Thursday, April 13, 2017

What's It All About? – what it means to be a Freemason



From our Brothers at the United Grand Lodge of England

Saturday, April 8, 2017

2017-2018 Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota

GrandMaster John B.H. Studell

Past Grand Masters and Current Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Minnesota

Saturday, April 1, 2017

My...How Times Have Changed


MY… How Times Have Changed
Tom Hendrickson P.G.M.
Arch Chapter Minneapolis

Many years ago I wanted to discuss the meanings and messages hidden within the symbols used in our ritual.  My request for more information was often met by a blank stare.  I was informed, that the point of ritual was to memorize it, regurgitate it for the degree work, and then hope to become a monitor or a custodian someday.  I was highly encouraged to follow that path when I began and I started with the lectures.  I would often ask my partner what a certain item or phrase meant and they usually responded to me with “Tom, I don’t know, I just memorize the stuff”.

I knew though that there was much more to Freemasonry than chicken dinners after a Third Degree, the once a year barbeque, the debates over whether or not to put ceiling fans in the dining room and should we offer orange juice at the next annual pancake breakfast.

Today, times have changed and we must change with them.  We now find many young men standing at our doorstep, knocking at our door, that are seeking education, enlightenment, spiritual growth and meaningful experiences.  These new men come to us better informed about the craft than some of our current members.  They have accessed the World Wide Web and mined the vast information available there.  They have watched the History Channel and seen the countless television shows about Freemasonry.  They have read the books written by Dan Brown and “Freemasons for Dummies”.  These men come to us well versed in information, some of it accurate, some not so accurate.

Never the less, they come with a hunger to seek further light.  We must be ready for the challenge to help lead them to what they are seeking.  If we wish to attract and retain these men we must have more to offer them than a once a year weenie roast, poorly read ritual work, a boring business meeting and another dues card to put in their wallet. But the Royal Arch – Our Craft and our ritual are the perfect means to satisfy their hunger.

Our ritual is important.  It offers lessons so a companion can lead a life that is rich and fulfilling.  The ritual is the vehicle that our principles can ride into the hearts of men.  However, the words of the ritual are not enough.  It is the meaning of those words that will lead men to live our teachings.  Studying the rich history and symbolism of the ritual is essential to the understanding behind the words.

Our ritual contains beautiful poetry along with words of wisdom to live by.  It is filled with history and religion.  It is a treasure trove of symbols and analogies that are worthy of introspection and meditation.  Finally, the words contain profound truths and a unique perspective on life for those who are willing to make the conscious effort to uncover them.

Over the next several months I will be offering various articles or papers on various subjects in our ritual.  Don’t worry, I am not revealing the secrets.  The information I will be sharing is already in print or may be found by doing a Google search on the internet.  Feel free to use these articles in your Chapter Convocation or for Chapter education.  Feel free to make copies of them and talk about them.  Use parts of them in your newsletters or if you wish, use them to start a campfire.

The information that will be shared is just an example of what can be done by any willing companion who is willing to take some time to read and re-read the ritual.  I encourage all of you to try your hand at it.

Every man becomes a Mason for their own reasons.  Some seek light while others seek friendships.  Some may seek wisdom or direction. Others may seek all of these. The Royal Arch – Our Craft and our ritual can meet all of these needs if we step up and gain a better understanding or our rituals.  In order to teach our craft, and pass that knowledge on to the next generation, we need to understand its lesson ourselves.

Lastly, there are secrets hidden in plain sight awaiting your discovery.  My wish for you is that you discover them all.





Saturday, February 25, 2017

This is the life



I took a few days in the Caribbean to escape the Minnesota Winter. I had the wonderful experience to
just sit, and reflect on the work, and study some of the parts I wasn't so sure about.

I also would go at night and sit on the Promenade Deck  of the ship. Listening to the ship cut thru the water and watching the Sunset with my Bible also was a very pleasant experience as well.

