From the East
by Wor. Tracy Reynolds
Adventures in the East
This year started out with a bang and has come to a screeching slow down. Not a stop. We are heeding instruction from our Grand Lodge. As quickly as we slowed, we will be cautious to not jump to action before making absolutely sure it is safe to do so.
Brethren, this a historic time in our Lodge's history, as well as our state, country and world. Many planned events have been canceled and some postponed with no definite reschedule date. Consuelo Officers and Brothers have always been extremely flexible when it comes to calendars as we know that success requires it. We tend to plan for the worst, hope for the best and, when the time comes, confront the reality of the situation and work with what we have. We are Masons. We are known to be hard workers, as well as problem solvers. We trust in God and rely on the truth of fact as our foundation for building solutions. We look past emotion to focus on the important work to be done. Not to say, we do not feel. We do. However, we cannot let it rule our actions. I know that these truths are self-evident, but I remind myself of them every minute of every hour of every day. I propose that we use a service called Zoom to conduct Executive Committee meetings. These meetings will be held only to vote on paying essential bills.
Eastern Star held a fun Zoom meeting which was well attended. Many wore funny outfits and it was hard to tell who some of the attendees were. Worthy Matron, Esperanza and Worthy Patron and Brother Wissam presided. Eastern Star is a really fun group even during this time of social distancing.
On another note...Job's Daughters safely Flocked the Parkers! This shows that no one is beyond the reach of these diabolically, fun and safe efforts! Below is the proof! Yes, that is Roger Parker we all know and love reacting to the friendly prank skillfully executed by his Wife, Phyllis Parker and his Daughters, Ashley and Kaity Parker. If you know of a Brother you'd like to give "special attention" to, this is a great way to do it! Contact Phyllis if you know a Brother deserving of a good Flocking: 1-858-213-6702 (her number is provided here with Her permission).
Our concordant bodies will feel the effects of these troubling times. Please keep them in our thoughts and prayers?
My Brothers, the Treasure Hunt has been revamped to provide clues that can be found within the clues only. They do not require searching for emblems hidden within the building, but are more a search of the mind and heart. Special Thanks to Brothers Daniel Castor and Rip Pena for your encouragement. And very special thanks to Brother Julian Madril for powering through and making the Trestleboard, a very important communication vessel, up to date and viewable on many different platforms. Thanks, my Brothers!
Clues for Treasure Hunt
Within these words resides the first clue. A place of darkness lit by the first light of knowledge. Experiencing a peace, at first not known, then sparked. As each first piece disregards what follows, obstinance is rejected and a pattern is revealed. Perhaps 1 will exclude the speaker,space,icon and only show the focus: 4:6; 2:5; 1:2; 3:7; 2:5;2:9; 3:7
Hint: Only first occurring letters. If You are hung up on one, try the next.
Within these words resides the second clue. Perhaps 2 will obligate the uninitiated to a lifelong adventure to follow a path that starts with himself. Though this path starts there, it leads to only 3 pieces: 1:6; 1:1; 2:12;
Hint: Remember what You have learned.
Within these words resides the third clue. 3 is a significant number for many reasons. The 3 pillars are denoted W, S and B. : W:5; B:3; S:4
Hint: Remember what You have learned.
Within these words resides the fourth clue. North, South, East and West are what we use to navigate our physical space. Within the constraints of this written realm, space is not a consideration. : 2:5; 1:14; 1:3; 1:27; 1:14
Important clue: Every 2 months, starting with January's clue, you should end up with 2 words. The sum total of the words in November should add up to words that make up a Masonic phrase that every Mason will be familiar with.
Good Luck and Have fun! More to follow.
|From the West
By Bro. Jesse Middleton
Have Faith in Your Guide
My Brothers what a time to be alive! As we are asked to “shelter in place,” life can be become dark and daunting. Many of us are uncertain what the future holds for us socially and financially. While it may seem the times are gloomy and unprecedented, I see nothing but opportunity and development. The chances to reach out and truly help someone who really needs it are abundant. Mason’s have always been trailblazers, and those that truly excel, go above and beyond when the world is in need. During these times, people can become quite cruel when they are scared and feel they have limited options. Many times, when people are in difficult situations and emotionally in a condition they have never been in before they can become very depressed, angry, and irrational. But, the Mason should fear not, look to the east, and follow your guide.
What an interesting term, “Follow your guide.” During these times of confusion and uncertainty, or as I referred to it last month as the rough and rugged road, we must remember our obligations and the duty we owe to our society. When it feels like you are lost or can’t go on anymore, follow your guide. Who or what is your guide? Is it God? Is it your conscience that tells you right from wrong? Some are inclined to believe they have a Guardian Angel that watches over them to ensure they are safe and following the path correctly. Whatever your guide may be, have faith and be confident that you are able to reach out in these times and follow your guide.
Faith is a funny thing. Faith defies all logic and goes against the analytical mind of man. But, within the Mason, there is place in the deepest recesses where he holds faith like no other. He has faith in his Brothers who took the same obligations. He has faith in himself, that he is capable of great things when he applies prayer and the cardinal virtues. Most of all, the Mason knows that when the storm becomes unbearable or the burden to bear has become too heavy, his faith in his guide will see him through the toughest of times.
