The Midnight Freemasons

001: Worthy and Well-Qualified
August 5, 2005

The Midnight Freemasons

The Midnight FreemasonsI Have Met the Enemy and It’s MeMasonic Wisdom: WinningWhat Freemasonry Teaches Us About PrioritiesWhy Are You Going to the Meeting, Again?Masonic Wisdom: In God We TrustAt The Tomb Of The Unknown SoldierMasonic BlingFirst Step to Commitment and Civility – EthicsThe Curiosity of FreemasonryWhy I Regret Joining FreemasonryMasonic Wisdom: Bridge BuilderDangerous TravelsMasonic Wisdom: SilenceA Visit To Historic Naval Lodge No. 4Brother OzymandiasMasonic Wisdom: The Sequoia TreeFreemasonry is Worth More Than…Those Dang Car DecalsMasonic Wisdom: The Wisdom Shouts!Presidential Inaugurations: Not Always A “Capitol” Affair300 Years of FreemasonryBrotherhood – A Matter of AccessibilityGeorge Washington’s Oath: So Help Me GodWhat Freemasonry Teaches: We Don’t KnowMasonic Etiquette for the Entered Apprentice

tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-29098144770988684402017-03-24T07:54:21.597-07:00A group of Master Masons talk about topics of Masonic interest–each from their own unique perspective. You’ll find a wide range of subjects including history, trivia, travel, book reviews, great quotes, and hopefully a little humor as well on topics of interest for Freemasons and those interested in the subject of Freemasonry.Todd E. Creasonhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/12966451416841599132noreply@blogger.comBlogger1125125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-42205230124996170202017-03-24T05:00:00.000-07:002017-03-24T05:00:17.791-07:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>Bill Hosler, PM</b></div><br /><br /><div><a href=”https://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/1011271.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”200″ src=”https://d1466nnw0ex81e.cloudfront.net/n_iv/600/1011271.jpg” width=”151″ /></a>In 1971 cartoonist Walt Kelley used the quote, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” in his daily comic strip “Pogo”. According to the website Humor in America, “ We have met the enemy and he is us” derives from Braggadocio during the War of 1812 in which commodore Oliver Hazard Perry reported, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”<br /><br /><div>Through most of my Masonic life I have thought of myself as a progressive Freemason. I was above the “We never did it that way before.” mentality. I have championed such radical ideas as opening meetings on the first degree, table lodges, ending the prohibition of alcohol within a Masonic temple, higher Dues…etc Anything that might make an old Past Masters teeth itch and blood pressure rise, I tried it.</div><div><br /></div><div>Sunday morning I woke up to several text messages from an unknown number on my cell phone. As I read the texts I discovered the sender was the Chaplain from my lodge in Texas. He was asking me in my position as the chairman of the lodge technology committee, if I allow other administrator rights to our lodges smartphone app. In my morning grumpiness I replied “When directed by the Master” and started my day thinking my reply would finish the conversation. <br /><br />Last night I received more texts from the same Brother. This time he wanted me to allow him to have administrative rights to the app because “He thought the lodge wasn’t utilizing the app to “its fullest potential.” And proceeded to tell me what, I perceived, I was doing wrong. The ideas the Brother had for the smartphone app were all great ideas and very innovative but as a Masonic webmaster of nearly two decades I knew these changes wouldn’t be utilized by the membership because I’ve tried doing them before in the past and no one had even tried them.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>Needless to say I got angry and threatened to resign my position on the committee. “If this kid thinks he can do this job better he should have the job!” I told the Secretary and the Master. Both men tried to smooth my ego telling me what a valuable asset I was to the lodge and he could never replace me. After a few minutes of praise my ego was adequately stroked and my temper was soothed and I begrudgingly gave the Brother the access he requested. In my mind I thought “I’ll have to fix it all later after he screws it up.”<br /></div><div><a href=”https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/3b/36/7a/3b367a6f2676dd41bfae7b7ffe2ea2a9.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”200″ src=”https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/3b/36/7a/3b367a6f2676dd41bfae7b7ffe2ea2a9.jpg” width=”200″ /></a>This morning as I rose, my mind wandered to my actions last night and I will admit I am a little ashamed of myself. I have become what I made fun of my whole Masonic life: A grumpy Past Master with a massive ego. <br /><br />Instead of embracing innovation I slipped into “we have done it that way before and it didn’t work” mentality. I allowed my ego to hoodwink me instead of following the old emulation, “He who can best work or best agree.” I have met the enemy and he is me. <br /><br />Brethren, this is more of a confession than it is a story. I have no high moral or knowledge in which to impart with this piece. Thanks to this Brother I realized I have a hidden imperfection on my rough ashlar in which I need to work on. <br /><br />I’m sure each of you reading these words, whether you realize it or not, have an imperfection hidden deep within your ashlar. I truly believe it behooves each of us to look inward for imperfection before we continue our journey to that undiscovered country. </div><div><br /></div><div>~BH</div><div><br /></div><div><span style=”color: #ff9900; font-family: Georgia, Utopia, ‘Palatino Linotype’, Palatino, serif; font-size: 14px;”><b style=”font-family: -webkit-standard;”><u><span>WB Bill Hosler</span></u></b></span> was made a Master Mason in 2002 in Three Rivers Lodge #733 in Indiana. He served as Worshipful Master in 2007 and became a member of the internet committee for Indiana’s Grand Lodge. Bill is currently a member of Roff Lodge No. 169 in Roff Oklahoma and Lebanon Lodge No. 837 in Frisco,Texas. Bill is also a member of the Valley of Fort Wayne Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in Indiana. A typical active Freemason, Bill also served as the High Priest of Fort Wayne’s Chapter of the York Rite No. 19 and was commander of of the Fort Wayne Commandery No. 4 of the Knight Templar. During all this he also served as the webmaster and magazine editor for the Mizpah Shrine in Fort Wayne Indiana.</div></div>Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-48058922822493086962017-03-20T05:00:00.000-07:002017-03-20T05:00:18.791-07:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>WB Luciano M. Azevedo</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”http://i.onionstatic.com/avclub/5279/70/16×9/960.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ src=”http://i.onionstatic.com/avclub/5279/70/16×9/960.jpg” height=”180″ width=”320″ /></a></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div>For a moment, clear your mind and think. Think that in order for a winner to exist there is an intrinsic need of one or many losers to exist. The old expression “win win situation” is naïve or pure rhetoric.<br /><br />One of the “greatest” “human sins” is envy. Is the need we all have for comparison. In order for us to feel good or special we need someone to be in a lower position or be “defeated”. The comparison is so necessary that when our neighbor has some good that we do not have or that is bigger, better, or more desired, our tendency is to envy him. We hurry to run to overcome the other, to have what the other doesn’t. <br /><br />When we tirelessly feed this pernicious logic we become more and more self-centered, selfish, and dehumanized. The Masonic paradox of subduing our instincts comes precisely from another logic: “to become more humane we need to love more and envy less”. <br /><br />Competing is not bad, it’s actually very good when we do it with a collective perspective of advancing together, towards prosperity and a better world.<br /><br />Let Masonic logic be more and more present in our souls.<br /><br />~LMA<div style=”-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(22, 25, 31); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; color: #16191f; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-kerning: none;”><br /></span></div><div style=”-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(22, 25, 31); line-height: normal;”><a href=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-95RSpJqKEJU/WJfq0zloqOI/AAAAAAAAEHg/7YqCAl0zNZQEjUOPLZ8zJu-F5Uz33TYswCLcB/s1600/Luciano%2Bvineyard.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”200″ src=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-95RSpJqKEJU/WJfq0zloqOI/AAAAAAAAEHg/7YqCAl0zNZQEjUOPLZ8zJu-F5Uz33TYswCLcB/s200/Luciano%2Bvineyard.jpg” width=”159″ /></a><span style=”-webkit-font-kerning: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; color: #16191f; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 14px;”><span style=”font-family: helvetica;”><b style=”color: white;”><i><u><span style=”color: #e69138;”>WB Luciano M. Azevedo</span></u></i></b></span></span> holds an MBA and Bachelor in Business Administration. He has published several scientific and philosophical essays and articles in the secular world. As a sommelier he wrote his own column for a major wine magazine for many years. In Freemasonry Brother “Lou” has contributed with many articles from a philosophical basic approach to an ethical decision-making in regards to masonic conduct. He is the current Worshipful Master of Zurich Lodge 1089 of A.F&amp;A.M of the State of Illinois. W. Bro Luciano is also a member or the Grand Lodge Leadership Committee of the State of Illinois, a 32 Degree active member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago and a Shrine Noble of the Medinah Shriners.</div>Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-12492806845530259432017-03-17T05:00:00.000-07:002017-03-17T05:45:37.231-07:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemasons Founder</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>Todd E. Creason, 33°</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><br /></div><table align=”center” cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ class=”tr-caption-container” style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;”><tbody><tr><td style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-p-WzRb8V-zw/WMq92F0lLQI/AAAAAAAAMe4/53WvKNc9e2sr3i_JaNHFqpTs6lkCFCKDACLcB/s1600/Creason%2BSecretary.JPG” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;”><img border=”0″ height=”320″ src=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-p-WzRb8V-zw/WMq92F0lLQI/AAAAAAAAMe4/53WvKNc9e2sr3i_JaNHFqpTs6lkCFCKDACLcB/s320/Creason%2BSecretary.JPG” width=”320″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td class=”tr-caption” style=”text-align: center;”>Soon to be “Secretary Emeritus” of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL)</td></tr></tbody></table>I made a very difficult decision recently–I decided that after seven years serving as Secretary of my Lodge, it was time to step down and let somebody else take over.&nbsp; So in June, I’ll become “Secretary Emeritus”.&nbsp;&nbsp; By the way, Secretary Emeritus is not a real title, but rest assured I’m going to use it anyway.<br /><br />I’ve enjoyed the job, and that’s why the decision was so tough.&nbsp; I think I was good at the job, but like anything else, I’m sure I could have done a better job at a few things.&nbsp; But overall, I did a good job.&nbsp; I’d even been awarded Illinois Secretary of the Year a few years ago!&nbsp; I’ve written a few pieces on the Midnight Freemasons over the years about how to be a good Secretary, like <a href=”http://www.midnightfreemasons.org/2013/10/advice-for-new-secretaries.html”>Advice For New Secretaries</a> and <a href=”http://www.midnightfreemasons.org/2011/12/lodge-secretary-for-life-thankless-job_07.html”>Lodge Secretary (For Life): A Thankless Job</a>.&nbsp; But I’d known for some time that I needed to take a step back from a few of the roles I have in the Fraternity–Secretary was one of those.&nbsp; <br /><br />I’ve gotten to the place I’m too involved in too many things.&nbsp; Secretary at one Lodge, and Master at another.&nbsp; I just finished a term as Sovereign Master of my Allied Masonic Degrees Council.&nbsp; I’m involved in the Scottish Rite.&nbsp; We’ve started a new Royal Arch Chapter, and I’m up next as High Priest of the new chapter.&nbsp; Then there’s the blog writing, the articles, the books, the education pieces, and the speaking engagements.&nbsp; It’s gotten to be too much.&nbsp; And we all know what happens when we get too much on our plate–we wind up with mediocrity instead of our best.&nbsp; That’s certainly what’s been plaguing me.&nbsp; I seldom feel as prepared as I should be, because I’m stretched far too thin.<br /><br />So it was time for me to pull back before I burned out.&nbsp; Focus on doing a few things really, really well instead of a dozen things rather poorly.&nbsp; The Secretary job was the first thing I needed to let go, but there are a few other things I’m going to have to let go of–get back to being a member of a few bodies instead of a driver.&nbsp; <br /><br />What we often forget as Freemasons is the lesson of the 24-inch gauge–one of the first and most basic concepts we’re taught.&nbsp; Life is about maintaining a proper balance.&nbsp; It’s about properly dividing our time.&nbsp; I know very few active Masons that pay any heed to that lesson at all, but we do so at our own risk.&nbsp; I could name several Masons that I no longer see in Lodge anymore that I used to see at every single event I went to no matter where it was.&nbsp; I know one or two were given notice by their spouses that they were spending too much time away from home, and as much as they love the Fraternity, it wasn’t worth half their stuff to find out if she was serious or not.&nbsp; A few others simply burned out because they were far too involved in too many things.<br /><br />Brace yourself for a shocking statement–Freemasonry comes last!&nbsp; It comes after God.&nbsp; It comes after family.&nbsp; It comes after our chosen profession.&nbsp; We should never put Freemasonry before God, family, or career.&nbsp; I know many who have, including me from time to time.&nbsp; But as important as the work we do as Freemasons is, it should not be our entire life.&nbsp; What we learn in our Lodges is what is important–those basic tenets, principles and ideals.&nbsp; The application of the basic principles of Freemasonry is what is important, and making sure we’re teaching our new Master Masons those lessons by serving as a good example.&nbsp; Those principles we learn are the part we take with us everywhere.&nbsp; Those are the basic building materials necessary to improve ourselves.&nbsp; That’s the part of Freemasonry that makes good men better men, and that’s why we’re here.&nbsp; Unfortunately, too often many of us get so involved in “doing” Freemasonry that we forget to “live” Freemasonry.&nbsp; We focus on the tasks rather than the philosophy.&nbsp; <br /><br />I think it’s safe to say I’ll always be an active Mason.&nbsp; However, going forward I’m going to be a little more selective about the jobs I take on so that I can focus more on those things in the Fraternity where I make the biggest impact.&nbsp; Writing books, articles and blog pieces that hopefully make us think.&nbsp; Being a good Worshipful Master in my Lodge.&nbsp; Advancing Masonic Education in our Lodges everywhere.<br /><br />Attending Lodge is important.&nbsp; Being involved is important.&nbsp; But just as we’re taught early on in our ritual–we must learn to manage our time, and live a life that’s in balance.&nbsp; <br /><br />~TEC<br /><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><b><span style=”color: #e69138;”><span style=”color: orange;”>Todd E. Creason, 33°</span> </span></b><i>is the Founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog and is a regular contributor.&nbsp; He is the award winning author of several books and novels, including the <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Todd-E.-Creason/e/B002HFWHUM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1343539240&amp;sr=8-1″>Famous American Freemasons</a> series. He is the author of the <a href=”http://toddecreason.blogspot.com/”>From Labor to Refreshment</a>blog.&nbsp; He is the Worshipful Master of Homer Lodge No. 199 and a Past Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754.&nbsp; He is a Past Sovereign Master of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees.&nbsp; He is a Fellow at the Missouri Lodge of Research. (FMLR) and a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D.&nbsp; You can contact him at: webmaster@toddcreason.org</i></span></span> Todd E. Creasonhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/12966451416841599132noreply@blogger.com11tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-51855277647596374182017-03-15T05:00:00.000-07:002017-03-15T05:00:10.020-07:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>RW Robert H. Johnson</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/_r_bfJW_DeWY/TH4aUXAAdyI/AAAAAAAAPSI/nJdlm-ZLeUA/btn_parti_250.png” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ src=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/_r_bfJW_DeWY/TH4aUXAAdyI/AAAAAAAAPSI/nJdlm-ZLeUA/btn_parti_250.png” /></a></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div>”If you don’t have to do a part in the degree, why are you going, again?”– That’s a question someone recently asked me, actually it was my wife. We were walking up the stairs as I was telling her my schedule for the week. “I have nothing on Monday or Tuesday, but Wednesday I have to do an Official visit, Thursday I have Scottish Rite rehearsal, Friday I have another Official visit to conduct and Saturday, at 8:30 in the morning I need to be at a lodge for two second degrees.”<br /><br />With all that going on, I can see where she was coming from. We’re all so busy and it seems like at a point, if you don’t *have* to be somewhere, then sit back and take a break. This is undoubtedly what she was thinking. But then she asked me that question, “If I don’t have a job to do, why go?” My answer was simply, “Because these guys are friends.”<br /><br />My wife understood at that point. She knew that these two guys were the ones Bro. Scott and I thought “Actually get Masonry.” But it got me thinking. How many brothers feel this way? How many of you all feel that if you don’t have a part, you don’t have to go? While I feel this is never true, I can understand the reasoning if it’s a stated meeting (to a point). But for a degree, everyone has a part. Even the sideliner, which is what I was that day. <br /><br />At my first degree there were 13 people present, including officers. At my second degree there were 14 and my third degree 15 people. 15 is a decent turn out these days, but for a lodge with 300 on the books, I guess it’s sad. <br /><br />I’m really not sure what to say at at this point, but perhaps I will just leave you with a statement and a quote.<br /><br />Don’t assume other people will do it or that other people will show up. Don’t think you won’t be missed or that it’s okay to miss the meeting, it isn’t, not in a time like this. Even if you don’t have a job or a part, be there. <br /><br /><div style=”text-align: center;”>”<i>Go to Lodge.</i>”~ Eric Diamond</div><br />~RHJ<br /><b style=”color: white; font-family: ‘; font-size: 14px;”><span style=”color: #ff9900;”><u>RWB, Robert Johnson&nbsp;</u></span></b>is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Waukegan Lodge No. 78 where he is a Past Master. He also serves as the District Deputy for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) <a href=”http://wcypodcast.blogspot.com/”>Whence Came You?</a> &amp; <a href=”http://www.masonicradiotheatre.com/”>Masonic Radio Theatre</a> which focus on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of <a href=”http://themasonicroundtable.com/”>The Masonic Roundtable</a>, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry and is also an avid home brewer. He is currently working on a book of Masonic essays and one on Occult Anatomy to be released soon.