Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sir Winston Churchill Lodge #351

Sir Winston Churchill is an affinity masonic lodge organized around the themes of the British Ritual or sometimes called Emulation. The lodge was chartered in 2009.I am kind of thrilled for I actually signed the Charter as the Senior Grand Warden. What an honor to have your signature preserved on a lodge charter for the years to come.
We have formed many special relationships with lodges that are very similar to ours.
Martello Lodge of Essex England
Internet Lodge #9659
Granite Lodge #446 of Fort Francis Canada
Ben Franklin Lodge #83 of Madison Wisconsin
Cinninatus Lodge #76 of Washington DC
They have all visited us, and we have or are making plans on visiting them very soon. It is a real treat for all when they are here.
Our meetings are held eight times a year in members' homes. The other four lodge nights are held in selected lodges across the metro area. The calendar is made up twelve months in advance and published. So it's easy for visitors to come and spend an evening with us. We do like to have a reservations so we can set another plate at the table.
Our lodge is filled with great Masons and leaders. Most are Past Masters or sitting Masters. We have a few Past Grand Masters and me the Deputy Grand Master. There are also Custodians and Monitors of the Ritual. Bottom line is that we all share the same passion for Freemasonry. That shared passion only creates a closer bond as Brothers.

We want to keep the lodge small. Sixty members. This way everyone is expected to contribute to betterment of the lodge. You may be an Officer or on a committee or assigned tasks and projects. We all pitch in and do our share. It makes us feel that we are actually contributing and making a difference. We don't want to "belong to another lodge" and we didn't join just to have another dues card in our wallet. We are very active. We are a little lodge that gets things done !

One of the things I like that we do is that every month the Lodge Secretary sends out a Summons. We are expected to appear for the lodge event or provide a good excuse to the Secretary. My Grand Lodge visits are wholeheartedly excused. But I must admit when I miss the meeting I really feel I missed out on something special.

Our Chef and Host for the evening, Worshipful Jason Berger.

I had never had a deep fried turkey before. I found it to be very tasty -- Jason did a nice job. I watched him prepare the turkey and I was impressed with his safety procedures.

Myself and Ted Martz after the meeting and dinner. It was a nice cool evening to be outside where I enjoyed one glass of red wine and a cigar. This is where we can have a meaningful discussion for 30 to 45 minutes. Most of the discussions are focused.

Worshipful Brother and PHD Paul Hardt our Lodge Education Officer, as he was leading the discussion. Tonight's topic was Sir Winston Churchill during the Battle of Britain. Every meeting has a well planned education program.

This is a quick overview of a great lodge. I hope you enjoyed it or perhaps gave you a few ideas on how to help your lodge.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Prudence Lodge in Windom Minnesota

On September 19, 2010 Prudence Lodge in Windom Minnesota held its annual Dusty Square and Compass degree. It is an event that most of its members look forward to every year. I stood in line with 40 other Brothers. Where I had the most memorable and delightful conversations. You know the kind you have with your brother in the kitchen? Then I was handed a grilled steak that covered my plate and didn't leave much room for anything else. It was one of the best steaks I have ever eaten. I managed somehow to avoid eating one of the many beautiful homemade desserts (only because I'm watching my weight).

After dinner we adjorned to the lodge room for a very nice meeting. Area Deputy Doug Pamp presented the lodge with their Silver level Lodge Recognition Award. It was easy to see how they attained that level after I heard a list of events and activities that the lodge is involved in. It was impressive.

The Worshipful Master James Nesseth presented Doug Anderson with his 60 years in Minnesota Freemasonry award and Howard Clark with his 50 years in MInnesota Freemasonry. Both Brothers received pins and certificates. That was a delightful moment for all of us.

Potentate Denny Kaarup of El Rad Shrine and Reid Jensen the Senior Grand Deacon of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota came to show their support. It was nice to welcome them on our side of the border.

All in all it was a great evening and I really hope I get invited back again....and soon.

This is a picture of the Odd Fellows on the other side of the Court House..I couldnt help myself.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I am the type of person who always looking for words of wisdom to be inspired by or to live by. The other day I was doing some research on the Feast of Tishri when I came across this address to the St Louis Scottish Rite many years ago by Rabbi Julius Nodel 32 degree.I enjoyed reading it a few times to get the full effect.

"Among the symbols of Succoth are four species of plants—the citron, the branch of the palm tree, the myrtle leaves, and the willow leaves. The citron plant produces both fruit and fragrance. The palm produces fruit but no fragrance. The myrtle produces fragrance but no fruit, and the willow produces neither fruit nor fragrance. This teaches us that there are also four kinds of people. There are those that have knowledge and good deeds—they correspond to the citron. There are those who live a life of good deeds, but have no knowledge—they are like the palm. There are those who have knowledge, but perform no good deeds—they are like the myrtle, and there are those who have neither knowledge nor good deeds—they are like the willow. Yet, on Succoth, all of these different species of plants are placed together and bound as one, thus teaching us that though there are different kinds of people on Earth, with their own interests and desires, accomplishments and failures, they must still be bound together in one universal brotherhood."
In Freemasonry we have no relgious agenda. I think that as men from all faiths we can attend these Masonic observances and find them to be acceptable if not inspiring to our hearts.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Green Beans the Unofficial Masonic Vegetable

I was in the store the other day and happened to see that Green Beans were on sale.It being Labor Day made me think of childern returning to school and us returning to our Masonic Lodges from our Summer break.
Ive been anxious these last few weeks as I am sure you have to return to our home lodges. I am looking forward to renew old friendships and to see the faces of the new Brothers. As I am tying my apron I hope to hear hear new fishing tales of the one that got away or bigger than life stories of golf games involving holes in one. After a few hearty laughs and a few big hugs I urn to hear the sound of the Gavel to take my seat and to get to work.
I can't wait for that first plate of the lodge meal is passed to me with a big heap of the Unofficial Masonic vegetable, green beans upon it. I dont care if they are canned, frozen, fresh, steamed, boiled or in a casserole. For when I see them on my plate I know Im back in a place where I belong....and a place where my heart is content, where I am safe . Im in a Free Masons Lodge.
So when I was in the store I picked up a few large cans of these to maybe give like a house warming gifts to lodges that I may visit or maybe Ill give them to my Sister who hates them

So I hope this month you will visit your lodge and tell me about what you did over the summr.