As we go dark, it is well to look back on the accomplishments of Doric Lodge #92 this past Masonic Year. We started in October with a dignified and polished Installation attended by many Very Worshipful Brothers and local Community Leaders. A delicious catered Italian lunch was worthy of Masonic appetites! A program with a term plan and calendar was given to attendees, using the structure of the Lodge Achievement in Outstanding Performance Award guidelines- a great guide provided by Grand Lodge for any first time Worshipful Master!
Monthly visitations to District 4 Lodges were an important element on the calendar. Masonic education was provided by my talks, “Back to Basics: Fundamentals of Freemasonry” given at several Stated Meetings. I also attended the Fremont Neighborhood Council and Fremont Chamber of Commerce, in my quest to make Doric Lodge a vital part of the Community.
December brought the Official Visit of Deputy to the Grand Master for District 4, VWB Neil Quinn. Then I attended the Fremont Festivus celebration and gave a speech inviting the Community to attend the upcoming Fremont MLK Day of Service. I also was greeted warmly when attending the December meeting of the Doric Chapter #69 Eastern Star, keeping in touch with our Masonic Family.
January was bittersweet as Doric Lodge hosted a “Celebration of Life” for Bro. Robert Carpenter, a young Doric Mason, taken by the Great Architect of the Universe at a young age to join the Celestial Lodge. We opened the Lodge and our hearts to his widow, family and friends to be of service to them at this most distressing of times and celebrated the life of a good and honorable husband, father and Mason.
My motto, “Faith in God, Hope in Immortality, and Charity for all Mankind” proved to be apt as the year continued. The Fremont Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service was held at Doric Lodge on January 21st. As the first African American Worshipful Master of Doric Lodge in its 120 year history, I was proud to bring my fellow Masons and the community together on this day. To our astonishment, 200 volunteers showed up to assemble 144 disaster hygiene kits, and learn about emergency preparedness and volunteer opportunities in the area. A team of Doric Brothers, proudly wearing our new Doric Lodge T-Shirts welcomed the crowd and provided security. The Eastern Star Chapter #69 served delicious homemade soups for lunch. Then we were honored with a moving speech by WB Franklin Donahoe, Washington State African American Affairs Council member. I also presented the Drum Major for Service award and letter from President Barack Obama to Rev. Dr. Judith Gay of the Fremont Baptist Church. A slideshow of her mission trip to Haiti followed. The Fremont MLK Day of Service was a resounding success beyond my wildest dreams!
In February, I represented Doric Lodge at the Alzheimer’s Association Gala and Auction. A representative from their organization later spoke at our Stated Communication. Community outreach, which was my special emphasis, continued with attendance by myself and Tyler Bro. Stephen Lowe at the Chamber of Commerce Expo where we met Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, letting him know of the active Masonic presence in our area.
Degree work was then our focus in late February, as Doric Lodge #92 joined Greenlake Lodge #149 who graciously allowed our Courtesy Candidate for a Fellowcraft Degree. First Degree practices continued in March, culminating in Doric Lodge putting on our own First Degree on March 27th through the tireless efforts of Senior Deacon, Bro. Hotte Kiessling.
In April, our newwww.doric92.org website was launched by Webmaster Bro. C. Eric Gatlin, Junior Deacon. Showcasing in magnificent graphics, pictures and symbols, the true esoteric essence of Masonry and Doric Lodge #92! Pictures of our impressive, new Masonic Collars, obtained by Junior Warden Bro. Grant Cooper are also on display. Our May Stated Meeting featured a brilliant and insightful program on Ritual by Bro. Stephen Lowe. Senior Warden Bro. Jess Brecht is planning a camping adventure for July at the Masonic Park. We will also continue Degree work as we go dark in July and August.
To send the Brothers off for a Summer of fun and relaxation, our June Stated Communication featured a mouth-watering barbecue feast! Family and friends were in attendance as we listened to a program by Literacy Source, a non-profit located a few blocks from the Lodge. They presented volunteer opportunities for Brothers to mentor other men in reading and citizenship.
