Tuesday, October 11, 2011

North Star Lodge #23 retires current Bible

On October 10, 2011 North Star Lodge #23 retired its current Bible that has sat on the alter since 1940. North Star Lodge #23 had a special evening to honor all of the Past Masters from the lodge to come for a special dinner. WB Jack McKenna prepared Beef Stroganoff for dinner.

The Bible has sat opened on the alter for 71 years during regular stated meetings, special meetings for degree work , and for Installation of Officers. The pages were becoming fragile and torn from usage, therefore it was voted upon at a meeting before the lodge went dark in the spring to hold this special meeting.

WB Mike Yankovec called out all of the names of brothers who had served as Master of their lodge with their year they were in office. As as the names of the Past Master from North Star Lodge #23 present were called, they went to the alter and signed their name in the Bible.

Their were 16 Past Masters from North Star Lodge #23, two Past Masters from Unity Lodge that from Sauk Rapids before it merged with North Star in the late 1980's, 1 Past Master from Olivia Lodge, and one Past Master from Colorado. MWB Alyn Dull was the oldest Past Master in attendance based on the year he served as master for North Star Lodge in 1963. He stated he knew all but a couple of the Past Maters even though he was in lodge during the earlier years.

It was a great evening and great fellowship was had by all in attendance.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ask Me How - Plymouth Lodge #160

"Ask Me How" is a membership recruitment tool Plymouth Lodge #160 is currently using. This is the third and last article in a series I choose to write about after attending the Metro West Masters and Warden Association on August 30, 2011.

I was very interested in hearing about this program that they were using to attract new members and follow-up on the leads they received. It is a newer version of a old program called, "2 B 1 Ask 1."

The lodge had buttons, cards, T-Shirts and other items made for their program. The main two items are the buttons and the cards. The buttons are blue with a Masonic Symbol and the words Ask Me How! The cards are pocket size when folded and printed on both sides of the cards.

Members of the lodge will wear their buttons at masonic functions or while out in public. When a potential member starts talking about the button and the phrase, Ask Me How, the member will do their best to answer the individuals questions. When they start inquiring more about the lodge and potential membership, the lodge member will present a card and ask the individual if they would like to fill it out and they are informed someone will follow-up with them on further questions or membership information.

The cards are two sided and are designed to fold in half and torn apart when the completed by both the lodge member and the potential member. The potential member receives one half of the card with information about what is a mason on one side and the lode member name he spoke with and a telephone for that member. The other half that was completed by the potential member has the individuals name and contact information on one side and notes with a date and initials of the member who turned in the card. There main focus is to insure someone follows-up with that individual.

I feel this was a very interesting program they are using and the cards would be a great tool for other lodges to use with the "State wide Open House Program on Saturday, October 15, 2011.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Worthy Matron (Mother) Initiates Daughter into OES

Lisa Cherry, the Worthy Matron for Granite Chapter #5 of the OES initiated her daughter, Katie into the order last evening. It was a great event as Granite had all the Officers Chairs filled for the ceremony.

I was delighted to be asked to serve as Sentinel for the evening. It was a great pleasure to visit with Katie while she was waiting to enter the chapter room. She expressed how excited she was to be joining Star and to have her mother be the installing Worthy Matron. I previously had met Katie and Lisa through Job Daughters events such at their Installation of Officers and Honor Masons night. She will be a great asset to Granite Chapter. I was at her installation when she was installed as Honor Queen for Bethel #11. Katie is currently a senior in high school and recorder for her Bethel Chapter.

Lisa was part of the Bethel Council and I am not for sure if she was a Bethel Guardian or not. I remember her always being very active and assisting with the Bethel meetings and events.

It shows that the youth of our fraternal organizations are vital in keeping our membership alive and will help shape our future. Please help support your local youth groups and OSE Chapters whenever possible. It will make the whole Masonic Family stronger. The next time you are invited to a youth event, please attend and help support them. They might just become a bother or sister in the Masonic Family as they grow older.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ribs, Ribs, & Blues

Series #2

Ribs, Ribs, & Blues

September 10th, 2011 Time: 12:00 - 4:00 pm

Anoka Lodge #30

1900 3rd Avenue

Anoka, MN 55303

Anoka Lodge #30 will be hosting a Ribs, Ribs, & Blues Event on September 10th at the Lodge Hall from 12 - 4:00 pm. The event will include tasty BBQ Ribs by the Famous Bones Brothers, Blues music by Big Walter Smith, MN KidsID - A Child Safety Program, and tours of the Lodge will be available.

