FROM THE EAST
It seems that it has been ages since we were all together and had the pleasure of each others company in lodge. This has been a particular long summer and completely different for me. It is the first time that in twenty plus years that I have found myself out of work for most of the summer. The good news is that I am now reemployed. Because of this this gap, It allowed me to spend more quality time with my friends and family.
Because of my travels, I learned that I was a “Traveling Man.” I ran across brother Masons from the East to the West coast. While on a Mission trip in SE Kentucky to help rebuilt houses for the elderly I was introduce to a small bluegrass group that was playing bluegrass music for the group of us who were gathered to help with the rebuilding. I walked over to the back of the small gathering that was listening to the music when I was approached by a man who notice the masonic ring on my hand and asked me if I was a “Traveling Man.” I responded that I was so accepted. His reaction was expected and unexpected. He waved at the two playing music and they finished their set and came over to where we were standing. After we all exchanged greetings with each other, I was bombarded with question after question! Do you need anything Brother, have you had dinner, do you have a place to stay, can you join us in lodge on Thursday, do you need any help with .........
This experience lead me to do some research and I came across an article by by Brother Jeff Godwin titled “TRAVELING MAN IN MASONRY. “In the ancient world of Operative Masonry the masons were often required to move from job to job much as in our modern time. It was further explained that ancient master masons, just as 1st class masons of today of today, were more likely to travel great distances than those of lesser ranks (FC & EA). Due to their experience (and today, usually a membership in the labor union representing the craft) they could move freely from job to job. Those doing so were normally members of a Masonic guild, whose members would, if known, vouch for the qualifications of (or recommend) another 'traveling' mason. In speculative masonry we as Master Masons may freely move from Lodge to Lodge (either visiting or moving membership) and upon proper avouchment or by testing be found worthy to attend another Master Mason Lodge. This is much the same as moving from one job to another or from one ancient Masonic guild to another. Also, a Master Mason is a traveler from west to east, as east is the where the sun comes up, hence the source of light. This is why the master sits in the East. Because it is the source of light. Thus being a traveling man represents our journey from darkness to Masonic light (enlightenment).
We "traveled" symbolically when we were raised to the sublime degree of Master Mason. Remember the words, "It will be necessary for you to travel"? and the condition of the road we would have to travel? In Masonry we are told to seek the light. Light in Masonry is knowledge and from that knowledge comes information and understanding.”
With each passing day the Light of Masonic Brotherhood has continued to shine bright with examples of other brothers along my journey who were shining beacons of our fraternity. As my travels continued across this great country the influence of Freemasonry was everywhere along my path. Even though the journey only took me through 16 states and in total 7200 miles, the spirit of freemasonry was strong.
Brothers, We will have Lodge on September 4th and will open on the FC Degree. If there is anything you wish to be on the agenda please get it to me no later than Saturday, August 29th.
Please be aware however that several of our brothers will be unable to be with us at our next stated. Please keep them in your prayers for safe journeys and safe returns to us in October. I do wish again to thank WB Anand, SW Ryan & JW James, RWB Chip Mahaney and the rest of the degree team for the FC Degree in August.
Our Brother Jonathan Boksan is getting married on September 12th. If you haven’t had the chance to reach out to Brother Boksan and congratulate him upon his upcoming wedding, please take a moment and do so and let us welcome Brother Jonathan’s bride into our Masonic family!
I look forward to seeing you all in Lodge in September on Friday the 4th.
D.W. Stephenson, Worshipful Master