decisions.
5. Continue to conduct regular Executive Committee Meetings prior to every Stated Meeting. Executive Committee Members will be furnished with the current monthly budget expenditures to insure Valley operations are within the approved yearly operational budget.
Finance and Development focused PTPs that support the Operational Strategies (in priority order):
Valley Finance Committee –
Active, effective and committed Valley Finance Committee that meets regularly and has a mission statement and goals that address immediate and long-term financial stability.
“Culture of Giving” –
Continue to support a Scottish Rite creation of a “Culture of Giving.”
Financial Reporting –
Provide regular Scottish Rite financial reporting to Membership.
Foundation Committee –
Active, effective and committed Foundation Committee.
Wills / Bequests –
Continue to support and pursue Scottish Rite Wills / Bequests.
Donor Recognition Program –
Continue to support, pursue and execute a Valley Donor Recognition Program.
Strategic Objective 3
(Have a recognized and respected Public Image that is valued by its members, the Masonic world, and the country.)
Operational Strategies that support and must be accomplished to achieve Strategic Objective 3:
1. Effective, coordinated and synergistic Strategic Communication plan and execution that supports Public Image and Awareness, to include media relations strategy to communicate the Scottish Rite Brand and all philanthropic activities.
2. Develop, promulgate, and use a Scottish Rite ‘Brand’ and Scottish Rite ‘Elevator Speech’ describing who we are, what we do and stand for, where we are, and why we do what we do.
3. Promote Scottish Rite Scholarships and Community Service / Outreach programs throughout the Valley.
4. Active, effective, and committed leadership (individual and committee) to provide guidance and ultimate success of Scottish Rite Public Image and Awareness Strategic Objectives, Operational Strategies, and PTPs.
5. Continue to support the ROTC/JROTC Americanism Award program from the Supreme Council.
Public Image and Awareness focused PTPs that support the Operational Strategies (in priority order):
Strategic Communications Team –
Active, effective, and committed Valley Strategic Communications Team.
Best Practices, Lessons Learned, and Success Stories –
Collect, analyze, and promulgate Valley and Orient Public Image and Awareness best practices, lessons learned, and success stories.
Journal and Newsletter Articles –
Submit and/or publish Scottish Rite Journal and Valley Newsletter articles that support specific philanthropic and public awareness Strategic Objectives, Operational Strategies, and PTPs in support of the Scottish Rite Strategic Plan.
Social Media Programs –
Have coordinated, synergized, and effective Valley Scottish Rite Social Media programs that support Public Image and Awareness strategic objectives, operational strategies, and PTPs in support of the Scottish Rite Strategic Plan.
Strategic Objective 4:
(Maintain, keep in good repair and make progressive improvements to the El Paso Scottish Rite Temple.)
Operational Strategies that support and must be accomplished to achieve Strategic Objective 4:
Foundation Board of Directors –
Foremost, have active, dedicated, well informed and committed Directors that formulate maintenance strategy, define maintenance standards and allocate maintenance resources based on assets available. Develop and oversee an effective, coordinated financial plan that will meet the prescribed maintenance standards.
Maintenance Strategy –
Develop a general Maintenance Strategy that includes corrective (reactive), preventive (proactive) and condition-based (major) that meets an acceptable maintenance standard utilizing an effective mix of direct labor and contract labor.
Maintenance Standards –
Priority One – Corrective/Reactive: Urgent repairs where vital facilities and services are disrupted; emergency repairs that can cause danger to the health and safety of employees or the general public; routine repairs, not necessarily urgent but affect the operation of our usual services.
Priority Two – Preventive/Proactive: Steps necessary to identify and correct the breakdown of equipment or building degradation due to wear and tear and/or age which is necessary to prolong the useful life of assets.
Priority Three – Condition Based/Major: Overhaul, renovation or replacement of building elements or site infrastructure not associated under Priority One or Two. Examples of which would be replacement of roof covering, windows, renewal of external surfaces, boiler or HVAC replacement, elevator renovation, electrical rewiring and redecoration.
Allocation of Maintenance Resources –
Assign and manage assets in a manner that supports the organization's strategic goals. Balance competing needs and priorities and determine the most effective course of action in order to maximize the effective use of limited resources and gain the best return on investment.
Freemasonry is the world's oldest and largest fraternal organization. It is believed to have originated with the craft guilds of medieval Europe and latterly, to have expanded to admit those who did not actually belong to the trade. The literal stone masons are referred to as operatives while those who did not actually work in stone were called speculative masons. [ Bro. Stephen Daphoe]
The Scottish Rite is based upon Symbolic Masonry. It does not confer the first three degrees. This is recognized as the unquestioned prerogative of the Symbolic Lodges. The Scottish Rite confers only degrees from the fourth to the thirty-second, inclusive.
The Bodies of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry sitting in the Valley of El Paso, Orient of Texas, acknowledge and yield allegiance to the Supreme Council (Mother Council of the World) of the Inspectors General, Knights Commander of the House of the Temple of Solomon, of the Thirty-third and last Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America, whose See is at the Grand Orient of South Carolina, now sitting at Washington D.C. of which..
