Category Archives: Uncategorized

Welcome 2017

Brothers, Friends, and Guests,

WM Watson

Welcome to Grand Rapids Masonic Lodge No. 34’s website and 2017.  I would like to thank the Officers, Brethren, and our Families for getting this lodge off to a great beginning for the year. Its already April and we have had a busy year with much more to come. 

My goals for the year are to strengthen our membership and fraternal bonds through projects and fellowship.  I will work to continue to build off of what our previous Worshipful Masters have done, by continuing to get out into the community, building bridges and closing gaps that have been widened by misconceptions of what it means to be a Mason.

Our regular meet is on the second Wednesday of each month except for July and August when we are dark.  Dinner is at 6:30 PM and open to the public, anyone interested in masonry is welcome to attend. Our meeting start at 7:30 PM and is Masons only.  If you are a visiting Mason we would love to see at our Lodge meetings.

Sincerely,

Robert G. Watson
Worshipful Master, Grand Rapids Lodge 34

Welcome to 2016

 

Brethren,

Welcome to 2016 and a new year.  We have been off to an excellent start.  With a Past Masters EA Degree on the 6th and our regular communication on the 13th. We had over 50 Past Masters in attendance on the 6th.  I want to thank the following Past Masters for their help on the degree. WB Clark, WB Green, WB Flores, WB Hughes, WB Caldwell, WB Van Dam, WB Foreman, WB Hayden, MWB Praria, WB Dine, WB Kuhn, WB Cooper, WB Jung, WB Smith, WB LeVan, MWB Wheeler.  With your help you made an excellent degree for the raising of Brothers Wyatt & Dow. It was truly a pleasure to have so many Past Masters and 2 Past Grand Masters in attendance and putting on a degree together. This fellowship is what makes our Fraternity so great.  Thank you all again for your support and commitment.  Below is a picture of the Past Masters that put on the degree.

,Paster Masters Night (1)

Brothers when you get a chance please login to the Grand Lodge website (http://www.grandlodgemi.org) and register as a mentor. WB Green & Van Dam are heading up the 6 Steps/Mentor program and they need our help.  Mentors are the foundation of the fraternity in making good men better. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Please take a look at the trestleboard for upcoming events and I look forward to many more memorable moments throughout the year.

Sincerely and Fraternally,

Aaron B. Osborn

Worshipful Master GR#34

Welcome Back

September 1, 2015

Brothers,

We’ve been dark since July of this year. I hope that your Summer of 2015 has been filled with fond memories with family, friends and fellowship, I know that mine has been. If you were not able to attend the annual picnic you missed a great time with the brothers of Grand Rapids No. 34, Northstar Lodge #5 our families and guests. I’ve had my first family camping trip which went surprisingly well and my annual trip to the UP with my son to watch him participate in the Ore2Shore mountain bike race in Marquette.

I have been busy this Summer along with Bro. Tom Brinker and Matt McIntosh from Terryberry finalizing our Grand Rapids Past Master ring, apron and logo which I am excited to show everyone at our next regular. We have finished planning for events this coming fall, namely a presentation from MWB Bob Conley about the Six Steps of Initiation, the statewide Open House for all Michigan Lodges, degrees and potential activities. I mentioned Bro. Brinker earlier, he is recovering well (and so are the nurses and doctors) and not surprisingly powered through all the treatments that he was gone through over the Summer, all while continuing to fulfill his Lodge Secretary duties. You should expect to see him at our meeting on September 9th.

We are back to business next week. We have a number of brothers to receive the sublime degree of Master Mason at the end of this month. New prospects to meet and hopefully initiate into the craft and this great lodge through the remainder of this year and beyond who will be the future leaders of Grand Rapids 34.

My year as Worshipful Master of Grand Rapids 34 is at the tail end which I’ve been told flies by quickly. I am looking forward to seeing you all at dinner and our meeting next week and on the side lines of presentations, events, and degrees.

Be Well Brothers,

Jacques Green
Worshipful Master

May 2015

Brothers

Grand Rapids 34 put on a MM degree yesterday April 22, 2015. It was done by the brothers of the lodge only captained by WB Dirk Hughes. It has been a long time since GR34 has done our own Master Mason degree. I’m excited about the amount of talent and leadership we have in this lodge and know that GR34 will be in good hands for years to come. I want to again congratulate Brothers Donny Thornton, Ricky Smith and Brian Chivis on being raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason and look forward to their continued growth as men and Masons and their participation in the building of our lodge.

I want to give an update of things to come for the month of May. It will be a busy month but again great for our lodge and hope to see many of you at some if not all of our upcoming degrees and events.

