From the East
I am hopeful that with the news that Covid 19 dies when exposed to sunshine that Arizona will soon be able to get back to life. The newest studies show that actually getting out and enjoying the outdoors is the best way to avoid getting the virus!
The first virtual stated meeting was held on 5/4 and actually went quite well. It was attended by 12 lodge members and one guest RW Randy Jager. It was good to see the faces on my Brothers. Since there hasn’t been a lot going on the meeting was short with only the necessary items covered.
The announcement was made that the coins are in and look great! WB Jeff has a supply on hand and available at the Scottish Rite weekdays. Feel free to swing by and pick some up from him to sell or contact me and I will arrange for a time to meet you and get some to you. They are being sold for $20 each with $5 from each coin going to the John Wayne Foundation for Cancer Research.
Under the bad news category, WB Jeff announced that our insurance carrier is dropping our policy. Apparently our claims over the last few years have put us into a high risk category and they will no longer insure us. We are shopping for a replacement policy now.
The Grand Master has extended the no meeting edict and has announced that Grand Lodge will be held on some future date (Sept?). All information will be sent out ahead of time and only one (yes 1!) representative from each lodge will be allowed to attend. GL will be a one day affair with only voting and officer install taking place.
I have attached the proposed GL budget to this email.
We still have to make up a meeting and I intend to do that virtually. Since we won’t have much to discuss, I will plan some type of video training to go along with it.
Since it is over 2 months away, I am hopeful we can still have Brother Wayne’s 50 year celebration. I am doubtful we will be allowed to have a physical June meeting so his celebration may be the first time we can get together and enjoy each others company!
At the least, I feel the lockdown has punched a huge hole in this Masonic year. I will hold a long term planning meeting once we can all get back together to figure out how to best spend the rest of the year and move forward into 2021.
Dates to remember:
July 11thThe 50th anniversary of Br. John Wayne’s raising to MM. We will have a celebration at the lodge including food, drink and movies of the Duke (Pandemic willing!). Again this will be open to all so mark your calendars now.
And as always, if you have any problems with the building, complaints, suggestions, ideas or just want to talk I am as close as the phone 477-9324
As I sit here and reflect upon the major changes in my life that I am currently navigating, I keep going back to an essay I read last year that I shared with the lodge on the 24 inch gauge. My thoughts keep drifting to how different my days will look now and how I will want to spend more time with my family and be the best father that I can be. With so many demands on my time, which at times can feel quite heavy, I can see how people would come to the determination that they no longer have time to devote to the lodge and Freemasonry. As I reflect on why I started the journey to become a freemason, I come to the conclusion that at this important time, I will need the support of my brothers more than ever. In my desire to be the best father I can be, I need to make sure that I continue to invest in myself and in my journey to take myself from a good man to a better man. I see this as an investment in my family as well, because I cannot take care of and provide them with what they need from me, if I am not taking care of myself physically, mentally and spiritually.
As an individual and lodge, I believe we have the responsibility to be talking to our brothers, reaching out to both the familiar and those we have little or no contact with, building deeper, trusting relationships with them and letting them know that we are there to support them in both word and deed regardless of circumstances. We are bound by the oaths we took on our sacred altar to show our newer brothers that we are to be counted on if they fall on hard times or are going through a rough patch in life. Most importantly, we must provide them with something of value knowing that value is quantified on an individual basis and comes in many forms. That value may be as simple as a kind word at the right time, an attentive ear, instructive tongue or the willingness to correct the irregularities of a less informed Brother. How are we helping to make them better men, and, how is this an investment in themselves? They must do the work, but we have committed to guide them, give them the tools necessary and I believe most importantly, to help them find their goal their light at the end of the tunnel. Without a goal, we lack purpose and struggle to find focus and meaning in our work. We expect and challenge them to be a better man, but what does that mean? How is it quantified? One of the most impactful and motivating things any one of us can do is help a Brother uncover what they want/need for both themselves, and from us and Freemasonry. Every brother’s pathway to becoming a better man differs from our own, and when done properly, becomes a deeply personal and meaningful journey. We need to ensure that while the dark shadowed wings of time continue to beat, our limited time here is being used to better ourselves and helping our brothers better themselves.
WB Albert Pike wrote “Toleration, holding that every other man has the same right to his opinion and faith that we have to ours: the liberality, holding that as no human being can with certainty say, in the class and conflict of hostile faiths and creeds, what is truth, or that he is surely in possession of it, so everyone should feel that it is quite possible that another equally honest and sincere with himself, and yet holding the contrary opinion, may himself be in possession of the truth”
These words ring so true. They seems to be especially important to me as we watch our country prepping up for another election cycles. The Craft teaches us to subdue our passions. May we ever be mindful of this lesson! May we use the Craft to help us apply this to our lives both inside and outside of the lodge! Our fraternity is unique as it brings men of all walks of life together on the Level. We are a representation of the entire world. We sit in Lodge with Brothers of different political, social, and religious backgrounds. We are taught to view each man as equal to ourselves. We must carry on these lessons into the world outside the Lodge.
We must be the example for the rest of the world to emulate. This can only be done if we apply these lessons to our daily lives. To many times we see strife and conflict between people who have opposing viewpoints. Simply watch the news and we have example after example of man attacking his fellow man purely for holding a different mindset. Do not let yourself, or your Brother, fall into his trap of hatred. We are all one race.
As Mason’s we believe in improving this world. Making it better for all who fall us. Each one of us should remind ourselves of this every day. Drive the change we would like to see spread across the world… the hope and dream of true brotherly love.