MAY 2008


Wednesday, the 7th
Stated Dinner at 6:30PM (open to all)
Stated Meeting (open to Master Masons)
GUEST SPEAKER: Job’s Daughters Bethel No. 122
Attire: Officers - Tuxedos
Others: Dark Suit

Wednesday, the 14th
First Degree Conferral
Begins: 7:00PM – SHARP
Attire: Tuxedos - Officers
Others: Dark Suit

Tuesday, the 21st
Officers' School of Instruction at 7:30PM – SHARP
Officer’s Required to Attend.
Hosted by - Liberal Arts Lodge No. 677

Wednesday, the 28th
Second Degree Conferral at Liberl Arts Lodge
Begins: 7:00PM


The library is available for studying every Wednesday!

Please sign up for our e-mail list! Email us at
smpal307@verizon.net for all the details.

All items and times subject to change.


FROM THE EAST


Brethren:
In the month of April we had various Brothers represent our Lodge at a number of Masonic functions. On April 13 we had a good representation from our Lodge at the Masonic Service Bureau breakfast where the Most Worshipful Richard W. Hopper, Grand Master of Masons in California delivered remarks about his vision as Grand Master. Brother B. M. our SW represented our Lodge for a weekend at the annual Junior Warden’s Leadership retreat. We also had our second “Research and Reflection” night where two topics were presented. The first topic - “Reflections on the Inner Chamber” was delivered by Brother J. F.. The second Brother J. L. W. our SD, delivered “The Application of Scripture in the Second Degree”. These Brothers did a fine job with their topics; many comments and questions followed each of the presentations. The discussion created a true environment of learning and philosophical ideas. Finally, we welcomed a new Brother to our family as we initiated Brother S. S.. The officers did an admirable job in their respective offices..

I extend a personal invitation to the Brethren to join us at our May Stated Dinner, as we will have as our Guest Speaker Job’s Daughters Bethel No. 122. They are going to share what they do as Job’s Daughters as well as some of their upcoming events..

In the past I have shared my philosophy of how important it is to represent our Lodge in good “Light” outside our Masonic Temple. By carrying ourselves with great discipline in all aspects of our lives. By showing the world by our actions that because WE ARE MASONS we strive to better ourselves everyday in every aspect of our lives. In turn making the world a better place by the various contributions of our acts. Within the four walls of our stupendous edifice (Our Lodge) we have learned so many lessons and principles that at the end of the day mean nothing if we do not apply them to our everyday lives outside of the Lodge. Remember that your good deeds and judgment as well as the lack thereof reflect upon the Fraternity as well as to Santa Monica – Palisades Lodge in particular..

Earlier this year I mentioned the need for our Lodge to grow collaboration with other Lodges in our District. As of this year our Lodge has put on two very festive events (Sweetheart’s Dinner and St. Patrick’s event) both with Riviera Lodge. We have also participated with Sunset Lodge in conferring a second degree and a third degree, where a good portion of our officers participated showing their skilled ritual, from which we have acquired a good reputation, this in large part by the great teachings and coaching of our very own Officer’s Coach, Worshipful B. P.. This month we will be joining Liberal Arts Lodge on May 28 at their Lodge for a second-degree conferral. I hope you can join us on this “field trip.” In the future Liberal Arts will be joining us for a Third Degree at our Lodge in the continued spirit of collaboration.
Fraternally,

S. A., Master

HIGHER EDUCATION


FREEMASONRY AND RELIGION

Freemasonry does not pretend to take the place of religion or serve as a substitute for the religious beliefs of its members. It does, however, require that each member believe in a Supreme Being, a future existence, and the brotherhood of man. How he interprets or elaborates these fundamentals is left to the individual’s private judgment and religious faith. Freemasonry expects each person to follow his own faith, and “to place his duty to God…above all other duties.”

In the beginnings of Masonic ritual in the early 1700s, God was treated in Christian terms. In English and American Freemasonry, Christian references were removed from the ritual to enable men of different faiths to take part without compromising their own beliefs. This is practical tolerance. This tolerance is one of our great strengths because it enables men of all faiths to meet in ordinary friendship. Without interfering in the way each Brother practices his religion, it shows how much they have in common.

The requirement of a belief in the Supreme Being and the fact that Masonic ritual contains frequent prayers, does not make Freemasonry a religion. Freemasonry offers no sacraments. Freemasonry does not deal with the ultimate that religion offers: salvation. If a man wants spiritual peace, he must go to his house of worship. If he wants salvation, he must seek it in practicing his religion. Freemasonry may teach or encourage men to do better. But Freemasonry does not deal in religion. Religions have doctrines. Freemasons are forbidden to discuss religion in their lodges; therefore no Masonic doctrinal system is possible. A belief in the Supreme Being is required, but Masonry does not attempt to prescribe how the belief is to be exercised or practiced.