This year as Worshipful Master has brought out my strengths as a Community Leader, making Doric Lodge an active, vital member of the Fremont neighborhood and bringing Fremont groups in to the Lodge to interact with our members and get to know us. We shine our Masonic Light out for all to see! All in all, it has been a great year to be a Mason!
In the month to month battle to have a rewarding Lodge experience, the most crucial ingredient is the cohesion and love among the Brethren. The cooperation and participation of Brother Masons is the glue that holds what we do together. When I stand in the East during a Stated Communication and look into the eyes of the men of Doric Lodge #92 I feel an intense inspiration the likes of which I will probably never feel again in my life.
Even though I have played team sports, I had never felt the gratitude and satisfaction that comes with being a Mason participating in Lodge. They say that Masonic Light emanates from the East, but I say tons of Masonic Light reflects to the Worshipful Master in the East from the wonderful gentlemen that grace his Lodge and honor him with temporary leadership. I love these Brothers unlike any Men I’ve ever been around with the exception of my two blood brothers.
It is a unique sense of responsibility you feel when you are the Worshipful Master. Even though at times, there are tremendous amounts of stress, the experience is beyond measure and a gift I will never forget. Despite my gratitude for this post, I still eagerly await the day that my good Brother, Senior Warden Jess Brecht will take over as Worshipful Master of this Lodge. Then I will have the privilege of taking my place as a mentor and guide in this great drama we call Freemasonry. I am a very fortunate man to have this tremendous experience with you Brothers and I am eternally grateful to be among you.
As I eagerly look forward to Grand Lodge this June, I want to remind the Brethren that Doric Lodge #92 will be dark in July and August but will continue to have practices and degrees through the Summer. Our Tuesday, June 4th Stated Communication will feature a Barbecue Dinner before Lodge at 6:30pm catered by Pete’s Fremont Fire Pit. Family and friends are welcome to join us at Doric Lodge, 619 N 36th St. It will be a great day to be a Mason!
The image of Doric Lodge is changing. If you haven’t logged on to the tremendous website that Bro. C. Eric Gatlin has created for Doric Lodge #92 you are in for a treat. Our website atwww.doric92.org has been expanded significantly and is extremely colorful and vibrant. It is a virtual metaphor of a living, evolving Lodge that is a force to be reckoned with in our Community! It has a multitude of features that are pleasing visually and stimulating intellectually for anyone interested in what Freemasonry is about. One warning though, if you log on to this website, be ready to spend some time delving into it because you will not be able to stop. It will grab your attention and inspire you to greater heights of Masonic Light!
Doric Lodge #92 is extremely blessed to have such vision and inspiration available to us from our new website and everyone in our Lodge should be proud of its presentation, meaning and substance. The zeal emanating from this piece of Masonic Art is guaranteed to make one proud to be a Mason on any level. The esoteric side of Masonry is showcased superbly in a dominant fashion. Doric Lodge #92 is on the move philosophically and spiritually in a new era of being a positive Masonic force in Fremont!
Our public image has improved dramatically in our Community as we redefine what a Mason is and what Freemasonry is about in the 21st Century. At our Stated Communication on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, Bro. Steven Lowe of Greenwood Lodge #253, our Tyler, will give a presentation on Ritual, part of our Back to Basics series. We will proceed to have a discussion about this most important of topics to our Fraternity to help us all understand the importance of what we do in the Lodge.
On June 4th we will have a Family Dinner at the Fire Pit Barbeque Restaurant near the Lodge. Following this will be a presentation by guests from Literacy Source, a Fremont non-profit who specialize in teaching adults to read. I am optimistic that Doric Lodge #92 is going in the most positive direction to meet the needs of its members and its future health and vibrancy. On behalf of all the members of Doric Lodge #92, I do state firmly that we are all intensely proud to be Doric Masons. We invite you to log on to our website, see what we have been doing and join us for dinner and Lodge in May and June for a stimulating Masonic Experience. It will be a great time to be a Mason!
