This being my final article as Master of Washington Lodge No. 20, I would like to take a few moments to say thank you to our first-class team of Officers and to all members of our sublime Masonic Lodge.
The epidemic has stressed all of us in every regard of our daily lives. From a Masonic perspective, it took away the reassuring custom of physical gatherings at the Masonic Temple and the Fellowship and Brotherly Love that came with that.
Almost every aspect of our Masonic lives abruptly changed due to the shutdown, and I am grateful for the way we responded. No matter how we move forward under the precautions that are still necessary due to this disease, we know that we will never be the same as a Lodge of Freemasons.
The times we are experiencing will be the subject of history and economics and social lessons for generations to come. The Masonic work we have been doing every day has been extraordinary and it will continue to be next year and beyond. And it is with that in mind that the Masonic Temple will be organizing a fourth time capsule to record the COVID phenomenon – in addition to the 1865, 1918, and 2018 canisters. More details to follow.
2021 has been a very unique and often challenging year. When we started our journey right after Installation Day about a year ago, the future was befogged by worries and uncertainties. The pandemic was still at full speed and we Freemasons were not yet allowed to gather. When will we be able to reopen? Will the Brethren ever come back? - I wondered.
And, Brother, did we ever!
After two private gatherings at Tony’s Deli in May, which were our very first in-person gatherings after 15 months of seclusion, we started noticing record levels of attendance in all events: at the Family BBQ Picnic on 05/29, Trivia Night on 06/17, Bowling with Brothers on 07/22, River City Food Bank Charity Drive on 09/18, Homeless Children Awareness Charity Drive on 09/25, Past Masters’ Night on 10/28, and Ladies Night on 11/06. Our Lodge was thriving once again!
We also had the honor of Initiating nine extremely bright and gifted men into our Fraternity: Brothers Branden Polupan (07/29), Moises Gonzales (08/26), Brandon Jenkins (08/26), Jonathon Miller (09/23), Kevin Hall (09/23), Allan Harlan (10/28), Ramey Packer (11/13), Jared Bishop (11/13), and Jonathan Bray (11/13). Once again, my Brothers, congratulations! May your Masonic Odyssey be filled with Light and Brotherly Love.
Last month, we gathered to say farewell to our beloved Past Master, Worshipful Victor Sanchez. Initiated in 2009, and Passed and Raised in 2010, Worshipful Sanchez was elevated to the Oriental Chair, serving as Master of Washington Lodge No. 20 in 2017. He also toiled as the Trestle Board Editor. Not satisfied with “just those responsibilities,” Worshipful Sanchez was elected and prepared to take on the arduous role of Lodge Secretary, being installed as such on 12/10/2017. But God had different plans for his child.
Freemasonry unites men of every country, religion, or opinion. Those of you who are of Catholic Faith - like me - know that November is traditionally the month when those who have died are remembered. The Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos in Spanish or Dia dos Fiéis Defuntos in Portuguese) is a fiesta traditionally celebrated on November 2nd in Central and South Americas. And it was on the day after this holiday that Worshipful Sanchez departed from this world, peacefully at home, with his wife Toni and his kids Juan, Maggie, and Victor Jr., by his side.
A Masonic Memorial Service was held on November 20th honoring Worshipful Sanchez in our Lodge Room. Worshipful Gary Macauley, PM, led a meaningful ceremony. Mrs. Toni Sanchez and the family were very grateful for seeing so many Brothers paying their respects to our beloved Past Master. His son Juan Sanchez delivered a beautiful eulogy. Brother Creston Whiting-Casey and I shared emotional memories of Worshipful Sanchez’s influence in our Masonic Journey.
Worshipful Sanchez lived a life of service not only to Washington Lodge No. 20 but also to every Officer, member, and guest who visited 1123 J Street. He was a loyal friend, devoted Shriner, heroic police officer, and also an active member of the Iron Warriors motorcycle group. He did what we all aspire: to live respected and always be humble and kind. Until we meet again, dear Brother!
November was a month that I would like to characterize by the ancient Masks of Comedy and Tragedy, happiness and sorrow, Thalia and Melpomene, daughters of Zeus. From all the joy we lived in the Ballroom when dancing to the tunes of Phonotone Orchestra to welcoming three new Entered Apprentices into our Masonic Family to the incredible sadness we felt in the Lodge Room when we saw the urn with Victor’s ashes being placed on the ceremonial table. I still feel great heaviness in my heart. However, the certainty that we all will meet Victor again at the Celestial Lodge Above shall give me comfort and keep me moving forward.