Ill. James D. Cole, 33°, Sovereign Grand Commander
Ill. Michael L. Wiggins, 33°, Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Texas
Honorable Tom L. Higgins, 33°, Personal Representative of SGIG and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Valley of El Paso
Valley of El Paso:
The history of the Scottish Rite in the Valley of El Paso should properly begin with the organizations of the El Paso Lodge of Perfection No. 5 and El Paso Chapter of the Rose Croix No. 4 under the Letters Temporary granted by Albert Pike, 33°, Grand Commander, on the 11th day of April, 1883, and the 11th day of December 1883, respectively. Those two organizations duly instituted by Grand Commander Albert Pike, and the furniture and properties to be used by them were constituted at that time under the direction and personal supervision of the Grand Commander. At that time El Paso was little more than a border town with shifting population, and these two organizations later became demised; but the furniture and properties were carefully stored away and when these two organizations were again instituted in 1905, the furniture and properties, including the alter with the copper horns, were again put into use and are today highly valued because of their history and origin.
At a meeting held in the Masonic Temple of El Paso on Friday, November 17, 1905, Mount Franklin Lodge of Perfection No. 8 was instituted in due form by Brother Edward Charles Pew, 33° Honorary, acting as Deputy under the authorization of Brother A. B. Chamberlin, 33°, Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Texas.
Oasis Chapter of Knights Rose Croix No. 5 was constituted and its officers installed on October 2, 1906, by Brother E. W. S. Neff, 33°, acting Deputy for Brother A. B. Chamberlin, 33°, Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Texas.
On February 19, 1907, Brother E. W. S. Neff, assisted by Brother E. C. Pew, 33° Honorary, and J. J. Ormsbee, 32°, as special officers of the Supreme Council, appointed by Brother A. B. Chamberlin, 33° Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Texas, constituted and set to work Rio Grand Council No. 3, Knights Kadosh
El Paso Consistory No. 3 was constituted on July 23, 1907 by Brother E. C. Pew, 33° Honorary, acting as the special deputy for the Sovereign Grand Inspector General in Texas, Brother Chamberlin conducting the ceremonies of inauguration.
All four organizations had been constituted in the Masonic Temple of El Paso, where the members met in a small room rented for a nominal amount. The various properties and furniture were left standing in their place, there being no storage space for them.
Later, the organization moved twice, each time to more commodious quarters, yet still inadequate; but hope had been carried all these years in the hearts of the loyal workers of one day possessing a Temple of their own. Funds for this purpose were contributed and loaned by various members, and work started in 1921 under the authorization of the Scottish Rite Benevolent Association of El Paso, an organization with the joint purpose of aid to the needy Masons and their families, and the furnishings, maintenance and support of a Scottish Rite Cathedral in the city of El Paso. In 1922 the organization moved into their new Temple, although it was sparsely furnished at the time in the way of stage and lighting equipment, costumes and other paraphernalia for the conferring Degrees.
Today the Temple is entirely free from indebtedness, finished, equipped, and is second to none in the state. The El Paso Scottish Rite proudly stands upon a firm and solid ground.
What we do:
Freemasonry is engaged in building a temple, a temple not made with hands, but made up of dreams, the aspirations, the hopes, the inspired visions of humanity; a temple dedicated to the sincere worship of the Most High God whose name is Love. Scottish Rite Masons are are builders of that temple. Their prayers, their purpose, their efforts are intelligently directed toward that end, to create in the minds of men a sacred place from which shall flow the light of toleration, humility, love of righteousness, devotion to truth and justice, which shall illumine the world that is to be. This Rite of Freemasonry is committed to no particular social system; it fosters no political or intellectual propaganda. Rather, its mission is to create and stimulate in human hearts that pure sentiment that springs from a literal and wholehearted acceptance of the truth of the fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man.
Constituted on April 11th, 1883 by Albert Pike, the El Paso Scottish Rite boasts a membership of over 1,200 men.
Who we are:
Scottish Rite Freemasonry is the one universal Freemasonry; in fact, in many lands it is the only Freemasonry. Prior to the beginning of World War II, before the Totalitarian aggressors suppressed the Craft in most of Europe, there were thirty-seven Supreme Councils in existence, including countries from Italy to Argentina and New Zealand, and from the United States to China and South Africa.
The Scottish Rite is primarily a rite of instruction. It interprets the symbols and allegories of Freemasonry in the light of history and philosophy, using the words of the inspired prophets of humanity, the ceremonials of the great religious of the world, and significant episodes from history and biography to point the moral and adorn the tale. It is a university course in Masonic symbolism, tradition and ideas. In its Degrees the Masonic ritual is explained, the underlying meanings interpreted. Ancient liturgies and age-old philosophies are invoked to illustrate and enforce the profound teachings of the Craft.
The Scottish Rite is more than a fraternity of good fellows engaged in the benevolent practices of friendship and relief. It is a militant order, a knighthood, devoted to the cause of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
The Scottish Rite seeks to cultivate in the hearts of men personal morality and the sentiment of tolerance and fraternity. What has been said and done by the historic emancipators for the liberation of the human mind is vividly portrayed in its Degrees and the Scottish Rite Mason is dedicated to the effort to make the spirit of Masonry prevalent in society.