Continuing with the theme of resources for Masonic Education Programs started in the previous posting entitled "Masonic Education Programs Basics", this post presents another resource for Worshipful Masters and other masons to develop ideas and content for education programs.
Since 1923, the Masonic Service Association of North America has been producing a monthly "Short Talk Bulletin" available to Masonic Lodges and brothers. These Short Talk Bulletins are designed specifically to be a resource for programs given during a Stated Communication and typically contain 10-15 minutes worth of content.
The categories for the over eighty years of content are:
- Entered Apprentice
- Master Mason
- About Individuals
- Body of the Craft
- Civic and Patriotic
- Inspiration and Charity
- In the Lodge
- Religion and Ethics
- Symbols and Symbolism
- The War and After
During my two years as Worshipful Master, I relied heavily on these Short Talk Bulletins for education programs. They make great stepping off points for additional research or can simply be just read in lodge.
A yearly subscription costs $6.00 and is an absolute steal. Back issues of the bulletins can be purchased from the MSA for 50 cents per issue. Alternatively, you or your lodge can buy the entire set of past bulletins, all the way to 1923, for $417.60 plus shipping and handling.
If your Grand Lodge is a member jurisdiction of the MSA, then your lodge should already be receiving these Short Talk Bulletins, since each constituent lodge of member jurisdictions automatically receive them. If you haven't seen one before, ask your lodge secretary if he is receiving them. Many lodge secretaries receive the bulletins and just file them away. They do no good in a filing cabinet. They should be in the hands of the Worshipful Master, so he can use them for lodge programs.
In addition to the Short Talk Bulletin, the MSA also produces national Masonic statistics, CDs, videos and a few other items. Their full catalog can be found here.