As most of you know, I was away from Lodge during March Stated as I was in Jerusalem, Israel, for my twin brother's wedding. The city is truly a fascinating place as it does serve as a confined microcosm for human history. You could tell the layers of history which had been built upon each other over the course of thousands of years, usually as one group, one religion, or country conquered over another. But through all of that, there was this firmness to time in the very stones which built the city.
In many ways, Jerusalem serves as a perfect allegory for Masonry. While different men, different political views, and, yes, different egos, pass through the great lodge halls of global Masonry, the Craft itself endures. This is because the Craft is bigger than any one man, or any one ideal. We have all been there as voices dictate the way we should see Masonry, which actions are expected, or even how a Lodge should look or act. We, ourselves, can often be the mouths behind those voices, and thus just as liable.
The truth is that our Lodge, our Craft, and our place in the world as Masons, is just that, "our." As much as this is an individual's journey, it is also a journey we take as a larger group. Just like the many different opposing groups who all ended up together building Jerusalem over the last three thousand years; we, too, are building something meant to endure longer than any one of us.
In the short term, I will, unfortunately, not be with you again in April, as work is taking me to Montreal, Canada, for UN meetings. I am working on putting together an appropriate program for that Stated, though. In May, I plan for us to conduct an Entered Apprentice degree for a series of men wishing to join the Craft. We will also be having the Grand Lodge Visitation at our June Stated. I strongly urge every Brother who can to make it to both the degree and Grand Lodge Visitation.
Ryan Nalty, Master