Trestleboard – April 2021

From the East

Worshipful Jesse Middleton

     My Brother’s, April is here, and with the spring flowers comes the hope that Lodge will soon be open for in-person meetings. This past week, it was communicated that the Grand Master has requested that lodge’s, “Get Ready.” The news has also been passed via the Secretary & Treasurer’s training that The Grand Lodge of California is actively working on a plan to open up Lodges in a safe and respectable manner. The Grand Master has even calendared an in person event for June.
     With that news, Consuelo Lodge is beginning to have discussions on what a safe opening may look like, what mitigation would need to be taken, and how we can provide the best Masonic experience for all Brothers. I also want to drive home the fact, that this experience is also your responsibility. If you have a concern or a comment, it is imperative that you speak up and create a dialogue that allows for the sharing of ideas. We are coming back from having a year off. That gives us an opportunity, an opportunity to set a new standard, and the opportunity to redefine what the experience is that Consuelo Lodge provides. How many times in the last couple years have we spoken about the identity of the Lodge? Now is the opportunity to define that identity and set the Lodge on a path for continued success.
     When the Lodge opens, we will immediately challenge ourselves with a Third Degree. I assure you, this Third Degree will be different than any of you have seen at Consuelo Lodge and it will set the bar for the rest of the year. When we are able to open, and perform this degree, I implore you to come and see what we can do. I dare you to challenge yourself, and step out of that comfort zone and become an active member in the degree’s and the Lodge. Break off that superfluous part of the rough ashlar by challenging yourself to do something that you are uncomfortable doing. If you do not, at some point you will regret it. It is best to try, stumble, and learn, than it is to sit on the sidelines watching life pass you by. Be prepared to accept the challenge and go through with it! We will be shot gunning proficiencies and degrees. They will be coming quickly, but they will be quality degrees with the intent of providing the candidate an experience that will affect him for the rest of his life. You can all be part of that Brother’s experience and I hope that you will all find some way to help and encourage the candidates. We will need new coaches to lead the next generation of Mason’s at Consuelo. Here’s the opportunity for many of you to pass on the wisdom and experiences you have gained. Challenge yourself to be that mentor to someone who is looking for the light.
     Soon, we will be filling this Trestleboard with dates and times of events for everyone. We will be performing acts of Charity, enjoying social events, and molding the future of both Consuelo Lodge and the surrounding community. These acts of Charity need to come from the heart of each and every Brother that is Consuelo Lodge. I ask that you all help me in determining what we could do to have the biggest impact on our community, or our Brothers. In the building of King Solomon’s Temple, everybody had a job. There was nobody sitting on the sidelines watching the others work, and there was no job considered too small as every piece was intricate to the construction and operation of the Temple. The Craft, regardless of rank helped each other and encouraged the others to be the very best they could be. Those that reached the pinnacle of their craft, turned back to lend a hand and lift those behind them up. That is how Consuelo will operate. That is the standard when we open. 
     I keep writing and saying, soon and when, my Brother’s that time is coming quickly. We need to be prepared for the adventure that is before us. Together, we will succeed and set a new standard for what it means to be a Mason at Consuelo Lodge # 325. We will lead by our actions, not our words. We will be active in our community, and be the change we wish to see in the world around us. 
     Please continue to be safe and keep checking in with each other. You may have received a phone call recently from a Brother striking up a conversation and asking how you and your family are doing. Take the time to get to know each other and build those bonds.  It’s those bonds that cement the Lodge together and continue to make it a better place. I look forward to seeing each and every one of you very soon. The time is coming, please be patient, have faith, and stay the course.

From the West

Bro. Jeff Powell

     Many of you know that my vocation often requires me to travel. One place that I end up in frequently is Mexico. When traveling throughout Mexico, I sometimes find myself at the airport in Mexico City, officially known as the “Benito Juarez International Airport”.
     Some research on Benito Juarez reveals that he was born in Mexico in 1806 and by 1834 he was a lawyer and a politician and served as president of Mexico from 1858-1872. During this period, much like Europe in the century before, Mexico was politically controlled by the Catholic Church. With a platform of democracy, as one might imagine, Benito Juarez had strong opposition. There was a civil war from 1858-1860 and a French invasion from 1861-1867 which caused him to lead Mexico from exile. Benito Juarez did not give up, and eventually prevailed. Today Benito Juarez is remembered as a reformer and a founding father of modern Mexico.
     While being an American, traveling in Mexico, and hearing the name Benito Juarez, I had very little interest in learning more about him. Until I found out that Benito Juarez was a Mason. Much like how in the United States, we have pictures of George Washington in our lodges, so do they have portraits and statues of Benito Juarez in their lodges. I once visited a lodge in Vera Cruz which I found out was the home lodge of Benito Juarez. One brother (or ‘hermano’ if you will) pointed to a chair, and with a smile on his face, explained that Benito Juarez had sat in that chair. 
     One thing that I have taken from this experience is that as an American, I tend to only think about the famous Americans who were Masons, such as, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, etc… However, Masonry being a worldwide Fraternity, the example of Benito Juarez reminds me that there are Masons all over the world, putting the tenets into practice and working to make the world better.
     The other thought that I had is that these founding father Masons all changed things for the better. I don’t think this is a coincidence, but it seems like back when there were more Masons in politics, the changes that occurred were beneficial. I wish there were more Masons in politics now in our current era. How do we change this?

From the South

Bro. Jon Gary Rick

     There is an old saying attributed to Thomas Fuller, an English churchman and historian from 1650, “It’s always darkest before the dawn”. I often ponder this phrase during difficult times to remind myself that no matter how bad things might seem, they WILL get better. The Sun will rise and Light will shine once again.
     I’ve written about renewed hope before, first as the new year arrived, then again as Spring was upon our doorstep. Perhaps it’s quite fitting that as Nature awakens from it’s Winter slumber and the days grow longer, we’re an additional step closer to being able to meet once more in person, to shake one another’s hand and to break bread with each other again.
     San Diego County has finally moved from the highest COVID-19 Tier – Purple, to Red with the possibility of moving into the Orange Tier just around the corner. More so, the thought that in just a couple of weeks, anyone wishing to be vaccinated will be able to receive it is a huge relief for many.
     All of this points to the approaching dawn, where we can once again labor together in the lodge. I can’t tell you how much I long for our dinners together, for our amazing degree work, and for the late night parking-lot conversations. I often think about the number of amazing Entered Apprentices and Fellowcrafts who have been waiting for their next degree. I vividly remember going through each degree and how excited I was at the prospect of receiving the next. Each and every one of our candidates have waited a time with patiences and I look forward to us all aiding them in taking that next step in their Masonic journey.
     With all of that being said, it’s important to remind ourselves now is the time to pick up those working tools and prepare them to be put back to use. I know Worshipful Jesse has many wonderful events ready for the moment the lodge reopens.
     We must prepare ourselves my brother, for when the time arrives there will be much work to be done and it can’t be done without you and your support.

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