All proceeds will go to the local ACBC Food Shelf. Please help support this worth while event if you are able.

Friday, September 2, 2011

We Can Ride

This is the first article in a series of topics that were covered at the Metrowest Masters and Wardens meeting held on August 30th at Anoka Lodge #30.

Anoka Lodge #30 and the Bones Brothers BBQ Team have joined up with We Can Ride Organization to support them and help with a fund raiser. The fund raiser event will be held on October 13, 2011 from 5:30pm - 7:30pm at the Minnetoka Community Center located at 14600 Minnetonka Blvd, Minnetonka, MN. This is the 4th Annual Make the Impact Event. There is no cost for the event and the BBQ buffet is served between 5:30pm -6:30pm with the program from 6:30pm - 7:30pm. The photos attached are both sides of a post card with more information.

The lodge is asking other lodges or individuals to be a table captain and ask 6 other individuals attend the event. Again there is no cost for the event, but they will be asking for donations or pledges to the organization. It looks like a great way for a lodge to do community service work and be recognized for their participation with the masonic emblem on the back of the postcards.

We Can Ride was founded in 1982 and provides Hippo therapy, Therapeutic Riding, and Horse-drawn Carriage programs for children and adults living with disabilities. The first class started with six individuals and today they have over 300 riders and 600 volunteers on a annual basis.

We Can Ride has developed into a Premier Accredited Member Center of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA). Their web address is http://www.wecanride.org/.

One individual commented, "When I'm riding my horse,no one can tell I have a disability.

Back in the Saddle

Wow, I am back in the saddle figuratively speaking. I knew I hadn't written an article for some time. My apologies to those brother or individuals who were following my blog. I know I might have lost some followers, but hopefully with time I can earn their respect by posting new articles on a regular basis.

The next article I write has do with saddles, so that is how I came up with the title. On Tuesday, August 30th I was invited and attended the MetroWest Area Maters and Wardens Meeting held at Anoka Lodge #30.

A great BBQ dinner of pulled pork made by the Famous Bones Brothers was served. It was fantastic.

Several lodges from Metrowest area were in attendance. The agenda included several items for discussion. Each item had great input by all of the brothers in attendance. I have chosen to write about each item in a separate article to try and give them their just do!

They discussed programs such as the following:
WE Can Ride.
Ask Me How
Masonic Float
Ribs, Ribs, and Blues
Senior Warden Summit

The first article I am choosing to discuss is a program that Anoka Lodge #30 and the Bones Brothers have decided to help sponsor. That program is called "We Can Ride".

It was a great evening of food and fellowship. Thanks for those who invited me and stated they would be happy if I would come to their next meeting on November 29th to be held at St. Louis Park Masonic Center.

The photo is the pan of BBQ Pulled Pork that was so delicious it made you mouth water for more!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sibley Lodge #209 honors MWB Steven R. Johnson with the Hiram Award

On March 26, 2011 Sibley Lodge #209 AF & AM of Winthrop, MN honored Past Grand Master MWB Steven R. Johnson with the Hiram Award. There were approximately 100 brothers and guest in attendance who participated in the Charles A. Wetter Table Lodge. WB Charles A. Wetter was the Master of Sibley Lodge.

MWB Steve was Master of Sibley Lodge #209 twice and served as the Grand Master of Minnesota in 2006-2007. MWB Steve was appointed to the Grand Lodge Line by Past Grand Master MWB Phillip G. Soderberg, his Masonic Father. Past Grand Master MWB Verne E. Long who was Grand Master in 1973-1974 was also present. MWB Phil stated MWB Verne was his Great, Great Masonic Father.

The table lodge consisted of Chicken Kiev for the main course (without the masonic vegetable - green beans), cheesecake for desert (mine was chocolate and I loved it), and great fellowship. MWB Thomas McCarthy was the MC for the event, with MWB John L. Cook, the current Grand Master in attendance to help present the award. There were a total of six Past Grand masters in attendance, plus the current grand master who was reminded by MWB Tom he only had 14 for days left in his term. MWB Steve gave a moving talk about having his breath taking away on several occasions with this being the most recent one.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Corner Stone has been Set!