And it is with much honor and joy that I invite you to our Annual Installation of Officers on Sunday, 12/12, at 2:00 PM, and welcome our new Master and his superb line of Officers, and wish them all the best in the ensuing Masonic Year. Congratulations to our Master-Elect Russell Tomas and to Senior Warden-Elect Nicholas Johnston and Junior Warden-Elect Mauro Lara. Your hard work has paid off. Your example of leadership and dedication has inspired me greatly as I witnessed your journey through paths of courage and integrity.
My predecessor, Worshipful Jared Yoshiki, blessed me with a great team and great momentum, and I have tried to pay it forward. We have had the strangest two years in the history of our Lodge and I do hope that 2022 will be free of any sign of equivocation or doubt. I am honored and thrilled to serve you all, Brethren, as Lodge Secretary next year and beyond – if re-elected.
As this 2020-2021 term comes to an end, my appreciation and gratitude go to:
The Officers who got called to duty and cheerfully responded beyond my expectations, and the Past Masters who encouraged me with their support and counsel.
The Cordon Bleu Team – the brilliant minds and kind hearts of Brothers Bob Taylor, Wally Clark, Smokey Stover, and Worshipful Eric Hixson – who came out time and time again with meals more delightful than ever.
The 414th Masonic District Inspector, Worshipful Michael Woo, for his guidance and patience, making our ceremonies better each and every time through OSI sessions or private meetings.
And last but not least, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those Brethren from other Lodges who supported us in every step of the way, in the Lodge Room and elsewhere. The list is too extensive for this finite space. Our paths shall cross again.
Before we pass the baton to our future generation of Officers, we would like to ask you to join our last philanthropy project of the year and help support a local women's shelter. The shelter is in need of hygiene kits and had asked a local Rotary Club to head the project. Brother Mac Contreras is the past president of that club and, in an effort to include more organizations in the community, he has asked Washington Lodge No. 20 to be involved.
We are putting a request out to Brothers who have the ability to help these women this holiday season.
Now, there are many items on the list but we are trying to make an effort to be responsible for filling the order for combs. That does not mean that you cannot help with other gifts off the Amazon Wishlist but we would like to make this our first priority, then anything else left on the list a second priority.
The goal is to have everything shipped and in the hands of Brother Contreras by December 10th, so we do have a bit of a time crunch. If you have any questions please reach out to Brother Contreras at (209) 380-6380 or email him at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you wish to donate to the cause directly, rather than dealing with the Amazon list, please bring your cash donation to the Stated Meeting on Thursday, December 2nd, or donate online via Venmo to the Philanthropy Committee Chair, Brother Creston Whiting-Casey, @creston-whiting-casey.
All proceeds will be used to purchase the items needed for the kits!
NOTE: When you make a purchase on Amazon, send it to “OTHER ADDRESSES: Mac Contreras’s Gift Registry Address”
View: First Priority List
View: Second Priority List
For more information on the project, please visit: Meadowview Navigation Center | Volunteers of America
There were many other things we wanted to do this year but had to take a step back, adapt, regroup and change plans, but I believe we were able to set the tone for a continuously booming and enduring Lodge. Every step we took contributed to opening our minds and looking at things differently and with undying optimism. I trust that the soon-to-be Master, Brother Russell Tomas, and his team of Officers, will have your support to lead Washington Lodge No. 20 into the future.
In closing, Brethren, I just wanted to say that I am eternally grateful for having the opportunity to serve you. This has been without a doubt the greatest honor in my Masonic Odyssey.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Brothers! What a year we had! We started a bit late, but are finishing on such a high note. Before I tackle our year and how Worshipful Francisco Marques doomed the next few Worshipful Masters to mediocrity, I first want to say thank you. Thank you Worshipful Marques. Thank you to you, my Brothers. Thank you for making this year every bit as enjoyable and productive as it was intended to be. Thank you for your support and kind words. Thank you for trusting me to fill the rather large shoes left by our outgoing Worshipful Master. I do not take this privilege lightly and will endeavor to make the 2022 Masonic year as fun and eventful as possible.
