Food for the Soul: the January Stated Meeting

By January 11, 2019General News

Brotherly love, two more officers, and (yes) soulfood!

Hot on the heels of a busy December, the Brethren of Friendship 160 got to work in fine style this January
Our evening began with a fabulous dinner from Po’ Shine’s Cafe de la Soul, North Portland’s premier soul food spot. In the company of our familes and brothers we feasted on the most tender blackened catfish, sweet pulled pork, rich greens, and (their show-stopper) honey-glazed hushpuppies.

Masons getting to work
Our Worshipful Master promptly opened his first meeting at 7:30 – with a busy agenda on his desk and an enthusiastic gathering in the house – and nailed every item of business. Some of the highlights were:

  • Installing our Senior Warden and Senior Deacon
  • Passing the 2019 Budget
  • Announcing $1200 raised for relief to Table Mountain Lodge No. 124 in Paradise, CA
  • Unanimously voting in RWB Robert Hopkins as a Member
  • Brother Gustavo Ramirez’s lecture on The North East Corner

New year, new growth, new challenge

The Worshipful Master also detailed several projects for the year.
The primary one being his goal for our annual Master’s Challenge. Whereas each Worshipful Master of Friendship Lodge has set a specific goal for the membership each year, WB Chase has zeroed in on ritual work. Of course, we can all agree that building our ability to perform and share the work with new men is a delight, the goal of offering this rarified coin is to encourage everyone to step up and go beyond what they previously thought possible.

Other projects on the slate for 2019 include hosting a summer-long weekly civics course, gratis this summer; and forming a troupe to perform a Masonic play titled, “After the Storm” (you can learn a little more about the play here). Friendship Lodge aims to host the first performance by midyear and have the group travel to perform it for other lodges throughout 2019. WB Chase is keen for this to be a partnership with other lodges, and will be putting out a jurisdiction-wide casting call in February.

Tradition and Gratitude

One of Friendship Masonic Lodge’s oldest and most happily observed traditions is the immediate Past Master’s gift. Almost always this is in the form of the lodge buying him a life-time membership, though on some occasions a different token is more appropriate.

When the Worshipful Master called WB Lee to attend the altar, WB Lee quipped, “it’s not an invoice, is it?” After the chortles died out, our beloved Past Master was presented with his life-time member certificate. Though half expected, the moment was emotional for the two brothers, who embraced to applause from the lodge shortly after this photo was taken.
Additionally, knowing that WB Lee is more than a touch fond of pocket knives, the Brethren supplemented his traditional award with a custom made Benchmade Griptilian, etched with the name and number of his lodge, and the year of his service to the Craft.

Masonic Light after Dark

Immediately after the meeting, the brothers assembled in the Library for cocktails, light refreshments, and vigorous conversation regarding Bro. Gustavo’s lecture. But the immediate concern was saluting our Worshipful Master with a toast, celebrating a fantastic first meeting.

The ensuing 2 1/2 + hour conversation ranged far and deep into our collective experiences of the Masonic Degrees. Brother Ramirez impressed everyone with the intensity of his scholarly research and the profound cincerity of his personal reflections.

All in all, January was a delightful month, front-end-loaded with great programming, new light, and the premier of Friendship Masonic Lodge’s Worshipful Master, Chris Chase.

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