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Masonic Service Association of North America

Focus September 2012

‘What Has Masonry Done For The World?’

Cover of BrochureThat is the title of a new brochure published by the Masonic Information Center, aimed at both Masons and non-Masons.

It describes many key historical trends that were either initiated or advanced by Masonry. These include Individualism, Democracy, Human Rights, the Rights of Workers, the Arts and Architecture, Public Education, Health, and Personal Development and Fulfillment.

“What Has Masonry Done for the World?” is an excellent pamphlet to build pride and respect for the Fraternity in the heart of any Mason, regardless of the length of their time in the Craft.

It also is perfect for reading by families and friends of Masons, or for handing to non-Masons who may show an interest in Masonry. It is great for giving to visitors at open houses, fairs, and other public events.

“What Has Masonry Done For The World?” was written by noted Masonic author James Tresner, of Oklahoma. MIC gives thanks to the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma for permitting adaptation of its previous pamphlet.

This brochure will be sold only in lots of 50*.

                             50 @ .27 = $13.50
                           100 @ .25 = $25.00
                           500 @ .23 = $115.00
                        1,000 @ .20 = $200.00
* Plus postage

The Masonic Information Center is the information arm of the Masonic Service Association of North America.

‘Secret’ Insight From Manitoba

Douglas Webster, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, recently gave a new insight into how to look at Masonic “secrets.”

Speaking at the Inter-Provincial Conference of the Four Western Jurisdictions of Canada, Right Worshipful Brother Webster said, “I believe that the ‘greatest’ secret is what Freemasonry does spiritually to each of us. The changes that happen inside a man when he is accepted, and when he embraces the Masonic teachings and ideals, is special to each of us and lives within our hearts.

“Passwords, signs and grips don’t mean anything without the context of physically going through the degrees of Freemasonry. There are certain elements of Freemasonry that bind us together in a true brotherhood. This is a spirit that breathes into us.

“These ‘secrets’ cannot be read, watched or told. They must be experienced.”

Social Media Codes Of Conduct For Freemasons

Several Grand Lodges around the world have become concerned about the use of “social media” in any official Masonic environment and have developed “social media codes of conduct” for such use.

In recent months, such “Codes” have been published by the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts and the Grand Lodge of New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory.

One guideline begins: “The presence of Massachusetts Freemasons on various social networking sites is growing exponentially and it is drawing attention to the fraternity. By participating on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (and others), we should strive to make that attention as positive as possible. When we represent ourselves as members of the fraternity, we become someone’s impression of Freemasonry. As such, it is important that we act accordingly and subscribe to the lessons we are all taught as Masons in terms of how we communicate and interact with Masons and non-Masons.”

The article about standards from New South Wales is headlined: “Beware of what you say.”


Masonry Focuses on Special Olympics Across Jurisdictions

Several Grand Lodges across the nation sponsor projects to help the Special Olympics efforts across their states.
Two in particular are noted here as examples. Special Olympics is the world’s largest sports organization for children and adults with disabilities, providing year-round training and competitions to more than 4 million athletes in 170 countries.

 

Minnesota

Minnesota Fund Raiser

Minnesota Masons take a “Polar Plunge” into frigid, winter waters in Minneapolis to support Special Olympics. A close examination discovers Thomas E. Hendrickson, Grand Master at the time, in the water, in the center of picture, with a not-so-warm smile on his face.

The Grand Lodge of Minnesota chose a frigid winter day to demonstrate their support. More than 120 Minnesota Masons participated in a “Polar Plunge” at 8 different locations – from Duluth to Minneapolis – to earn funds for Special Olympics.

The largest plunge site was Minneapolis with some 50 “jumpers.”

To be part of the effort, each Mason had to secure donations and pledges. A total of $50,000 was raised.

Many of the “jumpers” into the freezing waters wore costumes, along with specially designed shirts, showing they were part of the Minnesota Masons’ team.

“Everybody had a good time,” one participant said.

In establishing the project, three goals were set: (1) to generate donations for a worthy cause; (2) to build a bond of brotherhood; and (3) to increase Masonic visibility. Planners agreed that all three goals were met successfully

Ohio

The Grand Lodge of Ohio has been supporting the statewide Special Olympics Summer Games since 1978, and over those years, has contributed more than $3,655,000. This year, the donation totaled $175,000, which is raised through the year by Lodges and individuals all over the jurisdiction.

Ohio Masons annually lead off the parade at the Opening Ceremonies in Columbus on the grounds of Ohio State University. This year, more than 400 Masons, clothed in aprons, marched ahead of the large group of Olympic participants.

As the parade starts, the families and friends of the Olympians, seated in grandstand area, give a rousing, standing ovation as the Masons enter.
Many Masons and Lodges also participate as volunteers for the Summer Games, or work in similar capacities during the year at many Special Olympics events throughout the state.

Ohio

Special Olympians from Ohio made a special sign to thank the Masons for their long-time contributions to the program. A lovely day in June was selected for the Opening Event and Grand Master Kevin B. Todd has a genuinely warm smile on this occasion

 

Public awareness of Freemasonry has been one of the goals of the Masonic Information Center since its creation in 1993. These pictures continue a new feature of pictorial examples of Freemasonry on display in communities across North America. If you have a pictorial example of such a public display, send a picture and information to the Masonic Service Association for consideration for a future issue.

 

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