Alzheimer’s is a debilitating disease that has stricken millions of American families with heartache, tragedy and sadness. The effects of this terrible disease have even been felt within the Fraternity itself. There is so much stigma attached to being ill that it is hard to get people to talk about these deeply personal issues. But in life, there are many moments of hope, discovery, and enlightenment in the form of both spiritual and scientific breakthroughs. Since the statistics clearly indicate that this problem will be getting worse before it gets better, it may be time to examine what Brothers can do to be proactive about these secretive issues that traumatize whole families.
As Worshipful Master of Doric Lodge #92 I was invited to represent the Lodge at the Alzheimer’s Association Gala. I had the pleasure of meeting many inspiring people who are living with adversity, yet are still finding ways to have fulfilling lives essentially with the help of other caring people. At Doric Lodge’s March 5th Stated Communication, we had the pleasure of having a guest speaker from the Alzheimer’s Association, Ms. Anita Souza who gave us a presentation on the early signs of this disease. She dispelled many myths and helped us understand the tremendous amount of hope that exists in this Community despite trying circumstances.
As Masons continue to establish our identities in the 21st Century, we may want to realize that many Brothers will be stricken with trying illnesses and trying circumstances that will require us to be both compassionate and understanding toward them and their families. All of us who have the pleasure of getting older, want to believe that we will still be thought well of by our Brethren and treated with compassion and respect. There is much Brotherly Love in this Fraternity and we need to consider not allowing Brothers to slip by the wayside and out of our influence simply because they are ill. The battle against diseases like Alzheimer’s will be won by mankind, but it will take time, money, compassion and much scientific research to do so. Let’s continue to be good to each other!
For more information firstname.lastname@example.org . Ms. Souza is willing to come out to speak to any Lodge that may be interested in these issues.
The Fremont MLK Day of Service was held on Jan. 21, 2013 in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, WA. Doric Masonic Lodge #92 sponsored the Day of Service at the Doric Temple, 619 N 36th St. Our goals were- to put together 144 Hygiene Kits for natural disaster victims, to promote Emergency Preparedness, to improve the Lodge’s image in the community and show ourselves as compassionate individuals, to collaborate with other Fremont Community groups, to promote the good works of Fremont Baptist Church and its wonderful Pastor Rev. Dr. Judith Gay, and to give us a great Day of Service experience commemorating Dr. King’s legacy.
Using the Presidential Inauguration Committee’s website, we were able to sign up 98 volunteers prior to the Day of Service. We were astonished when nearly 200 volunteers showed up at 10am! Some came from as far away as Bellevue and Burien. Luckily we had stockpiled more supplies. We ended up assembling 216 Disaster Hygiene Kits in less than 45 minutes! The volunteers were pumped from the Inauguration and full of enthusiasm for the task. Members of the Fremont Baptist Church were key in teaching the volunteers how to assemble the kits. Students and advisors from the College Success Foundation helped to set up the supply tables, make signs and donation boxes and serve cider and coffee. They even labeled the boxes after they were taped up.
We had a great turn out of Doric Freemasons who greeted our visitors and made them feel at home. Our “secret society” made a public showing of our members’ compassion and charity. Other local groups we had invited such as the Fremont Neighborhood Council, the Hallows Church, and Fremont Baptist Church each had tables where they gave out brochures and spoke to folks about volunteer opportunities in the area. We also had a table with Emergency Preparedness information for our volunteers to use to assemble kits for home and office use. Preparedness Activity books were a popular item with the children present, with crayons available at the children’s table.
Doric Eastern Star Chapter #69 members cooked delicious homemade soups for lunch. We also had chicken wings and pasta along with potluck items that volunteers brought. Everyone had their fill!
Although some volunteers had left to find other activities, we had a nice crowd for our afternoon agenda. I, Ralph Weathers, the first African-American Worshipful Master in Doric Lodge’s 120 year history was honored to be Master of Ceremonies. Our keynote speaker, Commissioner Franklin Donahoe of the Washington State Commission on African-American Affairs gave a deeply moving speech regarding Dr. King’s legacy. It was well received by those attending. Then a surprised Rev. Dr. Judith Gay received the Drum Major for Service Award and a letter from President Obama honoring her lifetime of service.
