June 2018 Stated Communication

Greetings Brethren!

Another busy month is behind us. To recap, we conferred our second well deserved 70 year pin to Brother Jack Foster during our Grand Visitation. We received positive feedback from the Grand Lodge on our health and status as a Lodge. Brothers Jason Lee and Jamie Hall became Scottish Rite Masons and then they became Almas Shriners along with R.W.B. Chip Mahaney and me. The Grand Master rescinded his previous decision to pardon an accused Brother and a Grand Lodge vote was held to forgive him instead which was approved by the majority.

Looking at this month, we will be conferring the Fellowcraft Degree on three Brothers who are seeking further light in Masonry. Let’s ensure we give them the light they seek and another performance to remember. As is our duty as Masons, we are to be charitable and will be giving our time and support to “Hands on DC” to help spruce up a local school in the District as we did last year. Do not forget to sign up! http://handsondc.org/volunteer-registration

Universal Brotherhood Weekend is also coming up June 7th-9th. On Friday, June 8th there is a feast where family is included to share in greater fellowship and each participating lodge brings a dish. Saturday will be a multi-lingual meeting where each chair is performed in a different language. A true sign of the universality of Masonry.

While the Lodge will be dark in July, we will still be active while we participate in the various Fourth of July parades around the DC area and spend some time at Washington-Daylight Lodge’s Annual picnic on July 21st. Separate flyers will be sent out as well as additional e-mails.

Remember our time here is short. Let’s take advantage of the blessing of time and be Active Masons and be true to our tenets, obligations, and most of all to each other.

Sincerely and Fraternally,
Sam W. Chin
Worshipful Master

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May 2018 Stated Communication

Greetings Brethren,

Last month we enjoyed the company and teaching from our Grand Secretary, Jeffrey Russell, P.G.M. He spoke on the Entered Apprentice degree and charge and reminded us of our duties as men and as Masons. We should always seek more light, educate ourselves and put into action those teachings, both intellectually and in a practical sense. Joining the Craft with the intent to improve yourself starts with you knocking at the door. It continues with your participation in your Lodge and the world at large to make it better. The connections we make and the good that we do does have a lasting impression on the world we live in; but you must be active to see and appreciate the wonders at work.

This month we have our Grand Visitation as well as St. John's Lodge No. 11’s second conferral of a 70 year pin. Brother William "Jack" Foster will receive his pin in recognition of his time and labor. Let's take this opportunity to celebrate his accomplishments and his service in keeping our Lodge the oldest continuously operating, unmerged Lodge in the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia!

Sincerely and Fraternally,
Sam W. Chin
Worshipful Master

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April 2018 Stated Communication

Greetings Brethren,

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First, I’d like to congratulate our newest Brethren on joining the oldest continuously operating un-merged lodge in DC. You are now a part of history! There is much to learn in Masonry and from it. The best way to educate yourself is to ask well informed Brethren and be active by involving yourself in all that we do as you progress further into the mysteries. This month we will expand our insight into the meaning of what we are charged to do as men and as Freemasons. The Entered Apprentice charge is especially good at laying that foundation with the conversation being lead by our Grand Secretary Jeffrey Russell, P.G.M.

I know it is early, but I must mention our May visitation by Grand Lodge because of the special conferral of a 70 year pin to Brother William “Jack” Foster. He will be St. John’s Lodge No. 11’s second recipient joining Brother James Barnes. This is a great honor for us and well deserved for him. Please be sure to attend this special evening.

I look forward to seeing everyone soon!

Sincerely and Fraternally,
Sam W. Chin
Worshipful Master

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March 2018 Stated Communication

Greetings Brethren,

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Another cold month is behind us. Let's take joy in the education we received last month on Masonic Etiquette by W.B. Anand Trivedi helping to fuel our Masonic fires. Since then, a number of us have had opportunities to visit other lodges to support them and bring awareness of St. John's Lodge No. 11 and its planned activities. I invite everyone to take part in the forums (Slack, Facebook, etc.) and be active, not only within our Lodge and its activities, but with our Brothers at large. Sharing fellowship is one of the most important ways to strengthen the foundation of our Craft. Also, to improve in your Masonic knowledge, it is crucial to surround yourself with those who have that knowledge to share. So get out there and see what you can learn. Bring it back to Lodge so we all can benefit from your travels.

