From the East: October 2013

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Oct 082013
 

OBLIGATIONS

When we receive our degrees, we incur obligations.  These obligations are to ourselves, our families, Masonry and the societies we live in.  How we accept and fulfill these obligations reflect on us as individuals and as Masons.  Some of them are easier to follow than others, but all are equally important.

Our obligations to society are the most visible and usually the most visible and easiest to follow.  We are enjoined to be good citizens and work within the rules of our societies.  We may not agree with the rules, but must accept them are work to revise them within acceptable methods of change.

Our obligations to ourselves are usually not as visible as the others, but can have more impact upon ourselves and those around us.  These are also the easiest to avoid and least likely to be noticed, especially those to ourselves.  Of the two, the familial obligations should have priority.

The Masonic obligations are voluntary, but nevertheless important.  How we approach them, will reflect upon ourselves and the Fraternity.  One of our most important responsibilities is the approach we take to potential new Masons.  Remember that when they visit us or our Lodge their impression of us is vital to their decision whether to continue seeking admittance.  We should answer their questions as openly and honestly as we can.  If we can’t answer a particular question, let them know, respectfully, why we can’t answer their question at that time.  Initiate a conversation with them when they visit; introduce yourself and introduce them to the other Brethren.  Speaking for myself, it is hard for someone coming to a Masonic Lodge the first time to know what to expect unless they have an acquaintance or relative involved in Masonry.  Consider that they may be nervous and uncertain and welcome them.

Another area that tends to be neglected, are the youth organizations associated with Masonry: Rainbow Girls and DeMolay.  I know they are always looking for Masons to participate in their activities and would be more than happy to accept any participation from us.  So, if your time and schedule permits, please consider helping them in any way you can.

– Bill Goodell, Worshipful Master

Recording Charitable Service Hours

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Sep 152013
 

Brethren,

As Chaplain of Plano Lodge, it is also my duty to keep track of the volunteer work we do as Masons.  Do you do any volunteer work for the Lodge?  If you do, we need to report that to the Grand Lodge of Texas.  Please keep track of your hours, mileage, any out of pocket expenses (some may be reimbursable by the Lodge or Grand Lodge) and any time spent by non-Masons that may be helping you.

You need to report this to me at the end of the month in which you did the volunteer work, so if you’re volunteering ever month (in the Library and Museum, for example), I will need it ever month.  If you volunteer for an event, such as the blood drive coming up in October, then I only need it at the end of October.

There is a form you can fill out and give to me at a Lodge meeting.  If you would like the form electronically, send me an email at sbuck@smu.edu and I will sent it to you.

If you have any questions please let me know.

Fraternally,

Jonathan Buck
Chaplain, Plano Lodge #768

From the East: September 2013

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Sep 152013
 

Brethren,

I’ve had several discussions recently with Brethren about mentorship.  We don’t talk about it much formally, but it is one of the more important facets of our lives as men and Masons.  As men, we should lead by example in our daily lives among non-Masons.  The virtues and actions that we practice as Masons are equally applicable to interactions with non-Masons.  Among Masons, we should remember that potential Brethren are visiting or talking with us and generally have little experience or knowledge of Masons or Masonic practices.  When we have visitors to the Lodge, please take a moment to make them feel welcome and answer any of their questions, remembering that this may be their first impression of Masons.  Once a Brother has been initiated, he selects an instructor to learn the work as we all have done.  The relationship between the new Brother and his instructor will be one of the longest and strongest Masonic bonds a Brother will ever have.  Those of us who instruct candidates should remember that it is usually a stressful experience, especially for new candidates, and they may be hesitant to ask questions.  Although it doesn’t pertain to the work specifically, we should make the new candidates aware of other Masonic activities they can participate in during their study periods.  When they are participating in other activities or observing degrees, let’s make an effort to sit close to them or meet with them afterwards while the activity is still fresh in their minds and we can answer any questions they may have.

Remember, we should be as willing to give as they are to receive.

– Bill Goodell, Worshipful Master

2013 Masonic Family Day

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Aug 242013
 

From the East: August 2013

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Aug 242013
 

Brethren,

The August stated meeting was our official visit from Right Worshipful Jeff Forrester, District Deputy Grand Master for our district.  I would like to thank Brother Forrester and Brother Keith Stephens, our District Instructor, for their attendance.  As always, it was a pleasure and informative for me to visit with them.

I would like to talk a little bit about one of the initiatives that I propose for the upcoming Masonic Year.  We have talked a great deal about getting new brothers into the Fraternity, but not so much about how to keep them.  What I’m proposing is that we begin a mentorship program for newly initiated Brothers.  Going forward, I will expect the top-line signer(s) of a petition to take the lead in coordinating the activities of the new Brother.  He should assist the Brother in finding an instructor if he is unable to teach the Brother himself and monitor his progress in learning the work.  If the Brother hasn’t been attending Lodge, check on him and see if there is any assistance required from the Officers of the Lodge, or anyone else.  Encourage him to attend Lodge functions that are permitted to him and assist him in attending functions and activities that may be occurring outside our Lodge.  If he would like to participate in Lodge activities, such as degree work and education sessions help him with that also.

Please give my suggestion some thought and provide me any comments that you think advisable.

– Bill Goodell, Worshipful Master

Blood Donation Instructions for those unable to attend at Plano Lodge on October 26th

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Jul 122013
 

Brethren,

Several members have expressed concern that the Blood Drive is being held on the same weekend as the third day of the Fall Reunion. I was told, “I’d give, but I’ll be at the Scottish Rite all day.”

Well, here’s your chance to support your lodge, the Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital – and not miss out on the events of Reunion Day 3.

Three Simple Steps:

1. Visit the Plano Donor Center page and schedule your appointment from this link: https://ww2.greatpartners.org/donor/schedules/center/21

Click on one of the links in the calendar to make an appointment – NOTE: You may donate on a SATURDAY or SUNDAY!

2. When you arrive for your appointment, provide the following information to the receptionist upon registration:

TSRHC-1620

SPNID 031053

3. Contact me when you have made your donation and I will add your numbers to the final tally of pints.

Finally brethren, please let me know if you have any friends or family members who are interested in giving on the day of the event (October 26th). I will add them to the list and notify them of an appointment time for their convenience.

Fraternally,

Jim

From the East: July 2013

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Jul 092013
 

Brethren,

As we begin a new Masonic year, I want to thank everyone for their support.  I’m looking forward to continuing the work started by our immediate Past Masters and building upon their foundation.  As many of you know, I am very interested in Masonic education and research.  It is my intent that the Lodge stay busy during the year; if we aren’t conferring a degree, we will be presenting an educational program related to Masonic history, symbolism or research.  I also think that it is important that we provide a good experience for our candidates when conferring degrees.  I strongly encourage everyone interested in working in the degrees to participate in our practice sessions.  If you are interested in taking a part, please see me or Brother Marshall.  I will be coordinating forthcoming activities with the Lodge Officers and will have a detailed presentation for the next Trestleboard.  If anyone has any concerns or request, please see me or either one of the Wardens.

 

Fraternally,

Bill Goodell