Saturday, May 2, 2015 Masons at the Derby. Grand Raggidy Roller Girls and tailgaiting. Tailgating begins at 4PM and doors open at 5PM. Tickets are $12 in Advance and $15 at the door. Contacted Brother Dale Barry moc.liamgnull@3891yrrabd if you’re interested.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 EA degree three candidates will be receiving light in Masonry dinner at 6:30PM, degree to begin at 7:30 PM

Saturday, May 9, 2015 MM degree 4 brothers will be raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason. Breakfast at 8:30AM open at 9:00AM lunch following degree.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 Regular Communication. Dinner at 6:30PM, Communication 7:30PM

Saturday, May 16, 2015 Schubert Male Chorus Spring Concert (WB Tom Cardwell is a performer in the group) Tickets are $18. WB Tom has offered a deal of 1 ticket for $18 or 2 for $30 for a limited time. Contact WB Cardwell ten.tsacmocnull@llewdracwt if you’re interested.

May 18-19, 2015 Grand Lodge Communication, Traverse City, MI at the Grand Traverse Resort.

Wednesday, May, 27, 2015 EA degree two more candidates to receive light in Masonry dinner 6:30PM, degree 7:30PM

Saturday, May 30, 2015 Family Day 3-8PM, movies, games, visit the library, and snacks/drinks to be provided by the lodge.

As I said brothers a busy but fruitful month in Grand Rapids 34 and this is just May. It’s a great day to be a man and a Mason, especially a Mason in Grand Rapids Lodge 34. If you haven’t been in lodge for a while please come on down and join us again. If that means sitting on the sidelines for a regular or a degree. Jumping in to be an assistant Senior Deacon for the first section of the MM degree or a Fellowcraft working in the temple. I’d love to see you in the Temple again my brothers as well as coming out to participate in one of the lodge activities taking place next month.

Stay Well My Brothers,

Jacques Green, Worshipful Master

Grand Rapids 34

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it. -Thomas Fuller

Welcome to 2015

Brothers and Guests,

I welcome you all to the website and to what I believe is a great year to come. 2015 brings the 100th anniversary celebration of the Grand Rapids Masonic Temple, events have long been in the works to commemorate this occasion and I am looking forward to sharing all with you when they are finalized!

As men and Masons we have to work hard daily to make our mark on this world. I have tried to live by the mission statement created by my high school from my freshmen year where I had to memorize the mission statement and recite daily every morning as a school before classes begun. Although I no longer recite these words daily, the key points still reverberate within me.

At Providence St. Mel, we believe. We believe in the creation of inspired lives produced by the miracle of hard work. We are not frightened by the challenges of reality, but believe that we can change our conception of this world and our place within it. So we work, plan, build and dream – in that order. We believe that one must earn the right to dream. Our talent, discipline and integrity will be our contribution to a new world, because we believe that we can take this place, this time and this people and make a better place, a better time and a better people. With God’s help we will either find a way or make one!

We as masons have faced many challenges throughout our history and have persevered. We have always found a way or made one and will continue to do so. We should strive to be better men and masons, to make today better than yesterday, to do what we can do to make not only Grand Rapids 34 grow but also work to help grow Masonry as a whole with not just any men but quality men to continue to build the craft.

My motto for 2015 is “Do Something!” I want to grow our Masonic family by opening up activities to our families who allow us to attend meetings, degrees, meetings. Without them we would be lost so family activities have been planned. I will work to continue to build off of what our previous Worshipful Masters have done, by continuing to get out into the community, building bridges and closing gaps that have been widened by misconceptions of what it means to be a Mason.

Sincerely,

Jacques D. Green
Worshipful Master, Grand Rapids Lodge 34

A New Year Plus Some

Hello, Brothers!

A new year unfolds before us.  It is up to us to figure out what we want to do with it. 

We are lucky to be able to take advantage of some good inertia from previous years.  Lots of new brothers have been raised, which translates to lots of new ideas for the lodge.  Also, many of our older brothers are still gracing us with their experience and fellowship.  I can’t think of a better recipe for a strong lodge.

People often set resolutions for themselve at the beginning of any given year.  As masons and as a lodge,  we should be no different in this regard.  This year, as with every year, we should continue our resolutions to be better men — keep open minds, be compassionate with those who believe differently than us, and think twice before entertaining negative thoughts — are all good places to start.  And we should continue our resolutions to be a better lodge — listen to alternative ideas, explore opportunities to show the community that masons are still here and watching out for them, and being true to the tenets of our Noble Craft.

This year, let’s stay true to these resolutions as best we can.  Not only that, let’s perform beyond our resolutions, beyond the bar we have set for ourselves. 

It may not be the easiest thing to do, my brothers, but it is the masonic thing to do.

Sincerely and fraternally,

Dirk W. Hughes

Worshipful Master GR#34

But the evergreen that sprouts at the head of the grave . . .

This is in fact my farewell message on this website as the Worshipful Master of Grand Rapids Lodge No 34. It has been an incredible journey from knowing nothing more than my admiration for the Craft, to being called to lead it. The pressure that many Masters put on themselves can be immense. I would probably group myself into that category, but in all honesty it wasn’t as bad as it could or should have been. I had a lot of help and guidance from a lot of people and it made my mistakes palatable and my success appreciated. In short, it made it all worth it.

