When it's appropriate and when it's not.Email is already a tricky thing, faceless, toneless and sometimes even without context, it's very easy to get the wrong message across and very hard to get the right message delivered.
Unless you are the master of the lodge or the secretary acting on the request of the master, you really have no business emailing the membership the base. Yes, you can see the list of all the members in the email header and yes, there is a button that says reply-to-all but that does not give you the right to use these things. To keep it clean and simple, let's apply some general rules for everyone except the master of the lodge and/or his designated proxies.
Every email you send should be from firstname.lastname@example.org NOT from email@example.com. When sending an email from an account that is obviously your own, you are helping to communicate that this is a message from you and not from any other member or on behalf of the lodge itself. Would you get a better turnout to your BBQ if you made the email appear as if it was coming from the lodge itself? Probably, but that would also be wildly inappropriate without permission of the Worshipful Master.
It's tempting to simply include all those emails that were in the last group email you got but is it really appropriate? Of course not. You most often see a large number of recipients in the TO or CC field because the sender does not know how to put them into the BCC field or what that means. Emailing members you do not know can imply that your holding a lodge function and may be seen as disrespectful to the master if done without permission. Unless you were given explicit permission to use a list, don't use it.
It never hurts to qualify your invitation as a personal function and not a lodge function. This lets everyone know exactly what is going on, who they can bring, and can help insulate you from future criticism.
This page was authored by the Past Master of a regular, recognized masonic lodge. The contents of this page are not based on any grand lodge policy, it is based on simple respect and logic. If you feel something on this page is misstated, or could be stated more clearly, please let us know.