Saturday, June 25, 2016

Photos from Minnesota 2016 Royal Arch Grand Session-Day One

Here is our new Grand High Priest Clifford Isley and the new Grand Chaplain Tom Hendrickson (me)
Clifford is going to have a great year and will guide us to some new exciting areas. Im just honored to have been asked to join in and help.

This is our out going High Priest Greg Schultz. Greg had a good year, and had many various programs that he worked on that helped us get better organized, and set in the right direction.
The gavel he is holding was made by Hugh Swift our Brother with just about every title and talent as well.

This top hat is called "The Dusty Old Beaver" It came from The Star in the East #33 Lodge. Its well over 100 plus years. Its sat on all its Masters, a few Grand Masters, and a few Grand High Priests heads from Owatonna Minnesota

This was the box lunch served. It was a new attempt this wasnt as good as the bag lunch served at the Grand Lodge of Ohio, but it was ok

Monday, June 20, 2016

Red Wing Lodge “Bikes for Books” Captures Young Readers Attention

Bikes for Books Literacy Campaign
By Tom Hendrickson-PGM
About five years ago or so Red Wing Lodge #8 was looking for a project to help make their community a better place.  They approached Burnside elementary School in their hometown of Red Wing to partner for a program aimed at children’s literacy.
The Bikes for Books Literacy Campaign emphasizes the following.
It is essential to establish a love for reading early in a child’s life.
The program encourages students to read.
By encouraging reading, student’s comprehension skills improve.
The campaign recognizes student’s achievements in reading.

The program operates in this manner.  One boys bicycle and helmet along with one girls bicycle and helmet is given to one student per grade by random drawing.  To be eligible for the drawing a student must read eight books that have been approved by the teacher for that grade.  The teacher insures that the book is at the appropriate reading level (War and Peace is not at the third grade level. Ha) for the grade level.  The student receives one ticket for the drawing once the teacher has confirmed that the eight books have been read.  Reading eight books equals one change to win.  The more books the student reads the more chances they have to win.

In 2016 two bicycles were added to the program as prizes for the top readers within the entire elementary school.  This year 1152 books were read by the students and the top reader completed 120 books.
During the last week of school, at a school wide assembly, the drawings are held.  You can bet that there are a lot of kids with crossed fingers and a wish of “pick me, pick me”.

Red Wing Lodge and Burnside Elementary School Bikes for Books program has created a lot of excitement among the students and positive comments from parents and educators.  But the most important things are that the program encourages kids to read.

The Brothers of Red Wing Lodge would also like to thank MN Masonic Charities for assisting the Lodge in helping encouraging the kids at Burnside Elementary to read.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Mark Master Degree - The Operative to Speculative Connection

Mark Master Tracing Board
Mark Master Degree
The Operative to Speculative Connection
Tom Hendrickson P.G.M.

The Mark Master degree is the first degree in the Royal Arch Chapter.  It is an extension of the Fellowcraft degree.

The Fellowcraft degree contains a great amount of wisdom and knowledge.  Its symbols and lessons can take a lifetime to learn.  Though the degree itself may stand on its own merits, the candidate can be left with many unanswered questions.  The Mark Master degree compliments and illustrates, in a practical manner, many of those questions.

The Mark Master degree takes the candidate to a time immediately before the death of Hiram Abif at a setting within a working stone quarry near King Solomon’s Temple.  The candidate is now a workman as a Fellowcraft laboring in the quarries and presenting his work for inspection. 

The Mark Master degree is explicitly related to working and building with stone.  It takes its name from the medieval term Masons Mark. The Mark Master degree explains the moral and ethical lessons of life such as the values of integrity, honesty, charity, taking pride in your own work and individual responsibility.  The working tools of the mallet and chisel are introduced along with the wages being paid by coin. 

When the Operative Mason became a Fellowcraft, he selected a distinctive symbol known as the Masons “Mark”.  This mark would serve as his signature, logo or trademark.  This unique mark would be recorded and registered in the lodges “Book of Marks” and this mark would be used for his lifetime.  It was and remains common that a father would pass their mark onto their son.

In a historical context, the Masons Mark had many practical purposes.  The Mason’s employment was effectively piecework.  He was given credit for the work completed and paid based upon his marked stones.  He was also held accountable for the quality of this work as each Mason’s stones were marked
Without exception Freemasonry has always been associated with stone masons.  It has borrowed much from the medieval operative stone masons such as the symbolism of the working tools, gauges and the use of marks.

In the ancient records of operative masonry, dating back over three centuries, there is mention of the Masons Mark.  As early as 1598, the Lodge of St Mary’s Chapel Scotland speaks of a Masons Mark and of the Mark Degree.

By reviewing old Scottish records it is clear that the speculative masons selected their marks just as the operative masons chose marks.  In the Mark book of the Masonic Lodge of Aberdeen dated 1670 it shows forty nine marks and the members names opposite the marks.

