NOVEMBER 2014

My Brother,

While delivering the closing charge recently, I wanted to end it with an “Amen”. The way it flows and delivers it’s meaning seems to me more like a prayer than a charge.

Within its words it sums up, very nicely, what it really means to be a Mason. We are told to remember our promises, we are reminded that we should “...befriend and relieve every Brother who shall need your assistance”.

One of the lines tells us “these generous principles should extend further: every human being has a claim upon your kind offices. Do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith”.

This phrase seems to separate us from the norm as Masons. We are looked upon for help and guidance. As Masons we should take on that responsibility, helping our fellow man whenever it is possible.

May we all live in peace and may the Blessing of Heaven rest upon us.

WM Jon E. Hess, Sr.


OCTOBER 2014

My Brother,

On our last communication we presented the Entered Apprentice Degree to three new candidates, now Brothers. It seems to me that Degree work has a way of bringing the best out of a Mason.

We want to bring out our feelings for Masonry and give this to our new members, thus everyone who volunteers for a piece of work or contributes his skills at his respective station or place, has shared something with the newly initiated.

I believe that by giving of ourselves to our new Brothers will help them to realize the true meaning of Brotherhood and will make them feel comfortable among us, knowing that we are there for them.

If Masonry is to prosper we need to cultivate our crop of new Brethren. The next time you encounter a new Brother, be sure to greet him and offer him help or advice and make him feel welcomed in Lodge. Before you know it, he may be in front of the Lodge sharing with us the “working tools” of a Degree or some other form of Masonic Light.

Travel Well, My Brothers,

WM Jon E. Hess, Sr.


SEPTEMBER 2014

My Brother,

As the summer comes to a close, we prepare to get back to our regular routines. For some it means getting the kids ready for school or college, for others it may mean winterizing the boat or summer home, but for all of us it means getting back to the Lodge on a regular basis.

I am happy to report that I have noticed over this last summer, that just because we don’t have our regular communication doesn’t mean we haven’t followed our Masonic Creed.

Within the Entered Apprentice Charge we find this statement: “During your leisure hours, that you may improve in Masonic knowledge, you are to converse with well- informed brethren, who will be always as ready to give, as you will be to receive, instruction”.

During the summer many of us have shared with our Masonic friends. Not only by helping at a multitude of tasks, but gathering at social events with our Brothers. One very impressive event was our Awards Dinner. Many Brothers were recognized for their contribution to the Lodge. We proudly had quite a number of Brothers recognized for their many years as Masons. Many traveled long distances, one Brother came all the way from Florida! I applaud all these Brothers for their dedication to Masonry. Another fine example was our social gatherings at the Lodge on Monday nights. We shared the burdens of life as well as the joys. It helped us gain Masonic Light and Brotherhood.

Fraternally Yours,

WM Jon E. Hess, Sr.


JUNE 2014

Brethren,

By the request of Most Worshipful Earl F. Sutton, I am honored to share with you a famous Trestle board written by our twice Past Master Theodore N. Karagias.

Fraternally,

Jon E. Hess, Sr. WM


Superman and the Master Mason.

As the morning sun rises in the East, I design my Trestle board for my labors each day. While grooming, I contemplate my mortality and push my inner thoughts of achievement to the highest standards to which I can attain that day. Then I put on my red cape and blue tights. Each day my responsibility and attention are always under the microscope. I have to perform well for the charity of others and for myself.

Everyone knows Superman. His good deeds, wisdom and kindness are known to all ages. Yet, sometimes only Master Masons know of each other and of their Masonic accomplishments. Masons perform under the highest standards and yet their efforts sometimes go unnoticed. Where Superman does get the “Well done, Supper old boy” to boost his steel ego, Master Masons are rarely noticed.

Or are they?

While Superman does his “One-man show,” Master Masons work as a team. They receive very little public attention for their labors and yet still continue to maintain the highest standards of excellence. Maybe it is because the Master Mason receives his satisfaction from working in harmony with other Masons or supermen! It is because of this harmony among ourselves that many others feel resentment towards us.

Is Superman a Master Mason? He could be. He is an orphan, a widow’s son so to speak of, from a distant land. He does practice charity and maintain secrecy (his own identity,) but Superman is an exclusive item, he is only to himself. He has no peers. He can never find that harmony of working shoulder to shoulder with his brothers as we can.

So, the applause he hears is only to the singular self and can never be shared. What warmth Master Masons enjoy -- that of sharing the applause of a job well done and the harmony of working as a whole, and not as an individual, to reach the light Master Masons are the real-life supermen.

We have the wisdom and knowledge to right a wrong, feed the hungry and heal the sick. Our deeds go unnoticed, but they will never be ignored by the ones they have changed. There is a little bit of Superman in every Mason.

Sincerely and Fraternally,

Theodore N. Karagias, PM


MAY 2014

My Brothers,

Masonry is alive and well. We do notice that over the years there have been a number of lodges that have merged or in some way or another fallen from the eyes of the community.

