|From the East
Wor. Tracy Reynolds
Adventures in the East
My Brothers, one of my mantra's, that You all well know, is that many hands make Light work. Along the way to the East, I met many Brothers who allowed me to share the world through their eyes. They experienced the history I could only read about in books. Many of these Brothers became good friends, as well as Brothers. As Brothers passed from this physical life to the spiritual life they had prepared for, I realized that the things that I learned from, and about, these Brothers may not be passed on to my newest Brethren. I thought a lot about how we could preserve the memories of our brothers in some way and pass them on to future generations.
I also realized that we all know of Brothers like I described above and each of us have stories about the Brothers we connected with. To this end, I am hoping that you will support the following proposal and set a personal expectation that you will share stories of your Brothers with the future.
Please think of a list of Brothers that you knew or still know. Once You have a list, please write up one of the stories that they shared with you, the lessons you learned from them, the experiences you had with them, what they were like, moments you shared, or whatever else you want to share with our year 2045 Brothers. You can send the stories in an email and I will print it out and get a picture of the Brother, and make sure it gets deposited in “The Chest”. If You'd like to keep what You write private, submit it to the Lodge mail slot to the right of the Lodge front door. Make sure to mark the envelope as follows: The name of the Brother your writing is about, your name and the Masonic Body that you represent. Seal the envelope.
Sealed envelopes will not be read, only deposited in the Chest along with pictures of the Brother. If You have any memorabilia from the Brother, that You'd like included, please tag it brother’s name and then deposit it with Your writing in the Lodge mail slot. Nothing perishable please. Videos will be an interesting challenge. If we have movies on a DVD, they might have a device that can read them.
There are many brothers that will think of the same people. That is fine. They will all be included. Pictures, stories, memorabilia, anything that You can think of to send to the future but please keep things the size of an envelope and flexible.
Please have everything submitted to the Lodge by September 12, 2020. If You want to deliver them to me, I will make sure that they get to the Lodge and in the Chest. Just call and let me know when we can meet to do a hand off. If You have any questions, please call or text me.
As always, the success of this, or any project, is dependent on your participation. I ask that You join me in keeping the memories we have of our Brothers alive into the next 25 years.
Food is something we all need. The past few weeks we’ve been fortunate to be on the receiving end of food items that were part of big distributions. We anticipate more of these food distributions and we will get the word of the events sent out as soon as we have a firm number of items. We do not intend to store these perishables but only serve to bring them to people who cannot make the events. Please let us know of your interest as soon as you become aware of the notification. We would like to receive the food and get it out the same day as it is received as we don’t have a place to store perishables nor should we be.
Masonic Outreach Services can help with many things like moving. Last weekend, a team was assembled to assist with moving a Consuelo Widow. Many hands, did indeed, make Light work. Thanks to our MOS representatives: Mike Singer, Worshipful Mike Sherman and Worshipful Tom Handell.
Shout outs to the following brothers in no particular order. We are hoping you are doing as well as possible under the current circumstances.
Brother Gordon Cargill, Worshipful Bill Allen, Brother Louis Flaherty-Happy Birthday! (August 5th) , Worshipful Mark Nielson, Brother Jesse Morris, Worshipful Tom Handell, Worshipful Chuck Canedy, Brother Vance Johnson, Worshipful Walt Dill, Brother Raphael (Rip) Pena, Worshipful Mike Sherman-Happy Birthday! (July 25th), Brother Danny Castro, Brother Daniel Proffitt, Brother Chris Lapeyrouse-Happy Birthday! (August 27th), Brother Chris Radcliffe-Happy Birthday! (August 8th), Brother Daniel Currie-Happy Birthday! (June 18th), Brother Robert Fattouch, Brother Jamie Johnson, Brother Roger Rameriz, Brother Marko Ribich, Brother John Weisgerber, Brother John Roach, Brother Jon Rick, Brother Francisco Ybarra, Brother Emilio Ampuan, Brother Brent Miller, Brother Julian Madril, Brother Bryce Wilson, Worshipful Ross Douglas, Worshipful Vic Beltran-Happy Birthday! (August 8th), Brother Alan Bliss, Brother Clyde Askren-Happy Birthday! ( July 8th), Brother