In keeping with strengthening St. John's Lodge No 11, this month we will initiate two candidates into Masonry – another step in ensuring the future of our Lodge by bringing more good men to the Craft. Your participation in the degree in any capacity will make a long and lasting impression on the candidate and builds you into a better Mason. Our continued efforts to put on high quality degrees will not go unnoticed as we will have a Past Grand Master in attendance and a guest Worshipful Brother presenting the charge.

Thank you to everyone serving on a committee this year. We have a lot of efforts going on, and I trust the goals set will challenge us to work hard and further improve the operations and future of our Lodge.

Sincerely and Fraternally,
Sam W. Chin
Worshipful Master

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February 2018 Stated Communication

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Greetings Brethren! 

Although the winter so far has been cold, fellowship in and around St John's Lodge No. 11 is just warming up. Last month we witnessed the installation of 2018 officers. A generations old ritual where the light of Masonry is passed onto others who will take the Lodge in charge and fortify its foundation so that future generations can enjoy all the Craft has to offer. Thanks again to W.B. James Parkhurst, Past Master, for his service to the Lodge and his continued support. 

Since our last meeting, some of us were able to attend the installation of officers at Anacostia Lodge No. 21, who we will be strengthening our bond with by joining our multi-lodge picnic effort this summer. They have offered to do a joint table lodge with us which will be fun for all who can attend. 

This month, W.B. Anand will be hosting a Masonic etiquette program that will help to answer some of the most common questions and concepts many new brothers have. We have much to learn this year as we grow in knowledge and extend our hands out to other lodges and the community around us. I look forward to a busy and prosperous year filled with education and fellowship with you all. 

Sincerely and Fraternally, 
Sam Chin
Worshipful Master

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January 2018 Stated Communication

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Greetings Brethren!

Happy holidays and Happy New Year! I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday season and have found this time to be enjoyable and relaxing.

As you all know, we did not have a stated communication in December due to a special communication called by the Grand Master that fell on our meeting date. Unable to settle on a day that worked for all those necessary to be installed as officers, you are again hearing from me, From the East. It appears that the Grand architect has plans for me to serve the lodge just a little bit longer, which I did not expect following my early transition into the position. But hey, I’m glad to continue to serve the lodge in whichever way it calls upon!

In early December I was lucky enough, thanks to blessings of the lodge who generously voted to pay my way, attended the Grand Lodge Annual Banquet. Which I am pleased to report was extremely well attended by our Brethren and their lovely partners. The food was delicious, the drinks were refreshing, and the fellowship was beyond wonderful. I hope that in the following years you all will decide to take an evening and spend it with our fellow DC Brethren in celebration of another wonderful year!

Our next stated communication will be our installation ceremony and that will be open to all masons and friends and families. I believe even my mother and father may be in attendance! I hope that you will be there and help us bring in the new year with our new 2018 lodge officers and new Worshipful Master!

Looking forward to seeing everyone in 2018! Have a wonderful holiday season!

Sincerely and Fraternally,
James S. Parkhurst
Worshipful Master

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December Stated Communication

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Greetings Brethren, and Happy Holidays!

First, the Grand Master has called for a Special Communication of the Grand Lodge to be held on the evening of December 1st, the same night as our Stated Communication. Following the Grand Lodge Code, the Stated Communication for December is automatically called off. Since it is an imperative that members of St. John’s lodge No 11 are in attendance for that Grand Lodge Special Communication, we will not meet on Friday, December 1st.

Since this Stated was slated to be the installation of Lodge Officers for 2018, we will be requesting dispensation from the new Grand Master, once he is installed, to install our 2018 Officers at the January Stated.