The ceremony for laying the corner for the New University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital took place in October of 2010 with MWB Thomas McCarthy leading the ceremony as the Grand master of MN Masons at the time. On February 25, 2011 a group of Grand lodge Officers were invited to see the new hospital and the plaque before the Grand Opening to the public and hospital employees.

The pictures show the hospital from a distance leading up to the front door where they will be able to see the plaque as they enter the hospital.

A big Thank You to Brother Steve Johnson and Jennifer Soderholm for arranging the tour for Grand Lodge of MN Masons representatives to see the new University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital. It was fabulous and the state of the art. It is really geared to treating the children and making them comfortable as can be on their extended stay.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"4" Master Masons Raised at Clearwater Lodge #28

Four brothers were raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason last night (3-19-11) at Clearwater Lodge #28 with seven different lodges in attendance and helping with the degree work. The four new Master Masons were as follows: one from Clearwater #28 in Clearwater; two from Fraternal Lodge #92 in Princeton; and one from Sharon Lodge #104 in Willmar.

Brother Travis Gergen was the Master for the first section and Worshipful Brother Robin Nelson was the Master for the second section with both brothers being member of Clearwater Lodge #28. Brothers who assisted or were in attendance were from the following lodges: Anoka Lodge #30,Anoka; Clearwater Lodge #28, Clearwater; Fraternal Lodge #92, Princeton; Golden Fleece Lodge #89, Litchfield; Monticello Lodge #16, Monticello; North Star Lodge #23, St. Cloud; and Sharon Lodge #104, Willmar.

The brothers did a great job with the work and it was a very enjoyable event!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wearing The Square and Compass

The square and compass together is a universal sign of our Fraternity and is recognized all over the world. Masons as well as Non-masons associate the square and compass as our logo or trademark. They were original tools of the building trade.

Remember back to when you were going through the degrees and you were taught about the square and the level. The square was used by operative masons to square their work, but we were taught to use to govern al of our actions with mankind. The square represents honesty, fairness, and virtue; it is also used as a badge the badge of office of the Worshipful Master. The principal tenets of masonry are said to be contained within the two points of the compass when spread out, which are friendship, morality, and brotherly love. When you use a compass to draw a circle, one point remains in the center of the circle. That point represents the individual Mason. The circle represents the boundaries of his world and the people he comes into contact with. He is always to live by those principals of friendship, morality, and brotherly love, in all of his dealings with mankind, and especially with a Brother Mason. (1)

When a Mason wears the square and compass, whether it be a ring or other piece of jewelry, emblem on an article of clothing or hat, tattoo, bumper sticker, etc. he is telling the world that he is a Mason. The mason is then held to a higher standard or scrutinized more in greater detail for every action he might take. This is no different than an individual who wears or displays a religious emblem. The individual is letting the world know about their faith and beliefs. Other people watch the actions those individuals so they can criticize them for what they do wrong rather those thing they do right. Most of us have probably heard someone say (if not us ourselves) that person is a hypocrite. Look how they display their religious emblem and they act like that. How can they wear that or display that bumper sticker and act that way or drive that way?

I know we all can remember the good things that have happened or tell a story how someone noticed we were displaying the square and compass and what that meant to them or to us. But do we know about all the stories that might have been or are being told about our actions to others while we wear the square and compass?

As Masons, we should always be striving to improve ourselves in masonry and to become a better person, husband, father, friend, and especially a Brother Mason. This is not a completion amongst other brothers, but an individual’s goal to set his standards a little higher than they were before.

When Masons get involved in their communities and display the square and compass at events it shows the non-masons we really do care and want to help others. This might be done through KidsID events, books for schools, donating blood to the Red Cross, jumping in frigid lakes to help Special Olympics, hosting fund raisers for scholarships, supporting the women and children shelters, helping out communities during flooding and clean-up operations, and the list goes on.

Just remember when you wear the square and compass, you could be the first impression of masonry to a non-mason. Let’s make that first impression a great and lasting one and teach the non-mason about Truth, Relief, and Brotherly Love.

(1) Freemasons For Dummies, by Christopher Hodapp, Wiley Publishing Inc., 2005

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Polar Bear Plunge - Masons of Minnesota

On March 5, 2011 a team called Masons of Minnesota took the Polar Bear Plunge at Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, MN. The team was put together to support our Deputy Grand Master, Thomas Hendrickson who is a Minneapolis Police Officer.