For a Masonic year that started later than usual, Washington Lodge No. 20 accomplished more than anyone could have expected. We had a small start sharing a meal at Tony's Deli with Brothers and prospects. Who knew such a small gathering could lead to something so much larger. Our Annual Family BBQ Picnic in May had one of the largest attendance in its history. Probably a result of the combination of an outdoor event and the desire to have our families finally come together again. The Trivia Night in June was fun and well attended by Brothers and prospects (although I still cannot believe the prospects' table won). Bowling with Brothers at Country Club Lanes in July is now an event that most Brothers look forward to attending every year.
Then came our degree work, which led to us welcoming so many new Brothers to our fold: Bro. Brandon Polupan, Bro. Moises Gonzalez, Bro. Brandon "What's his name" Jenkins, Bro. Jonathon Miller, Bro. Kevin Hall, Bro. Allan Harlan, Bro. Ramey Packer, Bro. Jared Bishop, and Bro. Jonathan Bray. Some of these Initiations were done through events our Lodge has not seen in some time. A beautifully performed First Degree during Past Masters' Night in October and a triple degree in November. The addition of these gentlemen feels like we will come out of 2021 stronger than when we started. Welcome, my Brothers!
Almost all of these events were successful because our bellies were full. Thanks should be given to our Cordon Bleu crew: Wally Clark, Past Master Eric Hixson, and Richard "Smokey" Stover under the leadership of the one and only Bob Taylor. I am still amazed at all of the delicious meals that were prepared for such a large group like us. (If you are reading this Bob, my wife Fahm still keeps talking about those potatoes au gratin.)
A year this busy and successful could only end in the most stellar way. Ladies Night served as a great way to finish the large event for a successful year. Seeing the smiles on everyone's faces as we enjoyed the great food, drinks, and entertainment punctuated the general feeling of our Lodge at the end of 2021.
Although there were some difficulties and obstacles to overcome, the leadership of our Lodge coupled with the strength of our Brothers made it easy. The bar is set high for all future Worshipful Masters and I hope to maintain the height of that bar for 2022 Masonic Year.
In the meantime, the Installation of the 2022 officers is December 12 at 2 p.m. in Lodge Room 1.
Have a Merry Christmas Everyone!
Melvin Pinsler was raised seventy years ago in December of 1951. Congratulations Brother Pinsler. It has been a fun exercise over the past year to acknowledge so many of our milestones in the introduction to this column, and I wish for all our Brethren many more in the future.
December 21st will mark the winter solstice, and as such, this month contains the Sun’s final descent in the heavens towards its lowest declination of the year. Analogously, our terms as officers are set to expire, and I know we all look forward to our new stations in the ensuing Masonic year.
I would like to thank the Brethren of Washington Lodge No. 20 for the opportunity to serve in this position. It has been a wonderful experience and an honor. I would also like to thank the rest of the officer line for their contributions over the past year to make it successful.
Upcoming on December 12th, we will hold our annual installation of officers. The history of this ceremony dates back a few hundred years. In the earliest records, most of the documents outline an installation ceremony for the constitution of new lodges.
One of the documents I could find documenting the ceremony is in William Preston's Illustrations of Masonry (1775).
You can read this document yourself HERE.
Within is listed the charges read to the Master-Elect, which I have below (changing the letter s to modern usage for readability):
The Grand Master then asks his deputy if he has examined the master nominated in the warrant and whether he finds him well skilled in the noble science and the Royal Art? The deputy answering in the affirmative, he, by the Grand Master's order, takes the candidate from among his fellows, and presents him at the pedestal; saying, Most Worshipful Grand Master, (or right worshipful, as it happens, ] I present my worthy brother A. B. to be installed Master of this New Lodge. I know him to be of good morals and of great skill, true and trusty, and a lover of the whole fraternity, wheresoever dispersed over the face of the earth.
The following charges are then read by the Grand Secretary or acting Secretary to the Master Elect:
I. You are to be a good man and true, and strictly to obey the moral law.
II. You are to be a peaceable subject and cheerfully conform to the laws of the country in which you reside.
III. You are not to be concerned in plots or conspiracies against government, but submit to the decisions of legislative power.
IV. You are to respect the civil magistrate, to work diligently, live creditably, and act honorably by all men.
V. You are to obey the rulers and governors of the society, supreme and subordinate, in their different stations, and submit to the awards and resolutions of your brethren.