<br /><br /><br /><br />Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-9896882722873989852017-03-13T05:00:00.000-07:002017-03-13T05:00:16.212-07:00<div><div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>WB Luciano M. Azevedo</b></div><br />Why Freemasons believe in God? The absence of God removes from the universe and from humanity its moral foundation. If all that exist is only “matter”, (the original and permanent substance of all reality), we can live just as any other animal. <br /><br />Evil voices say “Let the poor die, let’s make all the populations of poor countries disappear, so we will have more water, more crude oil, more sustainability conditions for the world because we would be reducing the number of our biggest predator, namely man himself.”<br /><br />Only the notion of God as a moral being offers humanity the foundation of indiscriminate solidarity.<br /><br />The ethical foundation of the universe and humanity rests on love, expression of the Great Architect of the Universe, The Divine Being that gives birth to everything! This necessarily implies the realization that the correlation that binds man to mankind is connected to the understanding of a higher correlation which binds man to God and God to man.<br /><br />Since it is only on the relationship with our neighbor that we are complete, and only God offers the foundation for the unity of humanity, every denial of love, which is equivalent to the alienation of the other, is also equivalent to the disintegration of ourselves. </div><div><br /></div><div>~LMA</div><div><br /></div><div><a href=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-95RSpJqKEJU/WJfq0zloqOI/AAAAAAAAEHg/7YqCAl0zNZQEjUOPLZ8zJu-F5Uz33TYswCLcB/s1600/Luciano%2Bvineyard.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”200″ src=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-95RSpJqKEJU/WJfq0zloqOI/AAAAAAAAEHg/7YqCAl0zNZQEjUOPLZ8zJu-F5Uz33TYswCLcB/s200/Luciano%2Bvineyard.jpg” width=”159″ /></a><span style=”-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(22, 25, 31); color: #16191f; font-family: helvetica; font-size: 14px;”><b style=”color: white;”><i><u><span style=”color: #e69138;”>WB Luciano M. Azevedo</span></u></i></b></span> holds an MBA and Bachelor in Business Administration. He has published several scientific and philosophical essays and articles in the secular world. As a sommelier he wrote his own column for a major wine magazine for many years. In Freemasonry Brother “Lou” has contributed with many articles from a philosophical basic approach to an ethical decision-making in regards to masonic conduct. He is the current Worshipful Master of Zurich Lodge 1089 of A.F&amp;A.M of the State of Illinois. W. Bro Luciano is also a member or the Grand Lodge Leadership Committee of the State of Illinois, a 32 Degree active member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago and a Shrine Noble of the Medinah Shriners.</div>Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-11270748514049411282017-03-10T05:00:00.000-08:002017-03-10T08:52:26.515-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”>by Midnight Freemasons Contributor</span></span></i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”>Todd E. Creason, 33°</span></span></b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><br /></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3ctUCXyv10g/WL3B60NQgGI/AAAAAAAAMeQ/fSNNBIoo-Tcdqt4J3gIVT7k4hY0ji622ACLcB/s1600/Arlington%2Bwreath.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”400″ src=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-3ctUCXyv10g/WL3B60NQgGI/AAAAAAAAMeQ/fSNNBIoo-Tcdqt4J3gIVT7k4hY0ji622ACLcB/s400/Arlington%2Bwreath.jpg” width=”338″ /></a></div><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”>The first time I saw the changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery, I was five years old.&nbsp; We were in Washington, D.C. on a family vacation.&nbsp; I remember it very clearly.&nbsp; That solemn ceremony left a very deep impression on me.&nbsp; I’ve watched on television as Presidents on Memorial Day have laid the Memorial Day wreath many times, and every time, I’m struck with that same sense–a mixture of American pride, patriotism, honor, and deep respect for the sacrifices that have been made in the name of freedom.&nbsp; </span></span><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><br /></span></span><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”>Two years ago, I saw the changing of the guard again–more than forty years later.&nbsp; Fellow Midnight Freemason Greg Knott and I flew to Washington D.C. for a Masonic event, and less than an hour after the plane landed at Ronald Reagan International Airport, we were standing at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.&nbsp; The Boy Scouts were there that day, and during the changing of the guard, they presented a wreath–the same exact ceremony the President takes part in on Memorial Day.&nbsp; We both knew what we wanted to do on our next trip out–to place a wreath on behalf of Freemasons everywhere to honor our fallen heroes.&nbsp; In February, we were able to do just that.&nbsp; Greg and I on behalf of Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and with the blessing of Our Grand Master of Illinois, Anthony Cracco.&nbsp; We also asked the President and Past President of The Masonic Society to join us<span style=”font-family: inherit;”>–</span>Kenneth Davis and James Dillman were only too happy to do so.</span></span><br /><br /><iframe allowfullscreen=”” frameborder=”0″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/W8eblDPxS18″ width=”560″></iframe><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”></span></span><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”>&nbsp;</span></span><br /><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”>The reality didn’t really set in until I was standing at the top of the steps looking out over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the cemetery beyond as the Relief Commander slowly ascended the steps before us.&nbsp; The wreath we provided was already in place waiting for us as we descended together in step.&nbsp; </span></span><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><br /></span></span><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”>It was about thirty-five degrees with a thirty mile-per-hour wind, but the four of us barely felt the bracing cold.&nbsp; We were there to represent Freemasonry, so we left our winter jackets behind in favor of our suits, jewels, aprons, and gloves.&nbsp; We were about to honor our fallen veterans on behalf of Freemasons everywhere by laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.&nbsp; </span></span><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><br /></span></span><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”>Once the wreath was placed, a soldier played Taps.&nbsp; It was an indescribably moving experience listening to Taps as I fixated on words on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD.&nbsp; It was an experience I don’t think any of us will ever forget.&nbsp; I certainly won’t.&nbsp; </span></span><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><br /></span></span><br /><table align=”center” cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ class=”tr-caption-container” style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;”><tbody><tr><td style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_EcQ65Xu9JM/WL3CA2Z-IwI/AAAAAAAAMeU/TNtTZNOd4jAbb3Qw26t8a8exflDtmNcvwCLcB/s1600/Todd%2BCreason%2BGreg%2BKnott%2BKen%2BDavis%2BJim%2BDillman.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;”><img border=”0″ height=”296″ src=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_EcQ65Xu9JM/WL3CA2Z-IwI/AAAAAAAAMeU/TNtTZNOd4jAbb3Qw26t8a8exflDtmNcvwCLcB/s400/Todd%2BCreason%2BGreg%2BKnott%2BKen%2BDavis%2BJim%2BDillman.jpg” width=”400″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td class=”tr-caption” style=”text-align: center;”>Left to right: Todd E. Creason, Gregory J. Knott, James Dillman, Kenneth Davis</td></tr></tbody></table><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”>Afterwards, we stood and watched the guard for some time.&nbsp; It occurred to me that there had been a guard watching the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, uninterrupted, since I’d been there as a five year old child.&nbsp; It was that important.&nbsp; And the honor of being able to serve in that capacity is considered one of the highest honors in military service.&nbsp; </span></span><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><br /></span></span><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”>As we left the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a funeral procession was in progress–something that happens on average twenty-four times a day at Arlington National Cemetery.&nbsp; Greg Knott and I walked to a large tree in the center of one of the plots to get a better view.&nbsp; As the horse drawn cassion passed with the flag draped coffin on top, and I looked out across the cemetery at the thousands and thousands of identical stones, I was struck by the high price Americans have paid for freedom.&nbsp; And yet it’s a price that generation after generation of Americans have continued to pay, because in the end, there is nothing more important to who we are as the American people than those freedoms provided us under the United States Constitution.</span></span><br /><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”>~TEC</span></span><br /><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><b><span style=”color: #e69138;”><span style=”color: orange;”>Todd E. Creason, 33°, FMLR</span> </span></b><i>is the Founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog and is a regular contributor.&nbsp; He is the award winning author of several books and novels, including the <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Todd-E.-Creason/e/B002HFWHUM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1343539240&amp;sr=8-1″>Famous American Freemasons</a> series. He is the author of the <a href=”http://toddecreason.blogspot.com/”>From Labor to Refreshment</a>blog.&nbsp; He is the Worshipful Master of Homer Lodge No. 199 and a Past Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754, where is currently serves as Secretary.&nbsp; He is the Sovereign Master of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees.&nbsp; He is a Fellow at the Missouri Lodge of Research. (FMLR) and a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D.&nbsp; You can contact him at: webmaster@toddcreason.org</i></span> </span></span>Todd E. Creasonhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/12966451416841599132noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-18741469600181614352017-03-08T05:00:00.000-08:002017-03-08T05:00:15.007-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>WB Gregory J. Knott</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Kie2h5-71o0/WLZb5JHpM7I/AAAAAAAAEjc/RxsdSIR6ZicgRkZMfzq9N4LuOt1aeYVIQCLcB/s1600/Untitled3.jpeg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”178″ src=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Kie2h5-71o0/WLZb5JHpM7I/AAAAAAAAEjc/RxsdSIR6ZicgRkZMfzq9N4LuOt1aeYVIQCLcB/s320/Untitled3.jpeg” width=”320″ /></a></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div>The first step in addressing a problem is to admit there is a one. OK I admit, I like to collect Masonic bling. Perhaps it’s more than just a small collection. I’ve got countless numbers of lapel pins, medals, rings, watches, watch fobs and buttons. Additionally, I’ve collected a ballot box, a complete set of working tools, officers’ jewels, aprons and even a set of Masonic pillars.<br /><br />Then there are the Shrine fezzes, Grotto fezzes and Scottish Rite caps. Not to mention the Knight Templar sword, KT Chapeau and White Shrine of Jerusalem altar apron. In my plastic boxes, I have coins, tie clips and numerous sets of cufflinks.<br /><br />Why so much bling? I enjoy meeting the people that have given me the pins. Buying an old Masonic ring knowing that has worn sides because a devoted brother wore it before, gives me the perspective that our fraternity has been around for centuries. The Masonic pillars, which were in an Indiana lodge and a part of countless brothers’ degrees. The medals I have acquired after being at a Scottish Rite Reunion or participating in an AMD degree and thinking of the hard work and dedication it took to portray the degree work.<br /><br />In the picture with this article is a watch given to me by fellow Midnight Freemason Todd Creason, a Midnight Freemason button that was created by Robert Johnson, a lapel pin from Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington DC that was given to me on my first visit and I later joined as a member and the 2017 Grand Masters pin from Virginia from a brother whom I met for the first time on a recent visit to Arlington National Cemetery.<br /><br />The items themselves are obviously just things and most don’t have much monetary value. But what they represent is priceless. A brotherhood that has transcended hundreds of years and an on-going commitment by individual men seeking to improve themselves through Freemasonry. <br /><br />~GJK<br /><br /><b><i><u><span style=”color: #e69138;”>WB Gregory J. Knott</span></u></i></b> is the Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC. <br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-238862758823008652017-03-06T05:00:00.000-08:002017-03-06T07:29:30.825-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>WB Luciano M. Azevedo</b></div><br /><div>Ethics is the part of philosophy that studies moral values and the ideal principles of human conduct. A set of moral principles to be observed in the exercise of a profession.<br /><br />So, questions like: What is right? What is my duty? What should I do ? They belong exclusively to the causal aspect of the search for the ethical standard and must lead to the answers: If actions are good, it will certainly have good effects.<br /><br />It is not easy to embark on the path of understanding human behavior, especially Freemasons, with the focus of Ethics. Before being masons, we are human beings, living in conformity to habits, customs, cultures, personal experiences, regional, temporal and, before being human beings we belong to the cosmic creation, we are part of the Great Architect’s great work.<br /><br />Faced with the highly contradictory questions that are present all the time to our consciences, it is questioned to what extent it is compatible to discuss ethical aspects in an essentially egocentric, materialistic, competitive and generalized society with the need for a realistic approach. There is a great risk of sterile discussions!<br /><br />However Ethics should be seen as a personal, an individual factor, but we must not forget, on the other hand, that the individual is the fruit of the society in which he lives. Therefore, Ethics is the social model of individual behaviors.<br /><br />The axiom “Not all that is legal is morally right” clearly demonstrates that the Law obliges the citizen to do or not to do things that can compromise him morally.<br /><br />When, therefore, before any action we could mentally ask the question: “Am I morally inclined to perform this action?, and the answer is:” if this action will produce as much good as possible in the Universe “, we will have there, clearly the exposition of an ethical standard to be followed.<br /><br /></div><div>A Freemason, when produces an ethical action reverberates throughout Freemasonry and places yet another polished and perfect stone in the moral edifice of society. However when a Mason produces typically amoral, immoral or unethical actions, the result is worse because negative reverberation extrapolates Freemasonry, causing degeneration of both the Order and society in general.<br /><br />I believe that ethical standards must be quickly reestablished among Masons so that their influence can bear fruit. We must start talking about ethics again. We must go back to studying and recovering the true meaning of things. Finally, it is necessary to divulge and encourage Ethics by all the means available, but above all, to charge our brothers in positions of power to perform an ethical conduct that becomes an example for all, profane and initiated, and always work with love and tolerance, and aiming for the good of the Fraternity and society. An ethical behavior is the first step towards commitment and civility!<br /><br />~LMA<br /><div style=”-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(22, 25, 31); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; color: #16191f; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal;”><span style=”font-kerning: none;”><br /></span></div><div style=”-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(22, 25, 31); line-height: normal;”><a href=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-95RSpJqKEJU/WJfq0zloqOI/AAAAAAAAEHg/7YqCAl0zNZQEjUOPLZ8zJu-F5Uz33TYswCLcB/s1600/Luciano%2Bvineyard.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”200″ src=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-95RSpJqKEJU/WJfq0zloqOI/AAAAAAAAEHg/7YqCAl0zNZQEjUOPLZ8zJu-F5Uz33TYswCLcB/s200/Luciano%2Bvineyard.jpg” width=”159″ /></a><span style=”color: #16191f; font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot;; font-size: 14px;”><b style=”color: white;”><i><u><span style=”color: #e69138;”>WB Luciano M. Azevedo</span></u></i></b></span> holds an MBA and Bachelor in Business Administration. He has published several scientific and philosophical essays and articles in the secular world. As a sommelier he wrote his own column for a major wine magazine for many years. In Freemasonry Brother “Lou” has contributed with many articles from a philosophical basic approach to an ethical decision-making in regards to masonic conduct. He is the current Worshipful Master of Zurich Lodge 1089 of A.F&amp;A.M of the State of Illinois. W. Bro Luciano is also a member or the Grand Lodge Leadership Committee of the State of Illinois, a 32 Degree active member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago and a Shrine Noble of the Medinah Shriners.</div></div>Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-53550983518118587342017-03-03T05:00:00.000-08:002017-03-03T05:00:09.674-08:00<br /><div style=”text-align: center;”>&nbsp;<i style=”text-align: center;”>By Midnight Freemason Contributor</i></div><div class=”” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><b>WB Gregory J. Knott</b></div><br />This past month, the <a href=”http://www.library.illinois.edu/”>University of Illinois Library</a> has featured a display on the 300th anniversary of the founding of the organized Freemasonry. Six cases of memorabilia, artifacts and books tell the story of the founding of the fraternity, what Freemasonry is, some of its well-known members, and information about the numerous appendant bodies. <br /><br />I have the real privilege of working at the University of Illinois Library and I help put this exhibit together along with my colleague, UI faculty member Cherie’ Weible. Hundreds of people walk by these displays every day. My office isn’t far from the exhibit and I have observed first hand just how many people have stopped and looked at the items in the cases. People are genuinely curious about our fraternity. <br /><br />Have you thought about working with your local library or historical society to do an exhibit on Freemasonry? All of our lodges contain a treasure trove of records and artifacts and these are an important part of the local history of a community.<br /><br />These are great educational opportunities to let the public know your lodge is still there and thriving. <br /><br />Need some help coming up ideas? I share these links with some great ideas on how to put an exciting exhibit together: <br /><br /><a href=”http://www.washingtonhistory.org/files/library/history-day-creating_001.pdf”>Creating a History Day Exhibit</a><br /><br /><a href=”http://www.teamdesignshop.com/blog/2014-01-23-10-tips-museum-exhibit-design-success”>10 Museum Design Tips</a><br /><br /><a href=”http://www.imagecraftexhibits.com/museum-exhibit-design-tips/”>Museum Exhibit Design Tips</a><br /><br /><br /><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-u45VAI_UngE/WLZYbmcoysI/AAAAAAAAEjM/OOMtyhZtLpUPbUNSNvavJcqIqVCjHdn9wCEw/s1600/Untitled1.jpeg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”180″ src=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-u45VAI_UngE/WLZYbmcoysI/AAAAAAAAEjM/OOMtyhZtLpUPbUNSNvavJcqIqVCjHdn9wCEw/s320/Untitled1.jpeg” width=”320″ /></a></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6l0Rl3pmlXU/WLZYbred4aI/AAAAAAAAEjI/v0WPsW36wRoqwRdYNn8XYu9q2-cjelL2QCEw/s1600/Untitled2.jpeg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”176″ src=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-6l0Rl3pmlXU/WLZYbred4aI/AAAAAAAAEjI/v0WPsW36wRoqwRdYNn8XYu9q2-cjelL2QCEw/s320/Untitled2.jpeg” width=”320″ /></a></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div>~GJK<br /><br /><div><b><i><u><span style=”color: #e69138;”>WB Gregory J. Knott</span></u></i></b> is the Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC.</div></div>Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-37777218995710740072017-03-01T05:00:00.000-08:002017-03-01T06:46:46.728-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>Bro. Nicholas Wennerström</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-V5SuLuvQXfI/WLbe0ICitFI/AAAAAAAAEj0/7KfbD-aMoaAs60crhPk6O1wtpsB6TSVugCLcB/s1600/MV5BMTcwNTcyMzA2Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDQ3NjA4Nw%2540%2540._V1_.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”240″ src=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-V5SuLuvQXfI/WLbe0ICitFI/AAAAAAAAEj0/7KfbD-aMoaAs60crhPk6O1wtpsB6TSVugCLcB/s320/MV5BMTcwNTcyMzA2Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDQ3NjA4Nw%2540%2540._V1_.jpg” width=”320″ /></a></div><b><br /></b></div>It’s been almost a year since I first knocked on the back door of Libertyville Lodge #492. I must say, I have regretted every minute of it.<br /><div><br />I joined Freemasonry for the mystery and tradition. Since my time with the Blue Lodge, I have met some tremendous men. I have met funny men, wise men and brilliant men. Through the three degrees, I have watched these men come together for me and put on the most spectacular degrees with a strict and committed adherence to the rituals we hold so close.&nbsp;</div><div><br /></div><div>&nbsp;My raising was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, with Brothers coming from as far as central Illinois to be in attendance for someone they hardly knew-if at all. Since becoming a Master Mason, I even took advantage of seeking further Light through the Scottish Rite, Valley of Chicago. The edifice in Bloomingdale, Illinois is a stunner and to watch men put on such grand performances, selflessly, with no expectation of gratitude, only to make each of us better, is beyond belief. For some, it’s a full-time journey who realize the reward for serving a fellow Brother is simply serving a fellow Brother.</div><div><br /></div><div>I have learned to become very fond of these men for the fellowship they have shown me. Together, we learn and grow; albeit at our own paces and on our own terms. I’m inspired by some who I see at every degree, gathering, fellowship meeting and masonic education opportunity; for nothing in return.</div><div><br />While we have good times, we also succumb to the fact that while we celebrate the good, we find ourselves in mourning over the loss of a Brother or a spouse. Any relationship is a leap, a hunch and Brothers know the ending statement ‘we live to die’. We will spend years together eating, practicing, learning, only to one day say our final goodbyes or be there for one another when a loved one goes home. It’s hard to imagine but it is real.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp; <br />Freemasonry has taught me that while the individual may pass we each live on through the Fraternity. I regret meeting these men who I call Brothers, some of whom may demit, some I won’t see often and some will pass one day. As Mason’s we embrace death, the proverbial skull and bones, not because of some nefarious reason but because we realize our time is limited and we must make the most of it.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp; <br />I regret the great good and selflessness they have shown me, worrying at times I can never pay them back. Perhaps it’s a debt never intended to be returned.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp; <br />In a time where human dignity has become scarce, I have met a group of men of every faith, ethnic and socioeconomic background offer me a hand with little knowledge of who I am. While the shared initiatic experience can bring us together, it’s the fellowship for me that keeps the cable rope in tow. <br />It’s easy to become jaded and cold to a world rife with insults, war and anger. Freemasonry in Illinois has shown me that there is still good in our world and through selfless acts we too can open the doors to show there is still plenty of faith to be had in humanity.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp; <br />Mason’s come forward and give of their own free will and accord. More often, you do it for people you don’t know. We one day must say farewell.<br /><br />Brothers, I regret ever meeting any of you. <br /><a href=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XM-YRFMlLrM/WCSQIjf2A1I/AAAAAAAAEAc/HGrpZj1Qfz815vpTVgln1wXn6xDJUigXwCLcB/s1600/CE194BB7-415E-4A0B-B683-FB47CEC4C819.JPG” imageanchor=”1″ style=”clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”200″ src=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XM-YRFMlLrM/WCSQIjf2A1I/AAAAAAAAEAc/HGrpZj1Qfz815vpTVgln1wXn6xDJUigXwCLcB/s200/CE194BB7-415E-4A0B-B683-FB47CEC4C819.JPG” width=”150″ /></a><br /><br /><div></div><div><b style=”color: white; font-family: Georgia, Utopia, ‘Palatino Linotype’, Palatino, serif; font-size: 15.399999618530273px;”><i><u><span style=”color: #e69138;”>Bro. Nicholas Wennerström</span></u></i></b>, 32 is a Master Mason out of the 1st NE District of Illinois and member of Libertyville lodge #492. He is also a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago. He is a father of two boys and devoted husband and currently suffers from Benjamin Buttons disease. </div></div>Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-49439442830267785572017-02-27T05:30:00.000-08:002017-02-27T05:30:01.521-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>WB Luciano M. Azevedo</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”http://www.nrm.org.uk/~/media/images/nrm/events-2015/shildon-building-bridges-large.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ src=”http://www.nrm.org.uk/~/media/images/nrm/events-2015/shildon-building-bridges-large.jpg” height=”165″ width=”320″ /></a></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div>Peter and John were childhood friends. One day they took off for a banal motive and since then they have been feeding mutual resentments. At last they were not even talking anymore. They dwelt in neighboring places, having only a brook as a boundary between their properties. <br /><br />One day, a Mason came looking for work. He knocked at the door of Peter’s siege and volunteered to serve him. Peter asked him to build a wall to serve as a boundary between his lands and those of his neighbor. After telling the mason his quarrel with John, he also recommended that he build a high wall. <br /><br />The mason began his service while Peter left to settle other things. At dusk, on his way home, Peter had a surprise. The man had built a bridge between the two properties and not a wall as he had asked. <br /><br /><div>Annoyed at the situation, he was about to reproach the mason for having disobeyed him, when he saw his friend on the bridge coming towards him and saying: Peter! Now I see how you are a real friend, you built a bridge between our properties despite the misunderstanding we had! <br /><br />Hearing this, Peter also walked towards him, giving him a strong hug. <br /><br />The Mason, seeing the scene, said good-bye. Peter and John invited him to stay, to which he replied: <br /><br />- Thanks, but I cannot, I have other bridges to build. <br /><br />The same building material used to build a wall can be used to build a bridge. Everything is a matter of choice. The same happens in your life: the same situation can be used to unite or separate people. <br /><br />What kind of Mason are you: a wall maker or a bridge builder? </div><div><br /></div><div>~LMA</div><div><br /></div><div><a href=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-95RSpJqKEJU/WJfq0zloqOI/AAAAAAAAEHg/7YqCAl0zNZQEjUOPLZ8zJu-F5Uz33TYswCLcB/s1600/Luciano%2Bvineyard.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”200″ src=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-95RSpJqKEJU/WJfq0zloqOI/AAAAAAAAEHg/7YqCAl0zNZQEjUOPLZ8zJu-F5Uz33TYswCLcB/s200/Luciano%2Bvineyard.jpg” width=”159″ /></a><b style=”-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(22, 25, 31); color: white; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 14px;”><i><u><span style=”color: #e69138;”>WB Luciano M. Azevedo</span></u></i></b> holds an MBA and Bachelor in Business Administration. He has published several scientific and philosophical essays and articles in the secular world. As a sommelier he wrote his own column for a major wine magazine for many years. In Freemasonry Brother “Lou” has contributed with many articles from a philosophical basic approach to an ethical decision-making in regards to masonic conduct. He is the current Worshipful Master of Zurich Lodge 1089 of A.F&amp;A.M of the State of Illinois. W. Bro Luciano is also a member or the Grand Lodge Leadership Committee of the State of Illinois, a 32 Degree active member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago and a Shrine Noble of the Medinah Shriners.</div>Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-9730882929351630342017-02-22T05:00:00.000-08:002017-02-22T05:00:15.350-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>WB Bill Hosler</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-S0IxRhMeb30/WKycYS06ZUI/AAAAAAAAEik/JH5gLP_8Ls0FTP2SIbEUHZR-UmOTHptVQCLcB/s1600/IMG_1350.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”240″ src=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-S0IxRhMeb30/WKycYS06ZUI/AAAAAAAAEik/JH5gLP_8Ls0FTP2SIbEUHZR-UmOTHptVQCLcB/s320/IMG_1350.jpg” width=”320″ /></a></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><br /></div>Recently, I’ve been thinking about the founding of my mother Grand Lodge in Indiana. In 2018, the Grand Lodge of Indiana will celebrate their bicentennial. In January 1818, Freemasons from nine lodges, working under charters by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky and the Grand Lodge of Ohio gathered in Madison, Indiana to start the process of organizing their own future. <br /><br />Back in that day, there were very few choices of transportation by which you could travel across a newly formed state; you could travel by riverboat down the Ohio river (if your town was near the river and you could afford the fare), you could travel via horseback (down rough paths which could hardly qualify as a trail), and if you didn’t own a horse, you walked. <br /><br />No matter which mode of transportation you chose, the journey was guaranteed to be uncomfortable; muddy trails, snow and high winds combined to make the trip difficult. Depending on where you lived, your destination may be several days (or even weeks) away. In the winter you slept on the cold ground, shivering under a blanket near a fire, eating what meager provisions you brought. During the summer, you endured the heat of the day and hordes of insects. You might encounter highwaymen who would think nothing of robbing you of all your possessions and leaving you for dead in the wilderness. You always ran the risk of a wild animal who might see you as a threat to his domain and an easy dinner. There was no 911 or Auto Club to come to your rescue if you were in trouble. You were on your own.<br /><br /><div>No matter how you traveled, when you arrived at your destination the accommodations were scant at best. Most of these men would stay in the home of another Freemason or in a local inn. Tavern owners usually offered beds above their establishments; you paid to spend the night and you shared that bed with all of the other travelers. You ate what the tavern served that day. Once your business was complete, you began your return trip home facing the same dangers and discomforts as before.<br /><br />These men so believed in the Craft that they were willing to endure all of these hardships and dangers, not to mention the days of being away from their families and livelihoods, all in order to help advance the Craft.<br /><br />Traveling wasn’t the only hardships our forefathers had to endure. We are taught that Masons originally met in high hills or low vales, which later became the upstairs loft spaces of inns and taverns, accessible only by climbing a ladder. I have heard stories of lodges meeting in caves, in barns, sometimes even in the home of one of the brothers. One thing is for certain, most of these spaces were not ideal for a lodge meeting. Before a lodge was opened, the Masons had to get to work setting up the room, moving the chairs into position, laying out the jewels and the aprons. If degree work was to happen that night, a brother would draw out the tracing boards on the floor which had to be mopped up after the lodge was closed. Once the lodge was closed, the furniture in the space had to be moved back to its normal position. These buildings were drafty, cold and uncomfortable to occupy. <br /><br />Over the last century, we Freemasons have become accustomed to meeting in beautiful lodge buildings. Sometimes these edifices were marble palaces in the center of a big city, other times a modest room above a storefront in a small town. These buildings all have modern plumbing, are heated for the winter and sometimes even air conditioned for a pleasant climate in the summertime. Custom furniture was commissioned and purchased which never had to be moved. Beautiful carpets lay on the floor beneath the feet of the Brethren.<br /><br />It’s difficult today for us to imagine the travel involved and the meeting places that our forefathers used to spread the light of Masonry. Sometimes just the events surrounding these men’s lives added even more issues for these men to bear. <br /><br />Most of us know that throughout the last few centuries many Grand Lodges issued emergent charters to men in order to meet during war time. The daily lives of these men are the hardest thing for me in my comfortable modern life to fathom. <br /></div><div>These men would march for hours a day, usually with little sleep and even less food, to a battlefield where they had to make camp, and then risk their lives on the field of battle. Once the battle was over, if they survived the conflict and weren’t too badly injured, the men would erect a tent, get out the trunk of Masonic regalia from a wagon, and open a lodge. Sometimes lodge officers had to be continually re-elected, not because the brother quit the lodge, but because the man had been killed on the field of battle. Think of it: these men were hungry, exhausted, and trying to forget the horrors of war they had witnessed that day, but they still thought enough of their obligation to continue to meet, just like they would have back in their homes.<br /><br />Throughout history, our Masonic forefathers endured hardships of all kinds just to practice what today we take for granted. From rough travel, to bad living and meeting accommodations, to actually risking their lives on battlefields or being tortured in a prison camp for their belief in Freemasonry. <br /><br />Sadly, not all of these hardships are in our past. Many continue to this day. I recently had the distinct honor to speak with a Brother who asked that I keep his name and his home secret, not because he was worried about his own safety (he escaped and is now in a free country) but because the Brethren of his lodge in his home country are still in peril.<br /></div><div>This Brother belongs to a lodge in the Middle East. His government has declared Freemasonry illegal. If the location of his lodge is discovered by their local government, his Brothers will be arrested, placed in prison, and after they are tortured into confessing crimes against the state, they would be executed. In spite of the risk, they still meet on a regular basis, in a secret lodge room. They meet and discuss Freemasonry and how it helps them in their lives. While meeting, they keep an eye on each other and if a member or his family needs Masonic charity they will quietly arrange it. They don’t allow a dictatorship or the threat of death to stop their belief in the obligation they took. <br /><br />Brother! After reading this short piece, I want to ask you a question: if these men can attend lodge with zeal and enthusiasm despite all these hardships, why don’t you attend lodge? If our forefathers could risk their lives to the elements of weather and rough travel for days to attend a meeting, why can’t you get in your well heated and air conditioned car to drive less than an hour on a well built road to visit a lodge in a well heated or air conditioned building with running water and electricity to spend an hour with the Brethren of your lodge? If the men in a secret lodge living under a dictatorship can sneak away in the dark of night in secret to meet under the possibility of being tortured and executed, why can’t you endure the reading of the minutes or a treasurer’s report? Is listening to Past Masters arguing about of the price of light bulbs the reason that keeps you away from a group of men you swore to treat as your Brother help him in his time of need? <br /><br />No. I didn’t think so. <br /><br />I’m not saying dealing with our troubles are trivial. We all have a lot of current issues within our lodge rooms. But is quitting going to change them? No! The only thing not attending lodge will do is allow the problems to get worse and eventually put our Fraternity of the ash heap of history. <br /><br />Instead of everyone quitting the Craft, why not find kindred spirits within your lodge and start changing what you don’t like? Think of it this way: if your lodge only has eight regular attendees, if you and nine other Brethren vote to do something, you will win the majority. If your numbers continue to grow you and your brothers can start to transform the lodge into a place you can look forward to attending, chances are your changes will entice new men into joining your lodge. If for some reason this doesn’t work, check with your Grand Lodge and see how many Master Masons it takes to start a new lodge. <br /><br />Most of the hardships I have listed above, and many others I don’t have the space to mention, can be fixed with hard work, perseverance, and time. Roads were built, money was raised for new, comfortable meeting accommodations, and lodges were arranged in secret to protect those in countries where Masonry is still illegal . Whining and quitting has never fixed anything. Neither has letting someone else deal with it. It’s time for all of us to stand up, roll up our sleeves and make Freemasonry the Fraternity we want it to be and that it should be.</div><div><br /></div><div>~BH</div><div><br /></div><div><span style=”color: #ff9900; font-family: Georgia, Utopia, ‘Palatino Linotype’, Palatino, serif; font-size: 14px;”><b style=”font-family: -webkit-standard;”><u><span>WB Bill Hosler</span></u></b></span> was made a Master Mason in 2002 in Three Rivers Lodge #733 in Indiana. He served as Worshipful Master in 2007 and became a member of the internet committee for Indiana’s Grand Lodge. Bill is currently a member of Roff Lodge No. 169 in Roff Oklahoma and Lebanon Lodge No. 837 in Frisco,Texas. Bill is also a member of the Valley of Fort Wayne Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in Indiana. A typical active Freemason, Bill also served as the High Priest of Fort Wayne’s Chapter of the York Rite No. 19 and was commander of of the Fort Wayne Commandery No. 4 of the Knight Templar. During all this he also served as the webmaster and magazine editor for the Mizpah Shrine in Fort Wayne Indiana.</div>Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-5571082993019796922017-02-20T05:00:00.000-08:002017-02-20T05:00:32.667-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>WB Luciano M. Azevedo</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”https://gravitycenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/silence_title_image-624×351.