Alpha Installation – 10 Sept, 2022
First, I would like to thank the family and friends who have taken the time to join us in what we consider a great and important event. The transition of authority within the Lodge is a time of change and renewal. We celebrate the accomplishments and the efforts put forth by the previous Master, and through the time-honored practice of ritualistic ceremony, we open a conduit for the incoming Master supported by our efforts, appreciation, and both friendship and altruistic love.
We were encouraged last night by Worshipful Marks to say a few words after the ceremony if we felt compelled to, and though I my thoughts had been ruminating about the possibility of speaking beforehand, it wasn’t until last night that the desire to share grabbed hold of me. I think one of the reasons of particular note was my appreciation of being among my Lodge Brothers, and upon reflecting on it, I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts on connection within a Lodge. To start, I want to clarify what a Lodge is and is not; and as Senior Warden of Alpha, I am tasked with providing a candidate that information. The room that you are in, the many other rooms within the building, the records, archives, jewels, aprons and regalia that it holds, this is not a Lodge. It is the men you see before you in their seats of office and those that have joined us sitting in the North and South, that, is what a Lodge is.
Within our Lodge, we often say when we reach out to a brother in distress or extend ourselves in some way in a selfless manner that “it’s what we do...”. It is a colloquial reference and reminder of our obligations and what we have come here to do. What is that? Well, if you don’t know already, it is to improve ourselves as a person both internally and externally. Freemasonry provides an enriching environment to do that work, while also providing frequent opportunities to enjoy each other’s company. In combination, it allows men to disconnect from societal expectations and provides a sort of sandbox or support group to share and listen to other men in a non-judgmental space. In doing so we learn about our own emotional landscape.
An important benefit we notice is regardless of any religious, regional upbringing, or political leanings, there is more in common with each other and our daily struggles than we would otherwise might know. And through this great work we develop familial bonds and trust among each other. Over the struggle of past couple of years, many are re-discovering the value of interpersonal exchange with others within the same space. Though electronic communication and video streaming provided a salve, it somehow lacked the authenticities and interactive subtleties when one is physically present with others. I am grateful to be once again engage with my brothers and to be able to see the full expression of their faces without a mask. I would be remiss not to mention that among these struggles, have been those that have passed on within the Freemasonry community, family and friends. Let us take 10 seconds to reflect on those that we will no longer be physically present with us. For myself, the death of my father has been the most impactful, and with the additional support of my brothers I’ve been able to process my grief. The pandemic has also been a very challenging time for non-profit organizations across the board, and it is my hope that this new awareness of authentic connection will draw people to become more active within their communities. I want to thank the Worshipful Master for allow me this time and for your attention. May the Great Architect bless you and keep you.