I would like to open this post with a one word response to describe what happened in Saint Cloud today, whoa!!! Today was one of those days in Masonry that could change the course of the Craft in America. But to start, let's talk about Nick's breakfast.
As is almost always the case, you meet and discuss Masonry the best over a plate of food. It is just natural considering the origins of Speculative Masonry in the taverns and pubs of England. I was fortunate enough to have been joined by the Junior Warden of my Lodge, Steve, and the Junior Deacon of my Lodge, Rick, the entire West Virginia contingent of whom one was MWB Frank Haas and W.B. Bob Davis of Oklahoma. It was a wonderful breakfast and it was again nice to discuss Freemasonry in the modern era.
All throughout Fridays sessions, I would run into M.W.B. Haas and I would discuss the situation of Masons in West Virginia. He told me everything from handicapped brethren not being allowed to be made Masons even if it occurred fighting for our Nation's freedom, the lack of recognition for Prince Hall Masons in West Virginia and the fact that Lodge halls may not be used by groups like OES and Demolay to fundraise. Although he could not discuss the matter of his own expulsion as it is currently in court, I was intimately aware of his plight through sources found online and elsewhere. It is truly shocking what has and is continuing to happen in West Virginia.
I want to congratulate M.W.B. Tom as he starts his year as Grand Master and I have great faith in his leadership as he continues the great tradition of Masonry in the state of Minnesota.I would also mention that Bro. Rick, the Senior Deacon of my Lodge, was award the Daniel Carter Beard award for his dedication to Scouting. He has shown time and time again his devotion to Scouting. I am an Eagle Scout and I truly feel that Scouting has made me a better man. I think the Scouting movement, as a whole, is so vitally important in giving young men the opportunity to grow and become great men in their communities and I will support it for the rest of my life.
The final event within the Grand Lodge of Minnesota is that two Lodges have been given charters today. The first Lodge is Sir Winston Churchill Lodge #351 UD, which will be working the Emulation Rite and the second is General Douglas MacArthur Lodge #352 UD which will be focused on men in the military. Both Lodges are filled with excited brothers who are emblematic of how the Craft is growing and become more vibrant currently. I want to congratulate the brothers of both Lodges and wish them the best.
As you can imagine, I have seen huge changes within Masonry in my own state and possibly throughout the world, met many influential and humbling brothers and experienced a Masonic rebirth in a mere two days. As I drove home from Saint Cloud, I looked into the sky and watch the sun pierce the clouds as if Deity sought to cast light on our state just as we have cast Masonic light upon the world of Freemasonry.