May was a month full of great achievements for Washington Lodge No. 20.
From the start, incredible situations and new developments have made last month a very unique one for our Lodge - and also for me on a personal level.
It was no surprise that the latest “honor code” - the federal government’s guidance encouraging fully vaccinated people to take off their masks - was greeted with skepticism within our community. Governor Newsom will keep existent mask guidance in place until June 15th when he aims to fully reopen the economy. After that, all restrictions currently in place will be removed and the Sacramento Masonic Temple will open its doors to our Brothers without required facemasks, social distancing, or vaccination cards. Only “mega-events” (think 17,608 people at the Golden 1 Center) will still have to subject guests to mask mandates and other limitations.
Since April, however, as a response to Grand Master Arthur Weiss’ Reopening Guidelines, Washington Lodge decided to avoid hosting events at the Temple until after June 15th. We have been meeting somewhere else, instead.
Officers had their very first in-person meeting of the year at Tony’s Deli on May 13th. As you may be aware, Elias Silhi, owner of Tony’s Deli, reopened our beloved deli on May 12th making a triumphant return. The outpouring of support from our Brothers and our community had a strong effect on Elias, who fought very hard in the last 15 months to reopen after a COVID shutdown and total loss caused by rioters.
Our Lodge hosted a Fellowship Night on May 20th (also at Tony’s) with many WLN20 members and prospects in attendance. It was a vibrant event for the enjoyment of everyone. Our prospects had a wonderful time mingling and getting to know our members – and vice-versa. Some received petition forms, making it possible for us to read them in Lodge at this month’s Stated Meeting. After a slow start at the beginning of the year, things seem to be gaining traction and soon we will be at full speed in our Masonic Odyssey.
Since our Candidates were unable to attend the Fellowship Night, I invited Mr. Branden Polupan, Mr. Jonathon Miller, and Mr. Moises Gonzalez for one-on-one lunch-meetings at Tony’s, and I am glad to report that they are very excited about their Initiation Ceremonies scheduled for the near future.
On May 29th, a gorgeous Saturday, we all gathered at the Ben Ali Shrine Center for our Annual Family Tri-Tip BBQ Picnic. Many came out to mix and mingle with our Brothers and families. The picnic grounds were packed and the gathering had the most wonderful energy, great food, awesome music and fun activities for all ages. Smiles and laughter all around. Bob’s Hot Rod Menu and Smokey’s Ice Cream were a hit!
I want to thank you all who were able to attend the gathering, making the picnic a very successful event. A big shout out to our Cordon Bleu Committeemen, Bob Taylor, Wally Clark, and Smokey Stover, who played a very important role with the planning and execution of the event. Kudos to the many volunteers who helped us with all the moving parts, most especially to Sivi Hardiman, Fahm Tomas, Russ Tomas, Dave Minke, Marty Buff, Mauro Lara, Joe Wallach, Bill Workman, and Matt Mason. I also want to thank Lew Wentworth, Kathy Walsh, and the whole staff of the Ben Ali Shrine Center for being so gracious, helpful and accommodating. The whole process from the initial booking to the actual event went so smoothly.
100+ in attendance! It was great to see members from Philomathean 2 Prince Hall, Union-Tehama 3, Sacramento 40, Yolo 195, Rio Linda 786, and American River 795, breaking bread together with Brothers of Washington 20. I am looking forward to another great picnic next year!
I would like to use this opportunity to share a particularly important moment of my Masonic Life with you. On May 22nd, I was installed as a Grand Officer of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. It is an incredible honor to serve as Grand Marshal of the North under the leadership of Grand High Priest Raymond Broomfield for the 2021-2022 term.
On the same day, to my absolute amazement, I also received a High Priest of the Year Award. Royal Arch Masonry is a passion of mine and I have been blessed with the honor of serving for two years as High Priest of Sacramento Chapter No. 3 of Royal Arch Masons.
Royal Arch Masonry is an intrinsic part of the York Rite and the Royal Arch Degree and was considered most important in the early years of Freemasonry. It was so dogmatic that, when the two Grand Lodges in England united in 1813, a firm and solemn landmark was adopted and placed in the Articles of Union to guide Masons throughout the world forever on this matter:
"Pure Ancient Freemasonry consists of but three degrees, that of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch."
This Landmark has never been changed and, to this day, it is said that a man is not a Master Mason until he receives the Master's Word, which can only be revealed in the Royal Arch.
For more information about Royal Arch Masonry, please visit https://www.sacramentoyorkrite.org/
May 22nd also marked three years of the departure of our Brother Patrick Malley, who was taken too young from this planet. One of Patrick’s favorite poems was Desiderata by Max Ehrmann, from which I now borrow the following passage:
“And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”
Cheers, Patrick! Thank you for bringing so much joy to the world...
The blue planet continues to revolve, despite all gains and losses or stalemates, bringing us thankfully and unavoidably to a new month.
