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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes October 2016

A Sad Ending . . . But Perhaps A New Opportunity

The Masonic Stamp Club of New York, organized in 1934, grew to be one of the largest non-profit stamp clubs in the United States.  Its quarterly magazine, The Masonic Philatelist has been published since 1944.

However, feeling the numerous pressures that most Masonic organizations are experiencing, The Masonic Stamp Club of New has announced it will cease operations for the club and its publication at the end of 2016.

In a last effort to boost the entire Fraternity, the Stamp Club this year published a booklet, "A Timely Masonic Perspective." Authored by Christopher L. Murphy, club president, and Dr. Michael Bronner, club administrator, the book analyzes what it calls a "crisis" in Masonic membership today, outlines probable reasons for it, and offers some proposals to "arrest, and hopefully reverse, the current trend."

The Masonic Stamp Club of New York has made 200 copies of "A Timely Masonic Perspective" available to the Masonic Service Association for distribution.

It is perfect reading for an officer of a Lodge or Grand Lodge. 

To receive a free copy, send a note or email to MSA, including your regular mailing address, and just say "stamp club booklet."  A copy will be sent to you promptly.  Remember there are only 200 copies available, and please limit your request to one per individual or Lodge.

Louisiana Flooding Appeal Relief Hits $100,000

The Masonic Service Association has sent $100,000 to the Grand Lodge of Louisiana to help restore and aid some of the devastation from the storm and flooding that occurred in early August.

This relief from MSA has been made possible thorough the generosity of individual Masons, Lodges, Grand Lodges and other Masonic groups.

It is worthy to note that one of the first checks to help the brethren of Louisiana came from Fort Jackson Lodge in Columbia, South Carolina.  Last year, the tremendous flooding in South Carolina, caused major damage to Fort Jackson Lodge, and this Lodge received financial support from the MSA disaster appeal. Thank you for being a "first responder" for the flood victims in Louisiana.

Recovery in Louisiana is expected to take months, so the disaster relief appeal continues.

Your donations will help our devastated Brothers, their families and others in this stricken jurisdiction.  Please make checks payable to MSA Disaster Relief Fund and send them to: Masonic Service Association, 3905 National Drive, Suite 280, Burtonsville, MD 20866.  Please mark checks, "Louisiana Appeal."

Also, donations may be made on MSA's webpage -- with the use of a credit card.  This allows funds to reach their destination faster.

MSA is a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization.


MSA Receives Message From The Grave

In September, the Masonic Service Association received a letter that started, "Fraternal greetings and best wishes. This letter is coming to you literally 'from the grave' and my thanks go to my executors for sending it." 

The brother, from Myrtle Bank, South Australia, got right to his message, "Please delete my name from your mailing list."  He also thanked MSA for sending him the Short Talk Bulletin for many years, and, in April, 1996, for publishing a Short Talk authored by him on "The Five Noble Orders of Architecture."

The brother concluded his typewritten letter with, "From the 'Grand Lodge Above' I am yours fraternally," and he signed his name, Perce J. George.

Hand-written on the bottom of the letter was the note from his executor:  P.S. Perce passed away on 8/25/16.


Freemasonry Praised By Non-Mason

At the Annual Convocation of the Grand Lodge of Montana, Jim Smith, Mayor of Helena, had some very positive statements to make about Freemasonry, from the point of view of a non-Mason and community leader.  Here are some excerpts of his remarks:

"The history of Montana and the history of Masons in Montana, are inextricably intertwined.  It's virtually the same history."

 "It's been my impression that the Masons and Shriners in communities across Montana and across the country are business and community leaders, and they're stable, calm, composed. . . At this time in our country, and in our state, and even here in Helena, Montana, we desperately need folks who can remain calm in turbulent times."

"I think you are the folks to whom other people in the community turn when they want reassurance, or they want to know that things are alright in this country."

"By and large, things ARE alright in this country, despite the turbulent times that we're in.  Our fundamental institutions of family, church, school, and civic organizations like yours, remain strong, remain vital, and remain so necessary to our common life together.  So, I think we need who you are and what you do more now than ever, and we'll be relying on you to provide a good, calm foundation, here at this meeting, and in your home communities, wherever they may be."


Youth Foundation Begun In Oregon

The Grand Lodge of Oregon has established the Oregon Masonic Youth Education & Literacy Foundation to improve opportunities, activities, and capabilities of youth in Oregon.

According to David H. Fryday, Past Grand Master and Chairman of the Foundation, its efforts hope to "give students in public and charter schools the tools and support to build a strong educational foundation, enabling them to be successful students now and productive citizens in the future."

The youth foundation's programs allow all Lodges in the Grand Jurisdiction to help children in their local communities, and participate in a fund-matching program.

Some of the programs now under the foundation's umbrella are Bikes-For-Books, Kindles-For-Books, Raising a Reader, Child ID, and Lodge and Masonic Youth Group Scholarships.

The Grand Lodge is currently involved in a fund raising effort to assist the youth foundation, with a goal of $100,000.

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