The MGM – A personal perspective
I have been to 3 out of the 11 MGM events, and I am really impressed on how things are organized. What strikes me the most is how low-key and unassuming the organizers carry themselves. But everyone knows that a lot of time and effort are masked beneath the smile on their faces. Their humble attitude trickles down to all the volunteers, quietly and patiently working the kitchen, practicing the ritual and promoting the nature of camaraderie you won’t find anywhere else. In other words, they do grand work, but you don’t see them grandstanding at all.
But sad to say, there are still detractors who think they know better, even though they have not attended a single event and witnessed for themselves what actually goes on during these events. These detractors bring issues of libation and membership to other groups not recognized by the GLC. The libation issue is a very shallow and weak argument against the attendees of the MGM. It is true that alcohol is “socially” served and consumed in the Lodge building. But no Lodge funds are used for its purchase. I say “socially” to emphasize that there is no drinking of alcohol in the quantities that can cause disharmony, accident or offend anyone not inclined to alcohol consumption. While there may be “heavy” drinking outside the lodge building, well the point is, it is “outside” and not in the premises of the lodge building.
Another issue raised is membership in other groups not recognized and prohibited by the GLC, of many of the regular attendees of the MGM. The MGM is first and foremost a “joint conferral” of a GLC Masonic degree by a host lodge. And as such, all Master Masons are welcome to attend with only two requirements, a current dues card and a registration fee. The fee is to cover the expenses of providing food for the brethren. There is no required “affiliation check” or “loyalty check” as is the norm in many joint conferrals happening all over California. So why is the MGM targeted with such suspicion? The MGM is just a label. Sad to say, the label has become so popular and strong it has attracted not only admirers but detractors as well.
The MGM has gone through its growing pains and it has evolved into a mature Idea which embodies all three tenets. It now ticks like clockwork and it shines its welcoming arms to any Mason whithersoever dispersed. But while we are in a euphoric state brought about by the remarks of PGM Ken Nagel, referring to it as a “hidden treasure” we as individual Masons should and must not let our guard down because a real tragedy exist, and that tragedy is that its detractors speak the same language as the MGM. It is my hope that someday they will come and see and experience for themselves what MGM has become, what it is not, and what it hopes to be.
Glenn Alvarado, PM