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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes November 2005

Appeal for Hurrican ReliefFlorida – Texas

With the most destructive hurricane season on record, 2005 continues its devastation. Initially the Grand Lodge of Texas thought the damage done by Hurricane Rita was not as great as it turned out to be. Now it has become evident there is serious damage in parts of East Texas and help is urgently needed.

Hurricane Wilma has caused wide destruction across South Florida adding to the seven other hurricanes they have already endured in not much over a year.

Specific gifts will go to the Grand Lodge that is designated. Undesignated gifts will be divided equally between the Grand Lodge of Florida and the Grand Lodge of Texas.

All contributions, in whatever amount, from Grand Lodges, Lodges, Appendant Masonic Bodies, and individuals will be acknowledged by MSA with most grateful thanks.

As has always been the case, the funds received will go in their entirety to the Grand Lodges for whom the appeal is made. No operating costs are deducted from gifts in response to Disaster Relief Appeals.

When making contributions, checks should be sent to the MSA Disaster Relief Fund at the address below.

So Mote It Be

“When I say those words, So Mote It Be, I’m not speaking to those mortal beings around me, I’m speaking directly to the Supreme Deity of all existence. I’m asking God to look into my heart and know what is there that I may not know the words to express. I’m asking God to recognize my needs, even those I don’t know exist and provide for them, to know any weaknesses and frailties of life, to know all that my humble existence cannot comprehend. I’m yielding to his will and imploring his mercy. What do those words mean to you my Fraternal Brother?” By - Worshipful Brother Paul Weathers – Oasis Lodge #52, Tucson, AZ

(MSA wanted to share this meaning of So Mote It Be with our readers)

Guatemala Aid

I am sure you are aware that Guatemala has once again been hit by a very powerful hurricane and is suffering the results. The last time this amount of damage was felt was when Hurricane Mitch devastated our country. When the Grand Lodge of Guatemala reached out to Grand Lodges for help and assistance the last time money was sent that allowed us to save thousands of lives.

Once again we are in need or your help and assistance. Since Hurricane Stan started this period of damage we have already exhausted our funds and reserve medical supplies, providing assistance to the many areas of damage. The Grand Lodge of Guatemala has already provided medical equipment, supplies, clothing and food, to aid in this critical relief effort. However Hurricane Stan, has brought about such an amount of damage that we do not have the resources to meet all of the requests for assistance from our outlying lodges and other communities.

(MSA realizes the need for help in Guatemala is great. If you would like to contribute please send your gift to: John D. Mann, Unit 3301, APO, AA 34024, USA)

Interim Report of Hurrican Relief Committee (Alabama)

Following Hurricane Katrina, the Grand Lodge F&AM of Alabama established a Hurricane Relief Committee to seek out and assist hurricane victims with some emphasis on Masons and their families. The Grand Lodge’s direction extended further than the fraternity. The Committee was authorized to assist non-Masons as appropriate. As part of our efforts, the Committee learned of a special challenge being met by the public school systems of Alabama. Many families lost their homes and most of their possessions in the storm. The children of these families were being helped by the public school system.

For example, the Committee learned that the Mobile County School Board had over 850 students enrolled from Mississippi and Louisiana and another 600 Alabama students who needed help. This same problem was also facing the school boards of Baldwin County, Washington County, Escambia County and the Tuscaloosa City School Board. All totaled, over 2400 children needed help with books, shoes, uniforms and supplies. To help meet this challenge, the Grand Lodge provided $36,000.00. While this will not meet the entire need, every School Board was appreciative and put the resources to work without delay.

The Committee has remained mindful of our charge to assist Masons and their families. To that end, the Committee continues to publicize the availability of assistance through Masonic conferences and events as well as by direct contact with local Lodges. Committee members and other brothers are visiting Masons, many of whom are quite elderly, to determine whether assistance is needed. We remain committed to extending our fraternal helping-hand to as many worthy recipients—Masons and non-Masons—as possible and we thank the Grand Lodge for this opportunity to serve.

(Thank all of you who supported the appeal – here is an example of how your gifts helped those in need.)

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