The first quarter of 2022 is done! We made it, everyone.
Before I begin, I want to say congratulations to our Brothers who were passed to the degree of Fellow Craft in February: Brothers Brandon Jenkins and Ramey Packer. Their exemplary proficiencies were a testament to their hard work and the dedication of their coaches. I look forward to their eventual raising to the sublime degree of Master Mason.
March was a more social-oriented month for our Lodge. April is a return to ritual.
Our April Stated Meeting will feature the official visit by our District Inspector, Worshipful Michael Woo. Of course, we practiced for the visit late last month and will be ready.
Later this month, we have a Fellow Craft Degree. To prepare for the degree, the Officers will have a practice on April 14 (which is open to all Fellow Crafts and Master Masons). Officers School of Instruction (OSI) on April 20 will cover the second section of the second degree.
Can you see the symmetry in all of this?
Earlier in March, the Officers had a meeting and fellowship. We discussed a book entitled, "It's Business Time: Adopting a Corporate Path for Freemasonry," that I had given to each of them on the recommendation of our Assistant Secretary, Brother Prezell Harris.
In addition to discussing the concepts and topics of the book, we also discussed what each Brother in the line had envisioned for the Lodge for their eventual time in the East.
Each Officer had different ideas of what they wanted to see and accomplish when/if they are seated in the Oriental Chair. Some want to incorporate more Masonic Education, others more social events, and others more preparation for Brothers and Officers for rituals.
Although we differ in our approaches, the goal remains the same: Doing what is best for the Lodge.
In a Trestle Board article I wrote a few years ago, I used this quote from a song:
We walk the same path, but go on different shoes
Live in the same building, but we got different views
This mantra can be applied to any officer who wishes to work toward becoming the Worshipful Master. The same path or same building is our Lodge and the vision we have for it. The different responses we discussed were not a debate, but a sharing of ideas, which are all true.
So if you are considering joining the line, think about what you want to see Washington Lodge No. 20 to look and be like when you're in the East. But don't start planning your year just yet… there is A LOT of work to get there.
I want to address the heretical picture used in the Marshal's article last month.
I want to make it clear that I would never willingly use a blasphemous picture of Darth Vader confronting Captain James Tiberius Kirk and Science Officer Spock.
This coming month of April, we will again hold the Fellow Craft Degree, and the Officers are all very excited to reprise the ceremonies of February.
I thought I would continue in the theme of Masonic Education with an exegesis of one of the scriptures from the Fellow Craft monitorial, which is taken from 1 Cor 13, made famous at weddings since time immemorial (or at least the first couple centuries AD).
The verse starts:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity,
I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
As the text continues, St. Paul continues to develop the concept of Charity in his Epistle. The excerpt is from the King James Version of the Bible, whose author(s) translated the Greek word ἀγάπην (plural for Agape) to charity.
It is an interesting stylistic choice, as many other translations used the word love instead of charity as the translation for Agape.
However you translate it, it's important to discern what was meant in the ancient texts.
The Greeks had multiple concepts of love: philia, storge, agape and eros. Philia deals with friendship, or affection, which we would call Brotherly Love. Storge is familial love, between members of a family, particularly from parent to child. Eros refers to romantic love, while Agape refers to unconditional love, which is considered the highest form of love, between God and his creation, and the reciprocal love thereof.
Where this is interesting for our Fraternity, it is in contrast to the Entered Apprentice (first) degree, which talks about how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell in unity, and specifically calls out Brotherly Love (philia) as one of the three principal tenets of Masonry, and goes on to expound upon how well we should treat other humans.
The second degree, then - in a sense - is shifting the focus from the love between humans to a higher love.
In fact, it later says as much when it articulates how our ancient brethren spent their days of rest: by enjoying frequent opportunities to contemplate the glorious works of the Creation, and to adore their great Creator.
If you are a Fellow Craft Mason, I hope you can take the time to join us this month, and explore how this theme is further developed in the rest of the ceremony.
I look forward to seeing you there.
Here we are starting the fourth month of the calendar year. What just ended is the first one-fourth part of the year. April brings much to celebrate and to look forward to.
Let's start with the important milestones. In April this year, 23 of the brethren celebrate their natal day, commonly known to us as their birthday. How's that for saying in four extra words what can be said in two? We want to wish each and every one of the brethren a very happy birthday.
Of particular note, we wish our Past Masters, Worshipful Jeret Burnett and Worshipful Francisco Marques, a happy birthday indeed.
