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Walter Lee

Quinn Hasse - Entered Apprentice Degree

Congratulations, Brother Quinn!

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At long last, Friendship has made Quinn Hasse a Brother Mason. On Wednesday, May 18 Friendship 160 welcomed out newest Entered Apprentice into the fraternity. That night marked a turning point in his life as well as Friendship Lodge’s as this was the first degree in several years performed entirely with an inhouse cast; with our Junior Warden conferring his first degree and our Super Senior Deacon, Brian Gardes performing in a degree for the first time since his own.

A bright night for everyone indeed and only the first degree of the year! Join us and Brother Quinn for our next Stated Meeting on Wednesday, June 7, and come back for our next EA degree on June 21, when we continue with this great and good work.

rudyard kipling

From the West – May 2017

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Greetings from The West, Brethren;
My mind has been pulled in many directions this past month. Consequently, I’ve struggled to find the right words to convey all the lessons I’ve encountered since we last met and worked together. But one thing that has stood out to me is the triumphant return of our Brother Junior Deacon, Kent from his journeys in Europe with his wife. Among his adventures abroad was an evening spent at a Lodge in Antwerp and in commemoration of his Masonic education I’d like to offer a poem from Brother Rudyard Kipling. Read More

from the west

From the West – April 2017

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Greetings from The West, Brethren;

I’ve got my mind on mortar and mortar on my mind right now. We are all taught the proper application of the trowel as speculative Masons, and are informed of its utility to our ancient operative Brothers; but today (and regrettably too often) I find illustrations depicting the operative use incorrectly; as a tool used to spread cement over the face of the work. To be clear: if your work needs to be smoothed over on its face – your work is slipshod and the weaknesses you’ve hidden will show in time. Indeed, there were times when our ancient Brethren did find it necessary to veneer their work, but Masonic tradition informs us that that most sublime Masonic edifice did not use tricks or shortcuts – the builders we study and revere took the longer, harder path of carefully selecting and preparing their stones; cementing them together by spreading their mortar between each and every one. Read More

Hand Shake

From the West – February 2017

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“Meeting on the Level” was a recurring them in February. It took center stage in our meeting as we were reminded of the landmarks of Freemasonry, following Lodge it turned out to be prevalent throughout our conversations, and my own life for many days more. Last month’s discussion of the teachability of virtue brought several interesting questions out of the library. From Bro. Blake Presswood’s incisive reconstruction of Aquinas’ Principle of Double Effect to the Worshipful Master’s recounting of the story of Moses and Al- Khadir; the evening ultimately focused everyone on the problem of intent and its paradoxical alliance with effect. I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who participated – this second effort to drill down and unpack the notion of virtue expanded all our experience of the mysteries of our fraternity. And I am personally grateful that it gave me greater knowledge of the Level – knowledge which turned out to be quite useful this past week. Read More

Grand Lodge approves by-laws amendment

By | From the West | No Comments

I have the distinction of sharing some good news with you from Friendship 160. At our January Stated Communication we learned that the Grand Master had signed and the Grand Lodge had approved of an amendment to our bylaws. No hooting, clapping, cheers or jeers were heard in the Lodge that night. Some smiles broke out and a few heads nodded, some Brothers sighed relief. This was but one of many points of business we had on a busy agenda. No comment was made about this news even after the Lodge closed and we rejoined our guests for some light refreshments and conversation about the night’s education. We’d had those conversations throughout the latter half of 2016, following the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge. Following the example set by Most Worshipful Brother Don Stapleton, we chose to address the issue of sexual orientation in our Lodge and have amended our bylaws to include the following; “No individual is to be excluded or expelled from membership in our Lodge, on the basis of sexual orientation. Our Lodge regards it as unmasonic to take any such action against a candidate or member.” This language is clear and unequivocating, as is our belief that this issue is a test of our skill with the proper application of the Level. Read More

From the West – January 2017

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Greetings from The West,

As 2016 is in its final days I find myself with high hopes and aspirations for 2017. Perhaps it will be quieter or marked with less hardship, but my greatest hope is to transcend the recent air of conflict that seems to have distinctly marked this year – most tragically in the cases I learned of Brothers in our Craft getting caught up in piques and feuds.

In the hopes that we can all grow either ourselves or those we love in 2017 I’d like to share the following poem with you. Read More

Jewel of Friendship

The Jewel of Friendship

By | From the South | No Comments

My studies this past month lead me to a short paper, written by Worshipful Brother Alphonse Cerza, Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of Illinois A.F. & A.M. titled, “Our Most Valuable Asset: Friendship”. It would be a bit lengthy to present to you here, but I assure you it is a swift, uplifting and informative read, and I will be certain to provide a route to it through our internet platforms; but I would like to share an excerpt with you here:
Read More

From the South

The Virtue of Humility

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Greetings from the South, Brethren;

Approaching November, our elections obviously come to mind. I don’t mean to be presumptuous, but based on tradition I have my suspicions as to whom might ascend to the West next year. Consequently I have found myself contemplating the Level, and with it the virtue of humility. Read More

Charity

By | From the South | No Comments

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!

I’ve been turning this familiar piece of scripture over in my mind for a bit now because it seems to connect two ideas that I had previously found to be paradoxical, though individually agreeable, and harmonizes nicely with our present theme of charity. Read More

From the South

Faith

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I am caught unarmed and ill prepared – shamefully so, as this situation is one of my own design. It’s time I address the virtue of faith. To be fair, I ought to have done this in June, but kicked that can down the road in the hopes that my study and reflections over the summer months would give greater clarity and empower me to share something of merit. But alas I stand defeated, though I will happily explain my reticence about faith. It confuses me. Read More