John Boyle, Right Worshipful Randy Brill, Worshipful Mike Beyers-Happy Birthday! (August 28th), Brother Joshua Caldwell, Brother Guy Chandler, Brother Chris Clark, Most Worshipful John Coope-Happy Birthday (August 15th), Brother Greg Cross, B rother Matt Escalante, Johnathan Fabela-Happy Birthday! (August 15th, Brother Ali Farzad, Brother John Gravitt, Brother Bill Gregory, Brother John Harms, Brother Jim Heck, Brother Phil Herbert-Happy Birthday! (August 14th), Worshipful Les Hicks-Happy Birthday! (July 23rd), Worshipful Bill Karbosky, Brother Fareid Hussainy, Brother Matthew Jannusch, Brother Zoran Knezevic-Happy Birthday! (August 25th), Brother Bernard Larsen, Brother Christian Leon, Worshipful Jim Lewis, Brother Greg Lund-Happy Birthday! (August 4th), Shawn Proffitt, Daniel Proffitt, Worshipful Mike Sams, Worshipful Michael Sedio-Happy Birthday (July 18th), Brother Dave Shaffer, Worthy Patron/Brother Wissam Shhadeh, Brother Fred Nasseri, Worshipful Ed Mackerley, Brother Bob Maze, Brother Michael McCleary, Worshipful Dean Natwick, Brother Roy Norman, Brother Joel Owens, Brother Neil Parker, Brother Jimmy Parkhill, Brother Thomas Parks-Semper Fi!, Brother Stephen Pitts, Brother David Price, Brother Jerry Rose, Worshipful Stan Shoemaker-His Dad was my coach., Worshipful Bill Sinclair, Brother Ken St. Clair, Tim Thalmayer-Happy Birthday (July 12th) Thanks for all You do for Shelly!, Worshipful Richard Townsend, Worshipful Adam Turk, Brother Nathan Van Assen…
Whew…You are thought of more than words can say. Each of You have stories. Please share them with someone who will pass them to the future as part of our Lodge’s History. Stories that are happy, sad, funny and scary are all part of our history. 25 years from now, things will probably be a lot different, but we are living the days that our brothers in the future will read about in our letters.
|From the West
By Bro. Jesse Middleton
It’s been over one hundred days since we have last been able to sit together in Lodge and almost eight months since Installation. How awful does that seem? Suffering from cabin fever yet? Many of us have broken a few of the social distancing recommendations in order to socialize and fill that void of feeling normal. We can’t help it, humans are innately pack creatures. We are born into a social group, and for most, live within the confines of society interacting with those in our social groups on a daily basis. The groups mold who we are, what we think, and how we act. They help us to learn and grow. Now, imagine you are unable to meet face-to-face with your friends and family. Imagine a world where that has all been taken from you. For your own safety, few if any, people from the outside are able to visit you, console you when you’ve had a bad day, or enjoy a laugh together. This is the reality for a lot of people right now.
Studies have shown, face-to-face interactions actually have a positive effect on peoples overall health. The actual in person interaction releases chemicals within the body called Oxytocin and Dopamine. Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that lowers your cortisol levels. When you think of Cortisol, think of liquid stress flowing through your body. Everyone has it, but high levels are not good for you. Dopamine is a natural pain killer that is naturally produced within the body. Science has even proven that being social and interacting with people forces your memory to stay sharp and fights against neurodegenerative diseases. Those that socialize on a regular basis are also more prone to be happy and live a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately for some, now is a time where a lot of this is lacking in people’s lives. Due to health reason, social interactions have been restricted. So what can we do?
Pick up the phone! Studies have shown that a genuine call from a friend or family member can have a positive effect on your mood and overall health. The sound of a familiar voice hits the subconscious in a way that sets these neurotransmitters into flight, as long as the past memories are pleasant and the conversation is positive your body will be going through some chemical changes that really boost your mood and possibly your immune system. With today’s technology, if you are able to use some form of video conferencing, you are then engaging even more sensory circuits, strengthening that flood of neurotransmitters which in turn make one feel happier and in some studies less actual physical pain. The mind is an incredible tool, if you are able to switch a friends way of thinking to be more positive, if you are able to remind them of brighter days, or give them faith that this too shall pass, you will have altered someone chemical makeup leading to them having a better day and/or a better recovery from whatever ailments they may be suffering from.