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”179″ src=”https://gravitycenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/silence_title_image-624×351.jpg” width=”320″ /></a></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><br />Socrates, the wise Greek philosopher, said that eloquence is often a way of falsely exalting what is small and of diminishing what is great. <br /><br />Words may be misused, masked or employed for concealment. That is why we should speak only when our words are more valuable than our silence. <br /><br />The reason is simple, our words have power to build or to destroy. They can generate peace, harmony, comfort but they can also generate hate, resentment, anguish, sadness. Our M.W King Solomon said in his proverbs: “Even the fool, when he is silent, passes for wise, for intelligent”.<br /><br />Silence is valuable, it is very essential to all Freemasons to listen more than speak, to think and meditate rather than run into action. Both the word and the silence reveal our being.<br /><br />How much animosity exists in lodges because of gossip, slander and insults? We must learn that when we loose control and wrongly injure our brother we must pursue the sacred courage to go and ask for forgiveness. <br /><br />Our words should always be positive and generate well-being, produce edification of the soul and consolation to the heart.<br /><br />Masons should always speak honestly, react with good judgment and without anger and express their opinion with caution. Often, in the debates, we see so many people talking and few willing to listen. <br /><br />Great men are those who open their mouths only when others have nothing more to say. <br /><br />God speaks to us in the silence, when the agitation of the soul ceases; when His word sinks deep on us…<div><br /></div><div>~LMA</div><div><br /></div><div><a href=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-95RSpJqKEJU/WJfq0zloqOI/AAAAAAAAEHg/7YqCAl0zNZQEjUOPLZ8zJu-F5Uz33TYswCLcB/s1600/Luciano%2Bvineyard.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”200″ src=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-95RSpJqKEJU/WJfq0zloqOI/AAAAAAAAEHg/7YqCAl0zNZQEjUOPLZ8zJu-F5Uz33TYswCLcB/s200/Luciano%2Bvineyard.jpg” width=”159″ /></a><b style=”-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(22, 25, 31); color: white; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 14px;”><i><u><span style=”color: #e69138;”>WB Luciano M. Azevedo</span></u></i></b> holds an MBA and Bachelor in Business Administration. He has published several scientific and philosophical essays and articles in the secular world. As a sommelier he wrote his own column for a major wine magazine for many years. In Freemasonry Brother “Lou” has contributed with many articles from a philosophical basic approach to an ethical decision-making in regards to masonic conduct. He is the current Worshipful Master of Zurich Lodge 1089 of A.F&amp;A.M of the State of Illinois. W. Bro Luciano is also a member or the Grand Lodge Leadership Committee of the State of Illinois, a 32 Degree active member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago and a Shrine Noble of the Medinah Shriners.</div>Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-30019690975144671832017-02-17T05:00:00.000-08:002017-02-17T05:00:04.450-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemasons Founder</i><br /><b>Todd E. Creason, 33° </b><i><br /></i></div><br /><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”></div><table align=”center” cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ class=”tr-caption-container” style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;”><tbody><tr><td style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/–kUtzVcJuYk/WKSxY4LzFvI/AAAAAAAAMcE/VZxuj0GnJTYLuBqewW-ZZSsuol6TPXS1QCEw/s1600/NavalLodge4-1-small.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;”><img border=”0″ height=”265″ src=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/–kUtzVcJuYk/WKSxY4LzFvI/AAAAAAAAMcE/VZxuj0GnJTYLuBqewW-ZZSsuol6TPXS1QCEw/s400/NavalLodge4-1-small.jpg” width=”400″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td class=”tr-caption” style=”text-align: center;”>Naval Lodge No. 4, Washington, D.C. (photo by Naval Lodge)</td></tr></tbody></table>I couldn’t believe it when Greg Knott told me, “there’s a meeting at Naval Lodge No. 4 tomorrow.”&nbsp; We were in Washington D.C. for Masonic Week–an annual meeting put on by the Allied Masonic Degrees.&nbsp; It was my third trip to D.C. with Greg in two years, and he knew how much I wanted to see that Lodge.&nbsp; Greg’s actually a member of Naval Lodge No. 4, but both times we’d visited before, there wasn’t a meeting or somebody available to open the building.&nbsp; So I was thrilled to learn that LaFayette-Dupont Lodge No. 19 F. &amp; A. M. was having their meeting the next night.&nbsp; No question about it–we were going!<br /><br />Naval Lodge has a history going back to 1805, but in 1895 they opened their new building–and it is indeed a remarkable building.&nbsp; The Lodge is on the 4th floor, and to get there, you can take the winding staircase–the iron support for that staircase is a single piece of cast iron.&nbsp; Or you could take the tiny hand-operated elevator, which is believed to be the oldest operating elevator in Washington D.C.<br /><br /><table align=”center” cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ class=”tr-caption-container” style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;”><tbody><tr><td style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-z6eHKLuNNTM/WKS8YR8juZI/AAAAAAAAMcU/ZU1xFikhtxcBy2cK03Bdmdw86CI5aL9WgCLcB/s1600/Naval%2BLodge%2BG.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;”><img border=”0″ height=”265″ src=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-z6eHKLuNNTM/WKS8YR8juZI/AAAAAAAAMcU/ZU1xFikhtxcBy2cK03Bdmdw86CI5aL9WgCLcB/s400/Naval%2BLodge%2BG.jpg” width=”400″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td class=”tr-caption” style=”text-align: center;”>Naval Lodge “G” (photo by Naval Lodge)</td></tr></tbody></table>The Lodge Room is magnificent!&nbsp; I’ve visited many Masonic Lodges over the years, and Naval Lodge is certainly one of the most remarkably furnished lodges I’ve visited.&nbsp; It’s no wonder it has been featured in a number of television productions about Freemasonry, and was a location featured by fiction writer Dan Brown in his novel “The Lost Symbol.”&nbsp; When people who are unfamiliar with Freemasonry try to imagine what the inside of a Masonic Lodge might look like, they are probably envisioning something that resembles Naval Lodge very closely–I know that before I became a Mason I certainly did.<br /><br />The room is massive in size, the ceiling of which towers two stories above.&nbsp; There is recessed section in the center of that ceiling that vaults to even loftier heights and features the starry decked heaven.&nbsp; There is an organ loft over the Senior Warden’s station in the West that features a pipe organ.&nbsp; The small altar (small by comparison to the enormous space it sits in) rests on a black and white tile floor, and was hand crafted from a piece of marble by an Operative Mason that worked on the stonework of many of the buildings in the Washington D.C. area.&nbsp; Being from the Midwest, I’m used to seeing a Holy Bible on the altar, but Naval Lodge No. 4, due to its location, has always been a more international brotherhood.&nbsp; The Holy Bible was one of three volumes of the Sacred Law presented on the altar, which represented the diversity of religious beliefs by the members of that Lodge.<br /><br /><table align=”center” cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ class=”tr-caption-container” style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;”><tbody><tr><td style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-38kO1UfDnTQ/WKS8YY1YcSI/AAAAAAAAMcQ/TjPr4wkGuRwX_KIJUw696zwQhay8dt6GQCLcB/s1600/altar%2BNaval%2BLodge%2BNo.%2B4.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;”><img border=”0″ height=”320″ src=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-38kO1UfDnTQ/WKS8YY1YcSI/AAAAAAAAMcQ/TjPr4wkGuRwX_KIJUw696zwQhay8dt6GQCLcB/s320/altar%2BNaval%2BLodge%2BNo.%2B4.jpg” width=”240″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td class=”tr-caption” style=”text-align: center;”>Altar at Naval Lodge No. 4 (poor photography by Todd E. Creason)</td></tr></tbody></table>Every inch of the interior walls are decoratively painted in an Egyptian theme.&nbsp; Two obelisks stand on either side of the Worshipful Master in the East.&nbsp; The chairs in use by the dais officers date back to the original Lodge building–1805.&nbsp; Amazing enough, those chairs are in remarkable shape and are still rock solid–not a creak.&nbsp; Even the carpet features deeply Masonic symbology.&nbsp; It’s very difficult to take it all in.<br /><br /><table align=”center” cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ class=”tr-caption-container” style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;”><tbody><tr><td style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fiof3BK09fg/WKTCvnuekBI/AAAAAAAAMck/qEgUO8c2Z2MCoz5NXuZ2qLjLp3K4wGPlgCLcB/s1600/Naval%2BLodge%2BCarpet%2Bdetail.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;”><img border=”0″ height=”319″ src=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fiof3BK09fg/WKTCvnuekBI/AAAAAAAAMck/qEgUO8c2Z2MCoz5NXuZ2qLjLp3K4wGPlgCLcB/s320/Naval%2BLodge%2BCarpet%2Bdetail.jpg” width=”320″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td class=”tr-caption” style=”text-align: center;”>Carpet Detail (photo by Todd E. Creason)</td></tr></tbody></table>Greg and I just walked in not knowing exactly what to expect.&nbsp; It was the regular meeting night of Lafayette-Dupont Lodge No. 19, which also meets in the historic building.&nbsp; They welcomed us into their dining room to share in their meal, and after the meal was complete, we had to prove we were Masons.&nbsp; We were taken one at a time into the preparation room and through of a series of inquiries only a Mason would know the answers to, and after presenting a current dues card, were we admitted into the meeting.<br /><br /><table align=”center” cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ class=”tr-caption-container” style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;”><tbody><tr><td style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/–Z5ft7DwD20/WKSxYwPgJzI/AAAAAAAAMcE/N5BjTrxPz4snTDcog81wTkV9I9LATW4XwCEw/s1600/Naval%2BLodge%2BTodd%2BE.%2BCreason%2Band%2BGreg%2BKnott%2Bin%2Bthe%2BEast.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;”><img border=”0″ height=”225″ src=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/–Z5ft7DwD20/WKSxYwPgJzI/AAAAAAAAMcE/N5BjTrxPz4snTDcog81wTkV9I9LATW4XwCEw/s400/Naval%2BLodge%2BTodd%2BE.%2BCreason%2Band%2BGreg%2BKnott%2Bin%2Bthe%2BEast.jpg” width=”400″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td class=”tr-caption” style=”text-align: center;”>Midnight Freemasons Greg Knott (left) and Todd E. Creason (right) in the East</td></tr></tbody></table>Every state is a little different in how they do their ritual, and it was interesting to note some of those differences, but other than that, it was the same business meeting I’ve attended many times before.&nbsp; Reading the minutes, treasurer’s report, discussing upcoming events, reading a petition, etc.&nbsp; When we were asked to stand up and say something to the Brethren of the Lodge, Greg mentioned we were both contributors to <b><i>The Midnight Freemasons</i></b> blog . . . to our surprise, the Lodge Secretary said, “I know that blog well!”&nbsp; Sometimes we forget just how far and wide our work here on <b><i>The Midnight Freemasons</i></b> travels. &nbsp; <br /><br />By the time the meeting was finished, we all departed as good friends.&nbsp; We shook hands, we took photos, and we exchanged contact information–I’ve already heard from a few of our new friends.&nbsp; I’d like to thank the Brethren of LaFayette-Dupont Lodge No. 19 for making us feel so welcome, and sharing their evening with us.&nbsp;<br /><br />One of the wonderful things about our Fraternity is that no matter where we may travel, it’s never difficult to find a Brother.<br /><br />~TEC<br /><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><b><span style=”color: #e69138;”><span style=”color: orange;”>Todd E. Creason, 33°, FMLR</span> </span></b><i>is the Founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog and is a regular contributor.&nbsp; He is the award winning author of several books and novels, including the <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Todd-E.-Creason/e/B002HFWHUM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1343539240&amp;sr=8-1″>Famous American Freemasons</a> series. He is the author of the <a href=”http://toddecreason.blogspot.com/”>From Labor to Refreshment</a>blog.&nbsp; He is the Worshipful Master of Homer Lodge No. 199 and a Past Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754, where is currently serves as Secretary.&nbsp; He is past Sovereign Master of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees.&nbsp; He is a Fellow at the Missouri Lodge of Research. (FMLR) and a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D.&nbsp; You can contact him at: webmaster@toddcreason.org</i></span></span>Todd E. Creasonhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/12966451416841599132noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-3377037215817177412017-02-15T05:00:00.000-08:002017-02-15T05:00:08.582-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>WB Seth Anthony</b></div><br />We have all met Brother Ozymandias. He is a member of every Lodge in every Jurisdiction. He has been a member of the Craft from time immemorial and a trusted advisor to many Masonic leaders. He tends to appear shortly before the time of installation and stays for a varying duration based on the leader’s program. <br /><br />Brother Ozymandias is best known for the promise of the legacy he wishes to help each leader leave. He whispers into the ear of Masonic leaders and reminds them that their time in the East is short; that they need a grand design on the trestle board if they are to make an impact on their organization. He cultivates a desire in all to have their name engraved upon the hearts and minds of Brothers everywhere. In some ways, he motivates those in authority more than other, yet he is a fickle Brother. Just as a leader feels as if his legacy is secure, Brother Ozymandias leaves him to begin consulting with the next in line, promising a greater legacy to him than any that came before. <br /><br />Yet, no matter how many legacies Brother Ozymandias orchestrates, Brother Time erases each with his ever passing nature; in time, “nothing beside remains.” <br /><br />How much do you listen to the whispering of Brother Ozymandias?<br /><br /><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>Ozymandias</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><i>By Percy Bysshe Shelley</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><br /></div><div style=”text-align: center;”>I met a traveller from an antique land</div><div style=”text-align: center;”>Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone</div><div style=”text-align: center;”>Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,</div><div style=”text-align: center;”>Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,</div><div style=”text-align: center;”>And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,</div><div style=”text-align: center;”>Tell that its sculptor well those passions read</div><div style=”text-align: center;”>Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,</div><div style=”text-align: center;”>The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:</div><div style=”text-align: center;”>And on the pedestal these words appear:</div><div style=”text-align: center;”>’My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:</div><div style=”text-align: center;”>Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'</div><div style=”text-align: center;”>Nothing beside remains. Round the decay</div><div style=”text-align: center;”>Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare</div><div style=”text-align: center;”>The lone and level sands stretch far away.”</div><div style=”text-align: center;”><br /></div><div style=”text-align: left;”>~SA</div><div style=”text-align: left;”><a href=”https://masonicvillages.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/sethlodge.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”200″ src=”https://masonicvillages.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/sethlodge.jpg” width=”200″ /></a></div><div><br /></div><div><br /></div><div>WB Seth Anthony has been a member of the Fraternity for more than ten years. He is proud to serve Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682&nbsp;as an officer and as the Lodge Historian.</div>Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-90063256062537356542017-02-13T05:00:00.000-08:002017-02-13T05:00:25.165-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>By Midnight Freemason Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>WB Luciano M. Azevedo</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”http://media.istockphoto.com/illustrations/antique-illustration-of-sequoiadendron-giganteum-illustration-id477762657″ imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ src=”http://media.istockphoto.com/illustrations/antique-illustration-of-sequoiadendron-giganteum-illustration-id477762657″ height=”320″ width=”208″ /></a></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><br /></div>Also known as Redwood the Sequoia tree belongs to the genus of the conifers, characterized by its large size, reaching an average of 257 feet in height, having its trunk the diameter of 15 feet or more!<br /><br />The most remarkable of this botanical species is its longevity, as it can reach between 1,500 and 2000 years.<br /><br />What accounts for the greatness, fortitude, and longevity of the redwoods? When I visited Muir Woods in San Francisco CA, I had the opportunity to meet the redwoods and inquire about their secret. I found out that they not only deepen their roots, growing quite a ways down; but the redwoods are located in a region where there is constant humidity during summer, rain and snow during fall and winter; which feeds the roots and trunk, and makes them robust and long lasting.<br /><br />The sequoia is quite a picture of what we should be. In order to be strong, resilient, “upright”, we must grow, deepening of our roots in the knowledge of The G.:A.: O .:T.:U, in virtue and justice. In fact, says the Holy Scripture, “whoever meditates on the Word of God is like a tree planted by running water”.<br /><br />It is also necessary that we seek an environment conducive to our moral and spiritual growth; that’s why Freemasons should attend lodge. It is evident that life places us in difficult situations, of weariness, of tribulation, of storms, of multiple trials, making imperative the search for the environment of affinity where we recover our energies and obtain qualification to a straight, positive life with integrity. <br /><br />Companies and the environment have great influence on us. Hence popular wisdom repeats: “Tell me with whom you walk and I will tell you who you are.” So important to walk along with our Brothers! King Salomon’s Proverbs says: “…bad conversations corrupt good manners”. Let’s keep the level of our talks in higher standards and avoid intolerance!<br /><br />Deep roots, constant food, perfect humidity (good environment), are the secrets of the redwoods.<br /><br />A good environment is likewise our secret to beauty, strength, fortitude, longevity and happiness.<br /><div><br /></div><div>~LMA</div><div><br /></div><div><a href=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-95RSpJqKEJU/WJfq0zloqOI/AAAAAAAAEHg/7YqCAl0zNZQEjUOPLZ8zJu-F5Uz33TYswCLcB/s1600/Luciano%2Bvineyard.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”200″ src=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-95RSpJqKEJU/WJfq0zloqOI/AAAAAAAAEHg/7YqCAl0zNZQEjUOPLZ8zJu-F5Uz33TYswCLcB/s200/Luciano%2Bvineyard.jpg” width=”159″ /></a><b style=”-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(22, 25, 31); color: white; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 14px;”><i><u><span style=”color: #e69138;”>WB Luciano M. Azevedo</span></u></i></b> holds an MBA and Bachelor in Business Administration. He has published several scientific and philosophical essays and articles in the secular world. As a sommelier he wrote his own column for a major wine magazine for many years. In Freemasonry Brother “Lou” has contributed with many articles from a philosophical basic approach to an ethical decision-making in regards to masonic conduct. He is the current Worshipful Master of Zurich Lodge 1089 of A.F&amp;A.M of the State of Illinois. W. Bro Luciano is also a member or the Grand Lodge Leadership Committee of the State of Illinois, a 32 Degree active member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago and a Shrine Noble of the Medinah Shriners.