Now, onto the fun stuff! One of my favorite times of the year is upon us. All the good food starts coming out and good memories are shared and made with the ones we love. Thanks to the Great Architect we are blessed with brotherly love and love for all our families and friends, and it’s important that we tell each other and our families how much they mean to us. So, I first want to say thank you to all the Brothers out there who take their obligation seriously and for being the men who we can always count on to reach out their hands to assist a fellow Brother or a Brother’s family. This fraternity has demonstrated to me that, if I am in need of support in any way, whether it be now, later, or sometime when I’m much, much older, I am happy to know my Masonic brothers have my best interests at heart. I’m proud to be a member of this Lodge and of Freemasonry as a whole, because I know that Brothers look out for each other first and foremost. So please, during this holiday season, take the time to share your gratitude with others and tell your loved ones you love them, it can never be enough.

We have one final meeting of the 2017 year, and this open installation will be a spectacle. Bring your families and your friends and help us celebrate the transition and achievements of our Brethren. Congratulations to Brother Sam Chin, our Worshipful Master Elect, and to the rest of the elected 2018 officers! I’m greatly looking forward to next year and your leadership. I know the brethren have made the right decisions in their voting, and all of the newly elected officers will justify those decisions. Congratulations again everyone!

Sincerely and Fraternally,
James S. Parkhurst
Worshipful Master

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November 2017 Stated Communication

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Greetings Brethren,

At our October stated we had the joy of raising five new Master Masons. I want to again congratulate and welcome (once again) Brothers Doctor, Motroni, Timbers, Lindo, and Smith to the sublime degree of Master Mason! I’m happy for each and every one of you and I’m proud to be part of your Masonic experience and growth. I hope that each and every Brother in the Lodge will help to make our new Master Masons feel welcomed, engaged, and encourage them to discover and learn all that this wonderful Fraternity has to offer.

I would also like to remind everyone that at our November’s Stated Communication we will be taking steps to solidify our “officer’s line” for the 2018 Masonic year. Come and place your votes for next year’s officers! I am excited for everyone that has volunteered their service for the lodge, and on behalf of all the members of St. John’s Lodge I want to thank you for your service and dedication to ensuring the business of the lodge is kept in order and moving our initiatives forward. I for one am looking forward to electing our new Worshipful Master and having the privilege to soon my rest my bones in the comfy chairs in the North.

We are coming to the end our Masonic year with only two meetings remaining; two very important and meaningful meetings with November elections and the installation ceremony in December. I encourage you all to invite your families and friends who may be interested in witnessing our installation ceremony. We have historically had our ceremony opened to the public so please bring along your friends and family and help us celebrate this transition.

I also want to give a quick shout out to the degree team for their work they put in for the Master Mason Degree this past month. I thought it all came together very well and WB Trivedi crushed it as King Solomon, garb an all! Thanks again for all your hard work, let’s keep it up Brethren!

Fraternally,
James S. Parkhurst
Worshipful Master

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October 2017 Stated Communication

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Greetings Brethren!

In October, we will be conducting the Master Mason Degree and raising our Brothers to Third Degree. This degree requires a significant amount of memorization and prep- aration for those conferring the degree. I wanted to share with you something I came across while reading some Masonic literature regarding Masonic Retention. In doing so, I hope to draw your attention to the fact that the rituals and ceremonies we conduct are simply tools that we as Masons use to communicate a bigger picture about man, the universe, and our role in it. Please read the excerpt below originally written by Albert Gallatin Mackey 144 years ago.

"One who commits to memory the questions and answers of the catechetical (sic: Relating to or consisting of asking questions and receiving answers by rote rather than by understanding) lectures, and the formulas of the ritual but pays no attention to the history and philosophy of the institution; is commonly called a Parrot Mason, because he is supposed to repeat what he has learned without any conception of its true meaning.
In former times, such superficial Freemasons were held by many in high repute because of the facility with which they passed through the ceremonies of a reception, and they were generally designated as Bright Masons.
But, the progress of Freemasonry as a science now requires something more than a mere knowledge of the lectures to constitute a Masonic scholar."...Mackey's Revised Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Vol. 2, Page 752, Albert Gallatin Mackey, 33 ̊, published by The Masonic History Company, Revised ed. copyright 1929, Original copyright 1873.

