Tidings from the West
And so it begins, a new Masonic year for Unity Lodge No. 18 and an opportunity to improve ourselves through and in Masonry.
First, I would like to voice my appreciation for the confidence that you, the members of Unity Lodge No. 18, have shown in me by electing me to serve as your Senior Warden for the ensuing Masonic year. I realize that I have not yet arrived. There is much ritual to be learned, as well as, for me to know and understand my duties as Senior Warden. Secondly, I would like to say that I am excited about the possibilities that lay before us in 2014.
Speaking of goals, while New Years’ resolutions can be worthwhile when they are kept to fruition, but are not meant to substitute for goals, good planning and execution of those plans. Planning has already begun, here in 2012 with the drafting of a budget for the ensuing Masonic year and with newly elected officers learning there places and duties within the lodge, and preparation and practice for degree work already in progress. This is just me speaking, but with aspirations in 2014 for our Lodge to become the best that it has ever been, and without being presumptuous, I would like to mention just a few goals that I believe will help us in this endeavor. As in any endeavor, we must establish goals, but goals which can be realistically and logically achievable. Here are a few goals which I consider attainable and would like to see us work towards in 2014:
1. Increase in attendance at our meetings (How good it is for brethren to dwell together unity.) (Attendance has been good but can be better)
2. Better ritualistic work (Work has been good but can always be improved upon)
3. A good and beneficial program of Masonic Education
4. Close attention to visiting brethren (he/they do not have to find himself/themselves among strangers when all present are his/their brothers)
5. Close attention to candidates (they are important to us and the Lodge)
6. Better demonstration of our care and concern for the widows and orphans
I see the goals listed as priorities. Achieving them begins with each of us. There are of course other worthy goals that I could have added to this list, but these are ones that come to mind, presently, and I hope to offer others at a later time, for your consideration.
Lastly, one of the duties of the Senior Warden is to pay Mason’s wages, but what are those wages? Masonic wages of “corn, wine and oil” are known to be only symbolic, so what are the wages of a Mason? Are they tangible or intangible? Perhaps reflecting on the words of Benjamin Franklin will help us to understand better, realizing that many Masons have their own interpretations of the various symbols in and how the Masonic teachings relate to day-to-day living, both outside and in the Lodge.
Benjamin Franklin, Grand Master of Pennsylvania in 1760, wrote:
WAGES of a Mason
“Masonic labor is purely a labor of love. He who seeks to draw Masonic wages in gold and silver will be disappointed. The wages of a Mason are earned and paid in their dealings with one another. Sympathy begets sympathy, kindness begets kindness, helpfulness begets helpfulness.` And these are the wages of a Mason.”
So, in Masonic Year 2014, I entreat each of you to labor with me and the others Officers and members of Unity Lodge No. 18, and to show sympathy when nothing else will sooth an aching heart or broken spirit, kindness in speech and deed as civility and genteelness requires, helpfulness as needed and brotherly love, at all times.
Let us all agree with each other to work and serve together as we seek more light in Free Masonry, together in 2014!
F. L. “Jim” Lee, Jr.