Saturday, July 22, 2006

LAUDABLE PURSUIT SPURS MASONS TO ACTION

The ideas from Laudable Pursuit keep bearing fruit. All over the country, we get messages about young Masons using it as a guide for making changes, getting back to basics, and reinvigorating their lodges.

The following note was posted on the Knights of the North forum the other day.

I don't think you fully realize how ripe my jurisiction is for change! We had a degree night last night with representives of 5 Lodges. Almost all Past Masters and Officers of Lodges. LP was discussed and every person there is backing it! And taking it to thier Lodges.

One Brother, a KYCH, when he heard what we were doing, left and came back with his suit coat on to show his support. Even though the temp in the Lodge room was about 98. Brothers are showing up wearing only black suit, white shirt and black tie already.

Every day more Brothers say, "It's about time."

I fully understand the pitfalls and your wise counsel is greatly appreciated. But I believe we are at a watershed. The moment must be siezed with the dedication and intensity that has proven contagious. Here is the text of our new committee:

Consilium Reconciliatio

Resolution for the Brothers of the Milton Masonic Lodge No. 161, Free and Accepted Masons of Wisconsin, to establish a Committee for Lodge Restoration and Reform for the purpose of making a studied approach to improving the health of our beloved Craft.

Whereas: Brothers are being rushed through their advancement to the sublime degree as Master Mason without proper instruction and regard to the fraternity, to our detriment, the investigation period for a petitioner should be a minimum of 6 months. Also to facilitate the proper education of a Brother the time spent as an Entered Apprentice should be a minimum of one year. Likewise as a Fellowcraft.

Whereas: Entered Apprentices and Fellowcrafts are allowed into Lodge meetings everywhere except in the United States after the 1840’s and to provide for making Masons, not just members, the stated communication should be open on the Entered Apprentice Degree for the purpose of Masonic education and fellowship. A business meeting being held separate on the Master Mason Degree in accordance with the Wisconsin Masonic Code.

Whereas: The standards of the fraternity are integral to our survival, arrangements should be made to teach and enforce requirements for proficiency, dress code and attendance.

Whereas: The fees and dues for Lodges have not increased proportionately over the last two centuries, which only hurts the Lodge, petition fees and yearly dues should be increased to a reasonable enough level to ensure the financial stability of the Lodge and impress upon new members the value of association.

Whereas: The worldwide Masonic community is bringing increased pressure on American Grand Lodges for the use of one day classes for all three degrees the practice should not be engaged in by the members of our Lodge preferring instead to hold to our initiatic traditions and make Masons not just members.

Whereas: The leadership of the Lodge is paramount to it’s survival and prosperity, a proper education program should be enacted with the mentor program for Apprentices and Fellows as well as a more detailed program for officers and Wardens concerning history and ritual, completion of which would be required to ascend to the East.

Therefore: The Lodge should weigh these considerations with care and due diligence appointing learned Brothers to a committee tasked with educating themselves concerning the decline of our Craft and the solutions required to restore it to the dignity that it deserves.

Worshipful Brother Winter Jefferson Guite
Past Master
Thirty Second Degree
Milton Masonic Lodge No. One Hundred and Sixty One
Seventeenth of July
Common Era Two Thousand and Six
Anno Lucius Six Thousand and Six

GARY DRYFOOS' "...A PAGE ABOUT FREEMASONRY"

Since 1994, Wbro. Gary Dryfoos' website, "...A Page About Freemasonry" has been an outstanding source of reference material for new and seasoned Masons, as well as for the uninitiated. I owe Gary two notes of thanks. First, for providing a link to Laudable Pursuit and the Knights of the North website. And second for a most flattering review of Freemasons For Dummies.

"Those of you who have ever visited my website will know that I am a proponent of Masonic education. When we make a new Mason, we owe him a first-class course of instruction in what Masonry is, what it does, and where it came from. We owe it for his own sake, as our brother, for the sake of his circle of family and friends who will ask him about this peculiar organization he's joined, and for the sake of our own future. "Freemasons for Dummies" could serve as an important part of that education in any lodge."

"...Freemasons for Dummies belongs on every Masonic bookshelf. A few years ago, I attempted to compile my own list of books about Masonry for the general audience. The idea would have been to raise funds to donate a small "Masonic bookshelf" to local public libraries. I could never decide on that list, until now. If your lodge is looking for a way to inform your community about Freemasonry, consider donating a few copies of this book to your town library, and maybe even the public high school libraries."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

STEPHAN DAFOE'S MASONIC MAGAZINE

Stephen Dafoe's latest issue of Masonic magazine arrived this week, and it continues to be a tremendous publication for Freemasons. His four-part article on the Morgan Affair alone has been worth the price of subscription. He is assembling a stable of respected authors who are breathing fresh life into Masonic research. I ordered a subscription for Lodge Vitruvian, and it flies off the table as soon as it comes.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA RESEARCH LODGE

I had a long conversation with Wbro. Ralph Herbold tonight, who informs me that the SCRL has just ordered its 1,600th copy of Freemasons For Dummies!

I am absolutely astonished every time I speak with Ralph at the great reception the book has received. More to the point, the SCRL is a wonderful resource for Masons seeking further light. It is possibly the biggest steal in Freemasonry at just $15 a year. In return you receive the monthly mailing, packed with information culled from Masonic publications all around the world. And their incredible book department sells a massive list of Masonic books at just over wholesale cost. Plus, their Entered Apprentice program provides a copy of Allen Roberts' The Craft And Its Symbols to any EA that an SCRL member chooses, along with a free year's membership in the SCRL. If you aren't a member, you can't imagine what you're missing, every single month.

Find out more by visiting their website.