2013 Plano Blood Drive

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Oct 142012
 

This Fall’s Plano Masonic Lodge Blood Drive will take place Saturday, October 26th between 9am and 3pm.

The Blood Drive support the Scottish Rite Hospital for Children by providing credits for the blood bank needs. This supports the children and the hospital directly. Giving blood helps everyone.

 

By the Plumb

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Oct 132012
 

There has been several updates to our extra-curricular activities over the past month to report. First, our Fall Festive Board has been tentatively moved to Saturday, December 1st. (no longer Oct 12th).

TMRC fundraiser & picnic is Saturday October 20th, 10am – 4pm. A group will be leaving from lodge early to setup our tent. Contact PM Clay Smith or WM Kevin Main for details on caravanning.

We will be having our Widow’s Honor Night November 8th starting at 5:30pm. We need some volunteers to help that evening. Please let Brother Larry know if you can help chauffeur or
otherwise are able to help. Dress up for this evening too.

Thank you & see you Thursday,
Brian Chaput

From the West – October 2012

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Oct 132012
 

We have been seeing an increase in interest in petitioning for the degrees in our Lodge which is a good thing. As part of the petition process the Grand Lodge requires that we perform an investigation of the candidate before balloting on his petition. The investigation serves several purposes; it allows the investigation team to form personal face to face impressions of the candidate, it provides an opportunity for follow up questions to clarify answers to the petition, and it allows the petitioner and his family, if applicable, to ask questions of the investigation team. We owe it to the petitioner and to Masonry in general to perform a thorough and fair investigation. To that end, I would like to make the following points:

Each signer of a petition, recommender and reference, should be contacted by each member of the investigating team. It is also important to verify that the signers are regular master masons. I’m aware of instances where petitions have been signed by clandestine masons, EAs, and suspended masons.

Also remember that the petitions are confidential and should not be discussed in detail with non-investigators and the petitions should be given to the Secretary in person or in a sealed envelope. Again, this is to protect the petitioner and masonry in general.

We should give the petitioner a chance to involve his family in the investigation if he desires. We know that he is interested since he has submitted a petition, but his family may have reservations that we could address and gain a candidate with the support of his family.

Fraternally,
Bill Goodell

From the East – October 2012

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Oct 132012
 

Freemasons often refer to the experience of receiving the degree of Entered Apprentice as being “initiated” with perhaps little care or thought for what that word implies. In exploring human history, we find that “initiation” often signifies a specific moment in which someone becomes a recognized part of a group. This commonly requires a ceremony or ritual that may or may not be held privately or secretly, and may be accompanied by one or more tests or trials. In extreme examples, these trials can even involve life-threatening, and occasionally fatal, situations. Once accepted and passed, the shared experience of these trails permanently cements the bond between the group and the new initiate.

Additionally, we find that “initiation” can designate an event which marks a significant change or transformation of the candidate. As an example, in many cultural or spiritual traditions, older boys might be initiated into manhood. This can involve secret ceremonies in which the initiate is provided some of the traditions or stories illustrating the ideals and archetypes of manhood within the tradition.  In other cases, as with the Bar Mitzvah practiced within Judaism, it might be a public recognition by the community that a boy has earned the privileges and responsibilities that come with his transition into manhood. In any case, the ceremony of initiation leaves the candidate forever changed. There is no stepping back into the place from which he came.

Finally, we can consider the word itself, “to initiate”, as a reference to something that is newly started or undertaken. In this context, initiation marks the beginning of something which transcends one particular moment or event. It leads the initiate into a journey, which he must begin to follow for himself. The candidate is literally set upon a path, the way is shown, and any ensuing challenges or difficulties willing  accepted. This is the moment that Frodo accepts the “one ring” from his uncle Bilbo and leaves the Shire with his friends, or when Luke Skywalker accepts his father’s light saber from Obi-wan Kenobi and seeks to learn the ways of the Jedi. Of course, as the stories of great heroes often teach us, the initiate seldom knows where the path will lead him and how it will change him in the process.

It is easy to see that initiation into Freemasonry utilizes all of these important facets when we confer an Entered Apprentice degree. The candidate is united to his new Brethren by his share in that experience, and we formally recognize him in his new status as a Freemason. We share our legends and stories with him so as to impress upon his mind the ideals and lessons of the Fraternity. And finally, if we have done our job well, the candidate is forever changed. If he is open to this process, the new Apprentice is set upon a journey toward self-knowledge, new challenges and discoveries, and the substantial labor of self-improvement. Amid all of the joyful wages Masons earn and  experience in practicing the tenets of our Order, let us never forget that it is a most solemn duty to take men who already know within their hearts that they are part of our Fraternity, to initiate them into our peculiar Mysteries, and, through that process, to show them the Light they already have within themselves.