The reality here is that no matter what lodge a brother calls his home, the beauty of masonry is that he is equally welcome at any lodge.

I firmly believe that if a brother were away from home and needed assistance, one call to the local lodge would grant him the help he needed. Within the oath or obligation of the Fellow Craft Degree, we find ... “I will help, aid and assist all poor and distressed brother Fellow Craft Masons, they applying to me as such ...”

Brothers throughout the world took that oath or obligation. They will be there for you.

I have felt this brotherly love directly. In the midst of a local forest fire, I had brothers go that extra distance to help aid and assist. These brothers not only reached out to me, but other members of the Masonic Family who may have needed their help.

Masonry is strong and will remain strong, maintaining its strength through the doctrine of brotherhood.

Fraternally,

WM Jon E. Hess, Sr.


APRIL 2014

My Brothers,

While going over a new petitioner’s paperwork, the thought struck me as to why the gentleman was applying. Matter of fact, why had any of us applied and become Masons?

I am sure that each of you can give a reason. It may be for the ability to give charity to those less fortunate. It may be for the friendship and camaraderie that comes with such a brotherhood. It may be for the personal satisfaction of attaining a goal and being recognized for it. Regardless of the reason for becoming a Mason, the significant fact remains that all those things can be found by following our rituals and lectures.

We may claim different reasons for our socialization as a group, but we all follow the same doctrine. If we read a lecture or give a Degree, there will be some point when what we have just read or recited will touch our souls and give us peace.

In the first prayer to a candidate in the Entered Apprentice Degree the words “Endue him with a competency of Thy divine wisdom, that, by the influence of the pure principles of our Fraternity, he may be better and able to display the beauty of holiness, to the honor of Thy Holy Name.” This phrase lets us know that by following the principles of Masonry, we can satisfy our goals.

Fraternally,

WM Jon E. Hess, Sr.


MARCH 2014

My Brothers,

The Winter Olympics are presently the main focus of the media. We hear, see and read about the results and the stories of each athlete’s lives, but it seems the key focus is the medal count. While winning a medal is surely an impressive feat, we must not lose sight of the fact that only one person wins that gold medal. The lowest performing athlete in any given sport is still an Olympian. We must admire their drive and dedication.

As masons, I feel we are all in possession of that drive and dedication. We all can practice our “work” and give our share. We are all “Olympians” through our dedication to our fraternity. Just living a masonic life is our reward. No medals are necessary.

As we proceed through life, whether we sit in lodge at every meeting, or have the ability to present to our new brothers the lectures of each degree, or just practice a sound Masonic lifestyle, we still carry that dedication with us in our hearts.

As stated in the Entered Apprentice Charge, “There are three great duties which, as a Mason, you are charged to inculcate: ----to God, to your neighbor, and to yourself. ---- The observance of these duties will entitle you to public and private esteem.”

Fraternally,

WM Jon E. Hess, Sr.


FEBRUARY 2014

My Brothers,

While reading a newspaper article a few days ago I was struck by the similarity of the subject to one of our Masonic phrases. The article told how a charitable group had helped homeless people to get back on track in their lives and to become part of a productive society.

We are taught to be charitable as we progress in our Masonic education. The Entered Apprentice lecture informs us that the principal tenants of Free Masonry are Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. The Relief Principal is further explained as such: “To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent upon all men, but particularly to Masons, who are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. To soothe the unhappy, to sympathize with them in their misfortune, to compassionate their miseries, and to restore peace to their troubled minds, is the great aim we have in view.”

When we as a Lodge contribute to a fellow citizen in their time of need we are surely doing good work and should take great pride in it. Please remember, Brothers, that at some point in your lives, someone has reached out to you in your time of need. Keep that time close to your heart so when it is your turn to be charitable you can relieve that person’s need as far as his condition may require or your ability to give will permit.

Fraternally,

WM Jon E. Hess, Sr.


JANUARY 2014

My Brother,

A new year is upon us. As we look optimistically at this fresh new time period, I can’t help but recall a portion of masonic light that is shared with us in the first half of the Fellow Craft Degree: “The Entered Apprentice Degree marks but the vestibule of our symbolic temple.” The month of January is the vestibule of this masonic new year. It is a starting point for us as masons to prepare ourselves to spread “Morality, Brotherly Love, and Charity...” The passage continues to share its light with us with this statement: “If industry and zeal attend your labors, you may gather, beneath the veil of our mysteries, additional treasures of science and knowledge.” I am positive that by following this doctrine, we can expect to have a prosperous and rewarding new year.

As masons, we are at times guilty of rote memorization and the ability to expound on our pieces of work without fully understanding the true knowledge that lies within the words. I believe that we should not only be able to recall the masonic ritual as mere words on a page, but be able to garner its true and in depth masonic meaning. This ability is where the relevance of masonic light comes from. As you continue on with your ritual studies, I encourage you to look for the meaning within the words, not just the words themselves. This will be the key to masonic light.

Fraternally,

WM Jon E. Hess, Sr.

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