From the East
Worshipful Jesse Middleton
My Brother’s by the time you receive this Trestleboard edition, August will be over half spent. These last two months have been very busy in the Lodge, and outside with Masonic events. For those that are interested, I trust you have had the capacity to join at least one of the events Consuelo #325 has had to offer. Whether it’s been a degree, Coffee & Donuts, Consuelo at Refreshment, Fire Side Chats, the Pancake Breakfast, or our visit to the combined East San Diego Masonic Lodge # 561/ San Diego #35 Lodges for a BBQ and to donate blood. I would find it easy to defend there has been something for everyone this month.
On Monday August 2nd, Consuelo Lodge was finally able to present its first third degree in almost three years. Bro. Julian Madril has been sitting as the Junior Steward, awaiting his third degree. For complete transparency, the degree was postponed twice, because the Brothers wanted to provide Bro. Julian the best possible degree. After weeks of practice, the team was able to successfully raise Bro. Julian to the sublime degree of Master Mason. The attendance for the degree was above average, and many stayed for the BBQ dinner provided afterwards. Personally, it was an honor to raise Bro. Julian. This man displays in all his actions what it means to be a Freemason. He has shown temperance, fortitude when he’s needed to, and is always striving to do the right thing no matter the cost. On Monday, September 13th, everyone that is able to make the Stated Meeting is expected to be in the Lodge room for Bro. Julian’s official installation into the Junior Steward’s chair.
On August 8th, Consuelo held a Pancake Breakfast for prospects that had inquired about more Masonic information. There were numerous prospects that showed up as well as a Brother from another lodge looking to affiliate. While I am not convinced this event was as successful as I had wished it to be, I believe there were lessons learned on our part, and in the future, we could put on a more improved event. As always, I am looking for the perspective of others within the Lodge that attended. I will also be reaching out to the prospects to see if their expectations were met, and what their take on the event was.
August 14th was an early Saturday morning start for a double-second degree for Bro. Roger Ramirez and Bro. Emilio Empuan. Both Brothers were passed to the degree of Fellowcraft. Bro. Roger had given his proficiency back almost two years ago, when we were able to pass him to the degree of Fellowcraft. Both he and Bro. Empuan received well presented degrees that were attended by two visitors one from East San Diego Lodge #561, and the other from Unity Lodge # 632 (More on this below). Prior to the degree, as something new that I have started, Bro. Roger wrote and read a paper regarding the “Three Lesser Lights.” (More on this below as well) Unfortunately, I missed that presentation, but I was afforded the opportunity to read the paper, and it did not disappoint. Bro. Emilio is one of our most dedicated candidates, whenever there is work to be done he is always there and he brings his own music! He’s always the first to visit a Brother in need, and always there to show true “Charity.” The next time you see either Brother, please be sure to congratulate them on their Masonic journey.
Going forward through the second half of the month, since Consuelo has had such great interactions recently with other Lodges in San Diego County, on August 18th, (Wednesday) at 7:00 o’clock PM, Consuelo Lodge will be visiting Unity Lodge #632 as they will be presenting a first degree for their newest candidate. This will become a reoccurring theme as the year dwindles down, and I hope it continues on. Being able to go down to East San Diego Lodge # 561 on August 8th and meeting new Brothers who were so open to sharing how they conducted business and their ideas, it was contagious. So why wouldn’t Consuelo want to start visiting other Lodges again and spread that cement of brotherly love? This will take the August meeting of Consuelo at Refreshment out of the lineup, but it will be back for September! After hearing from both prospects and Brothers, I see this becoming a staple of Consuelo’s culture as Bro. Jon continues to lead this relaxing night out. There will be no Fireside Chats this month, the practice for the second degree took precedence over the first chat for the month, and I will be gone for the second so I will postpone until September. In September, for those interested in the Esoteric chats, please mark your calendars for Friday, September 10th and 24th , both at 7 o’clock PM.
On Saturday, September 25th, I am still coordinating a Masonic education day. Currently I have five different presentations, and I look forward to more to come. Depending on how many presentations are presented will establish how intricate this event is. With just five, I might just tie it in with a Coffee and Donuts. If we were to get further interest in putting together presentations, maybe a lunch would be available along with other opportunities. Either way, I would like to see more participation out of our Lodge as we will be hosting. Each presentation should be 15 – 20 minutes, please expect there to be questions regarding your presentation. PowerPoint slides are recommended, but not a necessity. If you accept the challenge, and choose to improve yourself by teaching others, please email me at [email protected] to confirm your spot.
