Category: Masonic Light

Master’s Message – November 2020

November 1st, 2020 by

Master’s Message

My Brother,

At one point of my life I was not working. I had sold a business and although I was employed the company informed me that my vision did not match their vision, so they paid me to stay home. I was a fairly young man at the time, and what I remember most about that period of my life is: even though you have nothing to do, you do many, many, things.

I was Worshipful Master of Lafayette Lodge at the time, and one of the major accomplishments of that time was the mortgaging of the dilapidated building, and the refurbishment of it. We can draw inspiration from this, in this Covid Pandemic time in all of our lives.

Being installed Worshipful Master in January, I don’t think anyone alive or dead could have imagined that we would find ourselves where we are today. When this thing first broke I was making the statement men may conclude their free time is more valuable than Lodge time. I disagree with my statement however some may have those sentiments. For those who do I offer you the following:

Freemasonry is a value equation. Your Lodge provides a significant amount of it on a regular basis. Being the nexus of Fellowship and Enlightenment, you can, if you attend, extract from it whatever it is that you seek. For instance we have a very diverse and well-rounded group of active members and officers who vary in age, ethnicity, vocation, religion, culture and beliefs. I find it very refreshing to hear their ideas and vision of Freemasonry and the future of it. We have learned their ideas, your ideas, my ideas, their vision, your vision, my vision and the open minded- ness of all, are the seeds of the value we expect. What we have done this year through some team building exercises, and management is to build a structure where we all possess the wisdom to listen, and to carefully plan to deliver this value to all members. For instance, we have had some dynamic speakers in our limited time we were able to meet. These speakers provided their life experiences, or how things work. And although not esoteric in nature were designed to educate on conduct, compassion, and the navigation of life’s storms as they arise. We have learned to not lose hope, and usually everything will turn out alright. Great lessons.

Yes we have been very limited this year. We have however learned much about ourselves and by extension each other. When you have those kinds of moments everything coalesces. To come full circle we had nothing to do, but did many, many, things so far this year. The year is not yet over. At our November meeting we will have our elections. All nominees are unopposed so fast work will be made. We will conduct a little business, maybe have a short program, and retire to the fellowship and enlightenment dinner of really good short ribs, twice baked potatoes, and a good vegetable. For those who do not like that we will have gruel. The super cool festive board scheduled for our December meeting is setting up nicely. As usual, your significant others are always invited.

I hope this message finds you well. I look forward to seeing you.

Fraternally,

Mike Holt,
Worshipful Master


Master’s Message – October 2020

October 3rd, 2020 by

Master’s Message

My Brother,

As we start to emerge from the Covid Pandemic of 2020, I am pleased to inform you your Lodge is still here. Lafayette #27 is performing at a very high level. With everything going on in the world your members have been engaged, visionary, motivated and excited. We have had a team building Shoot in Pennsylvania, and are gearing up for the Lafayette Lodge first ever wine making adventure on the 11th of October.

On the Lodge business front, we found ourselves with a collection of Candidates and Brothers in various levels of degrees. We decided to hold a one day class to clean up those who were outstanding. Over the course of the last few months we rehearsed and rehearsed to make the degrees memorable. A funny thing happened along the way. Other Lodges in the State had the same issue with their candidates as we did. Along the way we picked up a candidate here, and a candidate there. By the time degree day came, we raised 84 men to the sublime degree of Master Mason. I must say that the Ritual work performed by the members and officers of Lafayette was some of the best ritual I have ever witnessed. My congratulations goes out to all of the new members, and I hope when they look back on September 19th they will fondly remember this day as one of the best days of their lives.

I know Covid is keeping a few of our active members away due to health concerns, however if you are up to it our next meeting will be on October 9th at the Lodge. We will be having a Small Octoberfest after the meeting to celebrate that we are all still here. If you want to take a chance (although we are really safe and clean) please give Ray a call and let him know you are coming.

In the mean time, We are here for you, We look forward to seeing you. One day this nonsense will end, and we will begin our new normal (whatever form that takes).

Finally, Life is meant to be lived, and you cannot save time. I hope you are well and can join us some- time in the near future.

Fraternally,

Mike Holt,
Worshipful Master


Master’s Message – September 2020

August 29th, 2020 by

Master’s Message

My Brother,

The active members of Lafayette Lodge, your Lodge are hard at work. Our mission as elected and appointed officers of the Lodge is to deliver to you the best Masonic experience possible. As we emerge from the Covid19 Pandemic (yes we are emerging, and yes it will one day be over) we find some membership tentative about attending Lodge, and other a bit more willing to come out. Our Lodge is in good shape. With the size of our building, and meeting rooms we have the main rooms well ventilated, with adequate air exchange apparatus. The environment we have mitigates a tight, high density situation whereby germs can be spread easily. We are cleaning before and after every meeting, Our front entrances have been completely rebuilt, which is significant. No longer are people tripping both up and down the stairs. As your health and safety are of paramount concern, we are operating as safely as we can within the CDC and State guidelines.

Lafayette Lodge has 3 scheduled outside events coming up. On September 5th we will have a family fun shoot at Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays in Pennsylvania. This is a safe, fun, outdoor event at a clean well run venue. We have attended these in the past several years, they are great team building events. We would love to have you attend. Call Ray for details.

In October the membership of Lafayette will be making wine. Again this team building event is fun, wholesome, family oriented, and we get a fairly high volume of wine to use at table lodges, and other events when it is ready.

Finally, as we seem to have a number of fishermen in the membership. We have a Striper fishing trip scheduled for November 15th on the MiJo in Atlantic Highlands. I know it will probably be cold, but big fish are way better than small fish. More details are coming.