</div>Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-14214067688795817212017-02-10T05:00:00.000-08:002017-02-10T12:53:32.983-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>RWB Robert H. Johnson</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YkdVa25r5yE/WJ4Vm_WXIYI/AAAAAAAAEIE/X9Jqk_VZ_O8Sw5xrewXcfFLfSTeZw7yDACLcB/s1600/IMG_0890.JPG” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”220″ src=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YkdVa25r5yE/WJ4Vm_WXIYI/AAAAAAAAEIE/X9Jqk_VZ_O8Sw5xrewXcfFLfSTeZw7yDACLcB/s320/IMG_0890.JPG” width=”320″ /></a></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><br />Often while swiping through the conversations on Facebook and social media regarding Freemasonry there are numerous threads talking about the lodge dues. Too high, too low… When we advocate for higher dues, the argument is that we’re pricing good men out of the craft. When we price too low, we argue that the craft will surely die. <br /><br />Arguments for both sides are many. Some argue that dues should remain low and that a lodge should off set costs by holding fundraisers. Others say that the public shouldn’t flip the bill for an organization’s existence. <br /><br />Others maintain that the cost to join has been kept the same over the years, which is why the big temples closed. While the cost of everything around us increased the dues stayed the same. Those who advocate for higher dues structures will point out the Freemasonry doesn’t cost that much, in many cases yearly dues are less expensive than the monthly cost of a service a brother indulges in. <br /><br />Recently, a brother posted something interesting on Facebook. He said, “Add up all your dues, divide by 365 to determine the cost of Masonry per day, post your results below!” Tons of people did this. I decided to take the data and determine the average. Out of fifty random responses, the average a man pays for membership in total for all the bodies he belongs to is about $1.12 a day. The highest amount a man paid per day was $5.38 per day, whilst the lowest was a mere $0.10 per day.<br /><br />Compare these numbers with the average services or indulgences we pay for today:<br /><br /><b>Sunday Ticke</b>t: $269 per year, $0.73 per day<br /><br /><b>Cable in whole</b>: $1,188.00 per year, $3.25 per day<br /><br /><b>Starbucks</b>: $1300.00 per year (5 days a week), $5.00 per day (5 times a week)<br /><br /><b>Tobacco</b>: $2,321 a year, $6.36 per day<br /><br /><b>Netflix</b>: $100.00 per year, $0.27 per day<br /><br /><b>Hulu</b>: $96.00 per year, $0.26 per day<br /><br /><b>Microsoft Office</b>: $84.00 per year, $0.23 per day<br /><br /><b>Alcohol</b>: $548 per year, $1.50 per day (2011 survey adjusted for CPI)<br /><br /><b>Fast Food</b>: $2,619 per year, $7.17 per day (2011 survey)<br /><br /><b>Lottery Tickets</b>: $52 per year, $0.14 per day (One ticket a week)<br /><div><br /></div><div><b>Gym Membership</b>: $360 per year, $0.99 per day<br /><br /><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><span style=”font-size: large;”>Freemasonry $408.80 per year, $1.12 per day.</span></b></div><br />So I think this is an interesting and solid way to look at things. The fraternity surely needs the funds, there is a lot to pay for. Meals, per capita, buildings, maintenance etc. Look at the gym membership numbers alone. To quote WB:. Scott Dueball, “<i>Shouldn’t we at least value spiritual and mental health as much as our physical?</i>” Surely Freemasonry is worth more than all the things in the above list, isn’t it? In fact, I’d say it’s worth more than all these things combined! When you say that Freemasonry isn’t worth $100 or more <u><b>a year</b></u>, you’re directly saying that you value any one of those things listed above (or anything else you want to figure out the values for) more than Freemasonry. It’s hard to see the value in Netflix or Hulu when you don’t turn on the TV, the same could be said by not attending the lodge. Perhaps, it might be time to reevaluate things.<br /><div><br /></div><div>~RHJ</div><div><br /></div><div><b style=”color: white; font-family: ‘; font-size: 14px;”><span style=”color: #ff9900;”><u>RWB, Robert Johnson</u></span></b> is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Waukegan Lodge No. 78 where he is a Past Master. He also serves as the District Deputy for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) <a href=”http://wcypodcast.blogspot.com/”>Whence Came You?</a> &amp; <a href=”http://www.masonicradiotheatre.com/”>Masonic Radio Theatre</a> which focus on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of <a href=”http://themasonicroundtable.com/”>The Masonic Roundtable</a>, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry and is also an avid home brewer. He is currently working on a book of Masonic essays and one on Occult Anatomy to be released soon.</div></div>Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com3tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-18029919002074398732017-02-08T05:00:00.000-08:002017-02-08T13:26:17.286-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>RWB Robert H. Johnson</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KW9xnlYT9ls/WJuML_stJ6I/AAAAAAAAEHw/pjcK-fLU2wYXPzT3xH2AMnW1A4NLFdW_ACLcB/s1600/FullSizeRender.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”320″ src=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KW9xnlYT9ls/WJuML_stJ6I/AAAAAAAAEHw/pjcK-fLU2wYXPzT3xH2AMnW1A4NLFdW_ACLcB/s320/FullSizeRender.jpg” width=”320″ /></a></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><br />Last night on the way home from work, I took serious notice of a “whiz” noise coming from my front left tire. I thought maybe it was under inflated. When I got home, I checked it out and was instead convinced it was a bearing issue. And if its one set of bearings, you can bet the other set isn’t far behind. So on my way home the next day, I took my car to the local shop. $900 was the estimate and it needed to get done.<br /><br />Fast forward a few hours, and about one hundred pages of the book I was reading and the gent called me up to the counter. The Jeep was all set. After some brief conversation about the bearings, he casually said, “I noticed the symbols on the Jeep. Freemasons right?” I confirmed to which he asked, “How does one get started in that?” I smiled politely, opened my wallet and handed him my phone number and said, “You just did.”<br /><br />He gave me his card and number as well, we shook hands and I was off. The “whiz” noise was gone and the Jeep is driving like her old self again.<br /><br />~RHJ<br /><br /><b style=”color: white; font-family: ‘; font-size: 14px;”><span style=”color: #ff9900;”><u>RWB, Robert Johnson</u></span></b> is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Waukegan Lodge No. 78 where he is a Past Master. He also serves as the District Deputy for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) <a href=”http://wcypodcast.blogspot.com/”>Whence Came You?</a> &amp; <a href=”http://www.masonicradiotheatre.com/”>Masonic Radio Theatre</a> which focus on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of <a href=”http://themasonicroundtable.com/”>The Masonic Roundtable</a>, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry and is also an avid home brewer. He is currently working on a book of Masonic essays and one on Occult Anatomy to be released soon.Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-32291242536657044942017-02-06T05:00:00.000-08:002017-02-06T08:05:27.859-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Guest Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot;; font-size: 14px;”><b>WB Luciano M. Azevedo</b></span></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot;; font-size: 14px;”><b><br /></b></span></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”https://thisblogisratedpgforpropheticguidance.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/ecclesiastes2.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”320″ src=”https://thisblogisratedpgforpropheticguidance.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/ecclesiastes2.jpg” width=”240″ /></a></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot;; font-size: 14px;”><b><br /></b></span></div>”<i>There comes the wisdom, shouting out in the streets, in the public square: Hear my warnings and I will open my heart to you and make you wise!</i>” 1st Proverb of Solomon (Verse 23)<br /><br />Although King Solomon’s writings have been written in Hebrew, I believe the best word to explain the invitation of wisdom is “Metanoia.” This word of many vowels is a Greek word that means “Expansion of Mind” or “which goes beyond” / Noia means: mind.<br /><br />The most propagating or expanding matter is light. So, the expansion of consciousness or the acceptance of the wisdom invitation is often compared by the modern philosophers of the Enlightenment as: the “Light” or the “discovery.” <br /><br />Leaving the darkness of ignorance from the profane world to the Light of Masonry can also be called a process of “Metanoia”<br /><br />Upon being brought to Light you must have a state of mind in which you are predisposed to change your essence, consequently controlling your judgment, your anger and your desires. <br /><br />Those who accept this invitation according to our Most Worshipful King Solomon and hear the warnings of the wisdom and let them sink into their hearts, become wise! They learn how to love, to forgive and to perform acts of justice. Therefore accepting this invitation means a complete transformation. A transformation of consciousness not just a change of opinion; It is a change of the way of thinking; It is not just a substitution of an information for another; is actually acquiring more and more knowledge inexhaustibly!<br /><br />It is like an “insight”, a change of our “inner posture”, a “revelation” that changes your way of thinking completely. It is not that you change your mind, you change yourself. <br /><br />This is the idea of metanoia: The Expansion of Consciousness.<br /><br />Masonic wisdom says, “<i>Come hear my voice. If you go through a “metanoia” you will be completely transformed. You will be more tolerant. Will love more. You will understand that loving your brother is not just about an obligation is pure wisdom.</i>”<br /><br />Fool is the one who rejects it, and who thinks there is more pleasure on ignorance. Changing is very painful for them. They prefer to hide behind silly jokes or the tireless chase for power. They prefer the perverse desires of greed, envy and control… Simply because they are just opinions and wills of an unchanging mind, unable to accept the invitation of WISDOM, so then confined to the lesser and perverse world that has not yet Passed, and Raised through “Metanoia”. Through the light that expands…<br /><br />My prayer: May the Light expand our consciousness and of all regular Masons. May we all accept the “Wisdom Invitation” and therefore, and consequentially, may brotherly love prevail and every moral and social virtue cements us. Amen.<br /><br />~LMA<br /><br /><div style=”-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(22, 25, 31); line-height: normal;”><a href=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-95RSpJqKEJU/WJfq0zloqOI/AAAAAAAAEHg/7YqCAl0zNZQEjUOPLZ8zJu-F5Uz33TYswCLcB/s1600/Luciano%2Bvineyard.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”200″ src=”https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-95RSpJqKEJU/WJfq0zloqOI/AAAAAAAAEHg/7YqCAl0zNZQEjUOPLZ8zJu-F5Uz33TYswCLcB/s200/Luciano%2Bvineyard.jpg” width=”159″ /></a><span style=”font-family: &quot;helvetica&quot;; font-size: 14px;”><b><i><u><span style=”color: #e69138;”></span></u></i></b></span></div><div style=”-webkit-text-stroke-color: rgb(22, 25, 31); -webkit-text-stroke-width: initial; font-family: Helvetica; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal;”><b><i><u><span style=”color: #e69138;”>WB Luciano M. Azevedo</span></u></i></b> holds an MBA and Bachelor in Business Administration. He has published several scientific and philosophical essays and articles in the secular world. As a sommelier he wrote his own column for a major wine magazine for many years. In Freemasonry Brother “Lou” &nbsp;has contributed with many articles from a philosophical &nbsp;basic approach to an ethical decision-making in regards to masonic conduct. &nbsp;He is the current Worshipful Master of Zurich Lodge 1089 of A.F&amp;A.M of the State of Illinois. W. Bro Luciano is also a member or the Grand Lodge Leadership Committee of the State of Illinois, a &nbsp;32 Degree active member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago and a Shrine Noble of the Medinah Shriners.</div><br /><div><span style=”font-kerning: none;”><br /></span></div>Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-14294387160928464662017-02-03T05:00:00.000-08:002017-02-03T05:00:23.182-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i><span style=”font-size: small;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: medium;”>by Midnight Freemasons Founder</span></span></span></span></i><br /><span style=”font-size: small;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><b><span style=”font-size: medium;”>Todd E. Creason </span><span style=”font-size: medium;”><br /></span></b></span></span></span><br /><br /><table align=”center” cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ class=”tr-caption-container” style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;”><tbody><tr><td style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”></span><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><a href=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-i2hohttXHG8/WIZnOC4XwVI/AAAAAAAAMZ0/sqLeM2XAoZIdMGY3OuCrYH4V-4f6qZS2wCLcB/s1600/Washington%2BOath.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;”><img border=”0″ height=”300″ src=”https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-i2hohttXHG8/WIZnOC4XwVI/AAAAAAAAMZ0/sqLeM2XAoZIdMGY3OuCrYH4V-4f6qZS2wCLcB/s400/Washington%2BOath.jpg” width=”400″ /></a></span></td></tr><tr><td class=”tr-caption” style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>Brother George Washington taking the oath of office in New York on April 30, 1789</span></td></tr></tbody></table><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><b><span style=”font-size: large;”>”I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”</span></b></span></div><span style=”font-family: inherit;”></span><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”></span> <div style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>~The United States Constitution</span></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><i>Article II, Section One, Clause 8</i></span></div><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><br /></span><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>I think it might be surprising to most Americans just how often United States Presidents have been sworn into office in locations OTHER than the United States Capitol.&nbsp; It’s probably more often than you imagine–it surprised me, and I read about this stuff all the time.&nbsp; We’re so used to the inaugural festivities we enjoy every four years we forget that there have been occasions when the oath of office has not taken place publicly, or not at the United States Capitol.&nbsp; That was a tradition started with our third President, Thomas Jefferson, when he took the oath of office in the Senate Wing while the building was still under construction.&nbsp; And as you’ll note below, there have been a lot of instances when our Presidents who were also Freemasons were involved–more often than not!</span><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><br /></span><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>Now most Americans probably know that Brother George Washington never took his oath of office in Washington D.C.&nbsp; Our capitol didn’t exist there yet.&nbsp; When he took his first oath on April 30th 1789, he did so at Federal Hall in New York City.&nbsp; During Washington’s First Term, the federal capitol was moved to Philadelphia, and he was sworn in for his second term in the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall.&nbsp; I might note there were two inaugural oaths administered at Congress Hall in Philadelphia–our second President, John Adams, took his oath in the House Chamber there. </span><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><br /></span><br /><table align=”center” cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ class=”tr-caption-container” style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;”><tbody><tr><td style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><a href=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-R-XWZbHsdC4/WIKFUBYp19I/AAAAAAAAMZk/T1IXYgFr4SMchm4NZROTGiK5LTnMSLKSQCLcB/s1600/Reagan%2Binauguration.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;”><img border=”0″ height=”246″ src=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-R-XWZbHsdC4/WIKFUBYp19I/AAAAAAAAMZk/T1IXYgFr4SMchm4NZROTGiK5LTnMSLKSQCLcB/s320/Reagan%2Binauguration.jpg” width=”320″ /></a></span></td></tr><tr><td class=”tr-caption” style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>The tradition inauguration: Ronald Reagan sworn in at the US Capitol January 21, 1985</span></td></tr></tbody></table><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>Most Americans will also quickly recall that Lyndon Johnson was sworn in aboard Air Force One just hours after the assassination of John F. Kennedy–the images from that day are etched on our collective memory, including that image of Johnson taking the oath with Jackie Kennedy at his side.&nbsp; Actually, Lydon Johnson began his journey into Freemasonry, but never finished–he was an Entered Apprentice. </span><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><br /></span><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>The White House has been the the site of many of these swearing in ceremonies.&nbsp; Brother Franklin D. Roosevelt was sworn into his FOURTH term on the White House’s South Portico, and barely three months later, when he passed away unexpected, Brother Harry S Truman took the oath of office in the White House Cabinet Room.&nbsp; After Nixon resigned in 1974, Brother Gerald R. Ford took the oath in the East Room of the White House.&nbsp; Barrack Obama was sworn in for the second term in a private ceremony at the White House prior to the public inauguration which took place the following day.</span><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><br /></span><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>And there were other locations within the city of Washington D.C.&nbsp; As the United States Capitol was being rebuilt after the War of 1812, Brother James Monroe was sworn in at the Old Brick Capitol–that is the current location of the United States Supreme Court.&nbsp; John Tyler was sworn in at the Indian Queen Hotel (no longer in existence) after the death of William Henry Harrison.&nbsp; Brother Andrew Johnson was sworn in at Kirkwood House after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.</span><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><br /></span><br /><table align=”center” cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ class=”tr-caption-container” style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;”><tbody><tr><td style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><a href=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ktT-vZmeqZo/WIZo0YHy5_I/AAAAAAAAMaA/86wCmrTemOMVKGucH2UH7IkJ95Mr6_w6ACLcB/s1600/Ford%2BOath%2Bof%2BOffice.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;”><img border=”0″ height=”214″ src=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ktT-vZmeqZo/WIZo0YHy5_I/AAAAAAAAMaA/86wCmrTemOMVKGucH2UH7IkJ95Mr6_w6ACLcB/s320/Ford%2BOath%2Bof%2BOffice.jpg” width=”320″ /></a></span></td></tr><tr><td class=”tr-caption” style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>Brother Gerald Ford taking the oath at the White House August 9, 1974</span></td></tr></tbody></table><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>Chester A. Arthur took the oath of office at his private residence on Lexington Avenue in New York after receiving word that President (and Brother) James Garfield had succumbed after 80 days to the gunshot wounds of an assassin. &nbsp; Likewise, Brother Theodore Roosevelt took his oath at the home of a personal friend, Ansley Wilcox, in Buffalo, New York after Brother William McKinley died at the hands of an assassin.