Learning about refreshment
Friendship Masonic Lodge is hosting a series of wine tastings over the last three months of 2018. At our October Stated Meeting we were visited by the owner of 45th Parallel, a fabulous local wine shop. Our visiting sommelier brought with him a selection of Oregon rieselings (a prime pairing for our German-style pork dinner), and offered notes on the history of the variety, its role in Oregon vinting, and of course its flavor profile. After our half hour of study we enjoyed a robust meal, prepared by the incomparable Bro. Eric Pease, and after our repast we joyfully headed into the Lodge.
Entered Apprentice Masons Welcome!
Bear in mind that the Lodge agenda called for us to conduct business on all three degrees. The bulk of our scheduled business was conducted on the Entered Apprentice degree so that the entirety of or membership could attend. We had several visitors too, amongst them, Worshipful Brother Thomas Pierce of Tigard-Orenomah Lodge No. 207. WB Lee descended from the East to shake WB Pierce’s hand and invited him to sit in the East with him for the meeting.
Two unanimously favorable ballots were taken
The Brethren of Friendship Masonic Lodge were elated to elect two men into our gentle craft at the October Meeting. Mr. Matthew Goosen will receive his Entered Apprentice Degree this month, on the third Wednesday. You can reada few more details about that here. And Brother Aaron Vederman (originally raised in Kenton Lodge), who had drifted away from the Fraternity for a time has found his home away from home in Friendship Lodge. Both of these fine men have been spending the better part of this year getting acquainted with our Lodge and Masonry, and we are all looking forward to working beside them.
Faith, Hope and Charity
Amidst the report on charitable actions we all learned that our winter homeless supply project had received an additional $100 in donations after the initial event. This will be combined with other funds raised at the packing party to purchase additional tarps for donation to local area shelters.
The special by-laws committee gave its report on the status of our non-descrimination clause, as well as our general by-laws overhaul. Friendship has been working hand-in-hand with the Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of Oregon on refining our by-laws for the past two years; so that we can best emulate the pure principles of Masonry, and preserve its and our traditions into the future. Everyone is feeling light and joyful as we enter the home stretch of this project.
We also learned good news about the recovery process of our beloved Worshipful Brother James Peyor-Nelson, who is convalescing after having his foot severly injured by a car passing him on his motorcycle in September. WB Peyor-Nelson has been an especially active and lively member of the Lodge since returning to Portland last year, and his absence has been felt by all the Brethren.
A Fellowcraft Mason More Than Suitably Proficient
After the majority of our business was done and our Entered Apprentices retired to set up the festive board for after Lodge, the Lodge was reopened on the Fellowcraft Degree for the marvelous opportunity to hear Brother Kevin Miller-Conley deliver an inspiring performance at his Fellowcraft Examination.
The Junior Warden himself directly questioned Bro. Kevin, who had the distinguished honor of being judged by not only his peers, his mentor and our Worshipful Master, but also by our dear friend, WB Pierce, seated in the East on WB Lee’s right, who gave his nod of approval too. We look forward to hearing Bro. Kevin’s research and reflections on the lessons of the Fellowcraft Degree, to be delivered at our November Stated Meeting.
Our evening progressing well, we closed the Lodge again, and once again opened on the Master Mason degree for the final act.
An Examination of the Canadian Working of the Master Mason Degree
A crisp ritualist and devoted scholar of esoterics, Worshipful Brother Pierce’s visit to Friendship Masonic Lodge gave the opportunity for him to share some interesting findings from his travels north. We learned that many a curious difference exists between the jurisditions of Oregon and that of British Combia and Yukon (BC&Y). One especially intriguing detail was that four workings are in common practice in BC&Y, one of which is called the Canadian – the one we were to hear about.
It is difficult to say much more in this space, except that WB Pierce’s presentation – followed by open discussion – inspired in all of us the same sense of wonder that he must have felt at witnessing the Master Mason Degree at Duke of Connaught Lodge last year, and that every Brother feels when he is raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason.
What is a Man?
Following the meeting we retired to the library to rejoin our friends and engage in our customary focus conversation over coctails and light refreshments. In light of the recently publicised decision of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) regarding transgender Masons, JW Kent Smith had written a brief statement on the many issues this raises for Freemasons in comity with the UGLE.
We were all interested in the prospect of high-minded conversation on the topic, and we found ourselves spending this time in two chunks. First explaining a host of masonic vocabulary to our non-mason guests, so that they could follow along on the key concepts in play and understand the siginificance of the UGLE’s policy decision. After this everyone got on the hunt to ask their questions. None of which were answered (I don’t think), but added more fuel to the engines propelling our querry.
But perhaps the most timeless and Masonically appropriate question asked was, “what is a man”?