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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes May 2007

What is a Volksmarch?

The American Volkssport Association is an organization of over 350 clubs that host non-competitive public walks, bikes, and swims for fitness, fun, and fellowship. For over 25 years, the AVA has sponsored events where everyone is a winner and everyone is eligible for International awards for participation and lifetime achievements. The AVA is the United States affiliate of the International Federation of Popular Sports (IVV) with member organizations in over 35 countries on four continents.

            On Saturday, June 9, 2007 the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia is partnering with the US Freedom Walk Festival Club, Inc. and the American Volkssport Association to sponsor the National Masonic Trail. This is a 7 mile walk (4 mile option) highlighting the history of Freemasons and the United States. Those interested please go to or e-mail [email protected], phone and fax 703-583-5006

George Washington Portrait Project

            As announced at our Annual Meeting (George Washington Masonic Memorial) we are very excited about the George Washington Portrait Project. Many of us remember a time when George Washington’s portrait was in every classroom - and certainly in every school. As part of the celebration of George Washington’s 275th birthday, we are partnering with Mount Vernon to return Washington’s portrait back where it belongs – in schools across the nation.

            For a contribution of $275 a framed, Rembrandt Peale portrait will be delivered to the school of your choice. Grand Lodges, Lodges or individuals can sponsor a portrait for their local schools. Please contact the Memorial for additional information and with any questions or concerns you may have about this much needed and most worthwhile program.

(Source: G.W. Memorial mailing)



Horns of the Altar  

      This reference in Hebrew Scriptures has often been misinterpreted to mean actual horns or representations thereof, and occasionally Masonic altars have been fitted with four ox horns in an endeavor to reach historical realism. The term merely indicates that the frame or slight parapet surrounding the top of the altar was higher at the corners than in the intervening portions across which the priests reached to handle the sacrifice. Since altars were sacred in ancient times, a fugitive from justice who caught hold of the corners or horns of the altar was deemed to have thrown himself on the mercy of the Deity. Wherefore it was perilous for any man to dislodge him. This general idea seems to have been widespread, it often being sufficient for a criminal merely to get within the sanctuary of a temple or a shrine.

(Source: Coil’s Masonic Encyclopedia)

Shriners Hospitals

      Shriners Hospitals for Children is a network of 22 hospitals dedicated to providing specialized pediatric care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burn injuries of all degrees, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for admission and receive all care at no charge – regardless of financial need or relationship to a Shriner.

In 2006, Shriners Hospitals approved 38,984 new patient applications and cared for 128,578 patients. In 2006, Shriners Hospitals for Children provided the following:

  • 251,461 radiology procedures
  • 296,859 outpatient, outreach and telemedicine visits
  •   61,103 orthotic and prosthetic devices
  •   24,609 surgical procedures
  • 412,387 physical therapy treatments
  • 181,174 occupational therapy treatments

Shriners Hospitals’ total budget for 2007 is $721 million, of which $655 million is designated for operating expenses (including $37 million for research) and $66 million is earmarked for building and equipment expenditures. During the nearly 85-year history of Shriners Hospitals for Children, it has cost approximately $8.2 billion to operate Shriners Hospitals, and over $1.76 billion has been spent on construction and renovation.

(Source: Shrine News Releases)


There is a destiny that makes us brothers;
None goes his way alone:
All that we send into the lives of others
Comes back into our own.

I care not what his temples or his creeds,
One thing holds firm and fast—
That into his fateful leap of days and deeds
The soul of man is cast.
Edwin Markham

(Source: A Treasury of Masonic Thought, Edited by Carl Glick)



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