Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A Thanksgiving Proclamation

On October 3rd, after a resolution from both houses of the Congress, President George Washington proclaimed that Thursday, November 26th, 1789, would be a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer”. This was his proclamation:
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
George Washington


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It is the Soldier

By Charles Michael Province, U.S. Army

It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion. 

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press. 

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech. 

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest. 

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial. 

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote. 

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

Happy Veterans Day!

This year's Veteran's Day is a first for me as this is my first one in 12-years where I am not a member of the military. Today is going to be a busy day for me, but I'd like to take a moment and thank all my Brother and Sisters in the Armed Forces. God bless you all!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Mason's Mark

by Author Unknown


They're traced in lines on the Parthenon, 
Inscribed by the subtle Greek; 
And Roman legions have carved them on 
Walls, roads and arch antique; 
Long ere the Goth, with vandal hand, 
Gave scope to his envy dark, 
The Mason craft in many a land 
Has graven its Mason mark.

The obelisk old and the pyramids, 
Around which a mystery clings,- 
The Hieroglyphs on the coffin lids 
Of weird Egyptian kings, 

Syria, Carthage and Pompeii, 
Buried and strewn and stark, 
Have marble records that will not die, 
Their primitive Mason mark. 

Upon column and frieze and capital, 
In the eye of the chaste volute, - 
On Scotia's curve, or an astrogal, 
Or in triglyp's channel acute,- 
Cut somewhere on the entablature, 
And oft, like a sudden spark, 
Flashing a light on a date obscure, 
Shines many a Mason mark. 

These craftsmen old had a genial whim, 
That nothing could ever destroy, 
With a love of their art that naught could dim, 
They toiled with a chronic joy; 
Nothing was too complex to essay, 
In aught they dashed to embark; 
They triumphed on many an Appian Way, 
Where they'd left their Mason mark. 

Crossing the Alps like Hannibal, 
Or skirting the Pyranees, 
On peak and plain, in crypt and cell, 
On foot or on bandaged knees; - 
From Tiber to Danube, from Rhine to Seine, 
They needed no "letters of marque;" - 
Their art was their passport in France and Spain, 
And in Britain their Mason mark. 

The monolith gray and Druid chair, 
The pillars and towers of Gael, 
In Ogharn occult their age they bear, 
That time can only reveal. 
Live on, old monuments of the past, 
Our beacons through ages dark! 
In primal majesty still you'll last, 
Endeared by each Mason mark.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

10th Anniversary of Tahoma Chapel

Today, marks the 10th anniversary of Tahoma Chapel #30 of the Commemorative Order of St. Thomas of AconTahoma Chapel #30 was consecrated on August 29th, 2004, and was presided over by Sir Fred of Mount Pleasant. Tahoma Chapel #30 was the third Chapel to be created within the United States and which led to the establishment of the Grand Preceptor's Council of the Province of the United States of America with Sir Andrea of Byron as the first Right Worthy Grand Preceptor.

Today this Chapel sits at 33-members and 7-Honorary members and the officers of the chapel today are:
Worthy Master: Sir Robert of Elizabethtown

Eminent Prior: Sir Alvin of Auburn
Marshal: Sir Gregory of Roane
Treasurer: Sir Robert of Robertsdale
Secretary: Sir Barry of Les Bois
Deputy Marshal: Sir Paul of Kent
Almoner: Sir Donald of Lancaster
1st Working Knight: Sir Alexander of Kingston
2nd Working Knight: Sir Jack of Sequim
3rd Working Knight: Sir Bryant of West Fork
4th Working Knight: Sir Corby of Les Bois
Herald: Sir Mark of Rohan
Doorkeeper: Sir Paul of Mehlsack
Cellarer: Sir Milton of Kelso
Cellarer: Sir Loren of Albany
Cellarer: Sir Peter of Dungannon
Cellarer: Sir Dale of Forges of Saint Maurice
Sentry: Sir Michael of Lafayette
To commemorate our 10th anniversary, we had coins minted. Most of the coins were bronze, some were silver, and a couple were gold. One's position within the Order indicated what type of coin one received; same as the shell they wear on their uniform. Every Knight of the Chapel was given one coin free with the others costing $10.


