Greeting from the East
At the close of our June Stated Meeting, my term as Worshipful Master of Consuelo Lodge arrived at the midpoint – Tempus Fugit! At the January installation of 2018 Officers, we announced several Lodge goals and priorities to accomplish in 2018. Now, at the halfway point, it is appropriate to review and report the progress we have made toward those announced goals. The 2018 goals and year to date progress are listed below:
Priority 1. Support Our Youth Groups –
Greater recognition and support of our Youth Groups and honoring the dedication of their ever-faithful and tireless advisors. Refocus our Blue Lodge culture by actively supporting our Consuelo Youth Groups, that is, our DeMolay, Rainbow for Girls, and Job’s Daughters, both financially, and more importantly, with our physical presence at their installations, assemblies, and meetings. In 2018, this will be a priority for all of us. Blue Lodges must recognize supporting our Youth Groups is a RESPONSIBILITY and an opportunity with far reaching impact on the future of Freemasonry, our society, and western civilization. The Escondido Masonic Center is blessed to have all three Youth Groups under our roof, and within our care, support and guidance. We shall rapidly organize and dedicate every Consuelo Brother to support Youth Group programs and attend their meetings and assemblies.
Midterm Progress Support for our Youth Groups from Consuelo’s Officers and Brethren is Disappointing –
A few of the Brethren have consistently supported our Job’s Daughter, Rainbow for Girls and DeMolay meetings and officer installations this year. Sadly, Consuelo has fallen far short of our envisioned goal of consistent support, large attendance and our physical presence at their meeting and events. Our Consuelo Youth Groups have consistently and faithfully supported Consuelo Lodge functions, such as Child ID events, stated meeting dinners and many community activities. Please carefully consider this: Each of our Youth groups meet twice each month for about 60 minutes – that is eight opportunities per month to support them as our duty to the Lodge and the future of Freemasonry. To lead from the front and set an example, several officers and I have attended most of Youth Group meetings, installations and events in 2018. I must tell you all, these young people surprise and delight at every meeting! They work very hard to support Consuelo Lodge activities and we must do our part to support them by our presence among them. Please come and support our fine youth organizations at least once a month. Did you know, the Escondido Masonic Hall (Consuelo Lodge) is one of very few Lodges in California to have the honor all three Youth Groups active in our facility.
Priority 2. Provide Masonic Education
At every opportunity, we shall plan and deliver down-to-earth, useful, and meaningful Masonic Education that all Brothers can understand, then embrace, and apply to their lives.
Midterm Progress on Masonic Education is Thriving –
We have instituted a Masonic Education section into our Stated Meeting’s agendas and also readings from the California Masonic Code as required. Our Lodge Chairman of Masonic Education Bro. Junior Deacon Jesse Middleton and other Brothers have presented papers on the most interesting and thought provoking Masonic subjects. District 9 Inspector Tom Handell has made Masonic Education for Officers and Brethren a top priority this year. All Master Masons can and should attend the monthly Officers School of Instruction for education, and ritual instruction.
Priority 3. Complete Consuelo Lodge Room Update –
Thanks to the concerted efforts of the leadership and members of the EMHA, we have new roof, repaired solar panels, new outside paint, all new windows and a new dining hall décor. It is now time to update the heart and soul of this building, our wonderful, but dated and exhausted lodge room. We will be focusing on the ceiling, lighting, effectiveness of the air conditioning control system and returns, enhancement of the pillar stations, and painting the interior walls. Contactors are already developing their bids for submittal to the EMHA. The plan is to finish the design, gain approval of the Brethren, file the appropriate documents, then complete the construction in the first quarter of 2018.
Midterm Progress on Lodge Room Refurbishment is on track –
In a very wise decision, Consuelo engaged the professional architectural services of Mrs. Karla Middleton to manage the design concepts and bidding for our Lodge room refurbishment. At the May stated meeting, Karla presented a briefing to the Brethren on the initial design concepts and options for our lodge room refurbishment. The concept briefing was well received, and several strong desires of the Brethren were universally expressed. We listened carefully and have incorporated those items into the evolving scope of the project. The current timeline is to submit three General Contractor bids and the recommended plan and funding information to the Escondido Masonic Hall Association (EMHA) for their study and approval as soon as possible, next present the plan to the Brethren at the July Stated Meeting for their comments and approval, and then though the EMHA Board submit the final plans to the Grand Lodge for their approval. Finally, we will complete the coordination with all the groups that use the lodge room on the timing for commencing construction. Then watch the magic happen!
Midterm Progress in Performing Degrees –
Since 1 Jan 2018, we have initiated 2 new Brothers as Entered Apprentices and passed 2 Brothers to the degree of FellowCraft. At the June stated meeting dinner, Mr. Jason Byer became the first applicant to complete the extended new applicant participation checklist and finish the “get to know you period” to receive his application for degrees in our Lodge. As you all know, this year Consuelo Lodge has greatly slowed down the Application processes to provide a time of close scrutiny and assessment of potential applicants. The theme is Quality over quantity.