The Polar Bear Plunge — presented by Minnesota law enforcement as part of their year-round Law Enforcement Torch Run® events — is a unique opportunity for individuals, organizations and businesses to support Special Olympics Minnesota athletes by jumping into frigid Minnesota waters. It consists of 14 different events that take place across Minnesota during the coldest months of the year. From January through March, the Plunge crews travel around the state to 14 different communities with one goal in mind: raise funds for Special Olympics Minnesota!

Plunge Facts
Did you know this will be the 14th year of the Polar Bear Plunge in Minnesota? The first Plunge took place in Minnesota at Como Lake in 1998 and had 65 participants who raised $20,000.

In 2005, 1000 plungers raised $275,000 at 5 Plunge locations. By 2008, Minnesota had 11 plunges, 3,500 participants, and raised $725,000. Just two years after that, in 2010, the Polar Bear Plunge took place in 13 different locations, included over 7000 participants, and raised $1.4 million!

At this rate, just imagine what 2011 will bring!

RWB Thomas Hendrickson's goal was to help support the organization and to get masons working in the communities we live in and to show the public Masons do care and are willing to help others. Their were 13 masons who were part of the team which raised approximately $3,075 for the event, including matching fund from MN Masonic Charities the total raised was $6,150. The team members were MWB Andy Rice, RWB Thomas Hendrickson, and the following brothers: John Gann, Rick Wallace, Robert Peterson, Kris Pich, Paul Scofield, Chuck Hendrickson, Doug Beach, Matthew Lundgren, Matt Fuller,Jason Pibal, and myself. The goal for next year is to get more Masonic Teams organized so they can take the plunge at lakes nearby their communities. Stay tuned for more information to following the coming months.

I would personally like to thank all of my sponsors who contributed on my behalf. I exceeded the goal I set thanks to each and everyone of them. They were as follows: MWB Thomas McCarthy and his wife Patty; MWB Roger Taylor and his wife Nancy Fischer; Sue Lentner, Owner of Your Travel Agency; WB Bob Holly and his wife Barbara, WB Larry Austin and his wife Julie; Gary and Debbie Heltemes; Lisa Pfannenstein; Nancy Frank; Dallas O'Dell; Cathy Thielman; and my loving wife Kathy Darling.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

MN KidsID Program

The new MN KidsID Program was rolled out at the last annual communication in March 2010 after completing three Pilot Programs. The three pilot programs were held in Rushford, St. Cloud and Mounds.

During the pilot programs and the first few programs hosted by the lodges, there were major issues with the computer equipment. It was recommended at a Grand Lodge Corporate Board Meeting to bring in the company representative for the equipment to watch a KidsID Event in person and see the problems first hand. The company representative traveled to Minnesota and watched an event in October and saw the problems with the equipment and software issues first hand. He agreed to take all of the units back and correct the problems, which also included upgrading the software programs. This resolved the major issues with the computer equipment and events are now running smoother. The Grand Lodge hopes lodges that experienced the problems with the equipment will host another event and see the difference with the units.

Since the start of the new KidsID Program till January 25, 2011, there have been 14 KidsID Events hosted by local lodges with a total of 926 children going through the program. There are currently 6 new events scheduled for 2011 and calls are coming into the Grand Lodge office checking availability of dates. The Grand Lodge is encouraging local lodges to host a KidsID Event in their communities. The KidsID Event is a great way to provide an important service to their community.

The KidsID Program has received endorsements from the following groups: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, MN Dentist Association, The MN Sheriffs Association, and The MN Chiefs of Police Association.

Please call Gary Odegard in the Grand Lodge Office to schedule a KidsID Event in your community.

The Masonic Ring I Wear!

The Masonic Ring I wear looks like most Masonic Rings with a square and compass, but it has special meaning to me!

It is the family history behind the ring that means so much! If only it could talk, it might tell the following story. I was originally worn by Perry Oliver Liming, but I am not for sure how or when Perry started wearing me. I do know that Perry was born in Milford, Ohio on April 18, 1880 and later moved with his family to Maroa, Illinois. On June 6, 1916, Perry was elected to take the degrees of masonry at Maroa Lodge #454 in Maroa, Illinois. He was initiated on July 27, 1916, Passed to the Fellowcraft Degree on September 26, 1916, and raised to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason on October 31, 1916. From November 13th – 15th, 1918 Perry went through the Consistory Classes at Bloomington, Illinois.