Our June Stated Meeting will be once again performed online (7:30 PM on 06/03). We will not be hosting a Virtual Fellowship & Education Night that evening. Instead, our Officers will be meeting at 6:30 PM to plan for June and the rest of the year’s schedule of activities.
It is one of our goals to host a Fellowship & Education Night in the Club Room on 06/17. Possibly in a Trivia Night format – which has always been so popular in the past. We will keep you informed.
We will also be fine-tuning our gears for the upcoming Past Masters’ Night (Third Degree) and the many Initiation Ceremonies (First Degrees) we currently have on the docket, as our Lodge members get excited and prepare for welcoming new members into our Ancient and Honorable Fraternity.
June is expected to be an outstanding period of reopening, revitalization, and rejoicing for all of us, not only Masonically but especially in our personal lives. I hope you will be joining us in all our celebrations and gatherings in this and future months.
We have been patiently waiting for this moment...
Brothers. Can you feel it? That sense of energy among us? As restrictions are lifted and we slowly begin to come together in person, the brothers seem to have “pep in their step.” The once melancholy tone of the numerous Zoom meetings seems to have changed into more vibrant conversations among the brethren.
The demeanor in this month’s Officers School of Instruction (OSI), in my opinion, was wholly different from any prior OSI in the last few months. Listening to the officers and Masters of the other Lodges enthusiastically discussing the events they have held or are preparing to hold brought a sense of joy to our meeting. I have to admit it was infectious.
A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a fellow Brother and his troubles with maintaining an interest in Freemasonry. Although I understood how he felt, I’m glad we had that chat because it helped me acknowledge my own thoughts on the current state of Freemasonry. Toward the end of the conversation we came to the agreement to wait and see how we feel once we were together in person.
We should try to “recapture” the energy of being around our brothers. How we feel when we are all together should be the determining factor on what to do moving forward. I’m glad to report that the last few in-person events (Officers’ Meeting and Fellowship Night) were all that was needed.
From the moment we started our Officers’ Meeting on May 13th, I immediately remembered what Freemasonry was like. Sharing a table with my fellow brother officers was a great feeling. The May 20th Fellowship Night only added to that feeling of joy. Seeing candidates and prospects added to the excitement as the future of our Lodge seemed to be heading in the right direction.
At one point, I told a brother, “This feels like home.”
In my April article, I talked about focusing our energy on what is in front of us. Well brothers, here it is.
Our Lodge is moving forward and Worshipful Marques has set out to accomplish as much as we can for the rest of the year. We are going to have fellowship nights, in-person meetings, and rituals. This is our chance to “recapture” that energy that has waned in the last year. It’s time to focus your energy on studying. It’s time to focus your energy on getting fit enough to fit into those suits and tuxedos.
It’s time to focus your energy on making our Lodge “our home.”
Greetings from the South!
Ordinarily at the outset of this column, I like to acknowledge any milestone birthdays for the month, both actual and Masonic. This month I ran the reports, and came away empty handed. I hope there are plenty of other milestones in your lives outside of Masonry to appreciate the passage of time.
Our monthly examination of the starry decked heavens for June brings us to the sign of Cancer. The symbol for Cancer is two circles with attached arcs or lines positioned oppositional. You can see this symbol at the apex of the arc in the tracing board featured below. The transition to Cancer from Gemini occurs on the summer solstice, which happens this year on Sunday June 20th.
The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, and on this day, the arc that the sun traces through the sky each day reaches its highest point.
This event has special meaning for Freemasons, as it closely matches up to St. John’s Day, a Christian feast day on June 24th that commemorates the nativity of St. John the Baptist.
St. John’s Day is significant because lodges at the present time are dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist, who were two eminent patrons of Masonry; and since their time there is, or should be, represented in every regular lodge a certain point within a circle.
One interpretation of the circle is as a loop, which alludes to the cyclical nature of things. At times, it almost feels like every day is a time loop under the COVID restrictions.
As the sun reaches its annual apex, and we enjoy the longest and brightest day of the year, I hope we can start to create some new cycles and rhythms for us all.
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 Question of Freemasonry and the Founding Fathers
by David Barton
In recent years, Freemasonry and its links to the Founding Fathers has been a focal point of controversy. This new work explores the truth behind this connection and corrects the numerous myths about Freemasonry and the Founders.
Primary sources reveal both the Founders' limited involvement with Freemasonry as well as the dramatic changes that Masonry has undergone since the time of the Founders.
This work provides an insightful history of the secret society and offers convincing proof of its relatively small influence on America's foundations.
About the Author
David Barton is the founder of WallBuilders, an organization dedicated to presenting America's forgotten history and heroes, with an emphasis on our moral, religious, and constitutional heritage. David is author of numerous best-selling works and a national award-winning historian who brings a fresh perspective to history.
BUT BRAIN CELLS ARE
STILL IN SHUTDOWN MODE
WHEN MASONIC DEGREES
ARE BACK ON THE 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)
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