Midterm Progress Child ID Program –
Child ID has become a major community activity for Consuelo Lodge. Year to date at the four events this year, 385 children have been processed towards our goal of 1000 for 2018. Consuelo has at least 4 more major events already scheduled for this year. Thanks to Wor. Mike and MahrKay Byers, Brothers Dan Proffitt, Vance Johnson, John Boyle and Tracy Reynolds and all our Youth Groups for their enthusiasm and participation this year.
What Happened in June 2018:
MASONIC HOMES – On 9 June 2018, Consuelo Officers and Brethren made our annual journey to the Masonic Home in Covina to perform a 2nd degree ceremony for their brethren as Consuelo has done for the past 40 + years. Consuelo Brother Patrick Scoggins was passed to the degree of Fellowcraft Mason in a top-notch Ceremony. Congratulations Brother Patrick!
WIDOW’S ROSE CEREMONY – At the June Stated Meeting dinner, our Consuelo Widows were honored during the Widow’s Rose Ceremony. Thirteen of our ninety-one Consuelo widows were in attendance. God bless them all!
SUMMER UNIFORM – The Master announced to the Lodge Officers and Brethren, from 11 June until the end of August 2018, (weather permitting) we are officially in summer uniform mode. What is summer uniform? Check the 2018 Consuelo Lodge guidebook for the answer.
OFFICER’S SCHOOL OF INSTRUCTION – District 9 held a combined lodge Officer’s School of Instruction (OSI) hosted by Consuelo Lodge. The topic for instruction was the 25 Ancient Landmarks of Freemasonry. Very interesting subject.
Have a wonderful and safe summer. Support our Youth Groups at least once per month.
From the West
Understanding Our Past and Appreciating Our Future
July is the time when we celebrate the birth of our nation; appreciate the summer and summer vacations, our families, BBQ parties, gathering of friends, and an occasional libation. Whether you consciously realize it or not we are celebrating our freedoms set forth by our founding fathers and the passion and dedication they committed to securing it through an 8 ½ year long struggle.
Many people know the important date of July 4, 1776 as the date our founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, but that wasn’t at the end of the war, it was in the beginning and there were still many battles that were yet to be fought, and blood spilled for our great nation.
It is these freedoms that we should embrace. These freedoms allow us to be Masons openly and with pride. There are so many ways we do take pride in being a Mason. We can ride on a float in a parade, we can perform a Cornerstone ceremony for a public school, we can openly wear Masonic shirts, hats, pins, and other items with the square and compass on it. These simple freedoms should be appreciated because not every country where a Masonic lodge exists can our brothers exhibit their pride in our ancient and gentle craft.
There are a number of countries where Masonry has to stay in the shadows or our brothers might be persecuted. The idea that secret symbols are used to identify members of particular groups has been around since at least the 2ndcentury AD when Christians used the simple drawing of a fish to identify themselves as Christians. In the case of Masonry, for example, Masons in Italy do not wear the square and compass like we do here in the states, for them they wear a rope or cable tow tied in a simple knot as a way to identify each other. They don’t have the freedoms like we have in the United States.
So as you celebrate your freedoms this month, appreciate those that have sacrificed their lives, and say “thank you” to those serving and protecting our country so we can always have these liberties to do what we want, say what we want, pray how we want and be part of the oldest fraternal organization in the world and be proud of that fact.
From the South
Merit is the just title to our privileges
We are Masons. We are not given anything that we do not work for. We know this. We accept this. We learn that the tools to shape our spiritual and physical existences are all around us. It is up to us to discover them. It is up to us to pick them up and use them. As we use the tools, that we discover, we end up discovering more tools.
We are considered speculative masons, though we take many concepts of the operative part of Masonry, as lessons. As no two physical structures are the same, neither are the spiritual buildings each of us constructs as we use those tools. We recognize the operative and speculative denominations of our craft. As speculative Masons, we focus on the building of spiritual houses not made with hands.
As we learn we share. The memories we create as we learn from those who share with us, and who we share with, become part of us. We learn and we teach the use of tools. Through these processes, merit may be born. Merit not entitlement. Merit can be a compass that will let us know when we are headed in the right direction, if properly interpreted.
By definition, merit is the quality of being particularly good or worthy, especially so as to deserve praise or reward. I suggest that merit is not why we Mason’s do what we do. I suggest that it is a part of processes that generate motivation to do more of the right things to do.
By definition, entitlement is the fact of having a right to something. Merit does not give us a right to praise or reward. Should we expect praise or reward or feel entitled to it? All the brothers I talked to suggest that is not why we do the things we do. We do what we do to make the world a better place for all human beings and to help us learn to give up those things that will hold us back from living an adventure worthy of remembrance.
By definition, privilege is a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people. We are Masons. We are also men from every country, sect and opinion that are brought together as a group of people, and considered as family. We each contribute our unique talents, skills and thought to promote each other’s well being. We rejoice in each other’s prosperity, without petty jealousy or covetousness.
Masonry requires a belief in God and an afterlife. The idea that we are spiritual beings having a human experience is an exciting philosophy as we live the adventures we are blessed with. The relationship with God is unique to every brother as is a parent to a son. When something good happens, we might consider that maybe it is our compass pointing to the direction that we should head. We should, however, stay ever aware that it is very easy to stray from the path to doing good. We should be sure to check the compass often.
Third Degree Anniversary