Stated Meeting Thursday, June 7th, 2018.  Meal served at 6:30 pm and Lodge opens at 7:30 pm.


Q: What is Freemasonry?
A: Freemasonry aims to promote Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love among its members. It is, by definition, a fraternity; comprised of men from every race, religion, opinion, and background who are brought together as Brothers to develop and strengthen the bonds of friendship.

With nearly 4 million members, Freemasons belong to the largest and oldest fraternal organization in the world. Freemasonry proposes to "make good men better" by teaching - with metaphors from geometry and architecture - about building values based on great universal truths.


Q: Where did Freemasonry come from?
A: Part of the mystique of Freemasonry can be attributed to speculation about its roots. Despite many theories, researchers have been unable to conclusively determine exactly when, where, how, and why Freemasonry originated.

The order is thought to have arisen from the English and Scottish guilds of practicing stonemasons and cathedral builders in the Middle Ages, but certain Masonic documents actually trace the sciences of geometry and masonry to the time of ancient Egypt, and some historians say that Masonry has its real roots in antiquity, even before great civilizations arose.

The formation of the first Grand Lodge in London in 1717 marks the beginning of the Modern (or "Speculative") era of Freemasonry, when membership was no longer limited to actual working stonemasons. These "Accepted" Masons eventually adopted more enlightened philosophies, and turned what was a tradesmen's organization into a fraternity for moral edification, intellectual recitation, benevolent service, and gentlemanly socialization.


Q: Is there a difference between Masons and Freemasons?
A: The names are interchangeable. The term Freemason is often used today in public to differentiate the fraternity from actual operative stonemasons, and is said to more accurately describe the enlightened "freethinking" of the membership.



Q: Why is there so much interest in Masonry today?
A: Over the last four centuries, Freemasonry seems to have flourished during times of great enlightenment and change. It is no coincidence that Freemasonry rose to prominence during the Age of Enlightenment in both Europe and America - where a new generation believed it could develop methods to foster personal improvement, bring order to society, and understand the whole universe. This sentiment is perhaps even stronger today than it was in the 18th century.

Today, men seek out Masonry for the same reasons - to better themselves and improve society in the company of like-minded Brothers. As we learn more about how our physical world works, there's also heightened interest in intangible things we don't yet fully understand - especially topics based upon tradition or having a more mystical nature.

Also, books like The Da Vinci Code and movies like "National Treasure" have inspired both new interest and renewed speculation about the nature of the Fraternity. Though these books and movies are a product more of a vivid imagination than historical fact, the real history of Masonry is perhaps the best story of all, one learned only by asking - and becoming - a Freemason.



Q: Can Freemasonry actually make me a better person?
A: No organization can guarantee to make anyone better, but the timeless values and important truths that are taught as part of the Masonic tradition have proven to inspire, challenge, and develop moral, social and leadership qualities in men. The best known American Mason, George Washington, personifies the application of the Fraternity's character-building principles in one's life.

Perhaps one of the things that has kept Masonry a strong and vital organization for so long is the fact that the Fraternity proposed only to "make good men better," not to make bad men good. This distinction is critical in that from its earliest days the Craft wisely refrained from involving itself in rehabilitation programs, which more appropriately gave remained the purview of both religion and the criminal justice system.

Today, good men from every walk of life are striving to improve themselves in Masonic Lodges the world over. If you would like to become part of this honorable tradition, we welcome your interest.


Q: Is Masonry a secret society?
A: No. It is sometimes said that Freemasonry is a "society with secrets, not a secret society." In point of fact, however, any purported Masonic "secrets" were made public several centuries ago in London newspapers, and today can be found in the Library of Congress, on the Internet, and in many books on the subject. As Benjamin Franklin once said, "The great secret of Freemasonry is that there is no secret at all."


Q: What about secret handshakes, ritual, and passwords?
A: Freemasonry, often called the "Craft" by its members, is founded on metaphors of architecture. Following the practice of the ancient stonemason guilds, Freemasons use special handshakes, words, and symbols to not only identify each other, but to help, as Masonic author William Preston said in 1772, "imprint upon the memory wise and serious truths."

Although every new Freemason takes an oath - and vows to keep secret the metaphors of Masonry - the metaphors are only used to help Masons become better men. And there's certainly no secrecy surrounding the character traits required to be good and true.



Q: What is Masonic
A: The nature of Masonic ritual is both complex and beautiful. "Ritual" is actually a recitation of certain tenets and truths that have been passed down for generations - mostly from mouth to ear. This "ritual" takes the form of lectures and theatrical performances in the Lodge, and is used to teach new Masons the value of truth and the necessity of helping those in need.

Not everyone will want to learn the ancient ritual as it takes a great deal of time and study effort, but those Masons who chose to learn it are rewarded with the satisfaction of upholding a powerful tradition and helping their fellow Brothers further their Masonic understanding.


Q: Are Shriners Masons?
A: Yes, all Shriners are Masons. Before a man can join the Shrine, he must first receive three "degrees" in his "Blue Lodge," or Home Lodge. After that any Mason can move on to one or more of the appendant bodies, including the Scottish Rite, York Rite, and Shrine. Masons may also affiliate with other Lodges. It should be noted that although these other Masonic bodies allow members to pursue advanced degrees and get more Masonic education, there is no "higher" degree than the 3rd, which is received in the Blue Lodge.


Q: Is Masonry a Religion?
A: Masonry is definitely not a religion, and is one of the few forums where men of every religion can come together. And although Lodges open and close with a prayer, and Masonry teaches morality, it is neither a church nor a religious body, and a member's religious beliefs are his own affair. Masonry is open to all men who believe in a Supreme Being; because of the necessity to take oaths, no atheist can become a Mason.



Q: Is Freemasonry a charity?
A: Not in the traditional sense. Masonic principles do however teach the value of relief or charity, and Freemasons donate thousands of hours of volunteer time and more than $2 million PER DAY, of which more than 70 percent goes to assist the general public.

Among the Masons' good works are the Shriners Hospitals for Children with two dozen sites throughout North America; well over 200 Scottish Rite Learning Centers helping children with dyslexia, speech and hearing disorders; the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, which funds treatment and surgery for children and adults with vision disorders; and the Grottoes of North American Humanitarian Foundation, which provides dental care for special needs children.



 

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