Consider a care-package. Put together a few magazines and snacks that you know will intrigue the recipient. Small comforting items from their home, a sweet treat, and a kindly worded note can change a negative mood to a positive one in just the amount of time it takes to realize someone cares enough to put together a package for you. Sit outside their window, with permission of course, and engage them in a positive conversation. Give them hope that this will pass and that sooner than later, we will again be sitting in Lodge enjoying each other’s company.
Right now we are in a situation most of us have never been in. This is all new, uncharted territory. During these challenges, we need to remember all of our Brothers, especially those who are on restrictions because they are at a higher level of risk. It is during these times that we need to consider them even more. It is incumbent upon us to make sure we reach out and interact in some fashion with these Brothers. Times maybe tough on us, but they are even tougher on them, and the lack of social interaction may have lasting results. We do have some control over how our Brothers feel, but it takes us putting some plans into action. If you have some ideas that you would like to see put into play let us know. This is your lodge, and these are your Brothers. Together, we will make a difference. Start small and add on to lessons learned. Eventually, we could have a system set up that would take very little effort in assuring our Brothers at risk are feeling cared for in a manner that is respectable and dignified. As a Mason, this is the work you petitioned for. You knocked, and now this opportunity is presenting itself to you. If ever there was a time to learn about charity, the time is now, the moment is here. You just have to decide for yourself, will you do something or will you watch the rest of us raise our Brothers up?
|From the South
By Bro. Jeff Powell
We are now in the month of August, which is traditionally the month that the lodge is ‘dark’. We have already been dark for too long, and I really hope that our time of darkness ends soon and that we will meet in the light once again. Unfortunately, I am no longer as optimistic as I once was, that we regular meetings will happen any time soon. While we’re waiting with patience for the lockdowns to be lifted, I hope everyone is keeping busy and staying healthy.
I think everyone can agree, this year has been very strange. Sometimes I have the feeling that we’re all in a Twilight Zone episode, and at other times it seems like the biblical apocalypse is imminent. One thing is certain, this year will be one to remember. One of the many strange things occurring this year, was the removal of statues, which some people may find offensive. This is what I would like to focus my article on this month, which is the removal of statues, mainly the statue of Albert Pike which was toppled by angry protesters in Washington D.C. on June 19, 2020.
The reason why this particular statue is of interest to us, as most of you probably already know, is that Albert Pike was a Mason. Albert Pike was also a confederate general which is probably the only thing that most of the protesters knew about him, and wasn’t the reason why there was a statue of him. There are many articles, books, and other information online which contain details about who Albert Pike was, and what he did for Masonry, and I encourage you to do research on your own. I will however make a brief attempt to cover some of the highlights that I have found.
- 1809 - Albert Pike was born and grew up in Massachusetts.
- 1825 - Was accepted into Harvard, but couldn’t attend due to lack of funding. He instead became a school teacher.
- 1831 - Left Massachusetts
- 1834 - Married Mary Ann Hamilton - they ended up having a total of 11 children. Shortly after marriage, Albert Pike purchased a newspaper in Arkansas called “The Little Rock Arkansas Advocate”.
- 1846 - Was a Captain in the Mexican-American war.
- 1859 - Received an honorary Master Degree from Harvard.
- 1861 - Was a General for the South in the Civil War
- 1891 - Died from natural causes
None of these achievements, however, are distinguishing enough to warrant a statue. What distinguished Albert Pike, was what he had done for Masonry. Most notably, he became Commander of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite in 1859 and remained in that position until his death in 1891. Albert Pike was also an author, and wrote many books and poems. One of the is ‘Morals and Dogmas’, which, if you are a member of the Scottish Rite, you may probably already have a copy.
To learn the whole entire history of Albert Pike, I encourage you to visit the Albert Pike Museum at the House of the Temple in Washington DC, whenever you get a chance. In 1944, Albert Pike’s remains were moved to the House of the Temple.
Announcements and Reminders
iMember 2.0 - The new lodge App is here.
- Your digital dues card
- Private, social feed functionality that will replace the Lodge App
- Lodge locator for over 30 jurisdictions, including California
- Lodge calendars
- Masonic education
To be announced. Pending direction from Grand Lodge of California and government authorities (Local, State, and Federal).