In 1919 Perry married Catherine Thayer who was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. They gave birth to their only son, Julian Thayer Liming (also known as J.T.) on May 3, 1920 in Maroa, IL. In about 5 – 6 years Perry and Catherine were divorced and J.T. went with his mother to live in Taylorville, IL with her mother Mary Thayer. Sometime later when J.T. was older he went to live with his father who then resided in Decatur, IL and attended and graduated from high school. After high school he went back to Taylorville to work. He later met Ila Ethridge from Taylorville, IL and they were married on February 2, 1940. On January 26, 1941 they gave birth to Julian Ann Liming (aka Julie Austin, my mother-In-Law). J.T. was working as an electrician at the construction project for an addition to the St. Vincent’s Hospital where he fell from a scaffold and broke his neck. After recovering from his neck injury, he went to work as an electrician for Montgomery Wards repairing refrigerators and other appliances. He and his family moved around a lot, until 1947 when they moved to Argenta, IL on his father’s family farm so Julie could start attending school. On December 2, 1947, J.T. was elected to take the degrees of masonry at Maroa Lodge #454 in Maroa, Illinois. He was initiated on December 30, 1947, Passed to the Fellowcraft Degree on April 28, 1948, and raised to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason on December 12, 1950. After J.T. was raised to Sublime Degree of a Master Mason, I was passed from Perry’s finger to J.T.’s finger. I can remember the look on Julie’s eye when she saw the ring. Perry would be wearing a big shiny ring (thought to be his ring from the Consistory) that really impressed Julie (a girl of young age) whose family was considered poor. Perry would come over to J.T.’s house and eat supper with the family before Perry and J.T. would go to the lodge meetings.

About this time J.T. started working for the Illinois Central Rail Road in Clinton, IL. I can remember J.T. coaching several newly admitted brothers to the fraternity. He would climb up into the warm locomotive engine at lunch time and sit there with the new brother practicing their proficiency work.

In 1955, after J.T.’s father Perry passed away, J.T. inherited his father’s farms. They moved to Maroa, IL and into a house which had electricity. Shortly afterwards, Gene Craig, J.T. and Julie helped build a new room onto the house, where they added an indoor bathroom. This was the first time the family had an indoor bathroom. J.T. also took a second job working for the Maroa Police Department to help buy food and clothing for the family.

It was not until after J.T. retired from the railroad, that he started wearing me on his finger on a regular basis. Also after his retirement from the Rail Road, J.T. became Chief of Police for Maroa and later started his own detective business, Liming Detective Agency. He named Julie Austin (his daughter), President and he was the only stock holder. He wore me proudly on a daily basis until his death on April 8, 2001.

Bob Darling, became a Master Mason in Maroa Lodge #454 on January 9, 1988 where his Father-In-Law Larry Austin (current Master of Maroa Lodge #454 raised him to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason). At the time of his raising, J.T. was present and it was a proud moment as his Grandson by marriage became a Master Mason. He had married Larry and Julie Austin’s daughter Kathy, on December 21, 1979. He was a Grand Lodge District Representative with the Grand Lodge of MN and on behalf of the Grand Lodge of Illinois he presented J.T. with his 50 year membership pin with the fraternity prior to his death. I can remember J.T. wearing me proudly. I even made the trip with J.T. to Minnesota when Bob was installed as the Master of North Star Lodge #23 and took part in the installation ceremony.

Bob and Kathy Darling had a son Matthew Robert who was born on January 28, 1982. In January of 2000, Matthew Robert Darling was raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason at North Star Lodge #23 in St. Cloud, MN. I (the ring) was carried proudly by Larry Austin, who gave me to Matthew on behalf of Ila Liming (J.T.’s wife/widow) to be worn proudly to show everyone he was a mason. Unfortunately, I was too small to fit on any of Matt’s finger and remained in a ring box in one of Matt’s dresser drawers at Bob and Kathy’s house. The dresser was moved from one house to another when Bob and Kathy moved from Sartell, MN to Becker, MN in 2003.

In the summer of 2010, Bob and Kathy’s house was being burglarized and the thief took me out of the drawer with intention of stealing me. I just wish I could tell someone who he/she was, but I must have gotten to them, since they put me down on the computer desk while they were stealing the camera used to Skype family members. I know J.T. was with me in spirit and the thief walked off and forgot me. When Bob and Kathy returned home from the weekend trip, Bob found me by the computer when he couldn't’t figure out why he was having trouble skyping a family member. I sent the spirit of J.T. to let him know the camera was gone and I was safe and sound. I started sending messages through J.T.’s spirit to Bob. Bob asked his son Matt if he could wear me, J.T.’s ring that was given to him on behalf of his Grandfather, Larry Austin. Matt told his dad that he could wear me, the ring. Bob finally realized my dream to be worn proudly again, and show the world what I stand for: Truth, Relief, and Brotherly Love.

