You often find the initials “F&AM” associated with the lodges in the Michigan Jurisdiction. The majority of individuals know that it stands for “Free and Accepted Masons.” However, this summer it would be easy to think that the “F” stands for Fellowship! It’s been a great summer for fraternal gatherings. Even the threat of rain during the first scheduled outing in June couldn’t put a damper on the rescheduled Lodge Golf Outing on August 3rd. Our handshakes were firmer than our grips, but everyone reported a good time nonetheless. Congratulations to Worshipful Brother Henry Van Dam and his crew for their 1000’th consecutive win in our four man scramble format. Additionally, we thank Brother Craig Maison for making the hours-long drive through pea-soup fog to be with us. Also, our special thanks to Brother Tom Brinker, and Worshipful Brother Tom Cardwell for all of their hard work coordinating our outing with the wonderful staff at Maple Hill Golf Course. We’re already looking forward to next year’s outing and we hope you’ll be with us!
A wonderful Guys Night Out Event took place this evening. A great time was had well before the last strikeout sealed the win for the Whitecaps, or the after-game fireworks were done. Great food among great friends made for a perfect evening. More photos are available on our facebook page, but I’ll post our group photo here. A special thanks goes out to everyone who helped to make this night possible.
WM Omar Flores talks on local public radio station WGVU radio about Masonry. Two half-hour episodes on the the show Common Threads. A little history, a little debunking, and an overall well-done interview. Especially recommended for anyone who is wondering about joining Masonry.
Interview Part 1 (24 minutes) Download or click button to play
Interview Part 2 (27 minutes) Download or click button to play
Chapel Hill Cemetery on 28th Street and Paterson in Grand Rapids hosted a Memorial Day service on Monday 5/27/2013. The cemetery is divided into many sections. A large portion of the cemetery is set aside for the burial of veterans. In the Northeast corner of the property is a section that is dedicated to Masons. The area is beautifully adorned with the three principal chairs of a Lodge room, as well as a wonderful alter, complete with a square and compasses, as well as a volume of sacred law resting on top.
Grand Rapids Lodge No. 34 along with the Knights of De Molai Commandry No. 5 took part in a special memorial service to honor our Brothers who have forever dropped the working tools of life, and now rest with the Grand Architect of the Universe in that Celestial Lodge above. The Knights provided a color guard and honor guard, and Worshipful Brother Mike Clark delivered a rendition of the Masonic Memorial Service that was given for many of the Brothers who are there interred.
We are grateful to have had the opportunity to pay this fitting tribute. We are reminded of the lesson of the acacia which was planted at the head of the grave of our Grand Master Hiram Abif, which teaches us about the immortal nature of the soul which shall never, no, never die.
The Masonic year is divided in a most peculiar way. May hardly seems like a half way point, but when one considers that most Lodges “go dark” or suspend meetings during two months of the year, then we begin to talk about new concepts of keeping time. Grand Rapids Lodge goes “dark” in July and August, thus the 5th month, May, is our half-way point. We’ve done a lot of great work. We have made 6 new men into Masons. We have raised three new men into Master Masons in Grand Rapids Lodge. We have participated in Scholarship Programs, and we have also made time to have some fun. We also look forward to a packed schedule in the second half of 2013. We have our golf outing, a trip to see the White Caps, and our Lodge picnic to look forward to. We’re plesed to be an active Lodge that offers much in the way of opportunities for charity, ritual work, and fun.
Everyone who reads this is encouraged to click on the tab above named “trestleboard.” This is our Lodge calendar. It will let you know about upcoming events, and it will also provide information on events that are open to Brothers, guests, or both. We hope to see everyone very soon indeed.
With that, I’ll leave you with a welcomed prayer. “May the road rise to meet your feet, may the wind be always at your back. And may God continue to hold you in the palm of his hand. Amen, So mote it be.
