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

Grand Lodge approves by-laws amendment

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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 South – February 2016

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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

From the East – January 2017

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Dear Friends and Brethren,

First, and most importantly, thank you for your best wishes as we inaugurate a new Masonic year.

Those who know our Lodge, know that one would be hard pressed to find another which has ridden waves quite like ours over the past decade. Yet, what better way to practice Masonry? We have continued lifting our trowels, trimming our ashlars, squaring our corners, and showing up to work the quarry, as time moves forward and life keeps changing. We have completed a harmonious and successful year, thanks to the dedicated work of WB Bob Casey, PM, and we are looking forward to another. 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

From the South – January 2017

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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

News from the Bethel

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Greetings from the members and adults of Bethel #4. We have missed the deadline for the past few Trestleboards… but we want you to know we are alive and happy!

We have been very busy the past few months with various meetings and activities. The girls have been visiting as many bethels as they can and have been participating in initiations and other activities at those bethels as needed. Read More