I often get asked what happens to a Mason who suddenly runs into financial problems and is unable to pay his dues. In this article, we’ll explore the different scenarios that could play out and what options are available to help a brother in need.
In Mississippi, dues are required to be paid by December 1st, but most lodges will accept dues paid at the stated meeting in December. If a member is unable to pay their dues, they may be suspended after a few months, but there are options available to help them stay active in the lodge. Let’s dive into the details and explore how lodges handle financial hardships for their members.
Dues Payment in Mississippi
Dues Payment Deadline
In Mississippi, dues are required to be paid by December 1st. However, most lodges adhere to the practice of having dues paid by the stated meeting in December or the first meeting in December if there is a call to communication. For example, if a lodge’s stated communication is on December 4th, the lodge will likely accept any dues that are paid on that day before the lodge opens.
Suspension for Non-Payment
If a member has not paid their dues by the deadline, they will be suspended for non-payment after a few months. This means they cannot attend lodge, vote, or hold office. However, they can be reinstated by paying the current year’s dues.
Exemption for Financial Hardship
If a member is unable to pay their dues due to financial hardship, they may be eligible for exemption. In Mississippi, if a member is of a certain age and meets the exemption criteria, they don’t have to pay their dues. It’s important for members to know about any programs in their area that might exempt them from paying dues in the first place.
If a member is unable to pay their dues and doesn’t qualify for exemption, communication is key. The member should reach out to the Worshipful Master or Secretary and explain their situation. The lodge may offer Masonic charity to help with the member’s needs, and the member can use any extra money to pay their dues. The lodge may also consider accepting services in lieu of dues payment.
In conclusion, it’s important for members to pay their dues on time to avoid suspension, but if financial hardship arises, communication with the lodge is key. The lodge may offer options such as exemption, Masonic charity, or accepting services in lieu of dues payment.
Handling Financial Hardships
When a Mason runs into financial problems and is suddenly unable to pay their dues, there are several ways to handle the situation. As a Master Mason in Mississippi, I can share some insight into how we handle financial hardships in our state.
Communication is Key
The most critical aspect of handling financial hardships is communication. If a Brother is unable to pay their dues, they must communicate with their Lodge. If they do not show up to Lodge, answer phone calls, or respond to letters, there is nothing the Lodge can do. However, if the Brother takes the time to communicate with the Lodge, they can work together to find a solution.
Options for Assistance
There are several options for assistance when a Brother cannot pay their dues. In Mississippi, if a Brother is of a certain age and meets the criteria, they can apply for exemption and become exempt from paying dues. It is also beneficial to know about programs in your area that might exempt you from paying dues in the first place.
If the exemption is not an option, there are other ways to help a Brother pay their dues. The Lodge can collect money from everyone in the Lodge, or a single member can step forward and pay for the Brother’s dues. Another option is a quid pro quo, where the Lodge accepts services instead of money.
Council for Dues Payment
There is no council for dues payment in Mississippi. When it comes time for elections, the Secretary of the Lodge will announce the names of those who have not paid their dues. If a Brother has not paid their dues, they are given an opportunity to pay them. However, if a Brother decides they no longer want to be a member, the Lodge will not waste resources trying to convince them otherwise.
In conclusion, communication is key when handling financial hardships. There are several options for assistance, including exemption, collecting money from the Lodge, or accepting services instead of money. In Mississippi, there is no council for dues payment, and if a Brother decides they no longer want to be a member, the Lodge will not waste resources trying to convince them otherwise.