And finally, the Mark Master degree uses symbols, scriptures, links to other degrees, lectures, rituals and some drama to communicate a very powerful message that the Brother experiencing the Capitular Degree is going to be transformed from a Master Builder to a Spiritual Builder.  The Mark Master degree is his first step towards the revelations of the Holy Royal Arch Degree.

The Mark Master degree is another valuable piece of the puzzle you need to become a complete Freemason.  You have already started your journey in the pure and ancient craft by joining your lodge and advancing through the degrees.
If you are interested in learning more, and completing you journey, you may want to consider talking to a member of the Royal Arch for more information.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Masons Marks_Operative

Thursday, May 26, 2016

 How the Royal Arch Completes the Story
By Thomas Hendrickson P.G.M.

In the 1700’s the Royal Arch was regarded as the Root, Heart and Marrow of Freemasonry.
For those of us in Freemasonry, symbolism is part of our way of life.  It causes us to take an extra moment or two to reflect upon something to find the greater meaning which is far more personal and meaningful than having it spoon fed to us in a 20 second sound bite.
We all interpret things differently so for me this is how I interpret these symbols.

The Root is a symbolic representation of our origins and in unseen ways the tree is supported and finds nourishment.

The Heart is used to symbolize the flow of life itself.  In ages past the heart was believed to be where the soul resided
The Marrow refers to the essence of life. Bone Marrow is a spongy tissue found inside the bones.  It produces the red and white blood cells along with platelets and adult stem cells which are essential for humans to live.  When I would visit the blood center to donate blood, I heard it referred to as the very essence of life.

So after reflecting on the descriptive words of Root, Heart and Marrow I believe the Brothers of our ancient craft believed strongly that the Royal Arch was important, essential and indispensable to the craft degrees.

My question is, how did the Royal Arch become so important?  What was the purpose of the Royal Arch?

We know that in England during the 1600’s, there were two degrees.  The Entered Apprentice and The Fellow Craft.  Up until 1717 some lodges were working one comprehensive degree, while others were working two degrees.  The Master Mason degree started appearing around 1730 (we know that the legend or Hiram was known around 1700).

It was determined by many that the Master Mason degree was incomplete. The candidate was left with an unfinished temple and a substitute word.  The candidate is left with more questions than answers.  I know that when I left the lodge room I said to my Masonic mentor, “How did they lose the word”?

It is easy to see that some speculative degree writers may have seen an opportunity to carefully weave the completion of the story from the same Hiramic legend used in the craft lodges to provide the completion of the story.  Thus the Royal Arch was born.
In England there were two major factions of Freemasons, the Ancients and the Moderns.  The Ancients considered the Royal Arch essential to Freemasonry. The Moderns officially disavowed the Royal Arch and in their official announcements they were very straight forward and blunt of their dislike for the Royal Arch.

As time went on the Moderns discovered many of their lodges were working the Royal Arch degree and many of their members
were belonged to Royal Arch Chapters. They were in amazement when they learned that many of their prominent members were Royal Arch Masons
Both sides come to understand the situation needed a solution and they stopped the infighting and developed a workable idea.  In October 1809 the Ancients and the Moderns agreed to create a Special Lodge called “The Lodge of Promulgation”.  The purpose of this lodge was to find a common ground and negotiate their differences.  In November 1813 they agreed to merge and signed the “Articles of Union”.

The actual union took place on St. Johns Day on December 28, 1813 at Freemasons Hall, creating the “United Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons of England, the very same Grand Lodge that we know today.

Both the Ancients and the Moderns felt that the Royal Arch was such an integral part of pure ancient masonry that it was written in their constitution.

By the solemn Act of Union between the two Grand Lodges of Freemasons of England in December, 1813, it was “declared and pronounced that the pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, viz those of the Entered apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and Master Mason including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch”.

The union clearly defined what pure ancient masonry was and created the Royal Arch as an Order to ensure the proper regulation of the Capstone of the Craft degrees.
So the Royal Arch stands on authority to bring the Master Mason into the full Masonic light, by the completion of pure ancient masonic degrees.

So if you completed the first three degrees and desire to be a Master Mason with the complete and intended purpose of the ancient craft you should seriously talk to your local Royal Arch and consider joining.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Why I am a Royal Arch Mason

                                                  Image result for royal arch masons

Why I am a Royal Arch Mason

·        I’ve learned the True Word of Master Mason

·        I know how to receive my wages from the Senior Warden

·        I’m a member of the oldest Rite in Freemasonry

·        I didn’t stop at the 2.5 Degree-I went on to complete the Third Degree

·        I wanted to learn all the Secrets of Freemasonry

·        I read the first 3 Chapters-I wanted to finish the book

·        I’ve made many new friends from other local Lodges

·        I’ve participated in some of the most beautiful rituals in Masonry

   Provide by the Royal Arch Masons-Grand Chapter State of New York
     Grand High Priest Piers A. Vaughan 2014


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

What does the Royal Arch call a meeting?

Blue Lodges hold "Communications"

Councils hold "Assemblies"

Commanderies hold "Conclaves"

What does the Royal Arch Chapter hold? and what does it Literally mean?

Royal Arch Chapters hold "Convocations" and it means "A getting Together"