I live in Tennessee and a several months ago I had the privilege to visit a lodge in Missouri. I am from Missouri and still go there quite often to visit family and friends.
I was really happy the day that my brother ask me about Masonry. I let him lead and just answered questions, trying to contain my excitement. After a few visits and discussions I thought that he would make a great Mason. I contacted the local lodge and set up a meeting.
The guys at the Shekinahlodge 256 in Crystal City, Missouri were very hospitable. We sat down very casually and chatted for a while. They have a great library and a beautiful lodge room, very ornate.
We got a petition, filled it out and turned it in right there. I went back to Tennessee and waited, impatiently, for the process to unfold. A few weeks went by and the Master of the lodge emailed me and told me that he had been voted in. The feeling I had was indescribable. My older brother following in my footsteps and in Masonry at that. Awesome!!!
Anyway, after several emails back and forth with the Master, I was able to arrange a trip to be present at my favorite degree, the Fellowcraft, of my brother's. When we got there and started lodge, I notice several differences in the order of things and wording, though it all meant the same thing.
They had two brothers going through that night. They asked my if I wanted to be a part of my brother's degree, and without hesitation I said yes. Then I got a little nervous as to the differences in wording and other things. I was Senior Deacon in my lodge, but there is no way I could have done it there. So they said I could be a Steward. They let my brother go second, that way I could just watch the first and get a feel for the differences.
Needless to say, with some help from the other Steward, I made it through. When my brother was brought to Light and saw me standing behind the Master, I could see his excitement as I'm sure he saw mine. He had no clue until that point that I would be participating in the degree.
Well, after it was all over, they asked me to stand up and say a few words. I thanked them all and told them that it was such an honor to participate. I also told them about the differences from Tennessee to Missouri, I shared some of our Catechism with them to show how even with differences in wording, the meaning was still the same.
Needless to say, it was an awesome visit and I plan on going there when I go to Missouri to visit my friends and family. Of course, those guys are my family as well, and they treated me as such from the very beginning. Please go visit a lodge if you can.
Here is an article I saw on the web, please read it.
Corinthian Lodge claims the great traveling sword of Faribault
In my continuing quest to help out Masters and other lodge officers in coming up with great ideas, I will discuss yet another important task that we took at Corinthian Lodge No. 67 during my year as Master. One project that we took upon ourselves was to meet other lodges throughout our area. The reason is that as Master Masons, we are encouraged to travel as much as possible to different lodges.
Traveling is an essential part of being a Mason. I was told by my grandpa, who was a railroad man, that during the end of the 19th and the start of the 20th centuries, railroad men would meet brothers whenever the crew would come into town, even if the lodge was not meeting on that day. The tracks were a fraternal lifeline connecting brothers from the beginning of their trip to the end. That's why many lodges were built near a railway station, as a welcoming spot for visiting brethren.
During my year in the East, we traveled to many different lodges. We didn't just limit ourselves to only the district but attempted to travel to as many different lodges as we had time for. You see, Minnesota is blessed to have many different types of lodges. We have a Traditional Observance lodge (Saint Paul Three), a British-style Lodge (Sir Winston Churchill Lodge No. 351), and a moon lodge (Accacia Lodge No. 51) just to name a few.
Traveling is a right, a couched right to be sure, but a right nonetheless. Traveling gains you new perspectives, new friends, and a new feeling of Masonic spirit. Before I took the East, we, as a lodge, rarely left Farmington. Farmington was home but sometimes, you gotta branch out and experience the wider world. And that's what we did.
Traveling has added benefits for a lodge. When you travel to a lodge, you become a representative of your lodge. If you represent your lodge well, you can create a connection, a bond with the lodge you visit. When we traveled to other lodges, invariably, we would get one or two guys to travel back to our lodge. As we traveled and shared ideas, we started something more. Lodges worked together on projects, success stories were shared, and we all became better men.
Have you traveled lately? Does your lodge have a travel schedule? What are your experiences in traveling as a lodge? Leave a comment.
Thanks for the article Millenial Freemason