So it is with great pride and honor that Bob wear his grandfather J.T.’s ring! May the Grand Architect be with you in all of your applications to the deity?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Masonic Saturday

You are probably asking what Masonic Saturday is or was and what did I miss?

Well on Saturday, January 15Th I started the day off by attending the One Day To Masonry held at the Scottish Rite Temple in Minneapolis, MN. It was a great day as 63(the number I heard) new brothers were raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason. The saw some of the best ritual work in the State of MN. To the brothers who took part in the organization or participation in the degree work, my congratulations to you or your fine work and dedication to the craft. The coffee, doughnuts, rolls, and lunch were also great.

Next, I rushed home, changed clothes, and spent a little time with my wife, Kathy, before heading to Monticello, to watch the Job's Daughters Bethel #19 Installation which started at 6:00 pm. The Theme for this installation was "New Beginnings". This is very appropriates since Bethel #19 got a new start in 2008. when the brothers of Monticello Lodge #16 agree to support the Bethel and try and start or start Bethel #19. The installation was the first one for the Bethel in Monticello. Ashton Gergen was install as Honored Queen by the Installing Officer, Faye Swanstrom, her Grandmother. My congratulations to the Honored Queen and her officers. May you have a great term. While at the installation, I was talking to a brother from Alexandria, and he stated that they held a 3rd Degree for two brothers that morning.

Immediately after the Bethel Installation was over, I hopped in my truck and drove to Clearwater, MN for the Installation of Officers of Clearwater Lodge #28. Due to the snow storms a couple weeks ago, Clearwater needed to reschedule their installation. WB Terry Brockman was installed as the Master for the ensuing year. The Installing Officer was the out going Master, Gary Loomis and Installing Marshal was their District Representative, WB Chuck Anderson. Congratulation to the new officers installed for Clearwater Lodge #28.

The Ancient Landmarks

I few day ago, I posted an article on The Ancient Landmarks of Freemasonry. I listed 25 Landmarks from Mackey's Revised Encyclopidia. These Landmarks are those principals of Masonic government and policy which are among the parts of Masonic law or rules of government that may never be altered or disturbed. I removed them and wanted to list what is accepted in Minnesota. Minnesota list 26 Landmarks.

The Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masonsof Minnesota list the Ancient Landmarks in the Minnesota Masonic Code starting on Page 7 as Follows:


The Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of Minnesota, a corporation duly organized and existing under the laws of Minnesota, practicing the Ancient York Rite, and inalienably invested with supreme and exclusive jurisdiction, as exercised, over all matters of Ancient Craft Masonry in the State of Minnesota, and possessing the inherent power to form a constitution as its fundamental written law, and to prescribe such other regulations and laws for its government and that of its constituents as it may deem best, and to alter and change the same at pleasure in order to establish and preserve fraternal union, maintain order, insure tranquility, provide for and promote the general welfare of the Craft and secure to the Fraternity the blessings of Masonic privileges, does ordain and adopt the following:

ARTICLE II. Masonic Laws

Section C2.01 Constitutions are those written compacts or laws adopted by Freemasons for the government of the Grand Lodge and its Constituent Lodges and their members, and are intended to be permanent in character.

SECTION C2.02 The Ancient Landmarks are those principles of Masonic government and policy which are among the parts of Masonic law or rules of government that may never be altered or disturbed, as, for instance, the universal language of Masons, and those peculiar marks of distinction by which they are separated from the profane, and by which they are enabled to prove themselves as the "Sons of Light."

