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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes January 2003

Masonry at the Movies

To make the public more aware of the positive effect the Masonic Fraternity is having on Ohio communities, the Grand Lodge of Ohio has authorized the use of three promotional slides to be shown in movie theaters in many areas in Ohio.

These slides are shown at the beginning of films and will be featured from Thanksgiving through the first of January. They showcase our Scholarship, Special Olympics, and Life Skills Camp efforts.

The Grand Lodge Web page is displayed on the bottom of each slide to enable those interested to learn more about our great Fraternity.

(Source: Beacon - Fall 2002)

Shriners Hospitals 2003 Budget Biggest Ever!

In 2003, Shriners Hospitals for Children will spend an all-time high of over $1.65 million every 24 hours to provide medical care for children. This expert orthopaedic, burn and spinal cord injury care is given at absolutely no charge.

The 22 Shriners Hospitals in the U.S., Canada and Mexico have a total budget of $605 million for the entire year, $541 million of which makes up the research and operating budget that funds patient care, teaching, administrative expenses, depreciation, and the daily expenses of the entire Shriners Hospitals network.

An important part of the Shriners Hospitals operating budget is dedicated to research. In 2003, about $25 million has been set aside to fund the Medical Research Program, which includes 123 investigative research projects. Since Shriners Hospitals structured research endeavors began in the mid-1960s, over $424 million has been invested in research projects that have changed the way burn, orthopaedic and spinal cord injury care is given throughout the world.

(Source: Shrine News Release)

Help OhioReads Literacy Program

Grand Master William P. Mayberry, Sr., has adopted Governor Bob Taft's literacy program, OhioReads, as a 2002-2003 Masonic community service project.

OhioReads brings together volunteer-reading tutors from the public with kindergarten-fourth grade students in elementary schools that have adopted the program. Tutors volunteer one hour a week and spend that time working with a child as he or she practices their reading skills. All tutors are trained by the local school in the program as it exists at that particular school.

Grand Master Mayberry encourages the entire Ohio Masonic family to get involved with this worthwhile project. "We are not asking for one dollar to finance this program, just one hour a week of your time," said the Grand Master. "This is a perfect project for the many Ohio Masons and Eastern Star members who are now retired. Many Ohio businesses also recognize this program and are willing to give employees time off to volunteer."

It is hoped that through the involvement of the Masonic family, the statewide goal of recruiting 40,000 volunteers can be met. "By continuing to reach out to the public in a variety of ways, we can continue to build our team of tutors and ensure that every child who needs it, can receive help to improve their reading skills," Governor Taft said.

Currently, OhioReads programs are found in 96 percent of Ohio's school districts, but the program only has 27,000 volunteer tutors. By volunteering as a tutor, each member of the Masonic family will have a lasting positive effect on the life of a child, because the gift of reading is a gift for a lifetime.

For more information about the Grand Lodge's efforts with OhioReads, please contact Chad E. Simpson, Director of Program Development at Grand Lodge, 1-800/292-6092.

(Source: Beacon - Fall 2002)

Did you Know? Is there a distinction between Masonic oath and Masonic obligation?

The "oath" is the "So help me, God" at the end of any solemn promise made with your hand upon the Book of the Law. The "obligation" is the substance of the preceding promises. "Oath" is thus symbolical of man's fear of God; "obligation" signifies the promises and agreements made preceding the oath.

Why is a Lodge meeting called a "communication"?

In Old English "communication" was "to common" - to share with others. In the church, "communion" is the common partaking of a sacrament. In a Masonic lodge "communion," "to common," is to gather in a "communication," signifying not just a meeting of men to legislate, but a gathering of men with a common purpose, governed by a common idea, believing in a common ideal. It is one of the precious and delightful ways in which Masonry keeps alive an old, old idea in the words of long ago.

(Source: MSA Digest - 101 Questions About Freemasonry)

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