Tidings from the East
Happy New Year, Brethren! I hope and trust that all had a joyous and safe holiday season. Many people make New Year’s resolutions at this time of year, many of which are made only to be broken or abandoned. I prefer to think in terms of three other words that begin with the “R”, (Resolve, Resolute and Resolution); Resolve (determined, fixity of purpose) and Resolute (marked by firm resolution), Resolution (firmness of resolve). So now it is that we enter into a masonic new year, filled with prospect, promise and purpose. I have been giving these terms of prospect, promise and purpose some thought over the past couple weeks in consideration of developing a theme for this Masonic Year. The one that I have decided on, which I believe conveys prospect, promise and purpose is “Laboring Together For Our Progress and Joy In Freemasonry”. As I see it, this is to be the role of Unity Lodge No. 18 leadership in 2015. One particularly striking phrase is found in Paul’s letter to the Philippians where Paul writes, “I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith” (1:26b, ESV). This passage reminds us of an important truth: Progressing in the Light by which Mason’s work and increasing in joy in our Labor or not mutually exclusive. Your lodge leaders are for you. When we are doing our job right, we have your and that of Freemasonry best interests in mind that which will make you both pleased and proud to receive your wages as a Mason. However, as much as your Lodge leaders are for you they also need you. So, let us join together in 2015 in being resolved and resolute in our goal to make Masonic Year 2015 at Unity Lodge Number 18, one of her best years ever. I ask, that you wait a time with patience for results and benefits, brothers. Too often, we find a man elected as Worshipful Master of his lodge who has had very little and sometimes no training to prepare him for that office. I would guess that in a majority of our lodges, there is no program of training to prepare the officers for the post of Master of the Lodge, except in the practice of the ritual, if ever. What is lodge leadership? It is the ability to produce unified lodge action toward an objective by the effective use and cooperation of its members and officers. One of the principal responsibilities of the Masters of lodges, is training those who will follow. We must insist that “going through the chairs” does not mean marking time, but does mean a time in which junior officers are being trained. The end result of a system of line officers must be a Worshipful Master conversant with all phases of lodge management. The line officers should be assigned new duties and responsibilities each year, so that when the individual assumes the Oriental Chair, he will be fully qualified and capable of carrying out his responsibilities of leading, teaching and encouraging his subordinates. The best measure of the success of Master is not that of his year in the East. The real effectiveness of the Master cannot be measured until six years after his term of office. It is in those next six years that men he helped train will have put their lessons into practice. In the interest of putting first things first, a word to the Wardens. We Masons are taught that when there are no designs on the trestle board, there is confusion in the temple. Therefore, the Wardens must study hard. They must plan ahead so they will be prepared to carry out the duty of the Master, which is to lead: or put another way, “To set the Craft at work and give them the necessary instruction whereby they may pursue their labors”. Now, let me update you on some progress that has already been made in looking toward MY 2015. The Budget and Finance Committees met on 17 Dec 2014 and developed a Lodge Budget for MY 2015. Budgeting is necessary to attain desired goals and to keep planning within the realm of reality, to ensure that funding will be available for programs and activities. The proposed Budget for Unity Lodge Number 18 will be presented for voting upon by the membership at the Regularly Scheduled Business Meeting on January 7, 2015. Lastly, let me elaborate on the reasons for a comment of constructive criticism that was offered by one of our esteemed Past Masters at our Lodge last meeting. In his appreciated, he commented on the fact that “We are getting lax” in our attire while attending Lodge. We all know that proper decorum is required of us while attending Lodge and the reason for it. But how many of us, living in today’s society with its more relaxed standards of dress, know that there is an expected standard of dress while attending Lodge and the reason for it? The historical traditions of Freemasonry dictate that our meetings and ritual be performed in a formal dignified manner. We should each ask ourselves, before we leave the house or work to attend Lodge the question, Am I upholding this standard of excellence or does my manner of dress reflect the standards of less formal clubs or organizations? We should look like a distinguished group of brothers. This is particularly the case of the lodge officers. A casual and unkempt appearance will result in casual and sloppy leadership and ritual. Remember the message we wish to communicate to the membership is one of leadership and competence. The sideliners will appreciate that look and feel of a distinguished corps of officers and respond accordingly. To all concerned whether officer or member in attendance, I’m not suggesting that you be the best dressed in the Lodge room but that you should wear your best.
F. L. “Jim” Lee, Jr.
From the Secretary's Desk
Dues are now due and can be sent to our P. O. Box. 2015 Dues are $75.00 and are due by January 1st. If you have paid your dues for 2015, your dues card is enclosed, if you have not, a statement is enclosed.
Mailing Address: PO Box 9295 Ogden, UT 84409
When sending in your payment, please enclose the bottom half of the statement and include any updated information about yourself, address, phone number, email address, etc. I know that the statement states a stamped envelope is enclosed. I do not send these as many bring their dues to me at lodge. I appreciate you understanding.
Have a Blessed and Wonderful Holiday Season!
David W. Barron