Today the Province of the United States has 23 consecrated Chapels with a couple more that are on the way to becoming consecrated. Tahoma Chapel was a founding member of this Province and currently the Right Eminent Grand Prior and the Provincial Grand Almoner are members of this Chapel. While I have only been a member for over a year, I have enjoyed my time in organization.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Royal Order of the Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord

The Royal Order of the Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord is an appendant body originally stemming from the Order of the Secret Monitor, but in America one needs only be a member of the Allied Masonic Degrees. This is an invitational-order which requires Masons to be members of the 2nd grade/degree of the Order of the Secret Monitor known as "Prince." This order is composed of 6-grades:
Grade 1: Ostiartii or Doorkeeper
Grade 2: Lectors or Readers
Grade 3: Fellow or Healer & Exorcist
Grade 4: Councillor
Grade 5: Keeper of the Hidden Secret
Grade 6: Prince of Jerusalem
The first three Grades are conferred in a Consistory, the 4th Grade is conferred in a Council of Elders, the 5th Grade is conferred in a Council of Entrusted, and the 6th Grade is conferred in a in a Council of Princes. To be eligible for the 4th Grade, one must have presided over the Consistory. To advance to the 5th Grade, one must have received the four previous Grades and be an officer (appointed or elected) Grand Council of AMD for the USA. To receive the 6th Grade, one must have received the 5th Grade and have served as an elected Grand officer within the American AMD.

The 1st Grade tells the story of Rahab and his hiding the Jewish spies from the King of Jericho. The 2nd Grade tells the story of Ruth, her marriage to Boaz, and her son Obed, the grandfather of David. The 3rd Grade surrounds the resolve of the Maccabees to retain their faith in the face of tyranny. The 4th Grade depicts the carrying of the Ark of the Covenant over the River Jordan and its entrance into Jericho. The 5th Grade surrounds Nebuchadnezzar attack on Jerusalem and accounts for the disappearance of the Ark of the Covenant. The 6th Grade is centered on the Maccabees fight for independence around 150 BC.

Every member wears a scarlet cord, but the fashion in which it is worn may change depending on what grade you hold.


1st Grade Jewel

2nd Grade Jewel

3rd Grade Jewel
If adorned with the silver anointing horn indicates the wearer has been installed as a President of a Consistory

4th Grade Jewel

5th Grade Jewel (silver)
6th Grade Jewel (gold)

Within the United States, the Order is still small with only a couple of courts established. The Grand officers of the Grand Council of the AMD of the USA also sit as Grand officers of the Grand Conclave of the Royal Order of Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord of the United States of America. They correspond as follows:
Grand Conclave (Grand Council)
Grand Summus (Sovereign Grand Master)
Deputy Grand Summus (Deputy Grand Master)
Grand Chancellor (Senior Grand Warden)
Vice Grand Chancellor (Junior Grand Warden)
Grand Treasurer (Grand Treasurer)
Grand Registrar (Grand Secretary)
Grand Director of Ceremonies (Senior Grand Deacon)
Grand Herald (Junior Grand Deacon)
Grand Episcopus (Grand Chaplain)
Grand Sword Bearer (Grand Director of Ceremonies)
Grand Guarder (Grand Marshal)
Grand Watchman (Grand Tyler)
The constituent body is known as a Conclave and is led by the following officers (with corresponding AMD Council officers):
Conclave (Council)
Sovereign Master (President)
Senior Warden (Chancellor)
Junior Warden (Vice Chancellor)
Treasurer (Treasurer)
Secretary (Secretary)
Senior Deacon (Director of Ceremonies)
Junior Deacon (Herald)
Chaplain (Episcopus)
Tyler (Watchman)
This order was established in 1889 by Bro. Frederick Adolphus Philbrick as a way to promote the Benevolent Fund of the Order of the Secret Monitor. Brother Philbrick also wrote the original rituals of the order which were rewritten and updated in 2009; although the 1st Grade is still the original version as written in 1889. The Order continued until 1929 when it fell into disuse and sat dormant for nearly 80-years.

On November 17, 2006, the Most Worthy Supreme Grand Ruler Peter Glyn Williams convened a special meeting of Summus Conclave #3 initiated 12 new members. He consecrated a new Conclave and continued to reinvigorate this Order. Within a year's time, there were over 400 members who had received the 1st Grade. It was during this time that the rituals were revised. From 2008 to 2010, this Order had spread to neighboring provinces and across to the United States, and numbered around 2,500 members.