SECTION C2.03 The following are enumerated from the Ancient Constitutions as having the
force of Ancient Landmarks of the Fraternity, having been generally received and acknowledged
by Masons as such:
( 1 ) That belief in the Supreme Being, "The Great Architect of the Universe," who will punish
vice and reward virtue, is an indispensable prerequisite to admission to Masonry.
( 2 ) That the moral law which inculcates charity and probity, industry and sobriety, and
obedience to law and civil government, is the rule and guide of every Mason, to which strict conformity is required.
( 3 ) That obedience to Masonic law and authority, being voluntarily assumed, is of perpetual obligation.
( 4 ) That the rites and ceremonies (which include the unwritten language) of the true system of the Ancient York Rite, and which constitute a part of the body of Masonry, are immutable, and that it is not in the power of any man to make innovations therein, except when in Grand Lodge convened.
( 5 ) That contentions and lawsuits between Brethren are contrary to the laws and regulations of Masonry.
( 6 ) That charity is the right of a Mason, his widow and orphans, when poor and destitute, to demand, and the duty of his prosperous brother to bestow.
( 7 ) That Masonic instruction is, like charity, a reciprocal right and duty of Masons.
( 8 ) That to visit Masonicly is an inherent right of Masons, but no visitor shall be received into a Lodge if any member present objects.
( 9 ) That a candidate for Masonry must be a man of mature age, free born, of good report, hale and sound, having no maim or defect in his body that may render him incapable of learning the art and physically able to conform substantially to what the several degrees of Masonry respectively require of him. If a candidate is unable to so comply with the physical requirements, he shall nevertheless be eligible to receive the degrees of Masonry, if, after favorable action by the Constituent Lodge, his petition for degrees, accompanied by a detailed report of the nature and extent of his disabilities, is approved by the Grand Master.
(10) That the Grand Master may make Masons at sight, and may grant a dispensation to a Lodge for the same purpose, but in all other cases a candidate must be proposed in open Lodge, at a Stated Communication and can only be accepted at a Stated Communication following, by the scrutiny of a secret ballot, and a unanimous vote, and must pay a fixed price before admission.
(11) That it is the duty of every Mason to be a contributing member of some Lodge.
(12) That a Mason who is not a member of a Lodge is still subject to the disciplinary power of Masonry.
(13) That the Master and Wardens of every chartered Lodge are of right and inalienably
representatives in, and members of, the Grand Lodge.
(14) That no one can be elected Master of a chartered Lodge, except at its first election, but a Master Mason who shall have served as a Warden.
(15) That every Mason must be tried by his peers; hence, the Master cannot be tried by his Lodge.
(16) That no appeal to the Lodge can be taken from the decision of the Master, or the
Warden occupying the chair in his absence.
(17) That Masonic intercourse with a clandestine, suspended or expelled Mason is a breach of duty and an offense against Masonic law.
(18) That a restoration of the privileges of Masonry by the Grand Lodge does not restore to membership in a Constituent Lodge.
(19) That the failure of a Lodge to meet for one (1) year is cause for the forfeiture of its
(20) That it is the duty as well as the right of every chartered Lodge to be represented in the Grand Lodge at its communications.
(21) That this Grand Lodge has supreme and exclusive jurisdiction, as exercised, within its territorial limits, over all matters of Ancient Free and Accepted Masonry, and accepts the right of the Grand Lodge of The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge F. & A.M. of Minnesota as having supreme and exclusive jurisdiction over matters pertaining to that Grand Lodge.
(22) That no appeal lies from the decision of the Grand Master in the chair, or the Deputy Grand Master or Grand Warden, occupying the chair in his absence.
(23) That the office of the Grand Master is always elective, and should be filled annually by the Grand Lodge.
(24) That the Grand Lodge, composed of its officers and representatives, must meet at least once in each year, to consult and act concerning the interests of the Fraternity in its jurisdiction.
(25) That all officers of the Grand Lodge or Constituent Lodge must be Master Masons.
(26) That no subject of sectarian or political character can be discussed in a Lodge, and any Mason proposing such a subject renders himself liable to the disciplinary action of the Lodge.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jobs Daughters - Bethel #11 Installation of Officers

On Sunday afternoon, January 9, 2011, I attend the installation of officers for Jobs Daughters - Bethel #11, located in St. Cloud, MN. As always, it was a very nice ceremony. The thing that impresses me the most is that the outgoing or Past Honored Queen is the Installing Officer. In this case PHQ Kayla Woodard was the Installing Officer and Installed HQ Janessa Dahle. PHQ did a wonderful job in the work. My congratulations her. I also wish congratulations and the best to HQ Janessa and the rest of her officers for a great term. Her term is for 6 months. HQ Janessa is a daughter to WB Dahle form Clearwater #28.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

North Star #23 Installs New master on 1-8-11

On January 8, 2011, North Star Lodge #23 installed WB Michael Yankovec as Master for the year. The installing officers were as follows:MWB Roger Taylor, Installing Master; WB Bob Darling, Installing Marshal; and WB Duane Evermann, Installing Chaplin. My congratulations to WB Mike and the rest of the officers on their installation. I wish you the best this year!

