DECEMBER 2013

My Brother,

As the year is drawing near to a close, I was thinking about our mission as Masons. We take an oath to befriend and relieve every brother who shall need our assistance. And to “do good unto all men especially unto them who are of the household of faith”. Do Good! I believe that we are all called as Masons to be givers.

It is something that we have in our hearts that we help other people. To reach out to our communities and give back! As we move ahead and look for inspiration, I can’t help but think of a piece of an article I read written by Kevin Pentalow on mentoring. This pertains to our lodge and our mission as Masons and inspiration to do good. “You do not have to look any farther than your lodge to find a blueprint for greater achievement. An inspirational person will be there. All you have to do is ask him the right questions and learn as much as you can from the older generation of brothers. Soon you will be your turn to be called upon to be that inspirational person for others, not only in the lodge but everywhere you go.”

My hope is that we all fulfill our call and be inspired too as Masons to do good unto all men. May the blessing of heaven rest upon you and your family in this Holiday season.

Fraternally,

WM Denis W. Johnson


NOVEMBER 2013

My Brother,

As I write this message, the Grand Lodge of Instruction is fresh on my mind. The purpose of the G.L.I. is to gain knowledge of our ritual and practice and strive for a higher standard. Is the acquisition of knowledge an aim in Masonry? In Masonry knowledge is symbolized by light, as ignorance is by darkness. When a candidate declares his desire to enter into the mysteries of freemasonry “in search of light,” and declares his “search for more light,” the deeper meaning is that he wishes to acquire knowledge.

These passages are from our book that is our rule and guide (the Bible), Proverbs 22:17 gives us inspiration that applies to the experience of the G.L.I. “Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.” In Proverbs 8:10-11, “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For Wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.”

Fraternally,

WM Denis W. Johnson


OCTOBER 2013

My Brother,

As I write this message the season has changed. Just last week we had the air conditioning on and the weather was hot and humid. With the days getting shorter I was drawn to think of light and what it means to us as masons. From our book that is our rule and guide. “Light” is the first of the symbols presented to the initiate and continues to be presented to him in various modifications throughout all of his future progress in his Masonic career. It represents, as is generally supposed, Knowledge, Truth or Wisdom, but it contains within itself a far more abstruse allusion to the very essence of Speculative Masonry, and embraces within it capacious signification all the other symbols of the Order. Freemasons are emphatically called the “sons of light” because they are, or should be, in possession of the true meaning of the symbol; while the profane or uninitiated are, by a parity of expression, said to be in “darkness.”

In all ancient systems of religion and in all ancient mysteries, the reverence for Light, as an emblematic representation of the Eternal Principal of Good, is predominant. This was true in Hebraism and Judaism and is true in Christianity; it is true throughout the ritual of Freemasonry in a most predominant sense. The greater Light of Freemasonry is in the word of God; Masons are pledged to seek from the source of true light and from the tenets of the Order an ever increasing advancement in Light.

May we ever endeavor to seek the “Light”.

Fraternally,

WM Denis W. Johnson


SEPTEMBER 2013

My Brother,

The summer has passed quickly! I hope that everyone had a peaceful and restful summer. We will soon be experiencing the change of season with the cooler weather.

I was thinking about change and thought of how my life has changed in the last 2 years since I retired. It was a huge change that seemed to happen overnight. I went from being on a regimented schedule on duty to not having any schedule. It was a good change that was not hard to get used to. I am a creature of habit and don’t always like change. Sometimes change is good and after it happens we wish change had come along sooner.

While reading in the book that is our rule and guide, I came upon the term “Immortality”. The faith and teaching of Freemasonry on immortality is this; Freemasonry, without personal faith in the immortality of the soul, would be like “an arch resting on one pillar, like a bridge ending in an abyss.” Not only does the ritual of Freemasonry teach the doctrine of mans immortality; but in symbolic action this tenet of Masonry is illustrated in a most profound manner. No man who has been “raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason” can ever forget the inculcation of the truth of man’s immortality. The doctrine of man’s immortality is clearly taught by the Great Light of Freemasonry.