Now its back to work with a refreshed mind. Oh and to start a diet from the weight I gained from the fabulous food.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Its Brother Georges Birthday

February 22, 1732




















 Our Brother George Washington was an honored and respected Mason. At the age of 20, Washington was initiated as Apprentice on November 4, 1752 in Fredericksburg, VA. It was with his compassionate nature, appreciation and understanding of the Masonic system that he flourished, and on August 4, 1754 George Washington was raised to Master Mason. As his character suggests he was a ‘Just and Upright Mason’.
In his Presidential and Masonic career he presided in the cornerstone ceremony for the US Capitol in 1793.

George Washington was noted as a noble opponent, as well as a Brother. This was witnessed while a British traveling Lodge fell into the hands of American forces after being defeated; chests belonging to the British Lodge with contents of jewels and other treasures were ultimately surrounded to the American forces. Upon learning this, George Washington with his elegance and honor demanded the contents to be returned to the Lodge and regiment. With this noble act he gained much respect from the opponents.

On December 18, 1799 George Washington was laid to rest and buried at Mt. Vernon with Masonic rites.





Friday, February 3, 2017

Royal Arch Quiz #3


Royal Arch Quiz Night
Past Master’s Degree-Virtual
P.G.M. Tom Hendrickson


1.    Where did the Past Master’s degree originate?
a)    The Ancients
b)    The Moderns
c)    The Scottish
d)    Lost in the fog of time

2.    What group originally required that a Past Master only would be allowed to receive the Royal Arch Degree?
a)    The Scottish
b)    The French
c)    The Ancients
d)    The Moderns

3.    What are the three fundamental masonic symbols of the Past Master’s Degree?
a)    Square, gavel, By laws
b)    Masters Hat, White gloves, Cane
c)    Square, gavel, Volume of Sacred Law (holy Bible)
d)    Chicken, Green Beans, Mashed potatoes

4.    The qualities a Past Master should exhibit are:
a)    Responsible Leadership
b)    Moderation
c)    Decorum
d)    Justice
e)    All the Above

5.    To whom is the Lodge of Past Master erected and dedicated to?
a)    God and Hiram Abiff
b)    God and the Holy St John
c)    God and King Solomon

d)    God and Zerubbabel

Monday, January 30, 2017

The PA Academy of Masonic Knowledge

The symposium will be live streamed on YouTube the day of and a recording will be available very soon after the event. No need to miss out!

Its that time of the year again for one of the great Masonic learning opportunities. The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania is hosting its annual Academy of Masonic Knowledge. Its a great opportunity to hear great Speakers and have many meaningful discussions and of course meet many great Brothers.
I have begun research on "The Sun at the Meridian Height, I wish I could hear this years speech.
If you have a Masonic Bucket list this is one to put on it. Gee I wish we could do something like this?
And if you get a chance go see their Grand Lodge Building it is the best in the World!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Masonic Con 2017

Don't Miss It

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Pursuit of Light



This from the Brothers at The Grand Lodge of Oregon...Enjoy

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Masonic Skis?

I was traveling in the car the other day on a beautiful Minnesota snowy winter day. When I noticed the car next to me waiting for the traffic light had a ski rake on top their car. The skis on the rake had very colorful graphics and I could have thought I saw a Masonic symbol in the motif. So I did some research and take a look at the photos below and see for yourself.


The skis are made by the Volkl Corporation which is the largest ski manufacture in Germany. The company was started by George Volkl in 1875 in Bavaria. He was a Master Cartwright and built wagons, and Carts. In 1923 in Strasberg Germany they began making skis and have ever since.

The company actually started the concept of bold graphics designs on skis. Their first design was the legendary zebra pattern in 1973. They have continued the innovation as you can see in the designs in the photos.
What I thought was the Compass and Square design on the skis is actually part of the Company’s trademark. Now I am not one of those Wing Nuts who sees a Masonic symbol in every company logo, or in a bowl of alphabet soup.I did look on the Volkl Company's website and it did not give any explanation of its logo.

 It doesn't matter I think the skis are cool, and if I skied Id buy a pair just for their logo. Maybe I could find a tee shirt?

Masonic Skis no but cool yes