Brother Nephat Oliech, from North Star Lodge #23 played beautiful music on the piano before and during the Installation. The Jobs'Daughters from Bethel #11 performed the Living Cross with the assistance of Daughters from Bethel #19 out of Monticello.

After the installation was over, the brothers and guest were served an excellent Prime Rib Dinner. Meghan Faundeen made the wonderful cakes.

Monday, January 3, 2011

AF & AM vs F & Am vs AFM vs FAAM

On January 1, 2011,I was installed as the LEO for Monticello Lodge #16. It is my goal to have a presentation for every meeting I attend. I plan on reading and doing research on topics I don't know the answers. This way everyone, including myself will learn something new,hopefully. It is with this interest I will post all of my LEO talks on my blog.

Please feel free to contact me at my email address with comments.

AF & AM vs F & Am vs AFM vs FAAM What do these letters represent, which states belong to which groups, and what are the differences between them? Does it matter which one I belong to and will I be accepted by the others?
AF & AM – Ancient Free and Accepted Masons - Includes 25 states as follows: Co, CT, DE, ID, IL, IA, KS, ME, MD, MN, MO, MT, NE, NH, NM, NC, ND, OK, OR, SD, TX, VA, WV, AND WY.
F and AM - Free and Accepted Masons – Includes 24 states as follows: AL, AK, AR, AZ, CA, FL, GA, HI, IN, KY, LA, MI, MS, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, UT, VT, WA, AND WI.
AFM – Ancient Free Masons – Includes 1 state as follows: SC
FAAM – Free and Accepted Masons - Includes the District of Columbia.(1)
Each state is under its own jurisdiction in the US. Therefore, each state Grand Lodge is its own headquarters and does not have to report to anyone else since there is no one headquarters for the entire US.
All four different groups of Freemasons trace their allegorical history back to the building of King Solomon’s Temple in the Holy Scriptures.(2)
After the foundation of the first Grand Lodge in England in 1717, a rival Grand Lodge arose less than two decades later, calling itself the Antients (or Ancients), whereby it intended to assert greater authenticity than the rival “modern” Grand Lodge. The Antients were also known as Athol Masons, from their first Grand Master, the Duke of Athol. Some authors (e.g., Carl Claudy) say the Antients were schismatic—i.e., had split off from the “modern” Grand Lodge; others (e.g., Allen Roberts)of more recent vintage say that the Antients were founded independent by Lodges deriving from Scottish and Irish traditions who were excluded by the English “Moderns.” The Moderns were the F and AM while the “Antients” became the “Ancients” in the AF and AM.
Freemasonry was exported to the British Colonies in North America in the 1730’s, with the “Antients” and the “Moderns” (as well as the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland) which chartered offspring (daughter) lodges, and organized various Provincial Grand Lodges. After the American Revolution, Independent US Grand Lodges formed within the states.
The disagreement between the two Grand Lodges in England was later healed around 18980, but by that time, there were Grand Lodges all over the US that were descended from one group or another, so each group kept their own corresponding initials with which they were formed. This is the reason for the small differences between the states within the ritual wording and Grand Lodge By-Laws and procedures.
The minimal differences are not important, since there is shared brotherhood amongst all freemasons within the fraternity. A brother is accepted by all when visiting other jurisdictions, when proving him to be current in his dues, and proving him to be a mason. One would have to be careful when buying items with Masonic Emblems in other jurisdictions based on the letters of their groups.
1. AF and AM vs F and AM States. Masonic Lodge of Education
2. What is the Difference between AF & AM and F & AM Lodges. Author Roger M. Firestone.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Monticello Lodge #16 - 2011 Installation

Monticello Lodge #16 held their annual Installation of Officers on January 1, 2011. WB Tracy C. Newman was installed as master of the lodge for the ensuing year. MWB John L. Cook presided over the installation as the Installing Officer with WB Bob Holly assisting as the Installing Marshal. During the ceremony, Job's Daughters from Chapter #11 and #19 presented the Living Cross and did a wonderful performing it for all present.
In the top photo is WB Tracy, MWB John L. Cook and Tracy's daughter.