Often more times than not, in these busy days of constantmental stimulation, we fail to take time to reflect on where we have been andwhere we currently are, let alone where we may be heading.For me this is a very tough thing to dobecause of the stresses in my businesses, family, social, and Masonic lives…. Ifeel that I constantly move from one activity to the next, not fully comprehendingthe outcomes of where I have been versus where I am.
Fortunately Masonry teaches us, when we pay attention, totake the time to Reflect and I am very thankful that I have done so thisweek.In February I accepted a newcareer opportunity knowing that it was going to limit my ability to serve asMaster of the Lodge.Or at least I wasafraid that it would limit my ability and I would not succeed in serving theoffice to its fullest and I would let my Brothers down somehow by not achievingthe goals we collectively set out to do.
So off I went through this year traveling for business veryextensively, to the point of exhaustion, being away from home more than beingat home. Then as the close of my term asMaster has approached, I have had fears that I have not served the lodge enough,and I would be leaving the “chair in the East” in a less desirable conditionthan the pristine manner that I received it.Believe me when I say that the stress has been mounting in me of thisfear’s reality!
Luckily earlier this week I was asked to reflect on the yearand provide my thoughts in an article for the newsletter.This forced me to sit and think and as I didI realized that, as USUAL, the BROTHERS in this Lodge have achieved GREATthings…..
On Tuesday I sat down with a copy of each of the meetingminutes and carefully read them and pondered on the GREATNESS of Masonry andthis Lodge’s members.
As I jotted down notes from the meetings my fears subsidedand I realized, that even though I personally felt that I had not performedwell enough, the Lodge had exceeded any expectation that I could have everset.Thus proving again to me thatMasonry is the greatest institution in the world.
When my term officially ends on Dec 12 the Lodge will haveaccomplished, what to most, would have been an insurmountable amount of work.We have held 24 stated meetings, 15 emergentmeetings, 2 blood drives, 1 family day, and hosted 2 major fundraising eventsgrossing over $5,000 for charity.And westill have our 10 Adopted Families Christmas event for the Pregnancy Care CrisisCenter coming up on Dec 10th.
The officers have Initiated 8 Entered Apprenticed; Passed 5Fellow Crafts; and Raised 4 Master Masons; Re-instated 2 members, and accepted2 new Honorary Members.Now we have tocontinue working to get the remaining Fellowcrafts and Entered Apprenticesthrough their catechisms.
Due to the extreme generosity of the Eastern Star the lobbyreceived some fantastic new furniture and the Lodge, along with the York Rite,appropriated resources for new paint and carpet.Just look at how beautiful it now looks.
Under the efforts of Dan Rolon, PM the lodge was able tosecure a much needed re-supply vendor for the Claudy book series that weprovide new members for their education of what Masonry means. These are invaluable for new member retention.
Brothers JJ Kuba, Darren Cloer, Kevin Johnson and DavidBrandon successfully navigated the Lodge through the meticulous process ofobtaining the re-instatement of the Jones W. Shuford DeMolay Chapter.Now they are aggressively recruiting youngmen between 11 and 21 to formalize the chapter.If you know anyone that is a potential candidate, please let us know sothat we can contact him.
Additionally we have had 2 major initiatives that haveresulted in Brother Wes King doing a complete overhaul on our website andBrothers Cloer and Johnson implementing a new phone tree service.If you haven’t received a phone tree from thelodge in the last couple of weeks, please contact Kevin to make sure he hasyour correct information.
On a more somber note, I am very sad to report that we havehad 17 of our dear brother Master Masons, that we know of, pass on to thecelestial lodge above this year and we suffered the loss of a fellowcraftbrother.Thanks to Brothers Dan Rolonand Grimes Byerly for their dedication in presiding over way too many Masonicrites for our member’s families and servicing their needs.
Obviously once I pondered on all of the things that I havejust listed that the brethren of this lodge have accomplished I realized thatmy fears were all unwarranted and that again Masonry has taught me valuablelessons.First, take time to reflect,and second, our lodge and its membership is one to be greatly cherished becauseas a group, you all achieve great things.
Lastly, this year I appointed a committee of three; BrothersChris Jarrell, Ed Whisnant, and Mark Abernethy with the remit of contactingeach member of the lodge at some point throughout the year.From their feedback, I have learned that theyprobably gained more from the experience than expected and many positiveeffects returned that have benefited brothers and the lodge…..I look forward to the continued successes ofthe Outreach Committee.
As Master I hope that I leave the Office and the “chair inthe East” a little bit better than I received it, in the view of the lodge, and I look forward to many more years ofservice to Masonry.Thank you for theopportunity of being Master of the Lodge in 2011.Words cannot describe my personal experienceor feelings of gratitude.