There is no Masonic God. A Freemason who prays to the Great Architect of the Universe knows that his own belief will translate and direct that prayer to the God he worships. Prayer alone does not make a religion.

In understanding the relationship between religion and Freemasonry, we must understand what we mean by religion. One definition of religion is “a system of faith in and worship of a Divine Being.” There are obligations in religion, which are different from those of Freemasonry. These broader obligations are set by religious leaders for their congregations: Their aim is to “impart knowledge of God and faith in his revealed will.”

Freemasonry as defined in our ritual is very different from the obligations required of a religion. We learn in the First Degree Charge that “Freemasonry is an institution having for its foundation the practice of the social and moral virtues.” The emphasis on morality is obvious, but so is the lack of a required system of worship.

The relationship between Masonry and God and Masonry and Religion is clearly laid out several times in Masonic ritual. For example, in the First Degree Master’s Lecture, we are admonished to have faith in God, hope of immortality, and charity for all mankind. We are charged to regard the Volume of the Sacred Law as the great light in our profession and are told that in the Bible we will learn the duties we owe to God. In describing those duties, the Masonic ritual does not prescribe a formal system of worship. In the Second Degree, we are taught that through Speculative Masonry the contemplative Mason views with reverence and admiration the glorious works of the Creation. But the ritual never requires the candidate to conform to a specific dogma.

The Brotherhood of Man is a fundamental tenet of Freemasonry. All the great religions of the world teach the Brotherhood of Man as a basic tenet of faith, but the BASIS upon which they set it forth differs for each religion and for Masonry.

Buddhism, for example, bases the doctrine of Brotherhood on the belief that all men are so entangled in the sufferings of life that they must be Brothers out of sympathy—a Brotherhood of Understanding. Confucianism based the doctrine of Brotherhood on the sense of common task in developing mankind—a Brotherhood of Service. Christianity bases the truth of Brotherhood on the truth of the Fatherhood of God.

There is a deep and beautiful truth in each of these religions. Masonry has attempted to picture the truth of the Brotherhood of Man by using a system of symbols and allegory that can unite men of every country, sect, and opinion in fellowship and love. In doing this, Freemasonry is an example to others of what can be accomplished when men and women put aside what might divide them in favor of what unites them in achieving a greater good.

James Anderson wrote the first Masonic Book of Constitutions, published in 1723, not long after the founding of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. His first principle on the relation of religion and Freemasonry illustrated a change of attitude from previous years:

“A Mason is obliged by his Tenure to observe the Moral Law…and if he rightly understands the Craft, he will never be a Stupid Atheist, nor an irreligious Libertine, nor act against conscience. In ancient Times the Christian Masons were charged to comply with the Christian usages of each country where they traveled or worked. But Masonry being found in all Nations, even of diverse Religions, they are now only charged to adhere to that Religion in which all men agree (leaving each Brother to his own particular opinions); that is, to be Good Men and True, Men of Honour and Honesty, by whatever Names, Religions, or Persuasions they may be distinguished.”

Freemasonry teaches morality—it encourages men to try to be better, to discipline themselves, and to consider their relations with others. Religions also encourage morality, but they refer questions of morality and ethics to God. Freemasonry deals with morality at the ground level; religion takes it upwards.

Masonry does not seek to reform men. It seeks to bind better men, those who are already good and true, in closer bonds of fellowship and love, and to perfect the work already begun in making those better men into good men. The ancient Greeks taught that the goal of life was to achieve the Good—to live the good life, to be good men. To be a good man was to be what a man is supposed to be and how he should live his daily life. The ancient Greek philosophers had many answers for what is means to be a good man.

Freemasonry is our modern answer to this question. Freemasonry teaches that to be good men we must first believe in a Supreme Being, for if there is no God then all things are permitted. Freemasonry teaches men to be honest and honorable in dealing with other men and women, and not to act against what they know in their hearts and minds to be the right thing to do. We obligate ourselves not to cheat or defraud another person in our business dealings. Because all men are our brothers and members of the human family, we know that we can trust each other with our innermost secrets and to keep them in confidence. We are taught to sympathize with the misfortunes of others, to listen with a friendly ear to the hearts of the unhappy, and restore peace to the troubled minds of our families and friends. And these are but a few of ways in which Freemasonry works to make better men good, and good men even better.

Religion is a man’s personal guide to living the good and moral life for himself and his family. Freemasonry brings together men of all religions with those who simply believe in a Supreme Being, to work with harmony to improve our local communities, our state and our nation. The tenets of Freemasonry reinforce and support the Divine and Moral Laws taught in our churches and synagogues. Freemasonry is our modern working tool for each of us to apply the principles of brotherly love, relief and truth to solving the problems that face us in today’s world—public education, homelessness, ethics in government, and the list goes on.

