Friday, August 11, 2006

Too many buildings

It's been suggested in recent years that Freemasons don't have too few members, just too many buildings.

Subordinate OES Chapter numbers are sequential. Here in the Grand Chapter of Washington we have ~106 active Chapters, but our highest active number is #257. It boggles my mind that anyone in this jurisdiction ever thought we needed, or could possibly support, 257+ Chapters. Doesn't seem much different from Boston Market or Krispy Kreme, who over-expanded and then had to withdraw from markets, consolidate, and lay off.

And, it turns out, we are not the only struggling social organizations to be thinking in this direction. The Seattle Times op-ed page today describes a proposal for mainline Protestant churches in the University District to consolidate their properties and share a single facility. Too few churchgoers, too many buildings, too much maintenance, too much property value tied up in empty caverns. Don't know if it'll fly, yet, but it shows that other "Bowling Alone" groups are beginning to think outside the big brick box.

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