SINCERETY'S BY LAWS
Sincerity Lodge No. 181 - BY LAWS
The name of this Lodge shall be Sincerity Lodge #181 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Maryland
Section 1 – The stated communication of this Lodge shall be on the third Thursday of each month, beginning at 7:30 P.M with the option of meeting to be called on the first Thursday of each month at the discretion of the Worshipful Master. During the months of July and August the Lodge may assemble or not at the option of the Worshipful Master.
Elections, Appointment, Installation of Officers
SECTION 1-The worshipful Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected annually, by ballot, either at the stated communication, immediately preceding St. John the Evangelist’s Day or at the first stated communication in December, as the Worshipful Master may elect. They shall hold office until their successors shall have been respectively duly elected and installed.
Section 2- The elected Officers shall be installed at the next stated communication in January, or as soon thereafter as practicable.
Section 3 – The Worshipful Master shall appoint a Senior Deacon, Junior Deacon, Senior Steward, Junior Steward, A Chaplain, Tyler and a Marshall who shall be invested at the communication of Installation of Officers or as soon thereafter as practicable.
Section 4 – The Worshipful Master may appoint any and all other officers and committees who are herein provided for and as may seem necessary and expedient for the proper conduct of the business and affairs of the Lodge.
Section 5 – The Worshipful Master shall appoint an Auditing committee of three members of the Lodge. The Auditing Committee shall examine the books and accounts of the Secretary and Treasurer annually and shall report thereon to the Lodge no later than March 31st of the following year.
Section 6 – The Worshipful Master appoints any and all committees and they serve at the pleasure of the Worshipful Master until discharged by him at the conclusion of his term in office.
Duties of Officers
Section 1- Duties of the Worshipful Master and Wardens being well established by ancient usage and customs, they shall not be enumerated herein.
Section 2 – The Secretary in addition to the usual duties of the office shall receive all monies due the Lodge and shall pay them over to the Treasurer as promptly as possible. He shall give notice of all communications in sealed envelopes or by E-mail, with the consent of the member, stating the business to be transacted thereat, shall prepare and forward to the membership, notices for annual dues, in advance. He shall notify members of their appointments on committees and shall perform such other duties as from time to time be assigned to him by the Worshipful Master.
Section 3 – The Treasurer shall receive from the Secretary all monies collected for and on behalf of the Lodge and shall promptly deposit the same in the name of Sincerity Lodge #181 A.F. & A. M. in such bank or banks that is FDIC or FSLIC insured as may be convenient for the Treasurer with the approval of the Lodge.
All funds of the Lodge shall be disbursed only upon the order the Worshipful Master and in his absences by the Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Secretary and Treasurer pursuant to the authorization of the Lodge. The Treasurer shall keep a full and accurate account of all monies received and disbursed. In the event the Secretary or Treasurer shall by reason of incapacity be unable to perform his duties, herein provided – the Worshipful Master may by appropriate resolution duly adopted at a regular communication thereof, designate and empower another officer to act in their place and during the period of such incapacity.
Section 4 – All funds shall be disbursed generally by order of the Worshipful Master with the consent of the Lodge. In his absences, the Acting Worshipful Master will have this authority. In case of an emergency, The Worshipful Master, Secretary and Treasurer will act in the best interest of the Lodge.
Bonding of Officers
Section 1 – The Lodge shall provide a Fidelity Bond for the Secretary and Treasurer in the amount of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) in such corporate surety as may be acceptable to the Worshipful Master and Wardens. The premium on such bond shall be at the expense of the Lodge.
Section 1 – The Secretary shall receive for his services the sum of Four Dollars ($4.00) per member payable semi-annually and shall be exempt from the payment of dues and Grand Lodge assessment. The Grand Lodge assessment will be paid by the Lodge.
Section 2- The Treasurer shall receive for his services the sum of One Hundred and Fifty Dollars ($150.00) annually and shall be exempt from the payment of dues and Grand Lodge Assessment. The Grand Lodge assessment shall be paid by the Lodge.
Section 3 – The Tyler of the Lodge shall receive for his services the sum of Twenty Dollars ($20.00) per meeting payable after each meeting or as soon as possible, if a member from another Lodge. If the Tyler is a member of the Lodge, no funds will be paid.
Section1. The Worshipful Master and Wardens shall constitute a standing committee, which shall take cognizance of all applications for charity that may be referred to them by the Lodge, or they may rise during recess of the Lodge. A majority of the committee may draw upon funds for any sum not to exceed One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) in any case, during recess of the Lodge, and shall report to the Lodge at each communication upon any and all funds so expended.
Section 2 – There will be a new permanent committee named “Membership Retention Committee. This committee will be responsible for the initial contact of inquiries, mentoring and retention of members. The Secretary will be an Advisory member of this committee.
Section 3 – There will be a permanent committee named Educational Grant Committee. This committee will consist of the Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Past Master and A Master Mason. This committee will review and recommend to the Masonic Charities of Maryland, potential high school candidates assigned to them for a scholarship award.
Petitions for Initiation and Affiliation - Demits
Section 1 – Applicants for initiation into masonry through this Lodge, shall apply by petition, in writing, signed by him, upon forms prescribed by The Grand Lodge of Maryland, with the recommendations of two members of this Lodge and accompanied by an initiation fee of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00).
