Bylaws

From the East – May 2017

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Our year of organizational housekeeping continued this month. With our bank and accounting transitions in place, audit complete, and revised P&L and related 2016 financial statements in our CPAs hands for timely preparation of our annual Form 990s, it’s now time to turn our attention to the state of our bylaws. Read More

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

Accountng Reports

From the East – April 2017

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Brothers! I am happy to report that the transition of our accounting systems from Quicken to Quickbooks Online is complete. This transition enables a long sought and highly valuable goal: instant reports on budget expenditures by category. While that may sound like a very dull result for a major multiple-month Lodge project, it may catch the eye of all of us who’ve sat in the stations over the years. Knowing to the penny what we’ve agreed we can spend as a Lodge, and how, is a critical tool for anyone in leadership. And, now we have it! 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

Red Wine

From the South – April 2017

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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

men shaking hands

From the East – February 2017

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Brothers! I am happy to report our non-investment banking accounts are now fully transferred to Oregon’s locally owned Umpqua Bank. Our accounts with Wells Fargo Bank are closed. The “online warrant system” described in my article last month has been implemented. Our Treasurer and Secretary have been trained to use it, and both report success with this new approach. Our banking is now more readily accessible than ever, yet secure as it has always been. Further, debit cards are now in use by the Secretary and Junior Warden, significantly reducing the paperwork burden of our regular monthly dinner, mailing, and similar expenses. 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

News from Bethel #4

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Can you believe it ~ we are into March already! The daughters were busy in February with installation on Feb 6 ~ thanks you to the Masons that attended ~ it meant a lot to the girls. Also attended the reception for the State Master Councilor of DeMolay, attended the Alumni Tea put on by the grand Guardian council for the benefit of the American Heart Association and attended a Leadership Dance for DeMolay in Tacoma. Read More

temperate man

The Temperate Man

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A visit to the Northwest Masonic Discussion page on Facebook is highly recommended to those with the luxury of time, some familiarity of the format, and the right machinery. For those who have none of the above, let this stand for a substitute! Recent conversations there, between Brothers from across our region, have covered the following topics: Whether UGLE is right to have participated in a documentary showing Blue Lodge degree work start to finish; whether one-day classes for Blue Lodge degrees in Ohio are a good idea; a call for papers from the Quator Coronati Conference; whether the use of technology (specifically, video-chatting over the internet) to practice degree work is a violation of secrecy; identifying vintage sterling Masonic calling-card cases as such; a brief history of anti-Masonry; and last, but not least, an open discussion of the meaning of “Temperance.” It is this last subject that inspired what follows here – a very brief look at Temperance as a Masonic Virtue. Read More