As was brought up at the end our November meeting, attendance and involvement seems too have dropped off. We had 59 Brothers in attendance that night, certainly not one of our better attended meetings. I know there are those that would say they forgot we moved it to the third Wednesday on November and December. There are those that would say they were preparing for the holidays and could not attend. My Brothers it is disappointing to not being afforded the opportunity to fellowship with so many of you Brothers as we have in the past. I would hope if you did not attend the November meeting that you give us the opportunity on December 21st (first day of winter by the way) to “Break Bread” and fellowship with you. That being said I would like to invite EVERY BROTHER within our respective present (11th & 12th) and future (8th & 9th) districts to join us on the third Wednesday in December for our last meeting of the year and to fellowship with one another again. We will be holding our annual election of officers followed by their installation. This will be preceded by some awards for Gavel attendance and recognizing our two new Masons of the Year.
Secondly, publish our meeting in your respective Trestle-Boards. Also, submit to have your Lodge’s activities on the Associations web site (jaxmasons.org) calendar. Email your activities (Degrees, Fund Raisers, Installations) to firstname.lastname@example.org to have them included into the calendar. Currently December and January are essentially blank and I know there are one or two installations going to be happening around the district. We are bringing the site up to being current and relevant again. Anyway we hope to see as many Brothers from as many Lodges as possible in December.
W:. Dave Thomas
11th & 12th Masonic Association
As a reminder, for the months of November and December, the Association meetings are on the third Wednesday of the month vice the fourth Wednesday due to the holidays. I noticed looking through several Trestle-Boards that it was listed as TBD or not at all. The November meeting is on the 16th at William B. Barnett Lodge No 187 (supper at 6:30 and meeting at 7:30) when we will be discussing nominations for officer positions in the Association. December’s meeting is the 21st at Oceanview Lodge No 408 where we will be electing and installing our 2017 Association Officers. WMs please inform the Craft of our meetings and encourage them to join us in fellowship.
For those Lodges wishing to host a meeting in 2017, if you have not done so already, should contact W:. Bruce Hill (Assoc. Vice President) and see what months he has left available, if any.
W:. Dave Thomas
11th & 12th District Masonic Assoc.
I have only one thing to say about our current situation in Florida; our fraternities (plural) need some power. We do not need new aprons, or new jewels, or new members, nearly as much as we need new power. We do not need new buildings as much as we need some spiritual life in the buildings we already have. They have Masters, Past Masters, and Right Worshipful, Right Honorable, but they don’t seem to have any power beyond the walls where they operate. They have Associations, Units, Clubs with all kinds of activities, but they cannot, or we will not, alter the circumstances in the lives of potential candidates who are sitting just outside the doors of most of our particular lodges. All the while the community is run by the drug dealers, the street corner pimp, and the teen-age high school dropout with a hoodie on his head and his pants sagging so low that his underwear, and sometimes his backside, are clearly visible.
I am asking every one of you to Pray to God that something sparks our fraternity to new power. I am praying that God gives us the power of the men who paved the way of our fraternity. I am praying that God gives our degrees, our reunions, our ceremonials, our festivals, and our work & instruction New Power. I am praying that God wakes us up and bring us alive so that our fraternities will have the power that is needed to tackle the problems that surround us all across this state, particularly in your own lodge. Have you noticed that fewer and fewer men are getting involved, or even showing up? We invite, and they don’t come. I think I may have one reason why. Some don’t feel “qualified” to be among so-called “perfect” masons, we know very few guys at our lodge and we don’t make friends easily.
On top of that, stuff isn’t going right, and it’s embarrassing. We need to get face-to-face, eye-to-eye and just get to know each other. We all need another man to cover our back. Quit always sitting with your click. Move around and communicate. Now I know that many members of most lodges would want to appear to be “cool”, “calm” and “collected.” But we need to receive the spirit of God that can set a fire inside of our souls that will melt our “cool” away and set us ablaze for the cause of Freemasonry. WAKE UP GUYS! I want that boldness, and I hope that you want it as well. I hope that all of us want to have the power, and the boldness, and the desire to share our ideas and live openly for that further light that we all seek. AMEN! ?
R.W. Samuel H. Bennett
District Deputy Grand Master
11th Masonic District of Florida
This was posted by the Grand Secretary as a status update on his Facebook page. It was also sent to Secretaries of the lodges and others via the April Monthly Mail.
May 24th -May 27, 2015
Registration 8:00 a.m.
Ladies Registration ..8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Church Service (Ballroom A) ..11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Memorial Service (Ballroom A) Immediately following Church Service
Board of Trustees Meeting Immediately following Memorial Service
DeMolay Advisors Development Course (Salon 8) 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
PDDGM Association (Salon 11) 2:00 p.m.
Grand Master’s Banquet (Ballrooms A) Doors Open at 6:00 p.m. – Dinner at 6:30 )
Registration ………………..8:00 a.m.