Section 2 – Applications for affiliation, or membership, in this Lodge shall be made by petition in a like manner as applications for initiation as herein provided. The said petition shall be accompanied by a demit or certificate of Good Standing together with an affiliation of membership fee of Fifty Dollars ($50.00). No action shall be taken upon the petition for affiliation or membership unless prior thereto the petitioner shall have visited the Lodge at a seated communication.
Section 3- Regular Ordained Ministers of the Gospel who earn their living as a Minister and are present members will continue to be exempt from dues. New petitioners who are Ordained Ministers will be subject to all costs for petitions and dues.
Section 4- All petitions to this Lodge shall be treated and acted upon in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, By-Laws and standing orders and Resolutions of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Maryland.
Section 5- Any member of this Lodge may demit there from by signifying his desire to do so, in writing, presented at a stated communication and paying unto the Secretary any and all indebtedness on his part to the Lodge where upon a demit shall be granted to him provided there are no charges pending against him. Nothing in this section shall prevent the Lodge from remitting the dues of any member for the purpose of granting a demit.
Dues – Address
Section 1 – Unless specifically exempted, members shall pay dues annually together with such per capita tax or assessment as may from time to time be levied upon subordinate Lodges by The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Maryland. The said dues shall be paid in advance upon receiving the dues notice from the Secretary, but not later than December 31st of the year for which they are accessed. Dues costs will be voted on the second meeting of September by a majority vote of the members present.
Section 2 – Dues shall be calculated from the beginning of the quarter in which the brother is raised or affiliated to the end of the year, except the fourth quarter.
Section 3- Regular Ordained Minister of the Gospel who are present members are exempt from dues and Grand Lodge assessment. (Refer to Article VIII Section 3).
Section 4- Any member, who shall fail to pay his dues as in this Article IX provided, shall be subject to suspension pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution, By-laws and standing orders and Resolutions of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Maryland.
Section 5- A Brother changing his place of residence shall so notify the Secretary of the Lodge as promptly thereafter as practicable. Notices sent by US Mail to the last known address of a Brother, shall be deemed due legal notice.
Section 1- All monies belonging to this Lodge shall constitute a general fund which shall be deposited in the name of the Lodge, in such bank or banks, which are FDIC or FSLIC approved as the Treasurer shall choose with the approval of the Lodge.
Life and Honorary Membership
Presently, this Lodge has three classifications of membership, namely, Life membership, Honorary Past Master and Honorary member. Each section shall identify the minimum criteria to recommend a Brother for these designations.
Section 1- Life Member - Any Brother, who is presently holding the designation of Life Member, will continue to hold this designation. There will be no future designation of Life Member.
Section 2- Honorary member – This designation is used when a Brother from another Lodge has performed, assisted and supported this Lodge on frequent occasions. To receive this designation, a member of this Lodge will make a recommendation to the Lodge outlining the reason for the recommendation. This recommendation should be made at a regular communication with the recommended Brother not in attendance. A positive vote by a majority of the members present is required before the designation is granted. The Worshipful Master or Secretary will write a congratulatory letter to the Brother advising him of his designation.
Section 3 – Honorary Past Master - All of the same requirements as stated above in Section 2 are required except the Brother must be a Past Master from another Lodge in Maryland or another jurisdiction recognized by the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Maryland.
Section 1- The seal of the Lodge shall be circular in form. In the center shall be the Square and Compasses with the words, “Instituted 1886” and around the circle shall be the words “Sincerity Lodge #181 A.F. &A.M., Baltimore, Maryland.
Past Master’s Jewel and Apron
Section 1- Every retiring Master of this Lodge, who has served one full term as Worshipful Master, shall be presented a Past Master’s Jewel and Apron. The said Jewel and Apron shall be of the same style and design as heretofore adopted by the Lodge and shall be procured by the Secretary at the expense of the Lodge. A Master serving more than one year, shall have a bar added to his Past Master’s jewel identifying the year/years served. This bar shall be procured by the Secretary at the expense of the Lodge.
Section 1- Unless otherwise specifically provided in these By-laws, or in the Constitution, By-Laws, and standing orders and Resolutions of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Maryland, a majority vote of the members present shall be sufficient for the adoption of any question or resolution coming before any communication of the Lodge.
Constitution, etc. of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Maryland
Section 1- This Lodge being an integral part of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Maryland, the same shall be governed pursuant to the Constitution, By-Laws and standing orders and Resolutions of the Grand Lodge, in all matters and situations not specifically provided for in these By-Laws.
In the event of any inconsistency between the Constitution, By-Laws, standing orders and Resolutions of the Grand Lodge and By-Laws of this Lodge, the provisions of the Constitution, By-Laws, standing orders and Resolutions of the said Grand Lodge shall prevail.
Section 1- These By-laws may be altered or amended by proposed alternations or amendment being presented in writing at a regular communication of the Lodge, a copy thereof being thereafter forwarded to each member of the Lodge with notice of the date of action at a regular communication of the Lodge, which shall be not less than thirty (30) days nor more than sixty (60) days from the communication at which the proposed alternation or amendment shall have been presented.
The affirmation vote of two-thirds (2/3) of the members present shall be necessary for the adoption of any such proposed alternation or amendment.
2- All By-Laws heretofore existing are hereby repealed.
These By-Laws have been approved by the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Maryland’ By Laws Committee and Sincerity Lodge #181 Membership and are in effect as of February 6, 2014.
Charles A. Beckhardt Jr., PM William H. Davenport, PM
Worshipful Master – Chair Secretary – Committee Member
William E. Rogers
Senior Warden- Committee Member