Lafayette Lodge has a one day class to raise a bunch of new members. As this has grown to include 23 other lodges, we have moved the outside venue to the Fellowship Center in Burlington. We have approximately 70 Master Masons coming through this class. We have been rehearsing all of the parts for months and are excited to be hosting this historic event.

Our regular meeting will be on Patriots Day September 11 in Lafayette. The date is significant, we will have a 911 speaker my friend RW Mike Carducci DDGM 17 who was there, and stayed there throughout the terrorist attack and beyond. He is humble, well spoken. He has not spoken on this before. I expect a riveting talk.

I hope you are doing well, and being safe. I look forward to seeing everyone again, and hopefully, will see you in September.

Mike Holt,
Worshipful Master


Master’s Message – July/August 2020

July 9th, 2020 by

Master’s Message

My Brother,

One of the greatest features of Freemasonry is the opportunity to share ideas. In our lodges we meet all sorts of men, with greatly varied opinions, ideas, and beliefs. No one man can ever know what obstacles another man has overcome to get him where he is today. Just as no man can really learn from another’s mistakes, neither can that man appreciate the life lessons learned, the sacrifices made, the loves lost, or the risks taken to become the man that is.

In writing these messages I sometimes find it difficult to stay on topic. In my four previous drafts I found the difficulties in the world today leading me off center. So, I will discuss Masonic risk. As stated above, risk is taken every day by every person, man, woman or child. Getting out of bed in the morning, leaving the house, staying in the house, driving your car, walking your dog, going into the store, going to school or work all have some degree of risk.

When I was a kid in the 60s and 70s my friends’ mother was what I thought peculiar, she never left the house. She was a British lady, who had survived the second world war in England. At the time, there was a satellite called Skylab. If you were alive during this time, the Skylab became inoperable, and was losing its orbit. Being launched in 73, for 6 years the news reported it was falling out of the sky, and no one could predict where, or when it would hit the earth. This lady had lived through bombs being attached to parachutes and dropped on her neighborhood as a child. She had watched them slowly fall and swing back and forth, catch the wind and change direction as they slowly fell, and it scared her to death. So, with Skylab falling she stayed in the basement. This was how she managed the risk.

I mention this as we have had some life altering things happen these past 4 months. To some there is no safe place, to others taking precautions there are. Both are what their beliefs are, and both are correct. As Freemasons in New Jersey, little has changed. Yes, we are being more careful, and yes, we are observing recommendations of the government. We are still a safe place to go, we are open, and doing business. We are meeting, and conversing, and moving forward. We are managing the risk. With this please do not let yourself be crippled with anxiety of the unknown. Freemasons have an important role to play in determining good from evil, maintaining the morality of humankind. Please take all of the precautions you need, come out and live a little. One day this will all be over, and like the Skylab, we do not know when, however in the interim is seems that a life on hold, is boring, uneventful and not all that fun. Your Lodge is safe, your membership is considerate, we look forward.

Mike Holt,
Worshipful Master


Master’s Message & From the West – June 2020

May 28th, 2020 by

Master’s Message

My Brother,

In this environment of Mask, no Mask. Residents calling the authorities on one another for lack of social distancing. Fewer cars on the road. Rationing of food in the supermarkets. Regular people scared to come out of their homes, and if they do they really have nowhere to go. People passing out in automobiles due to their masks lowering their oxygen level in their bodies. And just the great uncertainty of living life has created crippling anxiety about our future, and more importantly what it will look like.

By today each one of us has learned how to live in this new normal. The members and officers of Lafayette Lodge have created new normal in anticipation of the day we can all meet on the level once again. Our new normal is to pay more attention to the members. To create programs that will add a vibrancy to the lodge, to engage you, and other members to come out and enjoy the company of other like minded men, exchange ideas, make safety, and cleanliness, the order of the day. To not forget that it is you that comes first in Freemasonry. You are valuable to Freemasonry, you are valuable to Lafayette Lodge.

Being Worshipful Master, and the Grand Orator for the Grand Lodge, I know first-hand how hard everyone is working to come up with a plan to safely restart. Some of the local members have not stopped providing for members (welfare calls, delivering food, financial assistance) and for society in general (Blood donations, food banks, I-Pads to the hospitals, supporting the first responders). Everyday we are doing something because we are after all Masons.

Our next regularly scheduled meeting will be on June 12th. We expect to hold that meeting. We hope you will be able to join us. We have a great deal of things to talk about, and oh the stories we have to tell.

I hope this message finds you well. It is time to go back to work.

Mike Holt,
Worshipful Master

From the West

Brethren,

Due to the current public health emergency, the Grand Master has suspended all Masonic activity though June 6. It is not clear at this time whether the suspension will continue beyond that date.

Since there is uncertainty as to when the public health emergency will conclude. Please note that ALL DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR CANCELLATION. Please be sure to stay up-to-date with all of the updates from the Lodge Secretary. The Lodge calendar can be accessed by visiting the Lodge website and clicking the “Calendar” link at the top of the page.

Once the Grand Master’s restriction on Masonic activities has ended, dates for rehearsals and the Entered Apprentice Degree will be rescheduled. Dates will be posted on the Lodge calendar, social media accounts, and sent out by email. Grand Lodge events will also be forwarded in the same manner with the changes when announced.

If you have questions please reach out to us. If you feel ill or unwell, stay home. Please do not risk the health of yourself, your family, or your Brethren. First and foremost, you should be taking care of yourself and your family in this difficult time.

Please reach out to the WM, SW, or Secretary if you need assistance and we will do our best to help.

Fraternally,

Bryan S. Passione,
Senior Warden


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