The message that I retained from this excerpt is that Masonry is a life long journey of learning. It takes patience, a willingness to learn, an open mind and an open heart. We learn the rituals and ceremonies as a foundation in which to build upon as we learn more during our journey to become “Bright Masons”.

These representations of the teachings are there to encourage the brethren to find out more and to encourage us to dig deeper not only into the intricacies of Masonry, but in our own lives as well. They encourage us to think critically about our life decisions and they help us navigate our social interactions and life events. A “Parrot Mason” in my opinion, is not a bad thing. To me, it is simply the first step in understanding Free- masonry. Just a child learns a language by repeating the sounds they hear, and then learns the meaning of those sounds, we as Masons learn the language of Freemasonry by first learning the rituals. These are doors we are invited to walk through. Not eve- ryone walks through those doors at the same time, and not everyone will retain the same knowledge or understanding as everyone else. We are all unique, and we are all at different phases in our lives that subject us to different perspectives, even when re- flecting on the same idea, and I think that is okay. Our differing perspectives and knowledge bases provide opportunities for everyone in the lodge to both learn from each other and teach others around us.

I encourage everyone to join us in October and witness the hard work put in by the degree team, and to think critically about the words that are said during the degree. Not in an effort to memorize them, but in effort to understand them.

Sincerely and Fraternally,
James S. Parkhurst
Worshipful Master

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September 2017 Stated Communication

Greetings Brethren!

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This month I want all the Brethren to focus on the fact that St. John’s Lodge No. 11 is an entity that we are all equally apart of and are responsible for its health. Everyone’s voice in the Lodge has equal importance and carries the same weight, no matter your position in the Lodge. Whether you sit in the East, the comfy chairs in the North, or on the sidelines, your voice and engagement matters to the Lodge. This is a time in our society where we are constantly being bombarded with stories about inequalities, injustices, and down-right hate, but Freemasonry is a wonderful organization that seeks to advocate for harmony, peace, love, and togetherness. Now, this bulletin entry will not be used to make some sort of political statement about our current societal affairs, but it will be used to remind each one of you that when we meet in Lodge, as Brothers, we are acting out the way in which we believe the world should operate, and that means as a group of dedicated men who are interested in pursuing and living a life based on acceptance and openness. We can’t solve the world’s problems in our Lodge room; but we can carry a message of peace and the willingness to work together out there in the world. Harmony, being the strength of this institution, represents that above all else we care about – being harmonious with each other inside and outside the Lodge room, as well as harmonious with Brothers and non-Masons alike.

Based on those reminders of who and what we represent, I implore you all to engage in your Lodge! This is our Lodge! Based on creating a will to do something, this Lodge can, in fact, do what it wants to do. All it is lacking are the people to carry out its business. We all have different ideas about how we would like our Masonic experience to be, but, unless you are there and engaged, that vision is never brought to fruition.

There are important events coming up in the final half of the year. One of which is the conferral of the Master Mason Degree Ceremony in October. This cannot be done without practice! I repeat it cannot be done without practice! That does not mean those who do not have parts are not involved. Every- one’s engagement enhances the experience, it enhances Lodge harmony, and it breeds fellowship. The more prepared we are as a group demonstrates our Lodge’s ability to work together and produce quality events and ceremonies to newly raised brethren. Ceremonies that these Brothers will remember for the rest of their lives (when we make it special)!

Another important event is the Fall Fellow Craft Brunch scheduled for Saturday, September 23rd. As most of the readers of this are aware, those brunches determine a lot regarding which direction the lodge takes in the next year. If you are feeling disengaged because you don’t like the way things go in our lodge, or perhaps the lodge doesn’t interest you with our activities and meetings, this brunch be- comes your most effective tool for implementing positive changes moving forward. It allows us to have candid conversations about ways we can get our brethren excited about being a member of St. John’s Lodge No. 11 and also being a Freemason in general.

There is no better time than now to get our Lodge’s heart pumping again and get people excited. To do this we must all communicate, talk, debate, engage, plan, attend events, participate in rituals, visit other lodges, visualize positive changes and execute them!

I continue to look forward to growing with you all through Masonry.

Sincerely and Fraternally,
James S. Parkhurst
Worshipful Master

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