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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes November 2010


Dear Brethren,

         As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s time to reflect on our many blessings. Certainly, we should be grateful for our homes, our communities, and the health and well-being of friends and family. And we should be thankful for Masonry, a gentle and caring fraternity. But there is one essential blessing that each of us should reflect upon this holiday season—our freedom.

         As Americans, our freedom is vital to our strength and to our future. For this, we must recognize the veterans who have sacrificed their comfort for our security. It is under the shield provided to us by those who bravely stood to defend this nation that each of our blessings can be realized. I am inspired and grateful to these men and women, who willingly gave so much, yet ask for so little in return. It is that spirit of selfless love for this nation, its ideals, and its people that compels me to be a better citizen and to build a better community for my fellow man.

         It is in honor of our American heroes that I write this letter today and ask you to join me in supporting our veterans in this annual Green Envelope Appeal.

         Right now, throughout our nation, our veterans need our support more than ever. We are making strides through Masonic efforts like the Hospital Visitation Program (provided through the Masonic Service Association of North America). Each year our brothers volunteer more than 200,000 hours to veterans’ and military hospitals throughout the country. But we can do more. Historically, Masons have stood in the breach and defended this nation. Today our veterans of the armed forces, many of them our Brothers in Masonry, need to know that they are not forgotten, that they are loved, and that now it’s our turn to serve them.

         Please support this important Green Envelope Appeal. Being thankful is a wonderful thing. Turning that thankfulness into action can change the world.

Robert Conley, PGM
Grand Lodge of Michigan


Read more about the Green Envelope Appeal


My Ballot

by Thomas Q. Ellis (1890-1971)
Grand Master (1925) Grand Lodge, F. & A. M. of Mississippi

At the same sacred altar I'm standing;
It glows with the same sacred light,
With the same sense of honor demanding
As when kneeling, my vows there to plight.
And as rev'rently then I was kneeling
I now stand rev'rently there,
And all I hold dear is appealing,
That my vote stand the test of the Square.

If through friendship I favor the seeker
But know him unworthy at heart,
Lest my Lodge by my ballot grow weaker,
Such favor from justice must part.
At the altar where light flooded o'er me,
I'll betray not the trust that I bear,
I'll shame not the emblems before me,
But I'll measure my vote by the Square.

Or should he not be to my liking
But merit by actions the trust,
My soul I'll not perjure by striking
A blow if a blow be unjust.
But I'll welcome his step 'cross the Border,
I'll honor the trust that I bear,
I'll vote for the good of the Order
And I'll cast every vote on the Square.

Time flies and ere long my petition
Will Be filed in the Grand Lodge above;
I'll be glad then I tempered such mission
With justice and brotherly love.
"With the measure ye mete" has been spoken
By the Worshipful Master up there;
No promise e'er made has He broken,
He'll handle my case on the Square.

Ballot Box

This poem describing the sanctity of the Masonic Ballot was published in the Voice of Freemasonry, Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia, Number 3, 2010.


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