Monday, February 15, 2010

Please No Open Flames, Candle with Two Ends Present

If you ask, things will get done. Of course, when I ask for things, I should make sure not to have them all collide into one week of near Masonic overload. This week will probably be the busiest week of my life as a Mason.

Today, I was at the degree practice for the upcoming 2nd degree that we will be having for four brothers coming up tomorrow. I will be giving the full lecture for the 2nd degree (you know, that one), so I've been stuffing (well, more like restuffing) everything I can back from the six months that it's been. I have been practicing for around a month so I hope to truly make this lesson memorable for the brothers. I really enjoy the 2nd degree because well, firstly, I get an attentive ear (captive?) from the candidates as well as creating that all important but often neglected middle step.

On Wednesday, some brothers and myself will be going to _________ Lodge No. ____. I've left it blank just in case the brother in question that we want to surprise reads my blog. I've really wanted to travel to other Lodges and I'm thankful that my Senior Warden, Steve, has been pushing for more travel by the Lodge and I am more than happy to oblige. It's one of my goals to check out all the Lodges in the District and we'll see if that goal is doable.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention, Corinthian Lodge will also be hosting a 4th School of Instruction on Thursday. The 4th School focuses on opening, closing, balloting, and receiving Grand Lodge Officers. We will be fortunate to have our Area Custodian, RWB Brian Beermann, in attendance to help us with improving our work.

Hold on while let out a little primal scream, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Okay so I feel better now.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Great News Concerning the Philalethes Society Annual Feast and Forum

Most Worshipful Brother Terry Tilton, Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, A.F. & A.M., and President of the Philalethes Society has great news for the upcoming 82nd Annual Feast and Forum being held in Bloomington, MN, the cost for attending the Forum has been waived. That means no cost for attending the Forum and it's open to all Masons. Most Worshipful wants an accurate accounting of the number of brothers coming so you need to send him an email saying, "hey, I'm coming." I will be attending and I hope other brothers take advantage of this great opportunity. For more information on the event, visit here. To sign up for meals, visit the Annual Feast page on the Philalethes Society website here. The Feast is being held at the Park Plaza.

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As a member of the Philalethes Society, I have discovered a great resource for my Masonic education. The quality of the work produced as well as the trading of ideas amongst some of the most learned brothers in the country has been a blessing. I've been reading "Fiat Lux" Volume One, compiled by Bro. Jack Buta, and I'm stunned by the wonderful papers produced between the 1950's and 1980's. You can get a copy of this book at the Philalethes Society website here or by becoming a new or renewed member for 2010. This is a must read for any serious student of Masonic history or philosophy.

I really have also enjoyed reading "The Philalethes" magazine. W.Bro. Shawn Eyer, the editor, has really guided a quality product and I'm truly impressed by the content. Also, Worshipful Brother Ed Halpaus, Grand Lodge Education Officer for the Grand Lodge of Minnesota, publishes a great series of articles called, "Masonic Matters." I am truly impressed by this organization and the Fellows and Members that make up its membership. Other opportunities include local Philalethes Chapters where members can get together to discuss Masonic issues.

If you haven't joined the Philalethes Society or have not subscribed to the magazine, I have one question, "What are you waiting for?" You can join by either visiting the Philalethes membership page or by mailing back this form. It is an excellent opportunity for brothers seeking further light.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Boy Scouts of America Celebrates 100 Years

On February 8th, 2010, the organization, Boy Scouts of America, will be celebrating its 100th year anniversary. This is an incredible event for the premier organization for boys and young men. During my time in Scouts, I learned a great deal of skills that I have used in my adult life.

Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, in my opinion, are in the best position to make good boys into better men. Boy Scouts is a great preparatory step into manhood. I loved my time as a Scout leading to the ultimate award, the Eagle Scout. Understanding the importance of Scouting on not only this country and its brightest minds but also the participating countries in the World Scouting Movement is essential to improve our young men. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't describe just how essential Girl Scouts of America is to improving the lives of young women. I have friends that are Gold Awardees and they have done many great and important things as well. Scouting has changed my life and I truly see many shared qualities between the Troop and the Lodge.

There is a modern convergence for Brothers that also serve as Scoutleaders. It's known as the National Association of Masonic Scouters. In Minnesota, the Grand Lodge recognized this organization just last year at the Annual Communication. There is also an award that Masonic Scouters are eligible for called the Daniel Carter Beard Masonic Scouter Award. Daniel Beard Carter was made a Master Mason in Mariner's Lodge No. 67 and later affiliated with Cornucopia Lodge No. 563. The Senior Deacon of my Lodge, Rick, was awarded the Award at the same Annual Communication that the Masonic Scouters organization was recognized.

Scouting also has its own "secret society" known as the Order of the Arrow. The only way to be eligible is to be voted on by the members of your Troop. The Order of the Arrow was created by E. Urner Goodman, who was a member of Robert A. Lamberton Lodge No. 487 in Pennsylvania. I am also a member of the Order of the Arrow and was very impressed by the work done by all the members. (Of course, that was many years ago. Now I feel old.)

In all, with this incredibly short account of Boy Scouts and their relationship to the Masonry has not done justice to everything that can be covered. It's also interesting to note that the man instrumental in bringing the Scouting Movement to America, William Boyce, was a Freemason and a Shriner. If you want more information, there is an article entitled "Freemasonry and Scouting" by Bro. Bainbridge at the Masonic Trowel. If you have a son or daughter, think seriously about having them join Scouts, it will change his or her life. Happy 100 years BSA, I hope for many more.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Drop of a Hat

At my Lodge's last meeting, we were fortunate enough to have a man waiting to take his first degree. He couldn't make the date for the First degree we scheduled for our degree class but he wanted to meet the brothers of the Lodge anyway. As the hands of the clock came closer to 7 and 6, I began to think to myself, "Heck, we have the players, we have the parts, the play's the thing, let's do it."

"Would you like to begin your degree work?"


"Places everyone!"

"We're doing a degree?"

"Yep, we can do this."

And so it began, the brethren and I initiated our new brother at a moment's notice. Our degree work was wonderfully done and I am so proud of my brothers. Where else but Corinthian Lodge could you do degree work for a brother at the drop of the hat?