Sir Francis Bacon said, “In order for the light to shine brightly, the darkness must also be present.” Friedrich Nietzsch, in a less articulate way stated, “Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through our life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been.” Both quotes show that it is the tough situations that afford us the opportunity to be our best self. Remember that nothing is permanent. These times have not come to stay, they have come to pass. Have faith, be strong, and continue to follow your guide. Your guide will take you over a very rough and rugged road at some point in life, but without friction and some force, the rough ashlar will never become smooth and perfect. Don’t fear the tough times, pray for the fortitude and understanding to get through the hard time.
On a daily basis, consider your role with every person you come in contact with. How did you influence them? Did you leave them feeling better than when you said hello? We as Masons are a family bound by a very strong tie. When the time comes show compassion for your Brother who is struggling. Help him find his guide, and be the Brother carrying the light that shines upon the path for him to find his way back. There is strength in numbers, and our fraternity has experienced many hardships throughout its history. Learn from past experiences and encourage each other to continue that search for light when the environment outside seems dark and desperate.
As we currently navigate these current circumstances, take the time to be still and listen to your guide. Make time to retreat from the constant bombardment of negative information and confusion of the outside world, and look within. It is when you take this time to breathe and pray that your guide will give you the answers you need to make the best of any situation.
|From the South
By Bro. Jeff Powell
As we go through and endure this current pandemic, I hope everyone is staying well, both physically and mentally. As Masons, we have learned and know how to wait a time with patience, but that isn’t always easy. At this point in time, regarding the virus, there are more unknowns then knowns. As a result, we definitely have more questions than answers. To add to the uncertainty, the guidance, laws, and rules seem to keep changing on a daily basis, and nobody really knows for certain how long this pandemic will last.
All of us are affected by the stay at home orders in a variety of different ways. Some of us have essential jobs and are still required to show up for work each day, some of us are now working from home, others may have been furloughed, or laid off, and others may have businesses which may be encountering problems. Some of us have children that are now being home-schooled. Some of us are more vulnerable to becoming ill than others.
When I first found out that I was going to be working from home, I thought it was a great opportunity. I could finally get caught up on all of the things I was behind on, and spend time with my family. Unfortunately, as I quickly found out, things don’t always turn out how I expect them to. Working from home, presents a new set of challenges for me. There are many distractions which do not occur at the office, and I find myself continuously going nuts over the latest news broadcasts and updates. I, however, believe that I am one of the lucky ones.
For me, the highlights of this quarantine have definitely been spending more time with my family, but also the masonic participation I have enjoyed, even though it is limited. I have participated in a phone tree and have reached out to several brothers, some of whom I have never met in person. I also have enjoyed contacting and meeting with some brothers using online video conferencing.
We, as Masons, are usually extremely busy. If your journey is like mine, there are typically many events to choose from most nights of the week. With these events being temporarily postponed, many brothers are likely finding themselves with a lot of free time while stuck in their house. To mention a few, my suggestions are to stay plugged in and connected to masonry as much as possible by going over ritual, reaching out to other brothers on the phone, or reading masonic books. Also, don’t forget about the rule and guide of our faith, the Holy Bible, which contains many inspirational passages to help cope during difficult times.
Whatever the situation, there is comfort in knowing that all of us are going through this bizarre period together. We are always there to assist each other, like Masons have been doing for a very long time. If any brother needs any assistance, in any way, please reach out. Contacting the lodge pillars are a good place to start, but I’m sure that any brother would be willing to assist another brother during this time of need, for any reason.
One last thing, our youth groups are meeting regularly online with virtual meetings. Since everyone is now at home during the evenings, I look forward to seeing you all at these virtual youth meetings. Please contact myself, or one of the other youth leaders for details.
Thank you, and stay safe!
Announcements and Reminders
A committee of Brothers is reaching out by phone to every Consuelo Lodge member. They will try to call a couple of times and then try email. Please let them know if you are OK or if you are in need in some way, we might be able to help. In addition, some help may be available from Masonic Outreach Services if you live in California.
Uncertain Times Strengthen Our Obligation
The recent COVID-19 outbreak has upended life as we know it, and like the rest of the state, California Masons are now confronting the challenge of living in a world on lockdown. Some of our members have lost their jobs and are having trouble affording even the essentials. If you know members of [our] lodge [or any other lodge] who have been affected by COVID-19, please learn more about the Distressed Worthy Brother Fund, which can help.
This relief program, administered by Masonic Outreach Services, is just a phone call away, at (888) 466-3642, or visit the website here.
The Relief Fund is made possible by the generosity of our fraternity—and of the generations that came before us. Please donate if you have the means. It could mean the difference between a fellow member affording rent, groceries, or other urgent supplies. Donate here.
COVID-19 Information and Resources
If you would like to learn about the Coronavirus and COVID-19, visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, California Department of Public Health or your local health authority.
- To be determined.
Moved to online meetings. Please reach out to their representatives directly for more information.
To be announced. Pending direction from Grand Lodge of California and government authorities (Local, State, and Federal).