Official Opening of the Grand Communication (Grand Ballroom).9:00 a.m.
Ladies Coffee(Salons5/6…….8:00 a.m.
Grand Lodge Session Breaks forLunch…11:30 a.m.
Grand Lodge Open Session… 12:45 p.m.
(Open to wives and non-Masons – Presentation by the Administrator of the Masonic Home, Grand Oration)
Grand Lodge Session Call from Labor to Refreshment 4:00 p.m.
Actual Past Master’s Degree (Grand Ballroom) 4:30 p.m.
Registration (Ballroom Foyer)…8:00 a.m.
Grand Lodge Session Call from Refreshment to Labor 9:00 a.m.
Ladies Luncheon (Salons 7&8)…………..11:30 a.m.
Grand Lodge Session Breaks for Lunch.. 12:00 p.m.
Grand Lodge Session Reconvenes………….. 1:15 p.m.
Grand Lodge Session Call from Labor to Refreshment 4:30 p.m.
Senior Warden and Junior Warden meet
with the Grand Lodge Officers (Grand Lodge Room)5:00
Registration (Returns and Credentials – Salon 14).8:00 a.m.
Grand Lodge Session Call from Refreshment to Labor 9:00 a.m.
Installation of Grand Lodge Officers 10:30 a.m.
Sunday Contemplation – INSTRUCTIVE TONGUE, ATTENTIVE EAR
by the Reverend and RW Brother Ritchie, Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Wisconsin (from a Short Talk Bulletin, May 2014)
As Fellow Crafts, we are given the Instructive Tongue, the Attentive Ear, and the Faithful Breast. It has been my experience that most Masons are more than willing to use the Instructive Tongue. We have all been part of a degree with six prompters (usually all saying something different). We like to help and we want to inform others, share with them the knowledge we have. This is one of the passions many of us struggle to subdue. We sometimes tend to employ the Instructive Tongue before we have engaged the Attentive Ear.
The Attentive Ear is where it starts. It is how we learn our work. It is also the first step in practicing our tenets. Brotherly Love starts by listening to a Brother’s story. Relief starts by listening to a Brother’s struggles, his problems. Truth begins when we listen to the beliefs and ideas of others and then quietly contemplate and form our own. The Instructive Tongue, Attentive Ear, and Faithful Breast are the reasons we, as a fraternity, have survived the centuries. They are the reason we are valid and needed today. They are what will make us viable in the future. How many problems are caused in Lodges and in life by an unbridled instructive tongue? The trouble comes when we get the order wrong. The Instructive Tongue must teach us first. This is what the Attentive Ear hears. Then the Attentive Ear fills the Faithful Breast and then, and only then, will the Instructive Tongue, in turn, be ready to pass on to others the Secrets of Freemasonry, our history, our stories and our ritual.
Along those lines, here is an article which appeared in the Florida Mason written by W Brother Nelson Rose, PM of Coral Springs 373, member of Doric 140.
I remember a time in Masonry that when a Brother would hear the words “Masonic Charges” thoughts of “The ways of virtue” or “Quitting this sacred retreat” would come to mind. It was a time when the older Brothers allowed the younger Brothers to take charge and conduct ritual and hold leadership positions, while in turn the younger Brothers looked to the older for guidance and counsel. It was a time when the biggest disagreements were whether there would be chicken or ribs at the BBQ (which always ended with the result of both) and what dates to hold the black tie affairs. Now it seems Brothers are pinned against each other for a myriad of spurious and menial conflicts and the very cement of Brotherly love is cracking and chipping away. Our membership is suffering not because of changes in society, but because of our inability to keep the normal cut-throat attitudes of society outside our Lodges. It seems we are incapable of remembering that the 5 points of fellowship (that we are to use when greeting each other) should serve as a visible reminder of the mystic tie that weaves us together into one Brotherhood. It would be dishonest to lament the direction of our Order without acknowledging some fault of my own. I have at times failed to keep my passions in due bounds and let my emotions get in the way of making sound decisions. This drift on my part has caused some dissension and perhaps weakened my credibility to some of the Brethren. I can only offer my deepest apologies and stress that my intentions are always for the advancement of our venerable Fraternity and that we should do all we can to remain relevant, while not sacrificing those virtues which make us unique. Our inability to embody the sacred tenants of our Order does not make us bad Masons unless we fail to learn from them. The year is young and therefore the opportunity to make this “our year” is ripe. Call a Brother you have neglected and catch up on him and how he is doing. Drop the sword and pick up the trowel by reaching out to a Brother you’ve had a falling out with and extend the forgiveness and love that you would want extended to you. There is no time greater than the present to resurrect what once was a vessel of influence and pillar of knowledge in society. This can only be done together and it is together that our Brotherhood will live another day and make a brighter tomorrow.