We hope you enjoyed our first newsletter last month. Our second Hiram’s Call Newsletter from the Masonic Renewal Committee is equally jam packed with great info from all across our fraternity.
First, we have a great featured article on Masonic Self-Improvement. Then we have news on another fantastic Engage conference and then finally, two different opportunities to recognize excellence in Masonry.
We’d love to know which articles and items are most useful or interesting to you, so feel free to reply to this message with your thoughts, ideas or comments.
Until next month, Ol’ Hiram wishes you safe and happy travels, Brother!
Grand Lodge of Illinois Membership Committee Chairman
MRC Rep in Illinois
From time immemorial, the fundamental process by which young males develop into productive and useful men has not changed. Several millennia ago, males first met in huts or houses exclusively dedicated to their socialization and development. In these sacred places, the leaders and elders discussed important topics and designed solutions for the advancement of the tribe and society. Other men attended these gatherings to obtain guidance and receive instructions on how to get things done. Young males were also allowed to enter after successfully completing a “Right of Passage.” Once that milestone was achieved, these young men gained access to the wisdom possessed by the elders; they also observed how to behave, ask questions, be useful and execute the plans designed by the most skilled and respected leaders. Said simply, the inhabitants of this “Men’s House” gathered together to socialize, teach and learn!
While leapfrogging through time, Freemasons have advanced that legacy of building quality men and productive communities. Our Masonic Heritage, both Operative and Speculative, is steeped in the science of Geometry and the art and skill of Architecture. Our Operative fore-Brothers worked on building castles, cathedrals, temples and monuments across the globe, our current Speculative Craft of Builders exclusively focuses on building experienced, well-informed, confident, and useful upright men and Masons. Our goal is to help our Brethren become the absolute best versions of themselves. Through that journey, they internalize our spiritual and moral teachings combined with how to harmoniously work for the service of others. Together, we continue building active Lodges, loving families, productive workplaces, and stronger communities.
A question then comes to mind. How does Freemasonry remain relevant in the digital world that we live in now? To address that question, we must first ask another, “What came you here to do?” That last question is known quite fondly by every Entered Apprentice Mason. It invokes a sense of pride, determination and clarity for why we have taken the steps to enter into our version of that “Men’s House.” We fundamentally came to Freemasonry to learn. Yes, we are seeking Self-Improvement. As males, we need a safe and trusting environment in which to socialize, learn and develop; that yearning and quest led us to Freemasonry. So, the answer to that first question is that our fraternity provides a safe and trusting sanctuary in which men have the opportunity to successfully mature from young adults to useful men; then, with experience and time, to become wise elders. This time-tested developmental journey has as its foundation our unique ritualistic experience found in Ancient Craft Masonry.
Whether consciously understood or not, every Freemason is taught Our Masonic Self-Improvement Process. It is a process that contains an enduring gift for all good men seeking to better themselves. This repeatable process teaches us how to learn and proactively improve ourselves throughout life. The process has five key steps which builds upon the trust earned and support given by Freemasons in the sanctuary of our “Men’s House.”
Our Masonic Self-Improvement Process has five key steps:
- Step 1: Acknowledge being in Darkness — The process begins with a conscious revelation that “I don’t know, and I want to learn.” We admit that a gap in knowledge exists and choose to close that gap.
- Step 2: Ask for Assistance — “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and yea shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.” This scripture passage is well-known among Freemasons. It represents that action taken to seek assistance and guidance as we begin a learning journey. By asking, we psychologically open our door to let insights in that can help us change, improve and advance out of darkness.
- Step 3: Connect with a Faithful and Well-informed Guide — As Freemasons, we do not travel alone especially on our learning journeys. We seek out and find guides and teachers to help us. These knowledgeable and dedicated men conduct us successfully throughout our intellectual travels.
- Step 4: Receive Answers — In Masonic parlance, we achieve “Light” or rather knowledge when we successfully attain an important milestone on our learning journey. Quite simply, we receive the answers to our questions and learn something which transforms us out of darkness.
- Step 5: Live as The New You — From being brought to Light and achieving a learning and development milestone, Freemasons are encouraged to live, work and be useful as possessors of that new knowledge or insight. It is an expectation to refine our way of living “to walk and act as such.” This responsibility to live as “The New You” is a valuable lesson that is constantly reinforced and repeated in Ancient Craft Masonry. Thus, our common refrain to “govern yourselves accordingly!”
MRC Engage Conference
September 28th, 2023
8:00 p.m. ET
“Whether a lodge is moving, closing, or downsizing their space, the collections amassed by the fraternity are at risk of being orphaned… They are often stored in closets, basements, and attics where environmental and storage condition are abysmal.”
Deadline for submission is October 30, 2023
CLICK HERE TO APPLY