The holidays are upon us and this year is coming to its end. I would like to wish you and your family a happy and safe holiday season.
As Masons, let's not forget all of those who are less fortunate and spread some good tidings. Take the time to reach out to friends and family. This year's end completes a journey and starts anew. Now that my tenure as Worshipful Master is ending, I have learned many valuable lessons.
The gains of few are many, but the gains of many are endless. Do not try to stand alone assist and be assisted. A good leader uses all that is available to him, a good Mason makes himself available. I will continue to be available and dedicated to the craft and the Brethren.
I cannot express how grateful I am for all the support and loyalty I received this year. Thank You all from the bottom of my heart.
One of the last duties I have this year is to Qualify our next Worshipful Master. I would like to congratulate Brother Roy Becker-Rowley on his election as Worshipful Master. I have no doubt the Brethren will offer him the same wonderful loyalty and support they afforded me. I wish him the best of luck and a very successful year.
In closing I would like to express how honored I am to have served as your Worshipful Master. It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget or regret. Be well and have a great day.
WM Todd Murray
I would like to chat about change.
It has always been a part of our lives. It is all around us. Change can either be beneficial, or detrimental. From the time of conception we change daily. Recently there was a good change in our collation room. We received a donation of a shuffleboard table that has added a lot of fun and fellowship to our time spent at the lodge. Masonry is changing as well. Unfortunately not all good. One of the detrimental changes I've observed is the lack of participation, which is the backbone of Masonry. With it we learn, with it we enjoy, with it we prosper.
There is no way to obtain the benefits from Masonry without participating. When a brother is not active in our fraternity, not only does he miss out, the brethren does as well. I understand the lack of participation is mainly caused by the changes in today's lifestyle. A lot of us find ourselves overwhelmed with work schedules, family commitments and other activities that consume our lives. This is a challenge in masonry. Many feel that Masonry takes up too much time, wrong, there is not enough time for Masonry. Masonic time spent is of the highest quality. The challenge is to fit it into our schedules. Remember there is a lot of family activities in Masonry. Many brothers are spending their time moving the craft forward and running these events. They need participation. Find the time, come out, enjoy, help and benefit.
WM Todd Murray
Our summer is now coming to a close and we recently had the pleasure to honor some of our Brothers for their efforts and dedication to the Craft. The 20th Masonic District held its annual awards luncheon. The Lodges of the district presented awards for the outstanding efforts of their Brothers. Longevity pins were also issued to the dedicated Brothers for their many years of continuous service. We celebrated many years of dedication and service of our Brothers with 50 or more years as Masons. A Gold Token Degree was held in their honor. This Degree represented the lessons learned in our three Degrees and congratulated our Brethren for the many years of successfully practicing these principles.
Every Mason had to put forth much dedication and effort to become a Master Mason. We all did this freely and willingly. These principles do not end here. Masonry would not exist without the efforts of our Brothers. It is not a business and it cannot sustain itself. I discovered that my dedication and efforts I have put into Masonry has always been a pleasure. The more you put into Masonry the more you will benefit from it. Masonry is always rewarding and pleasurable.
I had met two Brothers that had become inactive in Masonry over the years. Both of them had a tragic event occur in their lives. In both cases, Masons reached out and contributed the help and support they needed. These two situations were unrelated. Both Brothers were reminded of the beauty of Masonry. These Brothers decided to get back involved and are now glad they did. If you have become less active in our craft, don't wait for tragedy to occur to get back involved. Remember why you became a Mason. Get involved, you will not regret it. Masonry is still here, and as great as ever. Until we meet again, be well, and may God bless you.
WM Todd Murray
As we now come to the midway point in this year and our lodge is about to go dark for the summer. I would like to leave you with these thoughts. When you take a break from the hustle and bustle of our Masonic activities, I urge you to not stop our practices. We are only dark to allow us more leisure time with our families during the summer months. Our obligations and practices should never be paused.
Please keep in mind that charity is always needed and folks in need, are always there. Forget not the duties you have heard so frequently inculcated and so forcefully recommended in our lodge. Due good unto all men, every human being has a claim upon your kind offices. These principles should be continued during our outage. Also keep in mind the friendships you have forged in Masonry are not just for 10 months a year. These are for life.
Don't forget your Brothers this summer. Keep in touch and spend some leisure time with them as well. In my effort to keep this message short and to the point, I leave you with this. Have an enjoyable and safe summer with your families. Travel well and may the God of love and peace delight to dwell with and bless you.
WM Todd Murray
Once again the Grand Lodge Masonic year has come to a close and we welcome our new Most Worshipful Grand Master. History has shown us new ideas and changes are to come. It's amusingly ironic that one of the most commonly known things about Masonry, is that it never changes. Let's not forget, that mainly refers to our Landmarks, Principles and Ritual. That being said, experience shows us that our Leadership changes frequently, as well as their ideas. Changes are apparent.