My wife, Sarah Weathers, First Lady of the Lodge, then had fun leading a prize drawing. First Aid and Travel Aid packs, MLK Day bags and T-shirts were given out to lucky winners. The grand prize of a fully equipped Emergency Preparedness kit was given to a very happy volunteer!
We then dimmed the lights and watched the Day of Service DVD provided by mlkday.gov. It was a moving and special showing. Rev. Judy then took over, showing her Mission to Haiti Slideshow. The Fremont Baptist Church had sent her to Haiti earlier in the year and she was then commissioned by the Haitians as a missionary back to the United States to tell their story. She led us on an eye-opening journey through the hurricane ravaged country. But gave us hope in the spirit and courage of the Haitian people. A question and answer session wrapped up our day.
For this being our first time, the Fremont MLK Day of Service was a monumental success. Many people offered helpful suggestions, prefaced by, “this is what we should do next year-”. So, I guess you could say this was the First Annual Fremont MLK Day of Service!
In a Masonic Blue Lodge, the Worshipful Master is the executive officer of the Lodge. He is the individual that a Lodge of Master Masons have elected to lead his Lodge with his vision and his ultimate sense of Morality. A Worshipful Master always is essentially a Master Mason in good standing. He must have firm beliefs about who he is, and why he is in this exalted post. The concept of “know thyself” is essential for a Worshipful Master’s confidence. He must be sure of his vision and solid in his agenda. He must convey that not only to the members of his Lodge, but the public at large. My standing as Worshipful Master has given me an amazing opportunity to meet and touch base with the public and other leaders in the local community.
As Worshipful Master of Doric Lodge #92, I was recently invited by a leading citizen of our community to one of Fremont's most exclusive events, the Alzheimer's Association Gala. The Gala and Auction was a tremendously fulfilling event where I got to meet many of the movers and shakers in the Seattle area. I was introduced as the Leader of Doric Lodge and seated at the Chairwoman’s table. When she made her speech she mentioned Doric Lodge and both I and the Lodge were well received. I was proud to have Doric Lodge #92 highlighted as an honorable community organization.
I also attended the Fremont Chamber of Commerce luncheon as Worshipful Master. I came into the banquet room early and all I saw was a sea of your typical casually dressed Fremonsters. I felt out of place, in my suit, white shirt and tie. I took a seat at a table in the middle of the room and waited. As the event began to start, more men in suits came in looking just as uncomfortable as I had. As each man saw me, he came over, shook my hand and introduced himself. Next thing I know, I’m holding court- with every single man who wore a suit sitting at my table! We talked about charity and business in the community and Masonry. They asked me a lot of questions and were enthusiastic to hear about Masonry. There were multiple bankers, hotel executives and other businessmen. This was a great way to introduce guys to Masonry. We were acting and talking like men, having a great time!
The Fremont Neighborhood Council meets at Doric Lodge on a monthly basis. I started attending their meetings to promote the Fremont MLK Day of Service sponsored by Doric. I continue to go to the Council meetings since it is a great opportunity to find out about the goings on in the Fremont community. I was amazed at the wide variety of charity and volunteer efforts, opportunities of every shape and size. It has proven to be a great place to network with many of the volunteer and service leaders in the Fremont Neighborhood. I am proud that Doric Lodge #92 has opened our doors to them. It gives us another chance to serve the community, by letting the Council meet in our Lodge rent free. Thus enhancing our relationship with the community at large.
I would encourage other Worshipful Masters and officers coming up through the line to take the opportunity to attend community meeting and functions. Allow people to know who you are and what you stand for. The values of Freemasonry are epitomized in its Men. We are a great advertisement for who we are as Freemasons. More Masons coming up need to understand that as Freemasons we are truly gifted with an opportunity to make the best of ourselves and present that and our values to the public at large. We are fantastic men! We should always keep our secrets and our private activities. But more of the public should be made aware of the sheer quality of the men of this jurisdiction in Washington State. We’re worth it. Bravo, Washington State Masons!