United in Freemasonry, men who might otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance are enabled to work to change the world.


Editor’s Note Congratulations to our Master, Wor. S. A. who has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Midnight Mission.

We Need Your E-mail Address

Brothers - as you know, people often change their e-mail addresses and we are finding that many of the e-mail addresses we have for you are invalid. We’d like to update our list. Please e-mail your name and appropriate e-mail address for Lodge correspondence to us at smpal307@verizon.net. While your at it, send your current telephone numbers too. Thank you!

Join the new Yahoo! Group for SM-P #307


Wor. Harry Maslin recently set up a Yahoo! Group for Santa Monica-Palisades Lodge, which I know will be a great way for us to keep in touch with each other and be up-to-date on Lodge activities. I encourage you all to sign up for it. Please e-mail Wor. Harry Maslin at smpal307@verizon.net for all the details.

 

KEEP THE LODGE INFORMED

Please call our Lodge secretary if you have information regarding an ill member of our extended Masonic family.

WE REALLY WANT TO KNOW ABOUT OUR MEMBERS AND THEIR FAMILIES!

Remember: We appreciate GOOD NEWS, TOO!!! If you would like to share a "Big" Birthday, Anniversary, Birth, or an Award,we would certainly like to hear about it.

If you will just let us know, we will be glad to put it in the Trestle Board (space permitting), so the Brethren and other readers of this newsletter can share in your joy.

 

HAVE YOU BEEN AWAY FROM LODGE FOR A FEW YEARS?
PERHAPS EVEN A FEW DECADES?

IS "EMBARRASSMENT" KEEPING YOU AWAY FROM YOUR LODGE?

We have heard that too many members in every Lodge (EVEN ONE IS TOO MANY!), are staying away because they can't remember the modes of recognition or some other such foolishness. They are embarrassed so they stay away from their own Lodge.

PLEASE BRETHREN, YOU SHOULD NOT BE ASHAMED OF FORGETTING THINGS YOU MAY NOT HAVE USED FOR YEARS, BUT YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF FOR THINKING THIS MATTERS TO THE MEMBERS OF SANTA MONICA-PALISADES LODGE!

WE WOULD BE OVERJOYED if you would only give us the chance to help you remember these small matters. We can assure you it happens to everybody, and it will all come back to you in short order! You owe it to yourself, and us, to come back to Lodge and give us the pleasure of each other's company!
We see it as a great honor to help a Brother return to a more active participation in our Fraternity. There is not one man among us who would ever consider criticizing another Brother about such a minor matter, and I can assure you we all want you to return to the fun and fellowship which distinguish our Lodge.
We don't bite, so you can feel very safe and confident if you just come back to Lodge and extend a simple hand of friendship. We will be happy to refresh your memory and get you back into a meeting. Just remember to bring your dues card with you!

PLEASE GIVE THIS A LITTLE THOUGHT AND COME BACK THIS MONTH. WE WILL ALL BE VERY GLAD IF YOU DO!

While you're at it, bring your family and friends to our social events.

Courtesy of Bob Giel, P.M.


"WANT ADS"

MORE CANDIDATES' COACHES STILL NEEDED!

Your Lodge and your Fraternity need your help! The new proficiency ruling and the Wednesday night Candidates' School make this job easier than ever before, but also much more vital to the quality of our Lodge and Fraternity. All you need to give is a couple of hours, once or twice every month or two. Please, Call Head Candidates' Coach, Bro. Drew Horn. Do it today!

SIDELINERS WANTED!

Did you ever want to join in the fun of the ritual? Did you ever wonder what it would be like to help another Brother go through the beautiful rituals of our Fraternity? Did you ever wonder,"what really goes on" at those degree practices? Well, here's your chance to find out. The new proficiency system means the Candidates are advancing with unprecedented speed. The degree work is already starting to back up, and we really need more people to help out as Sideliners. We need you to back up the officers, and help with the degrees. If you find out you really like it as much as most of the Officers do, you may even want to consider entering the officers line in the future.
The work is beautiful, enriching and educational, and the practices are really loads of fun. What have you got to lose? Come on down to any practice and join the fun. Come to as many degrees as you can and enjoy the work either as a participant or just a supporting observer. Both are very important to the Lodge, the Candidates,and potentially to you.


YOUTH GROUP INFORMATION

Bethel #122 Job's Daughters
Meets 1st & 3rd Saturdays
10:00 a.m. at Santa Monica Masonic Center



The Music is in honor of all our Brethren who have joined the Celestial Lodge Above


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