- April 2015 -
Note: Dinners will be held at 6:30pm
What is it to be a Mason? The question arises time and time again, and the answers are as varied as those who offer up a response. I’ll be honest with you, my answer to that question has changed as my time in the Fraternity has moved through the years, and I’m sure it will continue to change as I spend more time living this Masonic life.
At this moment, I would define Masonry as a group of men trying to improve themselves and each other, supporting one another in times of trouble, and rejoicing in our times of accomplishment.
If you read my contribution to last month’s trestleboard, then you know how I got involved in Masonry. What you don’t know is that before I joined the Lodge, I was not an overtly social individual. My family had moved to Las Vegas in 2002, which meant leaving our social connections back in California. As a result, I was content to spend my time at home with my family, which is an easy thing to do when you don’t know anyone in town.
Joining Masonry opened up a whole new world for me. Through Masonry I found friends, who would later become brothers. It was a new experience for me. In my entire life I had only accumulated a few close friends, and yet here was an entire group
of men eager to greet me with a smile and a handshake. I was overwhelmed at first, dare I say, suspicious and weary... but those feelings soon dissipated when faced with the sincere affection of this new group of friends.
Fast forward to today, and I find myself sincerely looking forward to my Friday nights when I can come to a comfortable place, free of stress (well, most of the time), and spend time with men that I’ve come to view as brothers.
I firmly believe that most of my fellow Brothers are driven by a common desire to improve themselves and each other. However, as with most large groups of individuals, the vision of how best to accomplish that goal is rarely unified. If you ask five men how best to achieve something, and you will likely get a few different answers, if not five. So, when it comes to Masonry, sometimes it can be difficult trying to merge those divergent visions into a common, unified goal.
Those of you attending our stated meetings recently have noticed that I bring up a lot of topics for discussion, but it is a conscious decision with a very precise goal—I want to find out what you want! As your Master, I have come to serve... not be served. It is within my prerogative to dictate how I want things done, but my time in the East is temporary, and anything I “decree” will be just as transient if the Lodge—and by that, I mean the Brothers who comprise it—is not in agreement with those decisions.
I know most of us prefer quick meetings, but the discussions I initiate are the best method I have at my disposal for determining what you want, and once I know that, I can then make plans for moving the Lodge in the direction you want.
With April almost upon us, the year is well underway. Our Master, Worshipful Brother Bill, has
used the Stated meetings thus far to do more than just conduct regular business, he has also brought before the Lodge some thought provoking issues which have engendered some robust debate.
One of the matters recently raised was the issue of the Lodge library and access thereto. No definitive conclusion has been reached regarding access however for my 10¢ worth, the current situation where the library is permanently off limits is unacceptable. We have a wealth of knowledge at hand and many brothers, especially the newer members, are keen to gain access in order to improve themselves in Masonry.
I do hope a suitable solution can be found and a balance struck. On the one hand we have books that have disappeared having been taken by members unknown, never returned and lost forever. On the other hand we continue to have generous Brothers who donate books to the library. I can only hope the competing issues of access and accountability can be resolved while granting members the access they seek.
This matter is in the wheelhouse of the Trustees and I hope they can see their way clear to finding a workable solution.
From time to time, we as Masons are offered-or in this case, confronted withan opportunity to affirm our obligations to our fraternity, our Brothers, and our family.
The Friday evening dinner of February 27, 2015 provided just such an opportunity. Discovering that the Lodge had no gas for cooking the dinner as late as 4:00pm created just such a crisis. The planned dinner of roast beef and cherry pie to commemorate Washington’s birthday turned into a scramble to find a fast food outlet that could provide enough food to serve 180 people by 6:30pm. Our stewards, Mitch Hostmeyer and David Griego, identified a resource. Thus, the dinner turned into a celebration of East meets West as the Panda Express located on the corner of Charleston and Nellis Blvds saved the Washington Birthday Celebration.
When the food arrived at 8:00pm, a cadre of Brothers Masons was there waiting to unload the meal. They quickly moved the food from the truck straight to the dining room serving lines. The whole operation appeared to be a well-coordinated effort, as if it had been carefully rehearsed with every participant enjoying the whole affair.
“Wow!” I thought, “what an example of Masonic participation!” When I asked how many people we had served, nobody knew. We just laughed and expressed our satisfaction at having done it. Those of
us who were there and participated will not soon forget this year’s Washington’s celebration. Well done Brothers, well done!
Thank you for your response to your dues notices... sorry that they were late this year, but we had a glich in our data system. I still have a few Brothers who have not paid for 2014 yet and now they have 2015 dues as well. Please pay promptly!
To aide in the paying of your dues in the future, as announced at the January Meeting, we are trying to set up the website with a Pay Pal account so you will be able to make your dues payments electronically.
Also, we are also working with our bank to set up credit card payments within the office, allowing for the payment of dues, initiation fees and lifetime memberships. So, we are progressing slowly, but we are getting there.
April 2015 - February 2015 - January 2015
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