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Masonic News & Views -- Where is the truth?
March 05, 2012
Greetings Brother,

I was asked a question recently that gave me pause to ponder. Basically, the young man said, "You Masons keep saying that 'the truth is in plain sight', but where?"

As I pondered the question and began trying to formulate an answer I was reminded of my own initiation into the mysteries nearly fourteen years ago. I, too, wanted answers; I wanted direction; I wanted to know the secrets, the truth. I also remembered how disappointed and confused I was following the degree. When it was over I wanted to cry out, "Wait a minute! I invited you into my home; I answered your questions; I did everything you asked of me. Now, I've been through this degree and I still don't know any secrets. What are the secrets? Where is the truth?" I didn't cry out in frustration, but instead I politely thanked them and went home.

I remember feeling emotionally moved. I felt that something important had transpired, but I had no idea what it was. I was expecting to receive enlightenment, secret knowledge, answers to big questions, and instead I found only bewilderment.

But, I came back. I knew there had to be more to this Masonic stuff and I was determined to find it, or at least give it my best shot. I came back and I watched and I listened and I continued to do what was asked of me, and eventually and almost without perception, enlightenment dawned.

Contrary to what most of us think, enlightenment doesn't happen in a moment. It takes place gradually and in its own time. The moment of enlightenment is not the moment when we learn something; it's that moment when we realize we know something.

Eventually, I came to recognize the secrets when they revealed themselves. I came to rely with confidence on the compass within me for direction. I came to discover where the truth lies, and to appreciate the shifting sands beneath it.

I now understand that within any conversation, observation or animation there lays the possibility of gaining sacred knowledge. I conceive that though my destination may be predetermined, it's the steps that I take or don't take along the way that will be the measure of my life. I believe that truth is perception, and that it lies within each of us. The challenge is first in finding truth, and then in accepting when it changes.

And then, I experienced one more moment of enlightenment. It was all there, in the 1st Degree of Freemasonry, just waiting to be discovered:

“…you are to converse with well informed Brethren, who will be always as ready to give as you will be to receive…”

“…Charity extends beyond the grave, through the boundless realms of eternity.”

“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”

Fraternally yours,

Tim Couch

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

Thursday, March 8, 2012: Forsyth Lodge No. 453 will host a Past Masters Night to honor the Past Masters of Forsyth Lodge as well as those of all other lodges who would like to join us for the evening. You are most cordially invited. Dinner at 6:15 and Lodge will be duly Opened at 7:00 PM. And, there may be a door prize or two.

Saturday, March 10, 2012: The Traitor is coming to Strafford Lodge No. 608. This one act play is open to the public and is performed by members of the Scottish Rite Valley of Joplin. The drama takes place in a Masonic Lodge room in Virginia two years following the end of America's War of Independence from England. The characters include several of our founding fathers and, "...that foresworn and unhappy man whose name is nevermore uttered in a Masonic Lodge."
Refreshments at 6:00 PM and the show will begin at 7:00 PM. Everyone is invited and all are welcome.

Friday & Saturday, March 16 & 17, 2012: The Scottish Rite Valley of Joplin Spring Reunion to initiate and welcome new Scottish Rite Masons into the Order. Membership in the Valley is open to all Master Masons in good standing. For more information ask any member of the Valley of Joplin or contact the Valley office at (417) 623-3219 and visit the Valley of Joplin A.A.S.R online at

On March 17, 2012, the Valley of Joplin Scottish Rite Masons will hold a drawing to award a new Chevy Camaro plus other prizes to holders of the winning tickets. Each entry is just $50 USD and there will only be 2,000 entries sold. For full details and to get your tax deductible entry for the drawing visit 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.
And yes, you're welcome to purchase as many tickets as you like until the last one is gone.

Saturday, March 17, 2012: The Brethren of Gate of the Temple Lodge No. 422 will enter a float in the St. Patrick's Day parade in Springfield, MO. Brethren, wives and significant others are invited to participate. Come and join the fun beginning at 9:30 AM at the lodge building to assemble the float.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012: The Buckeye Ritual Club will meet at Mt. Vernon Lodge No. 99, 201 S. Market Street, Mt. Vernon, MO, at 6:30 PM for fun, fellowship and education on our beautiful Missouri Masonic Ritual. This month's education will focus on Opening on the 2nd Degree, lost password, late arrival, Brother who leaves early, and Closing the Lodge.
The Buckeye Ritual Club is centered in the 44th Masonic District of Missouri, but of course all Master Masons are welcome. The club will meet on the 3rd Tuesday of each month and will travel to differing lodges within the 44th District. Click here to see the 2012 schedule. Mark your calendar and plan on coming out to have some fun with your Brethren.
The Buckeye Ritual Club is also on Facebook. Click here for the Buckeye Ritual Club Facebook page.

Saturday, March 24, 2012: O'Sullivan Lodge No. 7, in Walnut Grove, MO, will host a Concealed Carry Firearms class today, and a few openings are still available. For more information contact Rocky Stehlik at 417-861-3931. Cost is $75 which includes lunch.

Saturday, March 31, 2012: O'Sullivan Lodge No. 7, in Walnut Grove, MO, will host a Concealed Carry Weapons class today. For more information contact Rocky Stehlik at 417-861-3931. Cost is $75 which includes lunch.

Saturday, April 21, 2012: Solomon Lodge No. 271, in Springfield, MO, will host a Concealed Carry Firearms class beginning at 9:00 AM. Class size is limited so a reservation is recommended. More information will be posted on the Masonsmart Masonic Events page when available.

Saturday, April 28, 2012: Solomon Lodge No. 271 will host a MoCHIP (Missouri Child Identification & Protection) Event from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Masonic York Rite Temple, 1930 West Catalpa Street in Springfield, MO. At least 30 volunteers are needed to work this event.
For more information you may call the Lodge Secretary at (417) 425-0083. All volunteers must be signed up at least 12 days prior to the event.
For more information about MoCHIP please visit

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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