Lastly, something new happening at Stated Meetings, which I hope you all enjoyed was the paper presented by Bro. Rip and Bro. Ramirez. As each candidate completes their proficiency, they will be asked to in turn prepare a paper on a theme specified by the Master. Within the theme, the candidate will explain what the lesson was to be learned, and how it has affected the candidate as a man. Remember, there is no right or wrong answer as these paper’s are a reflective paper, completed by the candidate as he reflects back on what he has been taught by us, and how he has been able to apply those lessons. From all I have heard this week, both Brothers this past Monday exceeded expectations. While talking with Bro. Roger this weekend, he said he valued the opportunity for many reasons such as giving him the opportunity to improve his public speaking and addressing his Brothers, and also that it caused him to open up and share his thoughts on the craft and his journey so far.
As we begin our push into September, I expect things will get busier. There is an expectation of a First Degree in September, details on that are being finalized. I believe there is also talk of a Warden’s picnic! Qualifications are underway for those looking to continue through the line of officers. A Past Master’s Night/ Degree is also in the works. Soon it will be October, which is the month of Grand Communications, soon followed by our elections in November, and then we hit cruise control into December where there will be a Christmas Party this year, so stay tuned for that. I thank you all for your hard work and dedication to each other. Please, take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Stay safe and always be an upright Mason.
From the West
Bro. Jeff Powell
The educational topic from the West this month is The Grand Lodge website at https://freemason.org. This website contains a lot of information, and has been a valuable resource for me during my Masonic journey. I’m sure probably everyone is familiar with at least parts of the website, but I’d like to share some of the resources on there that I have found the most useful.
The main public facing portion of the site explains what we do, and is what I would describe as and excellent place to direct an interested prospect so that they may find out more about becoming a Mason. Also, there is a link on the main page for those wishing to donate money, for instance, to the Masonic Homes, Masons 4 Mitts, or the ‘Let’s Write The Future’ initiative. There’s also links for Masonic Education, and all of the upcoming events. I recommend periodically checking these links to make sure that you are always caught up with the latest information.
All of the information on the public portion of the website is great, but there is also a member portion of the site which contains a ton of information. If you haven’t logged in to the site in a while, I encourage you to take some time to peruse the content and become familiar with everything that is on there.
The first thing in the member area that I would like to discuss is the Consuelo Feed. This is the replacement for the lodge phone app that we had a few years ago which ended up being a popular way for brothers to share information and participate in discussions. In looking at the feed today, it is being updated with official activities, so it’s definitely a good way to stay up to date on what’s happening in the lodge. I would like to see more brothers posting things on there. One thing that I recently did, is copied the link to the feed onto the home screen of my phone. That way I will get into the habit of checking it more often.
Another cool thing in the members only area, is the Virtual Dues Card. Gone are the embarrassing days where you show up to visit a lodge and aren’t able to get in because you left your dues card at home.
There is also a ‘Members’ area, where a member can look up another member and obtain their contact information.
Aside from these valuable resources, I find myself spending a lot of time in the Resource section. There is too much information contained in this section to cover in the article, so again, make sure you take the time to peruse this website. Did you know there is a lodge manual? How about recorded music, and slides to accompany degrees? All this and much more can be found, and I see something new and different every time I visit the site. This is also where a brother can find the latest revision of the California Masonic Code, which is itself an invaluable resource for answering many questions.
From the South
Bro. Jon Gary Rick
Brothers, I hope this message finds you all happy and healthy! Over the last few weeks, our lodge has been teeming with tremendous activity. We’ve had wonderful Stated Dinners provided by our Eastern Star Chapter, well-attended Stated Meetings with excellent Masonic Education, a pancake breakfast with new prospects, our first Consuelo at Refreshment event held at O’Sullivans, a number of degree rehearsals, and last but not least – we’ve conferred three degrees (Congrats Brothers Madril, Ramirez, and Ampuan on your recent preferment!)
As I look back upon all that we’ve accomplished over the short time period since we’ve been able to reopen the lodge, there is a common thread woven throughout – the wonderful fellowship that has been had during each and every event. At each gathering, I am reminded time and time again of the joy I receive from my brothers’ company and how important it is to my overall happiness. Humans by nature are social creatures and we flourish when we socialize with one another.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to join us recently – fear not! We have many more events on the horizon. Our next Consuelo at Refreshment was planned to be held at Dicicco’s on the 18th of this month, however, we’re calling a slight audible and Consuelo will be spreading fellowship by traveling to Unity Lodge #632 for a visit as they initiate a new brother into our ancient and honorable craft. After the conclusion of the degree, we will be stopping to rest and refresh ourselves at a local pub before making our journey home. If you are interested in joining us, please reach out so we can coordinate! Our planned visit to Dicicco’s will be rescheduled to September. In addition, we have more degrees tentatively scheduled for the end of this month for two worthy Brothers – please keep an eye out for the final details as they’re published.
Finally, RSVPs for our Stated Dinner for the month of September is also up and available on our website and can be found by visiting: www.consuelo325.org/dinner Please try and have your reservations made no later than Friday, September 10th to allow for ample time for the needed preparations to be made.
I very much hope to see you at one of the many events we have coming up and should you need any assistance in getting to or from any activity or event please reach out!