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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes November 2012 

5-Year Plan Set In Nebraska For Education

     The Grand Lodge of Nebraska has established an impressive, five-year schedule for observing important historical Masonic dates, including the 300th anniversary of the formation of the first Grand Lodge in London in 1717, while educating its members.

      Each year, at its Grand Lodge Annual Communication, recognition will focus on a particular set of historic events.  They will trace Nebraska's Masonic lineage over 300 years as one Grand Lodge "begets" another, until the jurisdiction of Nebraska is formed. Here is a summary of the plans:

  • In 2013, highlighting the unification of the Ancient Grand Lodge of England and the Premier Grand Lodge of England ("Moderns") on December 27, 1813, and calling attention to the formation of the Ancients in 1751 and the Moderns in 1717.
  • In 2014, recognizing Masonry arriving in the United States and the formation of the Grand Lodges of Virginia in 1778 and North Carolina in 1787.
  • In 2015, observing the Western expansion of Freemasonry and the formation of the Grand Lodges of Kentucky in 1800 and Tennessee in 1813.
  • In 2016, focusing on the creation of the neighboring Grand Lodges of Missouri in 1821, Illinois in 1840, and Iowa in 1844.
  • In 2017, celebrating the formation of the Grand Lodge of Nebraska in 1857 on its 160th birthday and coinciding with the 300th anniversary of the creation of the current Grand Lodge system of Masonic government.

The various educational programs each year will feature local dignitaries, visiting Grand Lodge speakers, a large map of the U.S. showing the formation and migration of Masonic Grand Lodges, artifacts, genealogy and other attractions.

(Source: The Nebraska Mason, Fall, 2012)

'Deep Bonds Among Otherwise Different People'

The latest issue of AARP The Magazine published an article, which had earlier been in Time Magazine. It discusses the "exclusive fraternity" of Past Presidents of the United States.  It explains how close this small group is, despite differences in political parties and philosophies.

It adds a thought about the closeness of this "fraternity" of Past U.S. Presidents, which is also so true of Freemasonry: "The inspiring example the former presidents set is that shared experience can create deep bonds among otherwise very different people." 

3 Degrees Presented By 3 Grand Lodges

Grand Masters of Oklahoma, New Mexico, and South Carolina, were discussing differences in degree work during the Conference of Grand Masters last year in Atlanta.  They decided to get together and demonstrate those differences.

On October 19 and 20, a total of 14 Masons from New Mexico drove to Guthrie, OK.  Nearly 40 brethren from South Carolina flew there from their home state, and dozens more Oklahoma members joined the crowd.

The Grand Master of New Mexico issued a special dispensation for a candidate from New Mexico to receive all three degrees in Oklahoma during the weekend from three different Grand Jurisdictions.

In the Guthrie Scottish Rite Temple, the candidate received his Entered Apprentice degree on Friday, October 19, according to the ritual of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina.  On Saturday morning, he received his Fellowcraft Degree, using the ritual of New Mexico.  Then on Saturday afternoon, brethren, following the Oklahoma ritual and in full Native American dress and regalia, conferred the Master Mason Degree.

The presentation of the degrees was planned by Randall L. Rogers, Grand Master of Oklahoma, Bobby M. Arthur, immediate Past Grand Master of New Mexico, and Jay A. Pearson, Grand Master of South Carolina.

The result:  a great weekend of Masonic fellowship and an excellent learning experience for all.

Online Masonic University Concept Expands

Several Grand Lodge Jurisdictions are operating versions of a Masonic college or university, using the Internet, to improve education about the Fraternity in a 21st Century format.

The Grand Lodge of Ohio, beginning the second year of its Freemason University, has installed a group of new programs for its curriculum.  The learning site, created "to give access to essential tools for the leaders of our craft," has courses in Ritual Appreciation, Lodge Management, and Lodge Leadership.

Check it out at

Selected Quotes From Freemasons 

Here are a few quotations from famous Freemasons, specially selected by Steve Harrison, editor of The Missouri Freemason, and taken from its Spring, 2012 edition:

"I don't suppose any organization has done so much for so many with so little selfishness as the Masonic Fraternity."  -- Gov. Thomas E. Dewey

"A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education." – Theodore Roosevelt

"Don't let yesterday use up too much of today."  -- Will Rogers

"Courage is doing what you're afraid to do.  There can be no courage unless you're scared."  -- Eddie Rickenbacker

"A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle."  -- Benjamin Franklin


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