VI. You are to avoid private piques and quarrels and guard against intemperance and excess. VII You are to be cautious and prudent in your behavior, courteous to your brethren, and faithful to the lodge to which you belong.
VIII. You are to respect your genuine brethren and discountenance all false pretenders.
IX. You are to promote the general good of society, cultivate the social virtues, and be always ready to give or to receive instruction.
What is absolutely remarkable is how much this charge matches up to that same charge given in the present day, almost 250 years later. One of the most delightful aspects of our Ancient and Honorable Fraternity is how it has preserved its teachings since its inception.
Should you find this preservation as interesting as I do, check out the link above which contains the full ceremony circa 1775, and join us on December 12th to welcome our new Master-Elect Russell Tomas on his ascension to the time-honored seat of Master of Washington 20.
Comparing old and new will be a great opportunity to see how much has been preserved through the centuries.
"T'is the Season to Pay Our Dues"
Happy Holidays, Brethren! It's that time of year again to pay our dues!
As a courtesy reminder, your dues contribution helps many masonic programs throughout the State of California and the members within our lodges.
We thank you all again for being proud members of our fraternity and look forward to seeing you again soon!
As approved at the 172nd Annual Communication, the per capita is now $57.50, which brings our 2022 Annual Dues to $87.50:
$30.00 ... Lodge Dues (Washington Lodge 20)
$57.50 ... Per Capita (Grand Lodge)
$87.50 DUE BY 12/31/2021
This month, you will receive your Dues Notice via USPS and email.
Below are the types of payments and instructions available for you:
If you would like to make your payment via the Grand Lodge website, please log into iMember 2.0 at Freemason.org and follow the prompts on your screen to pay your dues. Once payment is completed, your virtual dues card will immediately be available for printing.
If paying by check, please make it payable to Washington Lodge No. 20 and mail it to the address below:
Washington Lodge No. 20
Attn: Secretary's Office
1123 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
If paying by Credit Card/Debit Card on the Washington Lodge No. 20 website, simply click HERE.
Note: (CC online payments will include a service charge to cover processing fees)
As soon as I receive payments either by check, cash, or online confirmation, I will update your iMember membership account that will enable your dues card to display for printing.
If you need further assistance, please contact the Lodge Secretary Jesse Solis-Jacques, PM at 916-412-1423.
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.
The Civility Mosaic
by Russ Charvonia (PGM) with Michael Ashley
Russ Charvonia’s The Civility Mosaic, written with Michael Ashley, is a 21st Century treatise on restoring civility as a matter of our survival.
As past Grand Master of Masons in California, Charvonia provides readers with a first-of-its-kind, insider look at Freemasonry and how the practical application of its underlying ethos of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth can help us rise above the world’s bickering and violence to create a more compassionate, more humane, and more civil society.
About the Author
MW Russ Charvonia served as Grand Master of Masons of California in 2014-15, serving more than 50,000 members. President of the Worldwide Civility Council, he heads the Masonic Family Civility Project.
He has worked in the financial services industry since 1980. Co-founder of Channel Islands Group, he provides financial and wealth management advice to individual and business clients. He holds several professional designations, earning his Juris doctor degree from Ventura College of Law in 2003. He was admitted to the California Bar in 2004.
He is the founder of Channel Islands Law Group in Ventura, which specializes in estate and charitable gift planning. Russ also has a mediation practice, where he helps parties identify and craft creative solutions to difficult problems. Russ volunteers his professional services to several non-profits in his community, including serving as president of the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation board. Previously, he was a director on the board of The Midnight Mission for two years.
Active in Temple Beth Torah in Ventura, he once served as its president. He also volunteers for Channel Islands Restoration, helping to restore the Channel Islands to their native condition. He also serves as treasurer for the Conflict Resolution Institute of Ventura County. Russ lives in Ventura with his wife, Linda. He has a daughter, Alissa; son and daughter-in-law, Keith and Kendall; and grandsons, Tanner and Hudson.
HAPPINESS LIES IN THE
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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
Washington Lodge No. 20
Eric Hixson (PM)
Jesse Solis-Jacques (PM)
Jared Yoshiki (PM)
Junior Past Master
D. Edward Entrican (PM)
Luis Montero (PM)
Dave Cameron (PM)
Head Candidates' Coach
Michael Woo (PM)
Inspector 414th District