The Masonic birthday this month consists of 10. To these ten brethren, we join in promoting their welfare and rejoicing in their Masonic prosperity. Two Past Masters enjoy April as their Masonic Birthday, they are Worshipful Jared Yoshiki, celebrating his eighth Masonic birthday, and Worshipful Phil Hardiman, celebrating his 45th Masonic birthday. Additionally, our ten-year recognition this month goes to Brothers Maury Hicks and Thomas Weary. Congratulations and many happy returns to one and all.
April is associated with springtime, new beginnings, and a time to bloom. That's not a coincidence either. April comes from the Latin verb "Aperire" which means "to open." Like the flowers and trees, it's a time to start fresh and shed those cool weather layers. With the month comes a wide array of holidays and observances to make every day a reason to celebrate.
April is a month worth celebrating (except Tax Day!). Oh, and we can't forget about April Fools’ Day. Starting the month with some friendly pranks always reminds us to not take everything so seriously. No matter how serious or silly the holiday may be, there's surely a day that'll suit your fancy.
Speaking of April Fools’ Day, mentioned above, our very own Junior Part Master, Worshipful Francisco Marques celebrates his birthday on this very day. As such, I will be careful about what I say regarding April Fools’ Day.
April Fools' Day - celebrated on April 1 each year - has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, though its exact origins remain a mystery. April Fools' Day traditions include playing hoaxes or practical jokes on others, often yelling “April Fools!” at the end to clue in the subject of the April Fools' Day prank.
While its exact history is shrouded in mystery, the embrace of April Fools' Day jokes by the media and major brands has ensured the unofficial holiday's long life.
Origins of April Fools' Day
Some historians speculate that April Fools' Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. In the Julian Calendar, as in the Hindu calendar, the new year began with the spring equinox around April 1.
People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes and were called “April fools.”
These pranks included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d'avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.
Historians have also linked April Fools' Day to festivals such as Hilaria (Latin for joyful), which was celebrated in ancient Rome at the end of March by followers of the cult of Cybele. It involved people dressing up in disguises and mocking fellow citizens and even magistrates and was said to be inspired by the Egyptian legend of Isis, Osiris and Seth.
April Fools' Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people's derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them.
A few notable pranks involving food include filling donuts with Mayo, filling Oreos with toothpaste, switching a caramel onion for a caramel apple, swapping foil-wrapped chocolate Easter eggs with grapes. And so on.
You get the idea.
Administrative Professionals Day
April also brings us Administrative Professionals Day, this year celebrated on Wednesday, 20 April 2022.
Administrative Professionals Day is an observance that takes place on the Wednesday of the last week of April. It is a day to recognize the work that administrative professionals such as secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, among others, do and how they are essential not only to their respective workplaces but also to the economy around the world.
It is not a public holiday, and most people celebrate the day while at work.
During World War II there were few Administrative Professionals available to work in all the new businesses that were booming because of the war, as America was coming off the Great Depression which not only greatly affected the economy, but also caused a decline in birthrates.
So, the National Secretaries Association was founded in 1942, as a way to recruit people to administrative roles in business, by highlighting the importance of that kind of role in the workplace, and promising support and training to the new administrative professionals.
Eventually, as the roles of Administrative Professionals evolved, the organization changed name twice, in 1981 and 1998, first to Professional Secretaries Association and then to International Association of Administrative Professionals, as it remains until today.
These changes reflected how the responsibilities and tasks of the job grew in importance and became essential to businesses around the world. Indeed, the association grew internationally and dedicates itself to providing training and educating employees to excellent standards who then go on to work in the global community.
In 1952 the United States Department of Commerce organized the first National Secretaries Week, with National Secretaries Day falling on Wednesday. Since 2000 the names for the celebration have changed to Administrative Professionals Week and Day to encompass all the job titles that fall into the administrative roles, as well as reflect the growing responsibilities that those jobs entail.
How to Celebrate
This day is celebrated in offices and workplaces around America, and employers usually organize events and activities that aim to show appreciation for the role of the Administrative Professionals who keep the workplace running.
Now, between the birthdays, both actual and Masonic, April Fools' Day, Spring, and Administrative Professionals Day, we have plenty to celebrate in April.
“A ritual is the enactment of a myth.
And, by participating in the ritual, you are participating in the myth.
By participating in a ritual, you are being put in accord with Wisdom,
which is the wisdom that is inherent within you anyhow.
Your consciousness is being re-minded of the wisdom of your own life.”
Joseph John Campbell (1904-1987), American Writer
Upon joining our Fraternity, we quickly discover that Ritual is the heart and soul of Freemasonry. All of our principles, philosophies, and mythologies reside there. Masonic Ritual sets us apart from other organizations. It binds us with each other in the present as well as with every Brother since time immemorial.
