Tuesday, January 24, 2012
One Day 2012
The title I've chosen for this post can either be viewed as very boring or very provocative. The reason I say that is that One Day class remain, in the world of Masonry, a sore spot or a normal course of business.
I was asked to take part in the first degree during the One Day class held on Saturday, January 21st at the Minneapolis Scottish Rite building on Dupont. One Days, for those who don't know, compresses the three degrees into one day. They often have some of the best ritualists in the state and in many cases, have all the staging to really make the degree work pop.
There is debate that has been going on since the One Day format was started over its legitimacy and its efficacy in shoring up membership numbers. Frankly, I don't really have an opinion one way or the other. I like degree work in a small lodge setting but I also remember that Masonry is an ongoing lifestyle that has to be worked over a number of years. The initiation is important but it is not the end all be all for a Mason.
I was very impressed by the work I saw. When I say that the best ritualists are at the One Day, I'm not joking. All the degrees were performed in formal apparel, as in tuxedos. With spotlights to the front and custodians behind me, I was understandably nervous. I got through my part with only a minor hiccup. (For the sake of secrecy, well, maybe just embarrassment, I will not mention what I missed.)
I was also fortunate to be there with a lot of Southeast Area Masons. The Southeast Area hosts many, many Schools of Instruction. From the work I've seen in our more sparsely populated area, I really think we have some wonderfully good ritual being performed. Most Masons in the state of Minnesota don't come down to our neck of the woods and that's a shame. If you're interested in making a visit, just visit here.
What I really found interesting was the tour of the building. WBro. Mark Campbell led us through the building to see all the different areas of the building. The Scottish Rite temple was originally a church, the Fowler Methodist Episcopal Church. As explained by WBro. Mark, the congregation merged with the Heenepin Avenue Methodist Church and to prevent competition with some other church, the Church sold the building to the Minneapolis Valley in 1916. Many modifications to the building have occurred since that time. I was very impressed by the building and I think all Masons should make a trip to this amazing Masonic edifice. In fact, Lodge #19 currently meets in this building so all Master Masons from Grand Lodges in amity with the Grand Lodge of Minnesota may visit.
In all, I had a very enjoyable time and solidified friendships with many brothers I only see once in awhile. Congratulations to all the fine ritualists at the One Day; you guys did an outstanding job. Congratulations also goes out to the class for having been made Master Masons.