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Masonic Service Association of North America

Focus January 2005

The Initiated Eye, Secrets, Symbols, Freemasonry, and the Architecture of Washington, DC

In an unprecedented collaboration with the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the District of Columbia and history painter Peter Waddell, the Octagon, the Museum of The American Architectural Foundation, is organizing an original exhibition focusing specifically on the significant contributions of Freemasons to the design and architecture of Washington, D.C.

Featuring 20 original paintings by artist Peter Waddell complemented by original Masonic artifacts, including the three silver cups used at the laying of the Washington Monument's cornerstone, the exhibition will tell the story of the city's design from a new perspective and shed light on the Masonic connections of many historic buildings in the U.S. Capital.

THE INITIATED EYE opens to the public on May 18, 2005, and remains on view through December 31, 2005. Extensive educational programming will accompany the exhibition, including walking tours of area Lodges and Temples, musical performances, lectures, and workshops.

The Octagon Museum is located at 1799 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. The museum is open 10 am - 4 pm Tuesday through Sunday. Additional information about this project is available online at: www.theoctagon.org and www.initiatedeye.com

American Freemasons, Three Centuries of Building Communities 

By Mark Tabbert, 32°

Published by the National Heritage Museum in cooperation with New York University Press

This book seeks to explore how generations of Masons have been exposed to the tenets of Freemasonry and have practiced them in public. To fulfill this purpose is to provide an explanation of what Freemasonry is, why American men have joined it for nearly 300 years, and what Freemasons have done and continue to do.

The book uses authorized quotations from Masonic initiation ceremonies and the symbols used by the Masons to provide deeper insight into Freemasonry's basic philosophy and a members desire to participate. The dynamic and tense relationship between the privacy of restricted Masonic lodges and the openness of America's public communities is the catalyst of this beautifully illustrated book.

Order at: www.supremecouncil.org or 781-457-4108

All proceeds go to the National Heritage Museum of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction Scottish Rite

Masonic Public Awareness

In a far-reaching report on what needs to be considered regarding Masonic Public Awareness, the group studying this issue at the MIC concluded:

Ideally, today, Masonry should be recognized as:

  • A serious men's organization, dedicated to personal growth and community involvement.
  • A provider of camaraderie, mutual trust in each other, instant fellowship and lasting brotherhood
  • A provider of an atmosphere of inclusiveness.
  • An organization that makes good men better in body, mind, and spirit.

Then we asked: "Who do we want to reach as potential members?"

We worked through the need to market profiles based on age, geographic region, or marital status; however, we took a bolder approach. We argue that our target market exists among men who can be found in all ages, areas, and groups. What Masons and potential brothers share is the following:

  • They seek fulfillment through multiple levels of experience, including body, mind, and spirit.
  • They enjoy fraternal fellowship.
  • They want community enriched by participation, dialog, and inquiry.
  • They desire a life that is principled, disciplined, and compassionate.

Conclusion: Freemasonry wants to reach fellow journeymen, seeking enrichment in body, mind, and spirit through participation in a brotherhood committed to personal growth, good works, and spirituality.

We strongly feel that programs must be developed that highlight the central core of our fraternity:

  • Freemasonry must be centered on the lodge and give members opportunities to express themselves through activities that improve the experience of the lodge and benefit the life of the community.
  • Freemasonry sustains its viability as a fraternal organization through its performance of Masonic rituals and values both in the lodge and throughout everyday life. As trustees of Masonry's rich and valuable heritage, members must continually invigorate their approach to Masonic participation, making it an experience that is rewarding, enriching, and relevant to its members, their families, and the greater community.

 

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