Our Ritual is not just a trifling assemblage of words and simply reading Ritual will not make you a Freemason.
Without the right experience to act as a catalyst for transformation, the words are merely ideas. To the member who has properly received those words a hundred times, they still stir new thoughts and ways of understanding life.
One may even look upon our Ritual as a sublime form of meditation. The opening and closing of the Lodge, the floor work, our Charges and Lectures; everything is an inspiration to center us to our Masonic labors and awaken our spirits.
Our Ritual is performed in Masonic Temples, which are meant to be “sacred” (almost in a religious sense) and separate from the profane world. In the lodge room, we practice the never-ending Masonic Odyssey from the material to the spiritual realm but we should never take this scope for granted.
In response to the COVID pandemic, our Ritualistic experience took a hit.
Like millions of people all around the world, the lives of Freemasons changed overnight. When Worshipful Jared Yoshiki led Washington Lodge No. 20 for what was going to be our last in-person meeting of the Masonic Year, our 2020 Master graciously explained the situation and asked if there were any questions.
The first thing our members wanted to know was: “When will we be able to perform Degree Ceremonies again?” The fact that no certainty could be voiced was most disappointing for the Brethren.
I was not surprised by the reaction. As creatures of habit, we love rituals. The most important moments of our lives, from quinceañeras to bar mitzvahs, from weddings to holiday traditions, all are marked by ceremonies.
On top of that, studies show that people from every country, sect and culture tend to seek rituals in times of uncertainty. The reason behind this disposition likely resides in our cognitive makeup. Our brain cells are wired to make predictions about events around us. We crave for predictability.
That is where Masonic Ritual comes in.
The same actions are done again and again. In other words, they are predictable.
So even if they have no direct influence over the physical world, our Rituals provide a sense of control by imposing order on the chaos of everyday life.
When Masons come together to perform a Degree Ceremony, we dress alike, move in synchrony, speak in unison, and even synchronize heartbeats!
By acting as one, we feel as one, we transcend ourselves into that perfect Mystic Tie.
By aligning behavior and creating shared experiences, Masonic Ritual allows us to form a true sense of belonging and common identity which transmutes individual Brothers into highly cohesive Lodges.
In today's fast-paced world and culture, full of ever-changing variables, Masonic Ritual is a reliable and steadfast working tool of internal change or True Alchemy.
If it has been a while since you last experienced Masonic Ritual, please don’t miss the opportunity to join us for these upcoming Ceremonies at Washington Lodge No. 20:
Thursday, April 07 at 05:30 PM
Happy Hour + Dinner + Stated Meeting
Reception of a Grand Lodge Officer:
Worshipful Michael Woo, PM, Inspector of the 414th Masonic District
Installation of a Lodge Officer: Worshipful Richard Wilson, PM, Chaplain
Thursday, April 28 at 05:30 PM
EA Proficiency + Dinner + Fellow Craft Degree: Brother Kevin Hall
Thursday, May 05 at 05:30 PM
Happy Hour + Dinner + Stated Meeting
Thursday, May 26 at 06:00 PM
Dinner + Entered Apprentice Degree: Mr. Jonathon Brown
Worshipful Russell Tomas and the 2022 line of Lodge Officers have been working hard since Installation Day, emulating with a purposeful effort the ancient Masonic Symbol of a Beehive:
Harmoniously working together, gathering as many different units with a common goal: to strengthen and perpetuate our Lodge by initiating new members and helping them advance to full membership, while graciously providing our WLN20 family with great moral and social support.
Washington Lodge No. 20
To practice and promote a way of life that binds like-minded men in a worldwide
brotherhood that transcends all religious, ethnic, cultural, social and educational differences.
Through Masonic principles and tradition, and by the outward expression of these
through its fellowship and compassion, Washington Lodge No.20 Free & Accepted Masons provides ways in which to serve God, family, country, neighbors, and self in an environment that contributes to the enrichment and betterment of its members, mankind, and its communities.
It's Business Time:
Adapting a Corporate Path for Freemasonry
by Robert H. Johnson
Few books on the Craft today offer logistical assistance on the operational lodge or its active officers.
It’s Business Time aims to offer a fresh look at the best practices that the world of business has spawned over the last hundred years and to take these market-disrupting techniques and adapt them for use at the Lodge level.
Just because Freemasonry isn't inherently a business doesn’t mean the organization can’t benefit from industry-proven best organizational practices.