Several Brothers from the Grand Council of the AMD of the USA went over to England in 2008 and received the first 3-grades Grand Conclave of the Order of Secret Monitor of England and Wales by authority of the Most Worthy Supreme Grand Ruler Peter Glyn Williams. Then at Masonic Week in 2009, Peter Glyn Williams conferred the 1st Grade upon 223 Masons. Then on November 11, 2009, Peter Glyn Williams conferred the Preparation and Installation of a President Ceremony upon several members of the Grand Council of the AMD of the USA.

On February 13, 2010, the Grand Conclave of the Royal Order of Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord of the United States of America was formed by authority of Brother William R. Logan who was the Sovereign Grand Master of the Allied Masonic Degrees of the United States of America, under whom the Order of the Scarlet Cord falls under in the United States. In July of 2010, the Order of the Scarlet Cord in England became an independent body from the Order of the Secret Monitor thus becoming the "Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord." This body traveled back to the United States to confer upon certain American Brothers the final two grades.

The Order has continued to grow within the United States and the Grand Conclave meets at Masonic Week in Reston, VA. The Grand Conclave of the United States is presided over by Bro. Robert G. Davis, Most Distinguished Grand Summus.


References


1. Knights of the Scarlet Cord. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_Secret_Monitor#Knights_of_the_Scarlet_Cord 

2. Royal Order of Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord. (n.d.). Retrieved from Allied Masonic Degrees: http://www.alliedmasonicdegrees.org/scarletcord.htm 

3. The Royal Order of the Masonic Knights of the Scarlet Cord. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grand Conclave of the Order of the Secret Monitor for Northern Australia and Papua New Guinea: http://www.osmnorthernaustralia.org.au/Scarlet_cord.htm 

4. The Scarlet Cord. (n.d.). Retrieved from Provincial Grand Conclave of Durham of the Order of the Secret Monitor: http://www.osm.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=26&Itemid=8 

5. Williams, P. G. (2001, June 8). History. Retrieved from The Ancient and Masonic Order of the Scarlet Cord: http://www.thescarletcord.org.uk/history.html

Monday, October 20, 2014

2015 Masonic Week

The 2015 Masonic Week schedule is now out on the internet. Masonic Week originated with the Allied Masonic Degrees in 1938 and over time, more and more groups have jumped on board and expanded the program. At this one, the Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis will not be meeting as they have moved their next Annual Convocation to November 7, 2015, and which is being held at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY. The 2015 Masonic Week will be from January 28th through February 1st which is a bit earlier than usual, but this was done due to conflict with the Grand Master's Conference of North America that was occurring on the other side of the States.

Official Program

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015
8:00 AM - The Masonic Order of Athelstan, Province of USA
12:00 PM - Athelstan Luncheon
1:30 PM - Consecration of New Courts 
4:00 PM - Opening of the Provincial Grand Court of the United
6:00 PM - Banquet sponsored by the Masonic Order of Athelstan, Province of USA

Thursday, January 29th, 2015
8:00 AM - Trinity Chapel #12, St. Thomas of Acon
10:00 AM - Institution and Consecration of 2 new Chapels in USA
11:00 AM - Grand Preceptor’s Council Meeting
12:00 PM - Festive Board (Acon Members and the Ladies only)
1:30 PM - Grand Master’s Council Special Ceremonies
2:30 PM - The Order of the Scarlet Cord of the United States of America
7:00 PM - All Masonic Banquet

Friday, January 30th, 2015
7:30 AM - Breakfast sponsored by Convent General KYCH
8:30 AM - Grand Council Knight Masons, USA
11:00 AM - Society of Blue Friars
12:00 PM - Luncheon sponsored by the Knight Masons
2:00 PM - Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest, Grand College of America
6:30 PM - Scarlet Cord Consistory Festive Board
6:30 PM - The Masonic Society Annual Dinner
6:30 PM - The Great Priory of America, CBCS Annual Banquet and Meeting
8:00 PM - Conferral of Councillor Grade Conferred in a Council of Elders of the Scarlet Cord
9:00 PM - Ye Antiente Order of Corks

