On this 31st day of February, I wanted to make sure that my February Masters Letter was sent out before the end of the month. With this in mind, one of the subjects that has been in steady discourse lately is charity.
The phrase, "In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas" is likely familiar to many here, but in case your Latin is a little rusty it roughly translates to In necessary things unity; in uncertainty- liberty, and in all things charity. In many respects this help to define charity within the scope of Freemasonry. That we must hold firm to the landmarks of the craft, we must know what is necessary to continually strength our actions, but we must always remember that we are individuals and have free reign in our lives. However, both within the actions of the lodge and also the actions of our personal lives that we must always live with charity. Within the original Latin, charity was synonymous with both love and benevolence toward others and we should use this as the focal point on our discussion of charity.
This month we had the pleasure of initiating two new brothers, where the charge in the Northeast helped to speak to the importance of charity. That we must regularly practice charity, regulate our actions, and limit our desires. However, it is important to note that as Masons we practice charity not because we are a defined charitable organization, rather it is a natural byproduct of who we are and who we seek to become. The Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge of India has written that the "practice of charity when adopted by a Freemason gives immense please to himself and also shapes the future of both, the donor and the recipient, to fulfill the requirement of humane services and that surely completes the sublime equation of survival in the turbulent period which can be face by anyone living on this Earth."
Further, this month we also had a chance to complete this grand equation by providing a donation of $36,000 to the Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor in conjunction with the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation (MMCF). We were able to see our charity work in action, and how it would help shape the community around us. We had a chance to tour the facilities and see how this contribution will be able to pay for the cost of one of the rooms for a year and assist hundreds of families and affect thousands of lives.
As a way of supporting the commitment that the MMCF has made to our local charities, I would like to see Ann Arbor Fraternity Lodge #262 make an effort to support the MMCF. The MMCF keeps track of giving by members in Lodges, and last year we decided to give an award at Grand Lodge to the Lodge with the highest percentage of members who make a gift to the MMFC, no matter the $ amount. Right now, #262 is ranking at 96th place among Lodges. It would be wonderful if we were in the running since we are the greatest Lodge (now, then and hereafter), but to do that we'd need around 50 more donors. https://www.michiganmasonsfoundation.org/make-a-gift/
So, please join me and consider making a pledge to the MMCF. Whether it be for any amount as a show of faith and commitment. Remember, it is important to contribute liberally to relief of a poor and distressed friend, but more especially a brother mason if without material injury to yourself.
Lastly, as we are speaking about charity, I want to encourage you to come and help us plan our charity event for the Fall. This event will be larger than just a #262 event, we will be inviting all Masonic lodges and Masonic organizations across Washtenaw County, and veterans groups to help plan for a Veteran's Day Gala this November. We will have our next meeting on March 31st, at the Zal Gaz Grotto from 3-5pm. Remember, as Albert Pike stated, "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for other and the world remains and is immortal.
Sincerely And Fraternally,
UPCOMING EVENTS - See our Calendar for details
Mar 6 - Regular Communication | Pittsfield Union Grange Hall
Mar 12 - Brothers of Literature, Please contact Paul Uslan for location information
Mar 20 - Special Communication [EA] | Pittsfield Union Grange Hall (Ann Arbor)
Mar 23 - Officer Training/Deacon's Day | Alma, MI, lunch/tour provided REGISTER HERE
Mar 27 - Master's Table Heidelberg Restaurant