DECEMBER 2011

My Brother,

We learn one of our most valuable lessons illustrated by the story of the building of Solomon’s Temple. Many examples of the beauty of structure are found throughout our several masonic Lectures. The construction of that superb edifice was carried out by overseers of the work, Fellow Crafts and bearers of burdens arranged in such a manner, by the wisdom of Solomon, that neither envy, discord, nor confusion was suffered to interrupt or disturb the peace and good-fellowship which prevailed among the workmen.

As speculative Masons we also have work to do. The Worshipful Master and the officers of the lodge must perform their responsibilities as outlined in the manual. Every member plays a part in our “Fraternity that practices Charity” as many describe our institution. In order to provide the charity requested of us, we must first have the monies to do so. Many lodges have clubs designed to meet, plan and execute fund-raisers, while at the same time providing a casual atmosphere for fellowship.

Over the next few months the Worshipful Master will be asking for your input related to Sunrise Lodge’s Craftsman Club.

Fraternally,

WM Neal E. Bottomley


NOVEMBER 2011

My Brother,

The Three Step are emblematical of the three principal stages of human life, youth, manhood and age. With the end of my year near, I view being a mason in a similar way. I look back to be a newly raised Mason and recall my thirst for knowledge and eagerness to do anything asked of me. Sitting this year in the East I have a better feel of manhood and much more respect for all Past Masters. And in some ways as I look forward, part of me can’t wait for that rest which comes with age.

The newly raised masons need and deserve our encouragement and guidance in order to find their path on their Masonic journey. This of course starts with the mentoring process that should come from the candidate’s sponsor. Perhaps, when America was forming, and each lodge consisted of men living within a few miles of town this was much easier.

Imagine the feelings of the mentor on November 4th, 1752 as a little known young man, not yet 21 years of age, was initiated an Entered Apprentice Mason in the lodge at Fredricksburgh, Virginia. We may not know how George Washington’s mentor felt then, But just imagine how he must have felt as the years went on.

Fraternally,

WM Neal E. Bottomley



OCTOBER 2011

Brethren,

Too often we are reminded of our obligations. This is a common theme in masonry. However, each of us have responsibilities that when taken together can become overwhelming. The stress of trying to please everyone can bring us to the breaking point. There are too many of us that have over extended ourselves further than this point and near the edge of insanity.

The changing seasons bring on additional complications; the holidays looming and trying to find that perfect gift, taking care of that loved one because it may be their last holiday. The days are growing shorter but the list of tasks appears to grow exponentially.

It is important that each of us takes some serious time to reflect on our abilities to accomplish everything that we have taken on. There comes a point when each of us must push back and say “NO”. In addition, it is important that we each take a little time to be selfish. For some people, this is the extra fishing trip and for others a weekend getaway. Many will think that is not a good time to take a break. Sometimes the best vacation is one that you really shouldn’t take. There will always be an excuse not to take a vacation, be it a financial burden, bad timing, or just too much going on.

We do not realize how much we need a break until it too late.

Fraternally,

WM Neal E. Bottomley


JUNE 2011

Brethren,

It is customary for us to take the summer months and enjoy our friends and family.

During our “dark months” remember each other in your hearts and fulfill your duties as required. Even though these months have no meetings, there are a lot of ways for you to begin to get involved and assist the lodge and its committees for the coming Fall.

I urge you to stay in touch with your mentors and those you have been mentoring. Call an officer or committee member and get involved with the Annual Poker Run, Fall Table Lodge or just sit back and learn a new piece of ritual for GLI or any degree that may interest you.

There may also still be time to get involved with our trip to the Pennsylvania Grand Lodge or help out with the annual cookout. If bringing your family and friends to one of these events is the extent of your cable-tow, that’s fine too. Above all, enjoy, have safe travels and a blessed summer. See you all soon.

Fraternally,

WM Neal E. Bottomley


MARCH 2011

Brethren,

I recently was reviewing the charge that is given during an Entered Apprentice Degree and found myself pondering the last paragraph. One section reads, “if in the circle of your acquaintance, you find a person desirous of being initiated into Masonry, be particularly careful not to recommend him, unless you are convinced that he will conform to our rules…” We know that our lodge only grows as we increase active membership. It then brought to mind the old saying, “its not quantity, but quality.”

We should be proud that half of our newly raised brothers attend every meeting. The other half continue to have contact with myself and their mentors and have cable-tow issues.

I am glad that we do not recruit members. It is acceptable to mention to someone that they would make a good Mason, but as always, you must ask one to be one. Continue the good judgment you have shown over the past year and if only half our new members come out for every meeting we will need a bigger Lodge soon. Remember to recommend only good men that “… the honor, glory and reputation of the Institution may be firmly established, and the world at large convinced of its good effects."

Fraternally,

WM Neal E. Bottomley


FEBRUARY 2011

Brethren,

During the recent one-day class I thought to myself just what it took each of our candidates to get to that point in Free Masonry and compared their journey to that which all others have gone before. Many differences where obvious. I then began to think of ways that our new brothers could find the same light that we found during the months that lead up to our own raising. Each of us may think of different ideas to answer that question.

Our newly raised brethren will all be working with a mentor. I would challenge each member of the Lodge to meet and greet our new brothers. Get involved in assisting them to attend each of the three degrees, learning the test for all three degrees and studying how the lodge works while at labor as well as while on refreshment.

We can all set the example by attending a DLI, coming out to a District fund raiser and planning the main events of the year such as Grand Lodge, the District Annual Awards Dinner and our summer picnic. Remember that “by the regularity of your own conduct afford the best example for that of others less informed.”

Fraternally,

WM Neal E. Bottomley

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