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Masonic News & Views -- The Masonic Lodge: a metaphor for life
December 05, 2011
In the Masonic lodge we have certain customs or protocols that we're told are important. Unfortunately, we're not always told why they are important. As for myself, I find it easier and more enjoyable to adhere to prescribed customs if I understand the reasoning behind them. Before we go further though, I should insert a small disclaimer. I do not speak for Freemasonry; no one does. What follows are my own interpretations and understandings of why we do some of the things we do in lodge. Your reasoning may differ and I would love to hear what you think.
So, let's start with the biggie and most obvious: When travelling from one side of the lodge room to the other we never cross between the Master and the altar (except when Masonic ritual dictates it). Why not? It's open floor just like the rest of the room. Here's my thinking:
The Book of the Law (which in the U.S. is generally the Holy Bible) is open on the altar during all meetings. In the ceremony to install a new Master of a lodge he is told, "The Holy Writings, that great light in Masonry, will guide you to all truth...." The Master of a lodge is charged with the superintendence and government of the lodge brethren, and to do so successfully it is vital that nothing come between him and truth. By carrying the analogy further and viewing the lodge as a metaphor for life it becomes clear that as we are never to cross between the Master and truth, so also should we never interfere with another's search for truth nor permit anyone to interfere with our own. We are, in essence, each of us the Master of our own life, and the diligence and perseverance with which we seek truth will determine the honor, reputation and usefulness of that life.
When a brother wishes to address the lodge he should stand and wait for the Master of the lodge to recognize him before speaking. Once recognized, he should begin, "Worshipful Master, Wardens and Brethren....," and then say his piece. Why is it important that he gain recognition before speaking? Why is it important that he be standing when speaking? Here's what I'm thinking:
When a person believes he has something of substance to say he should stand, be recognized and make himself heard and understood. By standing when all others are sitting he is essentially saying, "What I have to say matters and I wish to be heard." By recognizing him the Master conveys authority and directs all others to listen. A man willing to stand alone and speak his mind deserves to be heard, and everyone in the room deserves the opportunity to hear what he has to say.
Carrying this analogy from the lodge room and into life it follows that when we have something of substance to communicate we should want, even insist, on being recognized and heard. In our beliefs, our convictions, even in our substantive opinions we must be willing to stand alone if need be and speak our mind without regard to consequence. And conversely, if we have nothing but trivialities to contribute, if we are not willing to stand and be recognized and heard, we should be still.
Our Masonic lodge is not just a place to meet, conduct business, plan social gatherings and fundraisers. It is a metaphor for life, and the customs we follow and the rituals we perform are no mere ancient exercises. They are pathways to improvement; they are tools that enable us to chip away and remove that which conceals and reveal the beauties that lie within. They are wisdom of the ages passed down to us through millennia, and now it's up to us to use them wisely, preserve them carefully and prepare future generations to do the same.
Now, on with the news........................
Monday, December 5, 2011: Branson Lodge No. 587 will receive RWB Mickey Brown, DDGM of the 43rd Masonic District, as he makes his official visit to the lodge. Dinner at 6:00 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM. On the menu this evening is pulled pork, baked beans, potato salad and dessert. All Freemasons are invited in.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011: Billings Lodge No. 379 will meet in Special Communication for work in the 1st Degree of Freemasonry. Aeron Michael Borich, who has been duly elected, will be presented for initiation into the mysteries of the Craft. Refreshments at 6:00 PM and the Lodge will be duly Opened at 6:30 PM. Your attendance and participation is greatly appreciated.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011: Henderson Lodge No. 477 will meet in Special Communication for work in the 3rd Degree of Freemasonry. Brother Mark A. Sterling will be presented for advancement to the sublime degree of Master Mason. Dinner at 6:00 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 6:30 PM. The Henderson lodge building is located at 127 East Center Street in Rogersville, MO.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011: Friend Lodge No. 352 will meet in Regular Communication at the lodge hall in Sparta, MO for the official visit and reception of RWB Mickey Brown, DDGM of the 43rd Masonic District. Dinner at 6:30 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:30 PM.
