While many believe that whenever we begin something new, the most important thing is to establish what we are looking to accomplish and what our goals are. However, it is perhaps just as important that we stop to pause and reflect on ourselves and our surroundings. As we begin the new year I want the lodge to strengthen the relationships between the brothers of the lodge, deepen the ties with the surrounding lodges and other Masonic bodies, and develop the connections to our overall community. Now that I have laid out the goals that we are looking to accomplish for the year, I think that now is the appropriate time to talk about reflection.
Within our Masonic ritual we incorporate walking and circumambulation in order to elicit emphasis, illustrate concepts, and provide a chance for reflection. Further, walking also had a special place for many of the great philosophers of history. Kant would walk daily to escape the “compulsion of thought,” Nietzsche used the solitude of stride in order to compose The Wanderer and His Shadow as he required the moments of reflection and meditation in order to think out and contemplate who he was and clarify his thoughts. Walking provides an avenue for you to unclutter your mind and look inwardly.
One of my tasks as Worshipful master is to set the craft at work and give them proper instruction. As a result, I want to give you the edict to go for a walk. Perhaps take a page out of Thoreau’s book and go for a walk in the woods. Listen to your surroundings, feel the splendor of nature, and contemplate yourself. I know that for some this will be more difficult, but for others this is a continuation of how you live from day to day. While we will have a fair number of events and opportunities planned for this year (more about that later), I want to make sure that throughout this entire Masonic journey that we will take a few moments for reflection during the process. Freemasonry, by nature, should be restorative to the soul and even if you are not physically going for a walk, please spend time and take an inward journey and spend time with quiet contemplation.
On to some events that we have coming up: We will have our Master Mason degree day on January 19th that will give you an opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a Master Mason and to go through a reobligation ceremony. We will have a Masters Table at Hopcat in Ann Arbor on January 24th, we will have a Robbie Burns celebration at the Grange on January 31st. On February 6th, we will welcome Dirk Hughes from the Michigan Masonic Museum and Library who will present on Freemasonry in Michigan and he will also bring the George Washington apron, President Taft apron, and the President Truman cornerstone. We will have a widows luncheon on February 16th as a way of helping to honor the brothers and the widows.
I look forward to seeing you in lodge and I am looking forward to the walk that you will take with me over the upcoming year.
Sincerely And Fraternally,
UPCOMING EVENTS - See our Calendar for details
Jan 19 - Master Mason Degree Day | The Detroit Masonic Temple (Detroit)
Jan 23 - Masters Table Dinner | HopCat (Ann Arbor)
Jan 30 - Festive Board - Robert Burns Dinner | Pittsfield Union Grange Hall (Ann Arbor)
Feb 6 - Regular Communication -Masonic Museum Presentation | Pittsfield Union Grange Hall (Ann Arbor)
Feb 20 - Special Communication [EA] | Pittsfield Union Grange Hall (Ann Arbor)