It's Business Time lays out these modern concepts, and their relevance to Freemasonry in an easy-to-understand guide.
The work explores and adapts each concept for use across the organization, regardless of leadership level.
If utilized appropriately, these concepts can be a powerful force multiplier in enabling Lodges to succeed in the modern era.
About the Author
Robert H. Johnson (1981-) was born in the Northern Suburbs of Chicago. Philosophy is at the core of what Robert has always been after. Having grown up in Italy and being exposed to the culture and much of the renaissance art and literature, Freemasonry became a natural place for him to gravitate toward.
He has studied the occult for twenty years. He is an avid musician and writer.
He’s written for several print magazines and blogs on subjects ranging from Firearms and Medical Ethics to Theology and Comparative Religions.
He's recently begun writing young adult science fiction as well. Robert majored in philosophy and minored in mathematics. He also holds an honorary Doctorate Degree in Philosophy in Religion.
Other books on the horizon include one of various Masonic Essays and a concise guide on Occult Anatomy and Mythological Archetypes.
ISBN-10 : 1980830126 • ISBN-13 : 978-1980830122
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS
• 04 Executive Committee Meeting Monday • 06:00 PM (Zoom)
• 07 Social Hour Thursday • 05:30 PM (Club Room)
• 07 Youth Orders Dinner Thursday • 06:15 PM (Banquet Room)
• 07 Stated Meeting Thursday • 07:30 PM (LR1)
• 14 Officers' Practice Thursday • 07:00 PM (LR1)
• 20 Officers School of Instruction Wednesday • 07:00 PM (LR3)
Topic: 2nd Degree / 2nd Section
• 21 DARK Thursday
• 28 Degree Dinner Thursday • 06:00 PM (Banquet Room)
• 28 Second Degree - Brother Kevin Hall Thursday • 07:00 PM (LR1)
• 02 Executive Committee Meeting Monday • 06:00 PM (Zoom)
• 05 Social Hour Thursday • 05:30 PM (Club Room)
• 05 Star Wars Dinner Thursday • 06:15 PM (Banquet Room)
• 05 Stated Meeting Thursday • 07:30 PM (LR1)
• 07 Brotherhood Walk Saturday • 02:00 PM (Masonic Temple - Capitol Park)
• 12 Officers' Practice Thursday • 07:00 PM (LR1)
• 18 Officers School of Instruction Wednesday • 07:00 PM (LR3)
Topic: 3rd Degree / 2nd Section
• 19 DARK Thursday
• 26 Degree Dinner Thursday • 06:00 PM (Banquet Room)
• 26 First Degree - Mr. Jonathon Brown Thursday • 07:00 PM (LR1)
• 30 Executive Committee Meeting Monday • 06:00 PM (Zoom)
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL CALENDAR
Since July 2020, thousands of California Freemasons have already begun to access their portals in iMember 2.0, the new membership platform—one of the highest adoption rates of any grand lodge jurisdiction on the system. Yet with so many new features just a finger-swipe away—and many more being prepped for launch this fall—there are still lots of questions left to be answered, starting with some of the most basic.
How to Get to iMember 2.0
iMember 2.0 is designed to work on any mobile phone, tablet, or desktop or laptop computer with an internet connection. Simply visit member.freemason.org/lodges/20 or freemason.org and click the FOR MEMBERS button in the upper-right-hand corner of the screen. If you haven’t logged on yet, you’ll need to create an account, so have your email address, membership number, and a unique password ready to go.
You Can Download iMember 2.0 on Your Phone
Whether you have an iPhone or an Android phone, you can add a home screen shortcut to access iMember 2.0 quickly and easily. To install, use your web browser to visit the site, and select “Add to home screen.”
The exact placement of the button will depend on your web browser (Safari, Chrome, or Firefox).
More Features in the Works
• Digital Dues, Reminders and Payment Plans
• Expanded Social Networks with App Notifications
• New Ways to Share Resources
• One-Stop Shop for Hall Associations
• Keeping Track of Attendance
iMember 2.0 is available to all Masons in California!
For questions on iMember 2.0, contact Member Services at (415) 292-9180 or email@example.com
Eric Hixson (PM)
Francisco Marques (PM)
Richard Wilson (PM)
Creston Whiting-Casey III
Francisco Marques (PM)
Junior Past Master
D. Edward Entrican (PM)
Jared Yoshiki (PM)
Senior Officers' Coach
Francisco Marques (PM)
Junior Officers' Coach
Head Candidates' Coach
Michael Woo (PM)
Inspector 414th District