I encourage you to keep open minded to the change. Our Fraternity has great and honorable principles. These never change. Continue to practice and make good use of them. It is a vital part of our goal, taking good men and making them better. The changes we face are to keep us current with the times, help us grow and assist with our mission. Honor your passed Leaders by respecting their efforts and continuing their successful ideas and changes. Respect the new Leadership by embracing their new ideas with true effort. Assist them with loyalty and support. As our Worshipful Leaders come and go, their legacies remain. As time always changes, so must we. Welcome new ideas, use them to continue your work. Good ideas will last, bad will pass. Remember the great principles we have practiced since our beginnings were once new ideas. Be well my Brother. My love and support for you and the craft will never change.
WM Todd Muray
I would like to touch on the topic of getting back to our roots. It appears to me that in these hectic times we seem to always find ourselves in a hurry and rushing through everything. It is also apparent that some of the Brethren are being rushed through Masonry as well. You submit your petition, are initiated EA and pressured to complete your examinations and degrees. WOW that was intense, glad that is done!!! Hey Brother take a chair, get in the line, the east awaits you. Are you ready? Make sure, you are making a commitment to continue to the East. You must be dedicated. The future of the Lodge depends on it. OK, OK I'm in. There you are, in the East, the Worshipful Master. Look at you, dedicated and devoted. I bet you can't wait till your year is over. OH NO, you're burnt out, you need a break, take some time off, STOP!
Brother let us not forget our roots. Our founding fathers took their time and developed a great Fraternity with wonderful privileges and principles. Honor their efforts, do not rush your Masonic journey. Do not just learn the words. Take your time, make sure you understand the lessons and incorporate them into your life. It is of the utmost importance that you remember all the teachings. Do not discard them as you proceed forward. Masonry is a life style to be enjoyed, honored and respected.
You understand that there are guidelines and time requirements in which you must complete your degrees and examinations. This is fine, but don't just memorize and rush through . Understand and enjoy your hard work. I'm not saying not to move forward quickly. Some Brothers want to progress quickly and enjoy the pressure. I just hope that you will learn and enjoy the trip as you travel. It is not a job it is a journey. If you enjoy it, the Brothers that assist you, will as well. Travel well and as quickly as you like, but not so swiftly that you miss most of it. The roots of Masonry are, by design, meant to be a long, well learned and understood journey. These lessons are meant to assist you throughout your entire life not just a small part of it. Life is too short, make sure you enjoy it, Masonry demands it.
WM Todd Murray
One of the most important things that Masonry has taught me is that you are never alone. Be tolerant, embrace this and allow others to be a factor in your life. Accept this lesson from Masonry. Almost everything in Masonry takes more than one person. Such as our cipher, without the help from a Brother you would not understand it, your exams take two. The five points of fellowship cannot be done alone, you cannot open a lodge by yourself and even during your degrees you had a Brother to conduct you. Just about the only thing in Masonry done alone is your personal decision to become one. All that being said, why would you deal with life alone, your Brothers are always there. Welcome this luxury, your Brothers and their families are there in times of pleasure as well as need. Include them in your daily life as well as your Masonic life; they are one in the same. Forget not to return this blessing, reach out to a Brother in need or one who is doing well. Keep in mind this fraternity is not just about charity and assistance, it is a brotherhood first. Need is not only health or financially based, it could be a wide range of issues such as loneliness from the loss of a family member or bad times at work. Whatever the reason, reach out and assist or just enjoy your Brothers and their families as well. Our time here is short, make the best of it. Finally Brother, live in peace and may the God of love and peace delight to dwell with and bless you.
Fraternally Yours, WM Todd Murray
I ask you, what are Masons? To me, they are good men that do good deeds, always willing to help those in need, give back to the community and never ask for praise in return. Even though we are quiet and secretive, most of the genereal public knows who we are and that we are here. Do you know why? I believe it is because all of those who have gone this way before. They met the task, honored their obligations and made a difference. Remember, go in the "same way and manner as all who have gone this way before."
Our Forefathers set the bar and made their mark. They made our Craft great and memorable hundreds of years before us. That is why the pulic knows who Masons are. Do not let that die on our watch. Remember why you became a Mason. Remember your obligations and all those who have gone this way before.
Let us too, make a difference and keep our Fraternity great. Be proud in being a Mason, attend our communications, be heard and assist your brethren. Get involved! I promise you, it will be rewarding and pleasurable.
I understand that time changes many things, but I assure you that some things have not changed. You are a Mason!
The Craft needs you, the brethren love to see you, and there is still plenty of work to be done. There is strength in numbers; together we can meet the task. The survival of Masonry depends on us. Remember that you knelt before our altar and took your obligations. "On younder book, that oath you took, should you break it, NEVER!"
The tapers are still burning; let us together make their flames eternal. See you soon my Brother. Until then, "live in peace, and may the God of love and peace delight to dwell with and bless you."
WM Todd Murray
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