</span><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><br /></span><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>And finally, Calvin Coolidge received the oath of office at his family’s homestead in Plymouth Notch, Vermont upon the unexpected death of Brother Warren Harding.&nbsp; The oath was given to Coolidge by his father, who was a notary public and justice of the peace in the early hours of the morning on August 3, 1923.</span><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><br /></span><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>As you can see, most often when the oath of office has been given anywhere other than the traditional location at the United States Capitol, it’s out of necessity for continuity of the office to be maintained after the unexpected death of the President, or in Nixon’s case, his resignation.&nbsp; Without question, our tradition of swearing in the United States President, and the peaceful transition of power has been a hallmark of our Union from the beginning, and it’s a tradition that sets us apart from any other country in the world.</span><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><br /></span><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>~TEC&nbsp;</span><br /><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><b><span style=”color: #e69138;”><span style=”color: orange;”>Todd E. Creason, 33°, FMLR</span> </span></b><i>is the Founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog and is a regular contributor.&nbsp; He is the award winning author of several books and novels, including the <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Todd-E.-Creason/e/B002HFWHUM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1343539240&amp;sr=8-1″>Famous American Freemasons</a> series. He is the author of the <a href=”http://toddecreason.blogspot.com/”>From Labor to Refreshment</a>blog.&nbsp; He is the Worshipful Master of Homer Lodge No. 199 and a Past Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754, where is currently serves as Secretary.&nbsp; He is the Sovereign Master of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees.&nbsp; He is a Fellow at the Missouri Lodge of Research. (FMLR) and a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D.&nbsp; You can contact him at: webmaster@toddcreason.org</i></span> </span>Todd E. Creasonhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/12966451416841599132noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-36912546501493631622017-02-01T05:00:00.000-08:002017-02-01T10:10:37.588-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>RWB Robert H. Johnson</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-K4lV_baDY4o/WJIjfJCT2vI/AAAAAAAAEHI/VY8FizkH4swvsA2snffIltI6-G35IMvewCLcB/s1600/TMR-300-GWMasonicMemorial-Cover-Photo-1024×512.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”200″ src=”https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-K4lV_baDY4o/WJIjfJCT2vI/AAAAAAAAEHI/VY8FizkH4swvsA2snffIltI6-G35IMvewCLcB/s400/TMR-300-GWMasonicMemorial-Cover-Photo-1024×512.jpg” width=”400″ /></a></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><br />300 years! Or &nbsp;almost, maybe. The year of the founding of the United Grand Lodge of England or UGLE as we say, was supposedly 300 years ago to the day, June 24th (St. John’s Day) 1717. New evidence however might point to a later date of 1721. Regardless of this, the UGLE has decided to have a celebration albeit a bit more private. They have limited space etc. You can find out what they have in store by clicking <a href=”http://www.ugle.org.uk/” target=”_blank”>HERE</a>.<br /><br />We here in the United States can trace our charters back to the UGLE, so it’s kind of our celebration as well. What are we doing to celebrate here in the USA? Well, nothing, as far as I know. So, about a year ago, myself as well as the other brothers from <a href=”http://www.themasonicroundtable.com/” target=”_blank”>The Masonic Roundtable</a> decided to start planning a 300 party, and we released the plans yesterday. This. Is. Happening. Imagine the biggest Masonic celebration ever, education, forums, vendors and all happening at a highly significant place for all Masons. <a href=”https://gwmemorial.org/” target=”_blank”>The George Washington Masonic National Memorial</a>.<br /><br />You’re invited. No exclusivity, no invite only bodies, just Freemasons from around the country, meeting on the level for a wonderful experience.<br /><br />When: June, 23rd and 24th, 2017<br />Where: George Washington Masonic National Memorial<br />Tickets: <a href=”http://www.themasonicroundtable.com/300″ target=”_blank”><b>Click here for ticket information and additional details.</b></a><br /><br />I promise you this will be the biggest most amazing time you will have this year. I know I’ll be there, how about you?<br /><br />~RJRobert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-26835822794717392632017-01-30T05:00:00.000-08:002017-01-30T05:00:03.367-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>RW Robert H. Johnson</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”http://www.mediacurrent.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_full_width_600_/public/accessibility-01_0.png?itok=YjjoH15c” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ src=”http://www.mediacurrent.com/sites/default/files/styles/article_full_width_600_/public/accessibility-01_0.png?itok=YjjoH15c” height=”243″ width=”320″ /></a></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div>”Text me, call me or email me, 24 hours a day, 365.”That’s what I tell every brother I know. I have made it a point to make myself accessible at all hours to my brothers. Some say, “Family first!” I agree, brothers are my family. I have found that making sure my brothers know I am willing to help anytime, is a crucial step in them understanding that this isn’t a superficial relationship. In fact, there are moments when these men are shocked because of the attention and response they get when they put a call out.<br /><br />We’ve all been there, we say, “Call me if you need anything.” How many people say this, willy nilly? Openly or secretly hoping the person doesn’t call on them. Of course it’s human nature to want to be selfish and ignore a phone call, not respond to a text, or just outright ignore the person reaching out. We’re human. But also, as a fraternity, we’re above this.<br /><br />How about when you’re all sitting around late at night, you’ve all had a few drinks and everyone starts making plans to do something, and in the morning no one remembers. Conversations in which no one has any intention of doing what is proposed. Except, Freemasonry is different. What we propose, we perform. Especially when we offer assistance.<br /><br />Recently, I told a brother I didn’t need anything while my wife and I spent the night in the hospital with our youngest son. The next day I woke up in the hospital to a text message received at 8am. “They won’t let me in, I have some breakfast for you guys.” It was 9:15. I walked to the doors which lead out into the waiting area, and the brother was STILL there waiting. We shook hands, and he handed me a bag of breakfast items. We shared a few words before he took off and went about his day. It was Christmas Eve.<br /><br />Emotional thoughts invaded my mind. In the current turmoil which we had just been through, my brother, who saw through my dismissal of help and reached out anyway, made me feel as if any doubts I had in this fraternity were wrongly placed. That breakfast was great, even if we was in the hospital.<br /><br />Let this be a warning to those new brothers and to men thinking about joining. If we say we’ll be there, we will. If you ask for assistance, we’ll be there.<br /><br />Oh, and one last thing. Thanks, Scott.<br /><br />~RHJRobert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com2tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-52824561032134497722017-01-27T05:24:00.001-08:002017-01-27T06:38:38.567-08:00<!–[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:EnableOpenTypeKerning/> <w:DontFlipMirrorIndents/> <w:OverrideTableStyleHps/> </w:Compatibility> 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Text”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Body Text Indent”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”List Continue”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”List Continue 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”List Continue 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”List Continue 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”List Continue 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Message Header”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”11″ QFormat=”true” Name=”Subtitle”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Salutation”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Date”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Body Text First Indent”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Body Text First Indent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Note Heading”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Body Text 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Body Text 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Body Text Indent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Body Text Indent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Block Text”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Hyperlink”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”FollowedHyperlink”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”22″ QFormat=”true” Name=”Strong”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”20″ QFormat=”true” Name=”Emphasis”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Document Map”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Plain Text”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”E-mail Signature”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”HTML Top of Form”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”HTML Bottom of Form”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Normal (Web)”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”HTML Acronym”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”HTML Address”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”HTML Cite”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”HTML Code”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”HTML Definition”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”HTML Keyboard”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”HTML Preformatted”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”HTML Sample”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”HTML Typewriter”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”HTML Variable”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Normal Table”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”annotation subject”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”No List”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Outline List 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Outline List 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Outline List 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Simple 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Simple 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Simple 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Classic 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Classic 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Classic 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Classic 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Colorful 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Colorful 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Colorful 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Columns 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Columns 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Columns 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Columns 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Columns 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Grid 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Grid 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Grid 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Grid 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Grid 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Grid 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Grid 7″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Grid 8″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table List 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table List 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table List 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table List 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table List 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table List 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table List 7″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table List 8″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table 3D effects 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table 3D effects 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table 3D effects 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Contemporary”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Elegant”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Professional”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Subtle 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Subtle 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Web 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Web 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Web 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Balloon Text”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”39″ Name=”Table Grid”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Table Theme”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” Name=”Placeholder Text”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”1″ QFormat=”true” Name=”No Spacing”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”60″ Name=”Light Shading”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”61″ Name=”Light List”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”62″ Name=”Light Grid”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”63″ Name=”Medium Shading 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”64″ Name=”Medium Shading 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”65″ Name=”Medium List 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”66″ Name=”Medium List 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”67″ Name=”Medium Grid 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”68″ Name=”Medium Grid 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”69″ Name=”Medium Grid 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”70″ Name=”Dark List”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”71″ Name=”Colorful Shading”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”72″ Name=”Colorful List”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”73″ Name=”Colorful Grid”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”60″ Name=”Light Shading Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”61″ Name=”Light List Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”62″ Name=”Light Grid Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”63″ Name=”Medium Shading 1 Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”64″ Name=”Medium Shading 2 Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”65″ Name=”Medium List 1 Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” SemiHidden=”true” Name=”Revision”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”34″ QFormat=”true” Name=”List Paragraph”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”29″ QFormat=”true” Name=”Quote”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”30″ QFormat=”true” Name=”Intense Quote”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”66″ Name=”Medium List 2 Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”67″ Name=”Medium Grid 1 Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”68″ Name=”Medium Grid 2 Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”69″ Name=”Medium Grid 3 Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”70″ Name=”Dark List Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”71″ Name=”Colorful Shading Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”72″ Name=”Colorful List Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”73″ Name=”Colorful Grid Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”60″ Name=”Light Shading Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”61″ Name=”Light List Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”62″ Name=”Light Grid Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”63″ Name=”Medium Shading 1 Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”64″ Name=”Medium Shading 2 Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”65″ Name=”Medium List 1 Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”66″ Name=”Medium List 2 Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”67″ Name=”Medium Grid 1 Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”68″ Name=”Medium Grid 2 Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”69″ Name=”Medium Grid 3 Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”70″ Name=”Dark List Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”71″ Name=”Colorful Shading Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”72″ Name=”Colorful List Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”73″ Name=”Colorful Grid Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”60″ Name=”Light Shading Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”61″ Name=”Light List Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”62″ Name=”Light Grid Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”63″ Name=”Medium Shading 1 Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”64″ Name=”Medium Shading 2 Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”65″ Name=”Medium List 1 Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”66″ Name=”Medium List 2 Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”67″ Name=”Medium Grid 1 Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”68″ Name=”Medium Grid 2 Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”69″ Name=”Medium Grid 3 Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”70″ Name=”Dark List Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”71″ Name=”Colorful Shading Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”72″ Name=”Colorful List Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”73″ Name=”Colorful Grid Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”60″ Name=”Light Shading Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”61″ Name=”Light List Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”62″ Name=”Light Grid Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”63″ Name=”Medium Shading 1 Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”64″ Name=”Medium Shading 2 Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”65″ Name=”Medium List 1 Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”66″ Name=”Medium List 2 Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”67″ Name=”Medium Grid 1 Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”68″ Name=”Medium Grid 2 Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”69″ Name=”Medium Grid 3 Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”70″ Name=”Dark List Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”71″ Name=”Colorful Shading Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”72″ Name=”Colorful List Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”73″ Name=”Colorful Grid Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”60″ Name=”Light Shading Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”61″ Name=”Light List Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”62″ Name=”Light Grid Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”63″ Name=”Medium Shading 1 Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”64″ Name=”Medium Shading 2 Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”65″ Name=”Medium List 1 Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”66″ Name=”Medium List 2 Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”67″ Name=”Medium Grid 1 Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”68″ Name=”Medium Grid 2 Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”69″ Name=”Medium Grid 3 Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”70″ Name=”Dark List Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”71″ Name=”Colorful Shading Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”72″ Name=”Colorful List Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”73″ Name=”Colorful Grid Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”60″ Name=”Light Shading Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”61″ Name=”Light List Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”62″ Name=”Light Grid Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”63″ Name=”Medium Shading 1 Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”64″ Name=”Medium Shading 2 Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”65″ Name=”Medium List 1 Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”66″ Name=”Medium List 2 Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”67″ Name=”Medium Grid 1 Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”68″ Name=”Medium Grid 2 Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”69″ Name=”Medium Grid 3 Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”70″ Name=”Dark List Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”71″ Name=”Colorful Shading Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”72″ Name=”Colorful List Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”73″ Name=”Colorful Grid Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”19″ QFormat=”true” Name=”Subtle Emphasis”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”21″ QFormat=”true” Name=”Intense Emphasis”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”31″ QFormat=”true” Name=”Subtle Reference”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”32″ QFormat=”true” Name=”Intense Reference”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”33″ QFormat=”true” Name=”Book Title”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”37″ SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” Name=”Bibliography”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”39″ SemiHidden=”true” UnhideWhenUsed=”true” QFormat=”true” Name=”TOC Heading”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”41″ Name=”Plain Table 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”42″ Name=”Plain Table 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”43″ Name=”Plain Table 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”44″ Name=”Plain Table 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”45″ Name=”Plain Table 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”40″ Name=”Grid Table Light”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”46″ Name=”Grid Table 1 Light”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”47″ Name=”Grid Table 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”48″ Name=”Grid Table 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”49″ Name=”Grid Table 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”50″ Name=”Grid Table 5 Dark”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”51″ Name=”Grid Table 6 Colorful”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”52″ Name=”Grid Table 7 Colorful”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”46″ Name=”Grid Table 1 Light Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”47″ Name=”Grid Table 2 Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”48″ Name=”Grid Table 3 Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”49″ Name=”Grid Table 4 Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”50″ Name=”Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”51″ Name=”Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”52″ Name=”Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”46″ Name=”Grid Table 1 Light Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”47″ Name=”Grid Table 2 Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”48″ Name=”Grid Table 3 Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”49″ Name=”Grid Table 4 Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”50″ Name=”Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”51″ Name=”Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”52″ Name=”Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”46″ Name=”Grid Table 1 Light Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”47″ Name=”Grid Table 2 Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”48″ Name=”Grid Table 3 Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”49″ Name=”Grid Table 4 Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”50″ Name=”Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”51″ Name=”Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”52″ Name=”Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”46″ Name=”Grid Table 1 Light Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”47″ Name=”Grid Table 2 Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”48″ Name=”Grid Table 3 Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”49″ Name=”Grid Table 4 Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”50″ Name=”Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”51″ Name=”Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”52″ Name=”Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”46″ Name=”Grid Table 1 Light Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”47″ Name=”Grid Table 2 Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”48″ Name=”Grid Table 3 Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”49″ Name=”Grid Table 4 Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”50″ Name=”Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”51″ Name=”Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”52″ Name=”Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”46″ Name=”Grid Table 1 Light Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”47″ Name=”Grid Table 2 Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”48″ Name=”Grid Table 3 Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”49″ Name=”Grid Table 4 Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”50″ Name=”Grid Table 5 Dark Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”51″ Name=”Grid Table 6 Colorful Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”52″ Name=”Grid Table 7 Colorful Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”46″ Name=”List Table 1 Light”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”47″ Name=”List Table 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”48″ Name=”List Table 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”49″ Name=”List Table 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”50″ Name=”List Table 5 Dark”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”51″ Name=”List Table 6 Colorful”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”52″ Name=”List Table 7 Colorful”/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”46″ Name=”List Table 1 Light Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”47″ Name=”List Table 2 Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”48″ Name=”List Table 3 Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”49″ Name=”List Table 4 Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”50″ Name=”List Table 5 Dark Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”51″ Name=”List Table 6 Colorful Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”52″ Name=”List Table 7 Colorful Accent 1″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”46″ Name=”List Table 1 Light Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”47″ Name=”List Table 2 Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”48″ Name=”List Table 3 Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”49″ Name=”List Table 4 Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”50″ Name=”List Table 5 Dark Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”51″ Name=”List Table 6 Colorful Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”52″ Name=”List Table 7 Colorful Accent 2″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”46″ Name=”List Table 1 Light Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”47″ Name=”List Table 2 Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”48″ Name=”List Table 3 Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”49″ Name=”List Table 4 Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”50″ Name=”List Table 5 Dark Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”51″ Name=”List Table 6 Colorful Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”52″ Name=”List Table 7 Colorful Accent 3″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”46″ Name=”List Table 1 Light Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”47″ Name=”List Table 2 Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”48″ Name=”List Table 3 Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”49″ Name=”List Table 4 Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”50″ Name=”List Table 5 Dark Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”51″ Name=”List Table 6 Colorful Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”52″ Name=”List Table 7 Colorful Accent 4″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”46″ Name=”List Table 1 Light Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”47″ Name=”List Table 2 Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”48″ Name=”List Table 3 Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”49″ Name=”List Table 4 Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”50″ Name=”List Table 5 Dark Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”51″ Name=”List Table 6 Colorful Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”52″ Name=”List Table 7 Colorful Accent 5″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”46″ Name=”List Table 1 Light Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”47″ Name=”List Table 2 Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”48″ Name=”List Table 3 Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”49″ Name=”List Table 4 Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”50″ Name=”List Table 5 Dark Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”51″ Name=”List Table 6 Colorful Accent 6″/> <w:LsdException Locked=”false” Priority=”52″ Name=”List Table 7 Colorful Accent 6″/> </w:LatentStyles></xml><![endif]–><!–[if gte mso 10]><style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:”Table Normal”; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:””; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”,serif; border:none;} </style><![endif]–> <br /><div class=”Body” style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><i>by Midnight Freemasons Founder</i></span></div><div class=”Body” style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><b>Todd E. Creason</b></span></div><div class=”Body”><br /></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UsRyLUBF8Cc/WItHl2LAEEI/AAAAAAAAMak/eMLf5pEiQfAHN9N9w_Ll7491ujlPgrVywCLcB/s1600/Hand-On-Bible.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ height=”252″ src=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-UsRyLUBF8Cc/WItHl2LAEEI/AAAAAAAAMak/eMLf5pEiQfAHN9N9w_Ll7491ujlPgrVywCLcB/s320/Hand-On-Bible.jpg” width=”320″ /></a></div><br /><div class=”Body” style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><b><span style=”font-size: large;”>”So help me God, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same.”</span></b></span></div><div class=”Body” style=”text-align: center;”><br /></div><div class=”Body” style=”text-align: center;”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><i>~Duncan’s Ritual</i></span></div><div class=”Body”><br /></div><div class=”Body”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>We’ve all heard that phrase in our Lodges before.&nbsp; It is with those words we take a solemn oath–and then we kiss the Holy Bible.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>It’s been a Masonic tradition for a long time.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>It has long been held that George Washington took that Masonic tradition with him when he was sworn in as President of the United States.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>He added the words “so help me God” to the end of his oath of office, and then kissed the Holy Bible–a Masonic altar Bible that was provided by St. John’s Lodge No. 1 in New York no less.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>And according to tradition, every United States President has added those four words “so help me God” to the end of their oath of office ever since.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>It’s a great story.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>But there’s a couple problems with that story.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class=”Body”><br /></div><div class=”Body”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>Most of us know that the words “so help me God” are not part of the oath as it’s presented in the Constitution.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Those words were added later, and are considered the President-elect’s option to use or exclude.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>The fact that the tradition started with George Washington is also been questioned.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Those four words were in use as part of the oath in federal courtrooms at that time, so it was common practice when Washington was sworn in.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>But, there is no evidence that Washington added those four words to his Presidential oath of office.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Comte de Moustier, the French foreign minister, attended the event, and in a long letter recorded the oath verbatim–he did not include the words “so help me God” in his account.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>And for Washington, a man who presided over the Constitutional Convention in 1787, it would have been out of character for him to have changed those words recorded in the Constitution.&nbsp; <span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”><br /></span></span></div><div class=”Body”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>&nbsp;<table align=”center” cellpadding=”0″ cellspacing=”0″ class=”tr-caption-container” style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;”><tbody><tr><td style=”text-align: center;”><a href=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uXl0AlLr7JA/WItIKx_mVNI/AAAAAAAAMao/h6Vskbq8n2ku1OZZFgeH01Rx1r-6HZYnACLcB/s1600/washington%2Bbible.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;”><img border=”0″ height=”204″ src=”https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uXl0AlLr7JA/WItIKx_mVNI/AAAAAAAAMao/h6Vskbq8n2ku1OZZFgeH01Rx1r-6HZYnACLcB/s320/washington%2Bbible.jpg” width=”320″ /></a></td></tr><tr><td class=”tr-caption” style=”text-align: center;”>The Washington Bible</td></tr></tbody></table></span></div><div class=”Body”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>So did George Washington kiss the Bible?<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>We don’t know that for sure either, but it is less hotly debated than whether or not he said “so help me God” at the end of the oath.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>The source of much of this legend of the Washington inaugural came into existence 60 years after the event, and can be attributed to Washington Irving.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Irving, as we all know, knew how to tell a story as we may remember from his famous stories “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class=”Body”><br /></div><div class=”Body”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>So did Washington say “so help me God” and kiss the Bible?<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>We don’t really know.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>He may have done one, or the other, or neither.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Maybe he did both.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Or perhaps it was a great story shared by a great storyteller, Washington Irving.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class=”Body”><br /></div><div class=”Body”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>However, I like to think he did.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>He was a Freemason, and as we all know those traditions become ingrained in us.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>It becomes habit.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>How many of us have accidentally said “so mote it be” after a prayer in our church on Sunday morning?<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>I have.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>History very often misses the small details in very important events–especially small details that are familiar or commonplace by those attending.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Until we figure out time travel and go back and watch the event, we’ll never know for sure.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Either way, it’s either a great story about the great man George Washington, or it’s a great story written by a great man Washington Irving.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Take your pick.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span></span></div><div class=”Body”><br /></div><div class=”Body”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>What we do know, is the first real evidence that the phrase “so help me God” was used in the Presidential oath was in September 1881 when Chester Arthur was inaugurated.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>There’s no question about it–he said it.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>Whether anyone did prior to Chester Arthur is anybody’s guess.<span style=”mso-spacerun: yes;”>&nbsp; </span>However, we also know without question, that those optional words “so help me God” have been used by every President* since Chester Arthur, including our most recent President, Donald J. Trump.</span></div><div class=”Body”><br /></div><div class=”Body”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>And that’s the truth as I know it . . . So help me God</span></div><div class=”Body”><br /></div><div class=”Body”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”>~TEC</span><br /><br /><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><i>*<span style=”font-family: inherit;”>T</span>here is one possible exception.&nbsp; Teddy Roose<span style=”font-family: inherit;”>velt according to one source was reported to have said “and thus I swe<span style=”font-family: inherit;”>ar” rather than “so help me God<span style=”font-family: inherit;”>.”</span> &nbsp;</span></span></i> </span></div><div class=”Body”><br /></div><div class=”Body”><span style=”font-family: inherit;”><span style=”font-size: small;”><b><span style=”color: #e69138;”><span style=”color: orange;”>Todd E. Creason, 33°, FMLR</span> </span></b><i>is the Founder of the Midnight Freemasons blog and is a regular contributor.&nbsp; He is the award winning author of several books and novels, including the <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Todd-E.-Creason/e/B002HFWHUM/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1343539240&amp;sr=8-1″>Famous American Freemasons</a> series. He is the author of the <a href=”http://toddecreason.blogspot.com/”>From Labor to Refreshment</a>blog.&nbsp; He is the Worshipful Master of Homer Lodge No. 199 and a Past Master of Ogden Lodge No. 754, where is currently serves as Secretary.&nbsp; He is the Sovereign Master of the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees.&nbsp; He is a Fellow at the Missouri Lodge of Research. (FMLR) and a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D.&nbsp; You can contact him at: webmaster@toddcreason.org</i></span> </span></div>Todd E. Creasonhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/12966451416841599132noreply@blogger.com1tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-32772637319680261832017-01-25T05:00:00.000-08:002017-01-25T06:56:26.863-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>RWB Robert H. Johnson</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”http://www.thewrittenreference.