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Masonic News & Views -- Freemasonry is...
December 12, 2011
Greetings Brother,

There are a lot of questions about Freemasonry. I hope that the information below may help answer some of yours or help you answer like questions when asked.

What is Freemasonry?

Freemasonry has been described as “a beautiful system of morals, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.” Charles C. Hunt of Iowa proposed the following definition: “Freemasonry is an organized society of men symbolically applying the principles of operative masonry and architecture to the science and art of character building.” This especially distinguishes our fraternity from all other organizations which teach a system of morality.

What is the basic purpose or goal of Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is an initiatic society which teaches fraternity, charity, and educates its members in all sciences including the metaphysical. It is devoted to Universal Truths. A Volume of Sacred Law is open upon its Altar whenever a lodge is in session. Yet it is not sectarian or theological. It teaches and stands for the worship of God; truth and justice; fraternity and philanthropy; education and enlightenment. It expects each of its members to be true and loyal to the government of the country to which he owes allegiance, and to be obedient to the laws of the state in which he resides. It forbids the discussion of partisan politics, or other topics likely to excite personal animosities. It seeks to inspire its members with a feeling of charity and good will toward all mankind through Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. Masonic ideals and principles are practiced by individual Freemasons in legislative halls, the houses of commerce and trade, and the shops of industry. These ideals and principles have been carried there by individual Masons. Whatever good Masonry has accomplished and may accomplish in the world has been and will be the sum of the worth of its individual members.

Why are we called Freemasons?

A Freemason was so called because he was free within his Guild or free of the Guild's laws and could thus travel in foreign countries and work where he wished. The Freemason was such because of skill, knowledge, and abilities which set him free of those conditions, laws, rules, and customs which circumscribed masons of lesser abilities in the cathedral building age.

Why is Freemasonry called 'Speculative' today?

The word is used in the sense that Masonry of today is theoretical building instead of practical; that is a pursuit of knowledge, not construction of material edifices. Speculative Masonry began with the practice of admitting to membership in operative lodges men who were not practical builders such as stone cutters and architects, but men who were interested in the moral, ethical, and philosophical teachings of the fraternity.

Is Freemasonry a secret society?

Freemasonry is NOT a secret society; rather it is a private society. A secret society, among other things, meets in a secret place, unknown to the general public; its membership is secret and nothing is publicly known concerning it aims, principles, and organization.

Masonic lodges usually occupy a prominent location in the community and their Temples customarily are identified by a display of one or more well-known Masonic emblems. Anyone may see who enters or leaves a Masonic Temple; and most members of the Craft wear Masonic insignia somewhere on their person where all may see that they hold membership in the fraternity. Masonic principles, ideals, philosophy, and purpose may be known to anyone who desires to make inquiry, to read about them in the multitude of books available to any man, woman or child-- and they often are discussed in public notices. Masonic leaders, and usually the great majority of its membership are known and respected by all who endorse men of high purpose.

The secrets of freemasonry include its methods of recognition-- to protect it against intruders and imposters-- and its specific system of symbolic instruction. However, this does not mean that the internal affairs of a lodge may be discussed promiscuously by its members outside the Temple, particularly in the presence of non-Masons. In the private business of their lodge-- and that means ALL business-- Silence and circumspection are strictly enjoined on all Masons.

Is Freemasonry a religion or has it a religion?

Freemasonry requires a belief in a supreme being, but does not limit the individual’s interpretation of Deity. Before its altar Christian, Jew, Mohammedan, Buddhist, and Confucian may kneel together. It is an institution erected to God, which begins its ceremonies and ends its meetings with prayer; which has a Holy Book upon its Altar; which preaches the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man. No atheist can be a Freemason. However, Freemasonry teaches no redemptive doctrine, but seeks men of proven character and good morals who desire to improve their own character.

Hope this helps. Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

(Source information compiled by the Committee on Masonic Education, 2010)

Now, on with the news........................

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.
In January the schedule will return to 7:00 PM on the 4th Monday of each month at the Masonic-York Rite building located at 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO. All York Rite Masons are encouraged to attend.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011: Masonic Funeral Services will be held for Brother Bill Heifner of Branson Lodge No. 587. Brother Heifner was initiated, passed and raised in Albert Pike Lodge No. 219 in 1999 and affiliated with Branson Lodge No. 587 in 2006.
Masonic Services will be held at Snapp-Bearden Funeral Home located at 1638 E State Highway 76, Branson, MO at 3:00 PM. All Master Masons are invited in.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011: Billings Lodge No. 379 will meet in Stated Communication and will honor Brother Finis Luttrell for fifty years of Masonic service, as well as work in the 2nd Degree of Freemasonry. Refreshments at 6:00 PM, Brother Luttrell will receive the fifty years honors at 6:45 PM, and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM. Brothers Bradley Porterfield and Aeron Borich will be presented for advencement to the Degree of Fellow Craft.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011: Taney County Shrine Club will be having the installation of incoming officers. Doors open around 5:30 PM, dinner at 6 PM, with the installation ceremony to follow. Incoming Rajah is Noble Corky Chiles.

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!
$40 includes:

  • Savings of $10/ticket
  • Upper Terrace Level Ticket
  • $10 Food and Beverage Voucher
  • Portion of the proceeds will benefit Missouri Child Identification Program
Or, $65 includes:
  • Savings of $10/ticket
  • Sideline Terrace Level Ticket
  • $10 Food and Beverage Voucher
  • Portion of the proceeds will benefit Missouri Child Identification Program
How to Order:
  • Phone: Eric Simonis at (314) 425-0522
  • e-mail: esimonis"at"
  • Mail: 901 N Broadway, St. Louis, MO 63101
For more information or questions contact David Jacobi at (314) 795-1732
Groups that order together will be seated together!
You can contact me at "tim'at'" for a pdf order form.

Monday, December 19, 2011: Branson Lodge No. 587 will meet in Stated Communication and will have work in the 1st Degree of Freemasonry. Elijah Langford, who has been duly elected, will be presented for initiation into the mysteries of Freemasonry. Rehearsal will be at 5:30 that night, dinner at 6:00 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7 PM. We are hoping for a very good turn out.

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.

Saturday, January 14, 2012: A MOCHIP (Missouri Child Identification & Protection) Event will be held today from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, at Pathways United Methodist Church located at 1232 East Dale Street in Springfield, MO. This event is hosted by Boy Scout Troop No. 494. Contact Michael Whitescarver (417-350-1906) for information and to volunteer for this event.

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.
The Monett Lodge building is located at 501 13th Street in Monett, MO.

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.
Webb City Lodge building is located at 401 West Broadway in Webb City, MO. and the event will start at Noon.

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 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.

For more news of upcoming events and special communications visit the Upcoming Masonic Events page on

For a calendar of Stated meetings for many of the Lodges and Masonic bodies visit the Masonic Calendar page on

For help locating a lodge building visit the Missouri Masonic Lodge Map page on

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