We have come together here to honor the life and legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by serving with others in our Community. We have all made this “A Day on, Not a Day Off!”
We are also part of the National Day of Service started 4 years ago by the First Family. President Obama believes that service should be a lifelong commitment—whether it's at the school, community, city, state, or national level. My hope is that this Day of Service will inspire us to give of our time and talents throughout the coming year!
Many people believe that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy was just about African-Americans, but in truth, his words encompass all peoples across the globe. Social justice is a concept we can all relate to in many ways. We care about the freedom of all peoples, the dignity of the human spirit and the right to live our lives as we truly believe, fulfilling our destinies as we are meant to. There are many opposing forces in our world that would stifle our creativity and our very essence, merely because we are different then them. We must all work together to make this a better community, a better city, a better state and a better country so that all citizens have the opportunity to excel!
As Dr King said, “ Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” I think each of us has answered that question here today!
I thank you all for your participation in giving of your time and energy today. My sincerest hope is that the Fremont MLK Day of Service will in some small way cause someone in need or pain or hunger to be helped and will inspire us all to give of ourselves in the year ahead- Shining our light out for all to see!
Back to Basics: Fundamentals of Freemasonry II
Making a positive difference in our Community
The Vision statement of the Grand Lodge of Washington is:
“Freemasons of Washington will be recognized as a relevant and respected Fraternity, committed to attracting and retaining all men of high quality who strive for self improvement and the opportunity to make a positive difference in their community.” Doric Lodge #92 is a Community Lodge and we have before us the opportunity to make a positive difference in our community!
The idea for the upcoming Fremont Martin Luther King Day of Service came from a discussion I had with my Senior Warden Bro. Jess Brecht. He said that the main emphasis of Masonry is Charity. From that seed came the idea of reaching out to the Fremont Community. The date of Jan 21st , Martin Luther King Day, made sense since it is a National Holiday based on Service. “A Day on, not a Day off.”
I wanted a day the Fremont Baptist Church would be able to join with Doric Lodge in a Charity event. I also wanted to include other community groups that were already making a home at Doric, such as the Fremont Neighborhood Council. A visit to one of their meetings led to networking with many other groups. Now the event has taken on a life of its own!
We will assemble disaster hygiene packets to be sent where ever disaster strikes, be it a hurricane in the United States or an earthquake in a far off land. We will be distributing information on Emergency Preparedness to the public, so they are aware of the steps to take if disaster strikes both large and small. We are bringing together Fremont community groups in a forum to show the many opportunities for service and volunteerism in 2013 and beyond. We will listen to our Keynote speaker, a distinguished Mason,
WB Franklin Donahoe, Washington State Commissioner for African-American Affairs. We will watch and gain inspiration from the service of Rev. Dr. Judith Gay and her mission trip to Haiti.
A Day of Service it will be!
It is a small seed that has grown and shows what Doric Lodge can do as a force in the Community. I spoke at the Fremont Festivus celebration recently and was warmly received as the Doric Worshipful Master. I am setting the stage for future Worshipful Master’s to do some major league charity events- for the Doric Lodge Worshipful Master to be a public figure, a man to be reckoned with in the Community.
The motto of my year- “Faith in God, Hope in Immortality and Charity for all mankind” has come alive in a way even I could not have predicted. Doric Lodge is a living, breathing entity that is greater than the sum of its parts. We are becoming a force for Good in the Community, of Men giving service and becoming better men because of it. A vibrant, growing Lodge that doesn’t hide it’s light, but shines it out for the whole world to see!
Brethren, the upcoming Fremont MLK Day of Service on Jan. 21, 2013, sponsored by Doric Lodge #92, will be a day of recognition for the wonderful people of Fremont who are very caring and creative and seek all kinds of ways to help others. Many people believe that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy was just about African-Americans, but in truth, his words encompass all peoples across the globe. Social justice is a concept we can all relate to in many ways. We care about the freedom of all peoples, the dignity of the human spirit and the right to live our lives as we truly believe, fulfilling our destinies as we are meant to.