Saturday, January 31st, 2015
7:00 AM - Breakfast sponsored by York Rite Sovereign College 
9:30 AM - Grand College of Rites of the USA 
11:00 AM - Nine Muses Council No. 13 
12:00 PM - Luncheon sponsored by The Philalethes Society
1:00 PM - Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor
2:30 PM - Grand Council of the Allied Masonic
6:00 PM - AMD Social Hour
7:00 PM - Grand Council AMD Installation Banquet
9:00 PM - Masonic Order of the Bath

Sunday, February 1st, 2015
8:30 AM - The Operatives, United States of America Region
9:00 AM - Lodge of Menatzchim V° 
10:30 AM - Lodge of Harodim VI° 
12:00 PM - Operatives Brunch 
1:30 PM - Bull Run Quarry Assemblage (VA)
I plan on attending, but won't make the same mistake I did last year with dealing with the airlines and Mother Nature.

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Torch of Light

by Ezekiel Mu'Akil Bey


One dark clear night I looked outside 
And wondered what's beyond the lights 
The twinkle dots a world so vast 
The blinks of stars remind of glass 

My mind began to leave my soul 
To travel far beyond the poles 
The speed of light became a breeze 
I wondered what, what could this be 

An infinite space so broad to grasp 
No human feeling could ever match 
The guide I had I could not see 
Then I remembered my three degrees 

I saw the lights becoming close 
With guides unknown of many host 
I understood what just appeared 
Masonic travel became so clear 

I just perceived what's to unfold 
My first entrance, which I behold 
I thought of all, in mind in me 
And recollected my first degree 

The more I traveled the more I saw 
Between two stars my mind had told 
A story far beyond the spheres 
Of working tools I held so dear 

And then I fell in deep black holes 
Passing in and on in chambers toll 
I thought again what could this be 
And then I thought of two degrees 

My mind controlled all moves I made 
But to return I wished and prayed 
I swore to keep all oaths 
I took The 3rd degree all clear it spoke 

On my return I saw the Lord 
And asked him why, what was this all 
The birth of man is but a porch 
To live the life of burning torch 

Can't you remember I spake the word 
And you appeared with all to learn 
With force and power "LET THERE BE LIGHT" 
And I became a torch of Light.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Installed as Grand Orator

Well, today ended the 147th Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge AF&AM of Idaho and the 2014-2015 officers, elected and appointed, were installed today. Brother G. Arthur Shoemaker now sits as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Idaho and I look forward to next year. 

I have the pleasure of serving the Grand Lodge of Idaho as the Grand Orator. Art served as Worshipful Master of my Lodge in 2008 while I served as Senior Warden so I happily accepted the appointment when Art approached me this last Summer. As Grand Orator it is my duty to deliver an address at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge on a Masonic topic as well as dedications and other times as designated by the Most Worshipful Grand Master. I look forward to serving in this capacity and serving the Brethren of Idaho.



Saturday, September 13, 2014

The Ancient City of Tyre

In Freemasonry, we learn a bit about the Biblical character Hiram, King of Tyre, or Hiram I, who was an ally of King David and King Solomon, and who was integral in the building of King Solomon's Temple. During Hiram's reign 10th century BC, the height of the kingdom of Tyre, improvements such as cisterns, ports, shipyards, temples, and palaces, were made to the island and made it a jewel in the Mediterranean region.

Tyre, also known in Arabic as Ṣūr, is located 83-km south of Beirut and is the fourth largest city in what is now Lebanon, and which was known for being the dominant city-state of the Phoenician Empire. The literal translation of Tyre is "rock" as the original location of Tyre was very rocky. According to statements made to Herodotus, the city of Tyre was founded around 2750 BC. Originally it was a heavily fortified island, but over the centuries it has been connected to the mainland. The city had many plazas and squares, but due to the space restrictions of the island many of the buildings were built taller and were the sky-scrapers of their time. The Tyrian Island had two harbors, one on the northern and southern sides of the island; these two harbors gave it maritime prominence is ancient days. The northern harbor is still in use today. Prior to Alexander the Great, Tyre was just an island and on the mainland there was a community known as Ushu, but known as Palaetyrus, or Old Tyre, by the Greeks. This mainland city was primarily used for supplying the island as it sat at the foot of mountains and near the gorge of the ancient Leontes River, and they prospered as a result of the maritime wealth accumulated by Tyre.

