As we soon pick up our Masonic labors once again, I hope that you all had a safe, happy and most enjoyable time during these past summer months. With this being my favorite time of the year, I am reminded of a saying from author Charles Bowden: " Summertime is always the best of what might be."
I could not help but be aware, however, of the ever present reminders in our daily news stories of how much conflict and discord surrounds us all. Perhaps it was more apparent to me because of my continuing journey into Freemasonry.
While there seems to be forces in our daily lives which seem determined to divide us due to religious, political or other differences, Freemasonry is completely the opposite. From our first oath or obligation where we are, for the first time, referred to as "brother", and onward through each successive Masonic step we take, the goal of our fraternity is to unite us through simple yet timeless principles.
" Tools and implements of architecture, most expressive, are selected by the Fraternity to imprint on the memory wise and serious truths."
Within the walls of our Blue Lodge, we have men of diverse backgrounds, different religions, and from varied socio-economic conditions, yet firmly united by the lessons and principles conveyed to us in our degrees and lectures. Regardless of our station in the lodge, we are taught to always meet each other on the level. In all aspects of Freemasonry, charity toward our fellow man is preached and practiced. I think it is easy to overlook or even forget why it is we take the time from our busy lives to attend lodge meetings. On one hand, it gives us an opportunity to get together with close friends. But on another hand, it is a chance to get away from those outside distractions that we all face. For those short two hours or so a month, we have that chance to spread and receive the cement of brotherly love that you always find in a lodge.
The Tyler does more than keep out cowans and eavesdroppers. He symbolically protects us from the chaos and distractions of the outside world, thus allowing the craft to refresh our spiritual building by its unfailing truths and principles. By the simple act of attending lodge, we surround ourselves with the secret mysteries which make good men better.
As we resume our Masonic work at Redwood Lodge, I hope we all take the time to reflect on those Masonic principles which teach brotherhood, charity, tolerance and caring. If, in the end, we do nothing more than that, it will be a successful year for us all.
As I felt the need to cancel our summer picnic due to a forecast of damp weather, I have decided to try and make it up to the lodge by having a picnic in September. With the help of our amazing officers, we will celebrate the return to labor with hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, salads, etc. Then at our meeting, following our usual work, we will be treated by a special presentation by our Junior Deacon, Jason Riffkin. I hope that you all will make an effort to join us on September 12th. Redwood pride begins with each one of us. I look forward to seeing you then.
Robert T. Goff