Fraternally,

WM Denis W. Johnson


JUNE 2013

Brethren,

As the season is again in change and the weather so unpredictable, I cannot keep from thinking about the people of Moore Oklahoma who have survived and lost everything in the deadly tornado. There are so many things in this life that we cannot predict, but these things can change our future in a matter of moments. Just the other morning the news predicted an above average Hurricane season. After last year’s storm, we must have faith and hope that we will be spared from anything like that happening again.

We must have “Faith” = trust reliance in our Supreme Grand Master (God). In the explanation of the ritual of the very first degree in Masonry, Faith is said to be the first and lowest round in the theological ladder of Masonry. Trust in God is required as essential for membership in the Order; such trust is emphasized in all the degrees of advancement. Faith is the forerunner of all other noble virtues, the basic of true character and service. May faith lead us through the upcoming season and all the seasons to follow for all our days. May you have a safe and restful summer.

Fraternally,

Theodore N. Karagias, PM


MAY 2013

Brethren,

This week has been filled with thoughts of blessings amid the misfortunes in everyday life. While a brother was driving my truck on Thursday the brakes failed. Fortunately, he was able to stop with the emergency brake without incident. This reminded me to count my blessings every day, for it could have been worse. Vehicles can be repaired. No one was injured. The incident reminded me that life is too short, and we all need to slow down and smell the roses.

While reading in our rule and guide (The Holy Bible) I came upon the “Stone Rejected” and considered the significance. According to Masonic tradition, the builders came upon a stone that was neither oblong or square, and apparently unprepared for any place in the structure. This stone was thrown aside. Later it was found to be the “Key Stone”, and that it was the most important of all the stones used in the temple. Considering each man as stone in the building of our Lodge we all share an intricate part. The Lodge is not the building with four walls it is the Brothers who meet regularly and share fellowship. There can be no stone rejected among our brothers. I encourage all brothers to come out and enjoy fellowship with your brothers. If you have not attended lodge in a while, you will not be rejected but welcomed!

Fraternally,

WM Denis W. Johnson


APRIL 2013

Brethren,

While reading in the Biblical index to Freemasonry, I came upon this question. Is freemasonry a social institution?

The answer: There is perhaps no place in human relations where social qualities and relationships are cultivated to a higher degree than a Masonic Lodge.

Here, artificial distinctions of rank and wealth, commonly accepted as necessary in society, are laid aside, and the members meet on the common level of brotherhood and equality. Virtue and talent alone receive recognition, and the object of all is to see who can best work and agree. Here friendship and fraternal affection are earnestly inculcated and assiduously cultivated, and the mystic ties which distinguish the Fraternity is established. The benevolent purpose of the Masonic Institution is to enlarge the sphere of social happiness. These thoughts brought me back to the charge in the long form closing of the lodge to the prayer in front of the alter. “May brotherly love prevail, and every moral and social virtue cement us.

Brethren be inspired by Freemasonry!

Remember not everyone can join our fraternity. I encourage you to come out to lodge and enjoy a good meal and the enthusiasm of our members.

Fraternally,

WM Denis W. Johnson


JANUARY 2013

Brothers of Sunrise,

I hope that you all had a blessed Christmas. My wish to all our brothers and their families, is that each and every one of you have a Healthy, Happy, Blessed and Prosperous New Year!

Thank you, WB Vince and all of the officers of Sunrise, for an enjoyable and successful Masonic year 2012.

I look forward to working with all of the officers and members in 2013 and hope to see all of you in lodge. Come out have a good meal and fellowship.

We are planning several fund raisers starting with an I-pad raffle. The Poker run benefiting Vetworks is again on the schedule. As we all work together in our lodge, within our 20th district and under the Grand Lodge of New Jersey we will have a successful year ahead.

I recently read through the Masonic service association bulletin and came across an article “Ben Franklin meets Voltaire”. It struck me that Franklin, a diplomat, and Voltaire, a philosopher; were brought together as Masons in a common bond. In the article a small piece also struck me about Franklin. “Franklin carried the banner and led the life of middle class values. Those virtues included diligence, honesty, industry and temperance. As for civic virtues , it was Franklin who helped create the social order that promoted the common good.” The article reminded me of how we should all live as members of our community and lodge with common goals of peace and unity among all men. My hope and goal is to for our lodge to carry forth these ideals and continue to promote this peace and unity; and to encourage Brothers who may not have been to loge in a while to come out and enjoy the fellowship.

Fraternally,

WM Denis W. Johnson

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