The Bolivar Order of the Eastern Star, Mizpah Chapter #230 is having a food drive for Christmas baskets and would like to invite the Masons to help. Please leave your donations at the lodge hall (Bolivar Masonic Temple) Our meeting is December 6th and we will deliver the food to the Bolivar Food Pantry on Dec. 7th. We would appreciate your help. Please announce this in your meetings. Thank you Carol Fuller, Secretary.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011: Area Freemasons will be marching in the Joplin Christmas Parade and you are invited to join in. If you play the Bag Pipes or know someone who does you will be especially popular. Contact Brother BillyJoe Coleman for details and arrangements: (417)850-1959.
Thursday, December 8, 2011: Bolivar Chapter #5 RAM- St. Elmo Commandery #43 KT have changed their meeting night for December so as not to be so close to Christmas. There will be guests present and the Companions and Knights would love to have a good turnout. Eat at 6:00 PM; meetings start at 7:00 PM. The December meeting is also when Officers for 2012 and Temple Board Members will be elected.
Sparta lodge is doing it again this year ----------- WHAT IS THAT YOU ASK !!!!!!!!!! We are having a food drive to help the needy, MARK your calendars for December 10, between the hours of 3 & 6 pm. ALL THE CHILI AND SOUP you can put away and all we ask is that you bring as a minimum admission three non-perishable food items. This was a great event last year and helped several families in the area. No kidding mark those calendars and plan on attending, and pass the word along to everyone you know.
Saturday, December 10, 2011: St. James Lodge No. 230 will host a special Chance-to-Advance one day class. RWB Brent Stewart will be the Moderator/Education Officer assisted by RWB Bill Zimmerman; RWB Randy Jones, Past Grand Lecturer, will be giving the 3rd degree lecture and RWB Bob Stewart will be giving the 2nd degree lecture.
Monday, December 12, 2011: Date Change - The December meeting of Springfield Chapter No. 15 Royal Arch Masons, Zabud Council No. 25 Cryptic Masons, and St. John's Commandery No. 20 Knights Templar has been moved to December 12 to avoid any conflicts with Christmas and Holiday plans. The meeting will begin at 7:00 PM.
Sunday, December 18, 2011 @ Noon: Masons' Day at the Edward Jones Dome. The St. Louis Rams would like to invite Masonic members, friends and family to watch the Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals!
Groups that order together will be seated together!
You can contact me at "tim'at'masonsmart.com" for a pdf order form.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012: Friend Lodge No. 352 will meet at the Sparta Lodge hall in Sparta, MO for work in the 1st Degree of Freemasonry. Dinner at 6:00 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM.
Monday, January 30, 2012: Webb City Lodge No. 512 will host a Region 'F' School of Ritual Instruction. Dinner at 6:00 and instruction will begin at 6:30 PM. The Webb City Lodge building is located at 401 West Broadway Street in Webb City, MO.
Saturday, February 4, 2012: RWB Robert C. Floyd, Grand Lecturer of Missouri Masons will conduct a School of Ritual Instruction and Regional Round Robin Ritual Competition at Monett Lodge No. 129. Lunch will be available at 11:30 AM and instruction will begin at 1:00 PM. All Missouri Master Masons are encouraged to attend.
Save the Date! Saturday, February 18, 2012: Webb City Lodge No. 512 will host the 97th Annual Washington's Birthday Celebration with Masonic Degree work by three different States. The 1st Degree will be performed by Grove Lodge No. 187 of Oklahoma; the 2nd Degree by Pittsburg Lodge No. 187 of Kansas, and the 3rd Degree by Webb City Chapter No. 119 Royal Arch Masons of Missouri. The 3rd Degree will be done in full costume and promises to be most impressive.
Please Note: Due to acts of God and Government this year the date for the drawing for the new Chevy Camaro has been changed to March 17, 2012. Please help the Scottish Rite Valley of Joplin in their efforts to preserve and repair the beautiful Scottish Rite Cathedral in Joplin, MO. And, in helping preserve this piece of American history you could win a brand new Chevy Camaro. Tickets are just $50 each and only two thousand tickets will be offered. There will be cash prizes awarded, as well. For all the details on how you can help us preserve this beautiful and unique building please go to WWW.WIN-CAMARO.COM. or find us on Facebook and "LIKE" the page at Facebook.com/WinANewCamaro. We're a long way from our goal so please help spread the word. We truly appreciate your assistance. Thank you very much.
As you can see there's lots of Masonry going on in Missouri. See the links below to keep up with the latest or to submit information for your upcoming meeting.
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