There are many opposing forces in our world that would stifle our creativity and our very essence, merely because we are different then them. We must all work together to make this a better community, a better city, a better state and a better country so that all citizens have the opportunity to excel!
Hard work, passion for what we do, the ability to put forth a vision, are all important ingredients in fulfilling ourselves. We as Masons, are blessed to have a world view that inspires us to reach for the heights of excellence, particularly as men and as citizens. These values are still deeply important for the future of our communities and our vision is a gift to the multitudes!
As we are entering the New Year, let us be confident, and diligent in our work as Masons, and bring our energies both individually and collectively to the Service of our Communities and not merely ourselves. As Dr King said, “ Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” It is wonderful and responsible for a man to take care of himself and his family well. But to truly protect our families and keep them safe, we must realize if there are troubled suffering people in the communities around us, their pain, no matter how justified, can spill over into our world unexpectedly. We must be ready to use our energies to help our fellow man, woman and child to live the most meaningful lives possible, even if it is just from our example.
Masons are gifted to be men who are taught to have deeply held beliefs and values, things to live for whether times are good or bad. Unfortunately there are many lost souls in society who don’t have direction, belief, or hope that they matter as children of a greater God. My sincerest hope is that the Fremont MLK Day of Service will in some small way cause someone in need or pain or hunger to be helped and perhaps inspired towards a better way of life in our great country. We must be hopeful and optimistic that a better day is on the horizon!
Please join us at Doric Temple for the Fremont MLK Day of Service, Jan. 21, 2013, 10am-4pm. We are proud to announce our Keynote Speaker- WB Franklin Donahoe, Washington State Commissioner of African American Affairs. The event is open to the public and admission is free.
If you take a look in the Washington Monitor and Freemasons Guide, in the back is a glossary of words. Fraternity- a brotherhood, in which blood-bonds are replaced by a common devotion to a principle, code, or creed.
While Masonry is sometimes referred to as an Order, it is more properly designated as a Fraternity, because its essence is that of brotherhood.
My theme this year is- “Faith in God, Hope in Immortality, and Charity for all Mankind.” These are the basic precepts of Freemasonry as mentioned in the First Degree.
We open our meetings with the flag ceremony stating “ This flag, emblem of civil and religious liberty”. Though Freemasons have faith in the Great Architect of the Universe, we may practice many religious beliefs.
We close our meetings with the prayer, “may we daily increase in Faith, Hope and Charity; more especially in that Charity which is the bond of peace and the perfection of every virtue.”
The Charge tells us to “be diligent, prudent, temperate, discreet.” These are values we learn from reading through the Washington Monitor and Freemasons Guide. As we go through the three degrees, we learn more about the values and morals that our symbols represent. It is well to re-read these and take them to heart as guides to what a Mason can strive for.
We have just gone through the Installation of Officers for Doric Lodge. The first charge for the Worshipful Master is to agree to be a good man and true, and strictly to obey the moral law. Each and every officer is charged with upholding the virtues and moral values a Mason encompasses.
This is the first in a speaker series for the coming year-
Back to Basics: Fundamentals of Freemasonry. In December we will have our Official Visit from Deputy to District Four- VWB Neil Quinn who will also speak on the subject.
To promote work on Ritual, Degrees and Mentoring our newer Brothers- on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Wednesdays, Mentors and Masters will be held in the Doric Lounge. I, along with other Masonic Mentors will be there and I invite you to attend when possible from 6:00-8:00pm. Each month I will have a drawing for a Band of Brothers t-shirt to present to a Brother who has attended.
We will kick off the new year of Charity efforts with our MLK Day of Service on January 21st, in concert with Fremont Baptist Church and other Fremont Community groups such as those that I invited to the Installation. This will promote Service in the area and beyond! It will be a great day to be a Mason!