From the East
We recently hosted the Spring School of Instruction, and everything ran very smoothly! I personally want to thank all involved for such a great evening! As always, it proved to be informative and fun. Not only that, but it’s good to have a place to go where you feel safe and everyone calls each other “Brother!”
To that extent, I came across an article titled “I am Freemasonry” that I’d like to share.
Kai Farell – Master
From the West
This year has definitely been flying by for me, and it is hard to believe that we are almost halfway through our year. As we begin to look at next year I would like you to ask yourself…what more can I do to help the lodge? Moving through the officers chairs over the past four years has been for me an extremely rewarding and enjoyable experience. Not only do I feel like I have learned so much more about the degree work and the proceedings of the lodge, I have also spent many wonderful hours hanging out with my brothers and enjoying that fellowship time. While I understand that being an officer is not for everyone, I do think that it is important for members to continue their educational studies after being raised by completing their third degree catechism. While all positions both appointed and elected require proficiency on the third degree catechism, one is not required to continue his journey up the ladder. A brother who would like to be “stand-in” for a steward or deacon or tyler, without going any further is perfectly acceptable. I would challenge all brothers (Past Masters included) if you want to participate please reach out to the current officers and let us know. We would love to see some new faces, as well as familiar ones become more active outside of only attending stated communications. I look forward to seeing everyone on the 14th of May.
Jim Lofton, SW
From the Secretary
I enjoyed the April Scottish Rite Reunion here in the Charlotte Valley, and while all of the degrees, 4th through 32nd, are quite impressive and thought provoking, the 31st was the one that most impacted me at this particular Reunion. The description of this degree reads partially as follows, “…every Mason should ponder prayerfully and soberly on his thoughts and acts of the day. The wrongs of today must not be repeated on the tomorrow, for each day should add some light and truth for our guidance for the next, and then as time goes by our characters should be so far above reproach that the world would instinctively say: “There is a good man for he is a Mason.”
Is this not our calling Brothers, born of the rules and maxims of the degree lectures and instructions of the charges? I have accepted this challenge, of introspection and daily inquiry of thoughts and actions; for many know me to be a Mason, and do I not form their opinions of the fraternity by my interactions with them? Will you accept this challenge alongside me?
Brothers, I urge you to take due notice thereof, and govern yourself accordingly…
Mike Hamrick, PM
From the Craft
I bring you greetings from Worshipful Brothers John Trail and Warren Dover, the District Deputy Grand Master and District Deputy Grand Lecturer of the 32nd Masonic District of North Carolina, A.F. & A.M.
The Spring 2013 School of Instruction for the 32nd Masonic District is now in the books. This session was hosted by Phalanx Lodge
#31 and Charles M. Setzer Lodge #693 on Tuesday, April 23rd and Wednesday, April 24th, respectively. Phalanx brothers provided a traditional Southern style meal complete with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans and dessert. Setzer spread the table with an Italian fare consisting of lasagna (a choice of meat or vegetable), salad, rolls with butter and dessert. No brother walked away hungry. One thing that we, as Masons, know how to do is prepare a great meal when we get together for our fellowship time. The fellowship is, probably, the highlight of the School of Instruction gathering bi-annually.
The first night of the event saw a wonderfully informative presentation of lodge etiquette presented by WB Bill Robertson, at the request of DDGL WB Warren Dover. WB Robertson covered such items as looking sharp on giving our due guards and signs when required to do so and the proper ritual verbiage for a tardy brother to enter the lodge room once proceedings are underway. His words were put into practice by all of the brethren throughout the course of the two night instruction. It is the hope of the district officers that these practices will become the normal actions and continue to expand among the brethren. WBs John Hall and Jack Thrower (Past 32nd DDGM) along with WB John Trail (Current 32nd DDGM) provided some frivolity through some humorous stories and jokes. These light moments are always appreciated and add to our fellowship time together. Of course, the bulk of the evening’s work focused on our practice of the fraternal ritual, including work on the Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft Degrees.
The second, and final, night of the work provided more ritual instruction, focusing mainly on the Master Mason’s Degree. While our proficiency is important, WB John Trail pointed out that “humor is one of the best teachers” citing the fact that the 32nd Masonic District, overall, does a wonderful re-enactment of the verbiage and floor work but also in conveying these in a wonderfully interactive manner with each other. Additionally on this evening, a presentation was made by WB Tim Counts III regarding the re-ignited Demolay chapter within our district. According to WB Counts, there are 10 members of the body who are dedicated and committed to the work. He encouraged us all, through our Demolay committees, to get involved with shaping the fraternal lives of these young men, many of which are from single parent homes. August 2013 will see the Demolay Conclave come about. WB Counts asked for financial support through our lodges to make it possible for all of the young men to attend, if desired. He noted that four of possible seven proposed attendees are financially ready to attend. Subsidized funds were being sought for the remaining three members. Before WB Counts finished his presentation, 3 brethren from the district committed to sponsor the remaining young men. This action, my brothers, are what we are all about-giving to others in all manner of ways to accomplish the moral and social virtues that our society so desperately needs at this time. My hats off to the brethren. Even though sponsorship for the Conclave is taken care of, we can get involved in many other ways to help this growing Chapter. If you would like to help out, get with your Demolay Committee and find out how you can do so.
Other items of interest to the district were also brought to the attention of those gathered. A new method of administration for the district’s “Traveling Gavel” was introduced. WB John Trail proposed that the gavel be one of presentation instead of capture. History tells us that the “Traveling Gavel” floats between 2-3 lodges in the district but, doesn’t do so very often. The concept of the gavel was to encourage visitation at Stated Communications by 6 or more brethren. If this number was achieved, the lodge who met those requirements was able to “capture” the gavel from the lodge holding the gavel at the time. The proposal to change would see the lodge holding the gavel with 60 days from the time of taking possession to take it to another lodge on either Stated or Emergent Communications. The same number of six or more brethren apply to make the presentation. The lodge taking possession of the gavel then has 60 days to present it to another lodge or be fined $50, the amount of which would go to a Masonic Charity. The lodge that to which the gavel is taken cannot be the same lodge from which it was presented. This action is to encourage greater variety in participation. A formal communication is forthcoming from WB John Trail on the specifics of this change in procedure.
If you were not able to make it to the Spring 2013 School of Instruction, please make plans on attending the Fall event. The dates will be announced in the near future. Brethren, I cannot emphasize enough that the old saying “knowledge is power” is very true. Masonry is a way of life. Our duties and responsibilities are not confined or limited to our once monthly Stated Communication. There are numerous activities in which we engage during the month and year. As with any other activity, more fun is achieved if preparedness is in place. Are you prepared? “Lay up not for yourself treasures on earth but, treasures in Heaven”. Think about that statement, brethren, and share with others.
Sincerely & Fraternally,
WB Ralph Harkey, PM 2012