This time of year gives many people of many faiths a time to pause and take note of our time here on earth. Just as the days get short, many of us who have arrived at the age of adulthood have begun to compare ourselves to the falling leaves that enrich the soil. We contemplate how our days may also be getting shorter. Even with the many celebrations like Christmas, Hanukkah, or Eid, the time of the winter solstice can be melancholy. Our Masonic lectures don’t deny these ideas or advise against them. In fact, I would argue that they are encouraged. However, these ideas are encouraged for an altogether unique purpose. The point is not to get down on one’s self or to get depressed. It is, instead, to contemplate the immortality of the soul which is bound in our mortal body. It is precisely the winter that makes us celebrate the spring. It is true that there will come a spring that we won’t see. We know that this will come to pass, but we work hard in the time we have for the sake of those who will be here to see that spring’s bright colors and smell it’s sweet fragrance.

My time as Master is as done as the time of the workman who has forever laid down his tools. I hope that I have contributed something to the common stock of goodness within our great Lodge, and if I am truly fortunate, then in the Craft at large as well. I hope that as we see the abundance of trees which gleam with light this December, that we are reminded of the great love that the Great Architect of the Universe has shared with us, and that we have cause to ponder the light that our own immortal souls display to those who give pause to gaze upon it.

May the blessings of our Almighty Father be always upon you, and all you families.

 

Sincerely and Fraternally,

Omar Huémac Flores

Worshipful Master

Thankfulness

We, as Masons, are encouraged in our ritual work to give thanks to the Great and Beneficent Author of our Existence for the many blessings and comforts we enjoy. In short, we’re told to “Give thanks to God for our comfort.” There are many opportunities to remind ourselves of our need to be thankful in the month of November. Some will do this with family over a meal, some will do it when they look at the changing colors of the leaves in the trees. Yet others will do it, as they have every morning as part of their normal routine. My sincere hope is that this month everyone has a reason to reflect on their ability to be thankful. As a mental health therapist by trade, I run into a fair amount of individuals who believe that their “luck has run out.” I sometimes respond with a story of group of individuals on the other side of the earth who are born, live and die on a landfill.I tell them that if these individuals can smile, or raise a family under these circumstances then there must be some level of joy in their lives. If they can do it, surely we can too. In truth, if anyone can read, then they are among the world’s most fortunate, if they can have access to my humble post, and read it as well, then they are among the world’s elite. There is plenty of room to make society more equitable, but that doesn’t prevent us from finding our own reasons to give thanks. I am particularly grateful for my Brothers in the Craft.

So Mote It Be.

Fraternally,

Omar H. Flores

Worshipful Master, Grand Rapids Lodge No. 34

The Home Stretch

I’ve noticed that a number of my previous posts have focused on the month, season, or weather. I’m posted to talk about the Masonic lectures’ reflections of leaves that fall to enrich our mother earth. However, I’ll resist that urge and write about the excitement and fast pace of the weeks and month to come. In the Lodge Calendar, October represents a pivotal month. It is the last month of effective leadership of the Worshipful Master. In November we’ll have a Worshipful Master Elect, and in December the newly elected officers will take possession of their new chairs. October becomes a time to finish old projects, and to start new ones that will help the next Master in his tenure.

I’m excited to have the chance to make two new Master Masons this year, and to continue to add to the stock of candidates that wish to be made Masons in the following months. Our new Lodge Logo project is all but complete, and we’re also looking forward to the holiday celebrations in November and December. We’re sometimes reminded of endings during this time of year, but after more than 163 years of service in Grand Rapids, I know that this is but one more month in an incredible journey.

I wish you all great joy and welcome each and every one of you to be a part of who and what we are.

Fraternally,
Omar H. Flores
Worshipful Master, Grand Rapids Lodge No. 34

Happy Labor Day!

Much is made of the many holidays we enjoy as citizens and residents of this country. We tease each other about “Hallmark Holidays,” we have our own religious observances, and we have our National Holidays. This Labor Day we celebrate those individuals who have contributed to the common stock of knowledge. 
 
We live in partisan times. Without grounding ourselves, it is tempting to define holidays like Labor Day in terms of “us and them.” However, one of the gifts that Freemasonry offers us is the opportunity to pause, reflect, and reframe our ideas in pursuit of the common good. There have been many individuals in American History who have made contributions which we pause to recognize today. Industrialists like Henry Ford (Palestine Lodge, No. 357), and Andrew Mellon, inventors like Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Edison, labor leaders such as Walter P. Reuther (Highland Park Lodge, No. 468), and even Terence Powderly (of Homestead Strike fame) were all Brothers among us. 
 
The Masonic lectures teach us that we are all to be industrious so as not to be seen as a drones in the hive of nature. We are also taught that dependency is one of the strongest bonds of society which enables us to better fulfill our duties of reciprocal love and friendship. In truth, no Master Mason would order a Fellowcraft in the quarry to make his own tools. The Master Mason would order an apprentice to make the tools which would better enable a Fellowcraft to fit a stone for the builders use. In short, we are all linked together. We celebrate this in our Lodges. While Labor Day remains many things to many people, it is a reminder that we can share our respect for each other outside of the Lodge. 
 
Today and everyday I encourage every brother and friend to celebrate the ties that bind us together. 
 
Sincerely and Fraternally, 
Omar H. Flores
Worshipful Master