From the East
Your lodge is very busy, especially with degree work.
In May, three brothers were passed to the degree of Fellowcraft and, in June, one more is scheduled to do the same as well as three men are scheduled to undertake the Entered Apprentice degree. If you have any interest in participating in degree work, feel free to come to practice on Thursday nights (not including our Stated Communications) at the York Rite Masonic Temple at 7pm. As a reminder, Phalanx’s Stated Communications are now held on the second Thursday of each month (June 9th this month) at the York Rite Masonic Temple, dinner starting at 630pm and the lodge meeting at 730pm. Please also note that the lodge is dark during July.
This month we celebrate Father’s Day. Congrats to all our fathers and keep in mind that many of us would not be the men we are today without their love and guidance. Although this appreciation should always be shared, it most especially should be shared in June.
We are fortunate to have WB Johnny Surles join us at our June Stated Communication for a lecture on “Masonic Etiquette, the Rules and Decorum of Being a Mason.” WB Surles is a retired Lieutenant with the North Carolina Highway Patrol. He became a Mason in 1981 and is a Past Master of Zion Lodge #81 in Trenton, North Carolina. In 2011, he was appointed District Deputy Grand Master of the 7th Masonic District and served as Grand Tyler of the Grand Lodge in 2010. He is also a past Vice-Chairman of the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford and is the current Chairperson for the Masonic Home for Children Homecoming Festival.
I look forward to the fellowship at our June Stated Communication and should you need transportation assistance, please contact WB Mike Hamrick.
This Month in Freemasonry
“June 24th – The Feast of St. John the Baptist” by WM Nick Voelker
Masons historically celebrate two feast days – The Feast of St. John the Evangelist (on December 27th – the shortest day of the year and roughly mid-winter) and The Feast of St. John the Baptist (on June 24th – the longest day of the year and roughly mid-summer), the two patron saints of Masonry. On June 24th , Masons celebrate the Feast of St. John the Baptist. These celebrations also coincide with these Saints’ Christian feast days. Celebrating religious feasts may seem counterintuitive for a non-sectarian group, but Masons celebrate these Saints through the custom (note that some parts of the world use a different Masonic custom where their patron is solely King Solomon) that Masons “come from the Holy Saints John of Jerusalem” and, therefore, they instead use these days to revere the memory of its patron saints and point to their exemplary lives and teachings set forth in our ritual. The first Grand Lodge was formed in England on June 24, 1717. Therefore, English Masons have a strong attachment to the Baptist (Scottish lodges are more closely attached to the Evangelist). Moreover, the Baptist appears to have been regarded as a patron of Stonemasons (Operative Masons) in Continental Europe during the Middle Ages. For example, the guild attached to the Cologne Cathedral (construction began in 1248) was known as, The Fraternity of St. John the Baptist. These Operative Masonic patrons are likely where Masonry inherited this custom.
The symbolism of these Saints and Masonry is best set forth in the Entered Apprentice degree and is a graphic representation of a Mason’s conscience. We are taught that the point in the middle symbolizes the individual Mason whose boundary is the circle. The Volume of Sacred Laws (or writings) (ie, the Bible, Koran, etc.) is shown at the top of the boundary, while the zealous and passionate Baptist is shown on one side and the learned and knowledgeable Evangelist on the other. The symbolism implies that a Mason should consult with his applicable Sacred Writings to achieve the proper balance between passion and knowledge.
Nick Voelker – Master
From the Secretary
As you can see with the calendar listings, June will be find us incredibly busy.
But this is a ‘good busy’, as we initiate several men to their first steps in their masonic journey, and guide others along as we pass them on as Fellow Craft. We will cap the month off on the 30th with the presentation of Service Awards. That evening, we will welcome Brother Arnold Wilson who will receive his 70-year Service Award, and hope to have several of our 50-year award recipients as well.
Following these, we will have a brief respite as we are dark in July, but will pick things back up in August.
With so many Brothers now on their journey, the fall of 2022 promises another Fellow Craft Degree as well as a Master Mason Degree at some point. Stay tuned as those dates are set, and plan to join us as you are able
Mike Hamrick, PM