Tyre has had a profound effect on the history of civilization. Tyre was a maritime power in the Mediterranean and was known as "Queen of the Sea." Around the 700 BC, Phoenician traders began to expand their trade. In turn this expansion led the Tyre establishing colonies around the Mediterranean such as Carthage and as far west as Spain. They traded first with wood, metals, salves, wine, and glass, but one of its trades it was known for, was its rare purple dyes which were used primarily by royalty as it was so costly. It was the purple dye that gave the Phoenicians their name as Phoenician means "purple people," originating from the Greek word "phoinios" meaning "purple." It is said that the alphabet into Greece was attributed to Cadmus of Tyre. The sister of Cadmus was named Europa and which it is believed that the continent was named. It there prowess on the seas and in trade that made them such a great match for King David and King Solomon, and the building of the Temple.

Tyre was continuously attacked by nation and empire; the Persians, the Romans, the Greeks, the Crusaders, and Arabs. The Phoenicians were defeated by Cyrus the Great and Tyre was created one of the four vassal kingdoms of the Empire. Under the Persians, the Tyre was known for furnishing ships. Alexander the Great attempted to lay siege, but was originally unsuccessful. He had to destroy Ushu to build a causeway to the island was he enabled to bring siege engines and scale the walls of Tyre. He was brutal to the people of Tyre; he executed many of the males who were of age to serve in the military, sold thousands to slavery, and razed the city to the ground. This brutality stems from the Tyrians killing an ambassador that Alexander has sent to them asking for a peace treaty. Alexander's primary goal was Egypt, but after the death of his ambassador, he had to set an example. Although the people received brutal treatment, the King, Azemilcus, or Azimilik, was spared. The city would eventually be rebuilt and they regained autonomy, but never to the prominence they once were and eventually they would be enveloped by the Roman Empire.

The city of Tyre was captured by the Crusaders in 1124 and would become an important city in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. Tyre was the site for the Archbishop of Tyre, the most notable of whom was William of Tyre who is known for recording the history of the medieval Knights Templar. In 1291, Tyre was taken by the Mameluks and then became a part of the Ottoman Empire. This lasted until the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the establishment of the state of Lebanon in 1920. At the present day, Tyre covers a larger part of the island and has expanded along the causeway (expanded greatly since Alexander's time) toward the mainland. It is primarily composed of Shia Muslims, but has a small community of Sunnis as well as Christians. Along with fishing, tourism is a primary source of income. This ancient city has had impact on the world that covers the histories of ancient empires, religious traditions, and even the legends of our ancient and honorable Fraternity.

References

1. Byers, G. (2010, January 26). The Biblical Cities of Tyre and Sidon. Retrieved from Associates for Biblical Research: http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2010/01/26/the-biblical-cities-of-tyre-and-sidon.aspx#Article 

2. Ellis, E. S., & Home, C. F. (1913). The Ancient City of Tyre. Retrieved from Public Bookshelf: http://www.publicbookshelf.com/public_html/The_Story_of_the_Greatest_Nations_and_the_Worlds_Famous_Events_Vol_1/ancientc_jg.html 

3. List of kings of Tyre. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_kings_of_Tyre 

4. Mark, J. J. (2009, September 2). Phoenicia. Retrieved from Ancient History Encyclopedia: http://www.ancient.eu/phoenicia/ 

5. Mark, J. J. (2009, September 2). Tyre. Retrieved from Ancient History Encyclopedia: http://www.ancient.eu.com/Tyre/ 

6. Padfield, D. (1994). The Destruction Of Tyre. Retrieved from The Church of Christ: http://www.padfield.com/1994/tyre.html 

7. Phoenicians. (n.d.). Retrieved from Time Maps: http://www.timemaps.com/civilization/Phoenicians 

8. Tyre. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyre,_Lebanon 

9. Tyre. (n.d.). Retrieved from Encyclopedia Brittanica: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/611914/Tyre/ 

10. Tyre (Sour). (n.d.). Retrieved from Tyre City Webpage: http://tyros.leb.net/tyre/ 

11. Tyre, Lebanon. (n.d.). Retrieved from About: http://atheism.about.com/od/bibleplacescities/ig/Tyre-Lebanon-Phoenician-Photos/Tomb-of-Hiram-1.htm