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/head-scratch.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ src=”http://www.thewrittenreference.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/head-scratch.jpg” /></a></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><br /><i>“What facts, theory or doctrine does the Grand Lodge expect the Committee on Masonic Information to inculcate? The Grand Lodge has not said. Obviously, it is not to teach what is in the ritual, for that is already thoroughly taken care of. What is the Grand Lodge’s authorized and approved version of the history of Freemasonry? It has none, except what is found in ritual. What is the Grand Lodge’s interpretation of the symbolism of Freemasonry? It hasn’t any, except the ritual. What is the Doctrine of the Grand Lodge about the philosophy, religion, or principles of Freemasonry? Obviously nothing, except what is already taught in the ritual. Therefore, if your committee circulates any information at all, it must be in addition to the only authorized doctrine of the Grand Lodge, viz., the ritual. Hence, we have the anomaly of a committee officially and solemnly authorized to disseminate unauthorized materials.”</i><br /><br />These words are from the Committee on Masonic Information (Formerly Education), under the Grand Lodge of the state of California, in the proceedings for 1947, Pg 206. What is outlined is something we all know deep down, but have little patience or stomach to digest. This idea that what we have, has no meaning outside the ritual. This is stated by numerous Grand Lodges all around the world, if not in print than certainly by inaction. There is an inherent ideology which prevents a lodge or Grand Lodge in the United States at least, from stating that any one symbol means anything concrete. Sure, we offer new members small pamphlets on our history, who some famous masons were and outline a few rules a Mason should live by and if you’re extremely lucky, there might be an allusion to some deeper concepts.<br /><br />Hence the mystery of our origins before recorded proceedings. The mystery of our operative ancestors and innumerable tomes of speculation regarding the teachings, what they mean and why we do them are readily available to anyone to read, open for further speculation and writing, even by those without the slightest expertise. We only have printed and documented proof of our existence, which is tainted at times and in some cases anecdotal evidence by second and third source parties. <br /><br />The documented history of Freemasonry therefore, has had the most credible and accurate writings. But our craft isn’t about teaching its modern history. If it were, our first brethren would be studying what they had literally just accomplished. It is supposed to be a “<i>Peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols</i>” Or in other words, a different system of a way of living, taught with stories and depicted through pictures or symbols. But what are these teachings? <br /><br />Is it simply Love for all mankind, Faith in a God and Hope in an afterlife? Almost no one agrees that it is as simple as this. Authors such as; Manly P. Hall, Arthur Edward Waite, Blavatsky, Doyle, Pirtle, Pottenger, Steinmetz, Krieger and a slew of writers living today argue that there is indeed a deep symbolism of the degrees. Ideas vary from author to author, but suffice it to say that the main take away is that; Freemasonry is truly ancient perhaps antediluvian in nature. It teaches the idea of a perfection of man or apotheosis. It teaches that there is a secret doctrine and that absolute practice of these realized concepts within the mind of the initiate leads to a true spiritual awakening to something commonly referred to as a Cosmic Consciousness. <br /><br />These concepts are truly mind boggling to some. They are even offensive to others, especially when these ideas clash with the religious theology of the person so reading it. It can create a deep division of the mind if one is a Freemason, who is of the persuasion of a theosophy which is incompatible with these seemingly enlightened ideas and is reading these texts. One tends to shut down in these instances. We call this cognitive dissonance. An inconsistency in thought patterns regarding information put to the reader. It’s too convenient to keep believing the wrong information than it is to subject yourself to the new information that’s been presented, whether factual historical record or perhaps peer reviewed scholarly written esoterica. <br /><br />But what do we know? There is nothing out there which affirms that these posited ideas of our actual purpose are absolute. We know for certain our craft has innumerable made up concepts to deal with the many areas we cover. Look at a Masonic ring, it might have, as a design, three etches on each side. When the buyer asks if this is because it symbolizes the three degrees, the seller says, “<i>Yes</i>!” But to be sure, it was actually just designed that way, no symbolism intended. Somehow we feel a need to fill in the gaps, it’s the way our minds work. <br /><br />The Landmarks of Freemasonry are a prime example of creating something that was non existent. They were written based on lose ideas presented in any one of the diverse manuscripts which exist for your intimate perusal. These are as ancient as the 1800s, when Mackey and others laid them out, for the first time. Again, we have a human need to organize, write down, reference and categorize everything.<br /><br />There are those who claim our [Freemasonry’s] origin is from Ancient Egypt, and much has been written about this. However, there are also scholars who claim this is absolute nonsense. That we came from the descendants of Noah, again, nonsense. Why nonsense? Because there is no factual historical record to be examined. Where we came from lends to the credibility of what we are said to teach. E.g. If we came from Ancient Egypt, than perhaps we would truly value the magical elements of ritual. If we came from Ancient Greece, perhaps we would value more the sacred geometry. <br /><br />The question remains, what does Freemasonry teach? Certainly, Grand Lodges refrain from taking a stance on what it is, we wouldn’t want to alienate hundreds of thousands of members. So we’re left with the maxim, “<i>Freemasonry is many things to a great many people.</i>” This just isn’t satisfying, and perhaps it is the reason for all the appendant bodies. Believers of certain paths can join up and get active in one or several other “Masonic” groups dedicated to theosophical ideologies or perhaps just to have a social club.<br /><br />Certainly brethren, we are more than Faith, Hope and Love. We should indeed admit to ourselves that the esoteric ideas which are written of our craft, which are not so much authorized interpretations shared by any Grand Lodge are most likely the product of Renaissance and Enlightenment period members joining our ranks and influencing the direction of the craft. For in our fraternity was a safe haven for these free thinkers, these titans of philosophy and romantic chroniclers.<br /><br />It is thanks to these members that we have a craft left at all. A craft who’s documented origin is that of operative, that is, actual stone masons and their guilds in which obligations were taken over the guilds bylaws, not it’s holy book. From this, we sprang forth. A society who’s chief concern was that of Unity. An influx of free thinkers then came into the craft, and changed it forever. This fraternity is in a constant state of change.<br /><br />In the end, we teach ritual. We teach how to make a square corner, hold your rod and how to memorize words. “<i>You forgot a word in there</i>.” “<i>You did a back hook step instead of a prep step</i>.” We’ve heard it all, haven’t we? The ritual vultures leave no ritual uncorrected. If we only teach ritual, than what is the supposition? If there’s nothing deeper, what is the point? If you argue that the ritual teaches something else, than what is it? And why hasn’t it been stated officially?<br /><br />To be sure, there are some Grand Lodges which have made tantalizing statements in the materials given to the members. See the Illinois Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Education’s Intender Guide; “The Master Mason Degree Proficiency Booklet” Pg. 10<br /><br />“<i>The Symbol of the Temple for each of us is founded upon the idea that man himself is a living Temple, where the Supreme Architect of the Universe resides.</i>”<br /><br />This has since been removed. The new version of the Illinois Intender Program negates this concept completely, and yet we ask, “What are we teaching?” Are we not teaching these things any longer? Apparently not, which is why so many young Masonic authors are taking it upon themselves to dive into such topics. A matter of grave importance comes with these newly discovered ancient ideas notwithstanding is an unyielding strong grip on reality.<br /><br />Too often a Brother may dive into the depths of Masonic philosophy only to risk nothing less than one’s own sanity in the search for divine truth. Perhaps if our lodges were to develop a posture on the philosophy of Freemasonry as it relates to enlightenment and not just the ordinary perpetuated concepts, we would foster developed thinkers, attract new members, provide a safe place for study and discussion and be a nucleus for progressive ideas to be born, which the rest of humanity might eventually look to for direction. Brethren, what are we teaching…officially?<br /><div><br /></div><div>~RHJ</div><div><br /></div><div><b style=”color: white; font-family: ‘; font-size: 14px;”><span style=”color: #ff9900;”><u>RWB, Robert Johnson</u></span></b> is the Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Waukegan Lodge No. 78 where he is a Past Master. He also serves as the District Deputy for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) <a href=”http://wcypodcast.blogspot.com/”>Whence Came You?</a> &amp; <a href=”http://www.masonicradiotheatre.com/”>Masonic Radio Theatre</a> which focus on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of <a href=”http://themasonicroundtable.com/”>The Masonic Roundtable</a>, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry and is also an avid home brewer. He is currently working on a book of Masonic essays and one on Occult Anatomy to be released soon.</div>Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com0tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-2909814477098868440.post-81927360431110965572017-01-23T05:00:00.000-08:002017-01-22T21:51:53.084-08:00<div style=”text-align: center;”><i>by Midnight Freemason Contributor</i></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b>WB Adam Thayer</b></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><div class=”separator” style=”clear: both; text-align: center;”><a href=”http://www.your-bizbook.com/contentassets/de28b13b5a7447ed8523898c5e93532c/status-symbol-among-wealthyknowing-western-etiquette-620×350.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ src=”http://www.your-bizbook.com/contentassets/de28b13b5a7447ed8523898c5e93532c/status-symbol-among-wealthyknowing-western-etiquette-620×350.jpg” height=”180″ width=”320″ /></a></div><div style=”text-align: center;”><b><br /></b></div><i>In my lodge, we have a tradition: after the Entered Apprentice degree is conferred, after the lectures and the charge, a brother in the lodge will approach the newly made brother and speak to him about basic Masonic Etiquette. The lecture is informal, and usually given with just an outline of what needs to be covered. It has proven useful to both our newly made EAs, and to help remind our current brothers about the basics as well.</i><br /><i><br />Below, I’ve included the version that I present; feel free to adapt it to your lodge’s use. A few tips on preparation: it is helpful to sit in the South, across from the candidate, so that you have to walk West of the altar to approach him. Warn your Worshipful Master and Senior Deacon in advance when it comes to the raps of the gavel, as it makes a much better impression (and is respectful to the WM to not surprise him). Finally, I’ve made notes in parenthesis that will help improve your performance, or clarify some points that are jurisdictional-specific.</i><br /><br />My brother, while most of the degree work you have seen has been repeated verbatim from memory, this is the one portion of the degree where we can relax and speak freely. At the request of the Worshipful Master, I would like to spend just a few minutes explaining to you some of the basics of etiquette within the lodge.<br /><br />Masonry is an ancient science, and has evolved over the centuries to its current state of existence. As such, much of what you have heard in our ritual work may have sounded very strange and archaic, and many of the words you’ll hear us use are currently unfamiliar to you. I promise you that, in time, you will come to be as familiar with our work as we are ourselves, and it will all feel very comfortable.<br /><br />When you go home today, your wife (NOTE: only if applicable. Ascertain in advance if the candidate is married), family, and friends are probably going to have a lot of questions about what happened here. They will want to know all about our ritual and ceremonies, and will hopefully be taking an active interest in your involvement in Masonry. Tell them! You are welcome and encouraged to tell them, in your own words, what you experienced, how it felt, and what you learned from it. We ask that you don’t share the specific details with a man who is interested in joining us, so that he can enjoy the ceremonies the same way you did. The only “secrets” of Masonry that we ask you to protect are the specific modes of recognition, which are the grip and word that we taught you earlier. (NOTE: in Nebraska, my home jurisdiction, the modes of recognition are the only protected secrets, per our Grand Lodge. Verify with your jurisdiction if this differs)<br /><br />Because we always hold a meal before our meetings, you generally will not need to enter or leave the lodge once we have opened. (NOTE: in my lodge, we always have a meal. If your lodge is different, adapt this as necessary) If you do arrive late, however, there is a specific sequence you need to follow to gain admittance. First, knock on the door of the lodge three times. (POINT to the door) This alerts the Junior Deacon (POINT to the J.D.) that there is a brother outside of the lodge seeking admittance. He will respond by knocking either once, or three times. If he knocks only once, it means that we are at a portion of the ceremony that cannot be interrupted, and that you will need to wait a few minutes until we’re ready. When he knocks three times, he will open the door and let you in, and also indicate the proper place to salute; either the Senior Warden in the West (POINT to the SW), or the Worshipful Master at the altar (POINT to the altar), and also indicate which degree we are open in. You need to approach that officer, and give the appropriate salute, then take a seat in the lodge.<br /><br />You’ll have noticed that when I came over, I took a bit of a circuitous route to get here. That is because there is an area of the lodge, between the Worshipful Master and the altar, that we do not cross through, unless specifically granted permission from the Worshipful Master. This is a sign of respect to the Worshipful Master, and to the Grand Architect from whom he draws inspiration. <br /><br />Although Masonry is not a religious organization, we do require a faith in a higher being, whom we, at all times, reverence and serve. One of the ways we do this is by praying before we eat, in our ceremonies, and before we close our lodge. (NOTE: if you aren’t in Nebraska, you may leave out the explanation of the Cross of the Good Shepherd) Nebraska Masons pray in a very unique way, which is called the Cross of the Good Shepherd. This is made by crossing the right arm across the chest, onto the left shoulder, and then the left arm across the chest onto the right shoulder, and bowing your head. At the end of the prayer, we conclude the prayer with the words “So Mote It Be”. This is an old English term that means “So may it be” or “So let it be”, and is best described as an amen with emphasis.<br /><br />As an Entered Apprentice Mason, you’re limited in which meetings you may attend. You are, of course always welcome at our dinners, and you may, if you choose, attend any EA degree being performed at this lodge. We encourage you to observe another EA degree as soon as you can, because this will help you learn what happened within your own degree more, and will show you many things you may have missed the first time.<br /><br />If you have something specific which you wish to address in lodge, please stand, and wait to be addressed by the Worshipful Master. Generally, there is time to do this toward the end of our monthly business meeting, and the Worshipful Master will open to floor to any brother who wishes to contribute.<br /><br />At various times during our rituals and meetings, you’ll notice that the Worshipful Master will wish to speak to a specific brother in the lodge. Worshipful Master, if you would be so kind as to call up the Senior Deacon. (NOTE: Wait for this to be done). Now, if the Worshipful Master desired to call up all of the elected officers in the lodge, he would do this with two raps. Worshipful Master? (NOTE: Wait for this to be done). These are the elected officers of the lodge: The Treasurer, Secretary, Senior and Junior Wardens, and of course the Worshipful Master himself, who does not rise for anyone save the Grand Architect himself.<br /><br />Now, what would happen if the Worshipful Master were to rap three times? Worshipful Master, if you would be so kind? (NOTE: Wait for this to be done. Tell the SD in advance NOT to prompt the candidate, as this is a great way for him to learn by observing). As you see, three raps of the gavel raises the whole lodge. (NOTE: If the candidate hasn’t risen, say “My brother, as you are now a part of this lodge, you should rise as well!”) Remember: one rap for a specific brother, two for the officers, and three for the whole lodge. Now, if the Worshipful Master will rap one last time? (NOTE: Wait for this to be done), you can see that this is the signal for all standing to be seated.<br /><br />We understand that Masonry is a very complicated subject for a new brother to learn, and many men have spent a lifetime studying it, and still have yet to learn all it has to teach. You won’t have to take this journey alone, as the Worshipful Master has assigned Brother XXXXX to be your mentor. (POINT to this brother, so the candidate knows who it is). Any questions you have, he will help you to answer, and he will also help you through your proficiency guide and memory work. Of course, every brother here wishes to see you succeed, and will be happy to help you in any way we can.<br /><br />(NOTE: If your lodge doesn’t have a Facebook page… get one) Finally, our lodge has a Facebook page that lists upcoming events, practices, and other Masonic information. Your mentor will help you to join it, so that you can always stay informed of what’s happening to the lodge.<br /><br />On behalf of the officers and brothers of Lancaster Lodge Number 54, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, (NOTE: Obviously, use the name of your lodge here, and substitute F&amp;AM if appropriate) I most heartily congratulate you, and welcome you into our lodge, Brother XXXX.<br /><br />~AT<br /><br /><b><i><u><span style=”color: #e69138;”>WB. Bro. Adam Thayer</span></u></i></b> is the Senior Warden of Lancaster Lodge No. 54 in Lincoln (NE) and a past master of Oliver Lodge No. 38 in Seward (NE). He’s an active member in the Knights of Saint Andrew, and on occasion remembers to visit the Scottish and York Rites as well. He continues to be reappointed to the Grand Lodge of Nebraska Education Committee, and serves with fervency and zeal. He is a sub-host on The Whence Came You podcast, and may be reached at adam@wcypodcast.com. He will not help you get your whites whiter or your brights brighter, but he does enjoy conversing with brothers from around the world!Robert Johnsonhttps://plus.google.com/100484059343926615740noreply@blogger.com2


Source: Midnight Freemasons