In many ways, this year has been about seeking clarity in the way we as a Lodge do business. We’ve changed our accounting practices to be more transparent and modern. We’ve clarified our Masonic education and actually made it a centerpiece for our stated meetings. We’ve sought greater clarity and brotherhood inside our Lodge through these educational pieces. We’ve even begun clearing up some of our old “handshake” agreements and ad-hoc practices for the sake of clarity, unity, and brotherhood. Read More
At our January stated meeting, I heard the words of the Junior Warden’s closing charge as I’ve heard them many times. But this time, a particular sentence stuck out to me:
“You have been enjoined to remind a Brother in the most friendly manner of his fault, to endeavor to aid his reformation, and to defend his character.”
How does one achieve this? How can one aid in the reformation of a Brother’s faults, or defend his character when we disagree with him? Read More
First of all, happy New Year, brethren! I hope your holidays were filled with family, friends, and happy memories. I look forward to the work we have ahead of us in Friendship Lodge this year, and welcome the opportunity to learn and grow with you all.
As I stepped into the Junior Warden’s shoes for the first time at the installation, I felt much as I did almost exactly a year before in the Senior Deacon’s role for the first time. A little overwhelmed and feeling more than a little underprepared, to say the least. In the moment, I could only think about how I didn’t know the first thing about being a Junior Warden.
But looking back at my first time fulfilling the duties of the Senior Deacon, at how unsure and overwhelmed I felt at that time, I remember the wise words: “Anything worth being good at is worth being bad at, at first.”
As we’ve all heard many times, we begin in our “rude and imperfect state.” Our aim here is to refine and perfect our shortcomings, and this requires sometimes uncomfortable and difficult work. But the end product is worth the work, the embarrassment, the uncertainty; a smooth ashlar, a better fit for that “house not made with hands.”
Be well, and keep working,
Chris Chase, Junior Warden
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:
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
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
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
For much of May I have contemplated the virtue of hope, and have had a tumultuous time with it indeed. However, I think I’ve made some headway, at least in understanding why we make a virtue of hope. In the spirit of full candor: this past year I have often found myself without much hope. I won’t go into the details, but this past year has been marked by what seems to be the greatest challenge I have ever faced; and every failure, mistake, and missed opportunity has siphoned just a little more off my reserve each time. Read More
I recently watched an episode of George Gently, in which a young, junior detective told the best friend of the deceased, “I didn’t know Dolores, but I want justice for her”. Perhaps it was the skill of the actor or his writers, but that line has stuck with me in my meditations on the virtue of Justice this past few weeks. It seems to say it all. “Justice” rings out clear as a bell – but what does it mean to get justice? Read More
Spring seems to have sprung, and Friendship looks to have caught its stride. Our March Communication saw a fantastic turn out of Brothers (members and visitors alike) and we didn’t disappoint. Inspired by WB Arneson’s lecture on “The Art of Virtue”, a delightful party of Brothers stayed behind to enjoy refreshment and conversation into the night. Though liberated from the usual Masonic restrictions, temperance was on display in good form, undoubtedly bolstered by a measure of prudence. Read More