Fraternally,
Kevin Main

By the Plumb – August 2012

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Aug 062012
 

Brethren,

Calendar of extra-curricular events occurring for Plano Lodge:

  • Fall Festive Board – Friday, October 12th. Details will be forth-coming.
  • Thursday, December 27th – Saint John the Evangelist Feast day.
    • We’ll plan a couples night out. Please let me know if you think you’d like to attend so I can secure an appropriate-sized room. It will be in or near Plano.
    • We are working to keep costs low, but expectations high.
  • Thursday, February 14th – Valentine’s Day – Dark. No excuses! Plan ahead.
  • Spring Festive Board – Saturday, March 2nd.
  • Spring Picnic – Saturday, May 4th.
    • We are hoping to have a picnic with East Fork Lodge. They will confirm in the next few days.
    • Planning for lunch, games & activities.
    • We might challenge each other for softball or volleyball.
    • Chili cook-off will be on order.
    • We’ll have a bounce house, slide or obstacle course for the kids, at least.
    • – Bob Woodruff Park, North Pavilion.

Don’t forget:

  1. Thursdays, 5:30pm practice floor work or degree parts as needed. Just ask.
  2. Meditations

Also, Thursday August 9th, we will meet downstairs in the Museum at 5pm (or when you can get there). We plan to discuss the Museum & Library planning activities for the upcoming grant’s fiscal year. We have a lot of projects and activities to address and we could use volunteers to contribute in concept & execution to accomplish these goals we establish. We have some light refreshments (I’ll provide) until 6pm, when we’ll adjourn upstairs for our always-great dinner followed by our called meeting. Even if you just want to listen and see Masons in action (ahem), join us for some good conversation.

Thursday, August 30th will be a Masonic education night. There is some great material we have to go through on the things a (new) Mason should know.

See you Thursday,

Brian Chaput, JW

From the East – August 2012

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Aug 062012
 

At the end of July, the members of Plano Lodge traveled to Norman, Oklahoma to confer a Master’s degree. During that event, I was earnestly reminded of the profound connection that each of us shares with our brothers, no matter what part of the world in which we might find ourselves. There is something magical about the instant connection of friendship and brotherhood one feels in meeting another Mason for the first time. That feeling of connectedness utterly transcends the barriers that often separate humanity without the door of the Lodge, the very same distinctions of culture, religion, and social status that Freemasonry seeks to overcome in uniting men through the promotion of equality and toleration.

There is something utterly indescribable that connects every Mason through our shared experiences in both becoming a Mason and practicing the teachings of the Order. We are bound to the Fraternity by a strong tie that goes much deeper than the promises we have made to each other. Our own lecture describes this “indissoluble chain of sincere affection”, which for centuries, our brethren in Europe have called the “mystic tie”.

The question that comes to my mind is this. If this bond is so strong that it inspires an instant rapport between two strangers in every other regard, how much greater must its influence be felt between men of the same Lodge, who have known each other for many years? In particular, Freemasonry has a lot to teach us about sincerity, integrity, patience, fidelity, mercy, and justice. Masonry proposes an abiding optimism about human nature, especially where the expectations and judgment of our brothers are concerned.

In an age in which we find ourselves so continuously connected with our fellow humans, constantly communicating through electronic means in both the most meaningful and trivial ways, we are simultaneously losing our ability to discern the intentions and sincerity of those we interact with. It is commonplace now to find that some comment, E-mail, post, or tweet is interpreted in some way that was not intended, and friendships are damaged in the misunderstanding. The increase in the quantity of our communication has placed quality at risk. In this regard, Masonry teaches us to assume that our brothers are acting with sincerity and integrity. In interpreting their words and actions, we must strive to presume that they are acting with the best intentions, and only when we find them truly in error, does one of our ancient changes instruct us to “judge with candor, admonish with friendship, and reprehend with justice”.

This is much easier said than done, my brothers, and that is why Masonry is a progressive science. We must never cease working upon ourselves. As Mahatma Gandhi is well known to have said, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”

Fraternally,
Kevin Main

Conference in the Middle Chamber

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Aug 062012
 

Conference Agenda
Saturday, August 18, 2012 (4PM – 7PM)
Rudyard Kipling
Robert F Pannell

TBD
William R. Goodell

Conference Schedule for 2012:
Saturday, February 11, 2011  1PM – 4PM
Saturday, May 26, 2011  4PM – 7PM
Saturday, August 18, 2011  4PM – 7PM
Saturday, November 17, 2011  4PM – 7PM

Hosted By:
North Texas Masonic Historical Museum and Library
1414 J Avenue
Plano, TX, 75074

The Conference of the Middle Chamber is a great opportunity for Freemasons, young and old, to join
each other in exploring and unfolding the beauties of Masonic philosophy, history, and practice. Each conference hosts presentations, discussions, and panels selected from proposals submitted by Masons.

Topics for presentation and discussion will encompass anything with the exploration and progress of
Freemasonry at its heart, including other philosophies and practices that perhaps bear some relationship
to Freemasonry.