Dollars that Make Sense

what-is-a-background-checkProviding a safe and enjoyable environment for our Masonic Youth is a top priority of the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation. Ensuring the children’s safety is the top priority for the Masonic Youth Groups. To that end, the PMYF, PA DeMolay, PA Rainbow for Girls, and PA Job’s Daughters have committed time and funds to performing thorough background checks on all of their adult volunteers. This is certainly a necessary and important commitment, but what does it really mean, in terms of finance and time?

Since the year 2007, nearly 600 adult leaders of the Masonic Youth Groups in Pennsylvania have submitted themselves for backgrounds checks. These checks are extensive and include reference checks, driving records, and criminal activity checks.  Even minor blemishes, such as speeding tickets, are brought to light by these checks,  so our parents and adults know that the persons with their children are as safe as possible.

This isn’t an inexpensive process, however. As part of it’s ongoing mission of supporting the Masonic Youth Groups, the PMYF has been the leader in helping fund this important function. In that same four year period, since 2007, the Masonic Fraternity in Pennsylvania has paid tens of thousands of dollars to perform the initial background checks. This amounts to roughly $45 per volunteer. Each adult leader pays an annual registration fee which funds recurring random background checks on a percentage of the adult leaders and a guaranteed re-check for everyone at least once every five years. But, at the October meeting of the PMYF Board of Directors, the Board voted to cover this additional cost for the year 2015 as another means of supporting the work being done. By providing these checks the Masonic Youth Groups in Pennsylvania are able to continue to offer high quality programming at an affordable price – all thanks to the support of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

This is a program provided by you, the Free and Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania, and we bet  you’ll agree these are “dollars that make sense.”


Wanted: Modern Day Zerubbabel

building_altar_galleryFreemasonry teaches that King Solomon, along with the other two Grand Masters, completed the Temple at Jerusalem, thereby cementing their place in Judeo-Christian and Masonic history. We, as Free and Accepted Masons, venerate the story and legacy left to us by Solomon and his workers. However, as many Masons know, there is another character of singular importance – that of Zerubbabel. It was Zerubbabel who, according to Biblical interpretation, led the rebuilding of the Temple, keeping the dream of Solomon alive. He is often regarded as a builder and visionary, having taken up the banner that Solomon left behind.

Masonry has its Solomons – those people who have built Masonic organizations from the ground up; men like Walter Fleming and William Florence, who started what would become Shriners International, or J. Raymond Shute, who brought several Masonic organizations to America from England. The average Mason, however, is rarely in a position to build a brand new organization. It takes rare individuals to have the drive for building, as was displayed by King Solomon.

That is when we look to Zerubbabel, the rebuilder. Many communities around our Commonwealth have previously had Masonic Youth Groups. Evidence of their presence remains buried in closets, with costumes, regalia, and supplies. This is not all that dissimilar from the way Zerubbabel found the remains of the Temple. He saw a worn down edifice that he knew deserved far better. Now, YOU can be a modern Zerubbabel. All you need to do is look to the Masonic Youth Groups for a legacy that can be built for generations to come.

Have you considered working to reopen a Masonic Youth Group in your area? The Temple of our Youth is ready for another generation; it just needs a Zerubbabel to lead the way.

Contact PMYF today and start rebuilding your Masonic Youth Group!

This article was first published in the September – October 2011 Masonic Youth Minutes