The days are in fact getting longer. It’s hard to tell from the snow, windchill factors, and the clouds overhead . . . but I promise, the discovery of new life is inevitable. Flowers will once again line our paths, and we will, once again, be free to rejoice in the Earth’s abundance. From a Masonic point of view, there has been a “shedding of light” in our tiled lodges as well. Grand Rapids Lodge has conferred all three degrees as of the end of March. Furthermore, we have written on our Trestleboard the audacious plan of conferring the three degrees again before our lodge retires for the summer months of July and August. We are most excited about the demand for degrees by qualified candidates. We’re equally excited to relate the history of our fraternity, and of our Lodge to give context to the work that happens beyond the degrees. The rituals have been performed by an inspiring mix of younger and older brothers which suggests a high standard of excellence for another generation and beyond. As the Master of the Lodge, this schedule has proven to be a great deal to ask of the brothers and their families. The call, I’m happy to report, has been answered. Our good works continue, and it is our wish that the Grand Rapids Community and beyond is all the better for it.
I hope your level of excitement rises with the outside temperatures, and that that flowered path brings you home to Grand Rapids Lodge No. 34 soon.
Greetings to you Brothers and Guests of our Web Page!
I am happy to report that the month that heralds the coming of Spring is upon us. Mother nature will be industrious to provide us with bountiful colors and fruits as the sun stays longer, and the cold surrenders his grip. In Grand Rapids Lodge, we too, will be industrious this month. I urge all of our visitors to pay attention to the Trestleboard for coming events. There is something scheduled for each Wednesday of the month. Each event, seemingly more important than the one before it. We will be voting for our district liaisons to the Grand Lodge of Michigan, Holding our regular business meeting, hearing about Masonry in the enlightenment during our education session, and Raising new Master Masons with the newly minted “Hiram Club.”
For all our brothers contemplating a return to Lodge after any absence. The events of this month beckon you. We aim to enjoy our work, as much as we dedicate ourselves to it. All our Brothers are welcome to help us in these noble endeavors.
I pray that the Great Architect of the Universe keep you all safe until we next meet.
We have certainly entered a tumultuous season of cold and snow. We are grateful that we have been blessed with safe travels to and from our various events. Although we are best served by huddling in a warm blanket by a lively fire in our houses, we are actually entering a busy season in our Lodge Trestleboard. February brings a number of activities for Brothers and guests alike. It seems that there is something to do every week until April. We’re excited to celebrate Valentines day, confirm our first degrees of the year, and to recognize President’s day with Masonic rituals.
I’d like to encourage as many Brothers and guests as possible to attend our activities. We are continuing our efforts to make these activities as fun and enriching as possible. Keep an eye on the ever updating Trestleboard on this website, and help us have a great time in your presence.
As always, I wish you good fortune, and safe travels.
We have entered the new year with great momentum and excitement. The positive comments and feedback from the 2012 Masonic Year have been overwhelming. The brothers engaged in activities as varied as opera watching and skeet shooting! Thousands of dollars in scholarships and charitable giving was distributed, and hundreds of parents were given Child ID packets for their children in the hopes that they would collect dust over the course of a few decades.
We enter the 2013 Calendar year excited to repeat our previous success, and to add more opportunities for Brothers to spread the cement of fellowship with one another and the larger community. I encourage guests of our web page to open the link to our Trestleboard in the upper right hand corner of the screen. This will provide information on upcoming events.
In the month of January, the Grand Rapids Community is welcome to attend the 2013 Installation of Officers. The event will take place at 1:00PM on the third floor of the Grand Rapids Masonic Temple located at 233 West Fulton Street, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. Past Grand Master Walt Wheeler will preside over the installation. The event is open to the public and is the best example of Masonic customs that is available for anyone to see. The ceremony is formal and appropriate dress is requested. Many attending Masons will be in tuxedo, but a dark suit and tie is also appropriate. There will be a small reception following the installation that is also open to the public. I hope to see you there.
Most importantly, I pray that the Heavenly Creator bless everyone with a safe and prosperous year. I also pray that everyone has someone to share these blessings with.
Omar H. Flores
Worshipful Master, Grand Rapids Lodge No. 34 Free and Accepted Masons of Michigan.
For the past several years Worshipful Brother Mike Clark has invited new Master Masons to his home so that they can become more familiar with the function, structure, and culture of our Lodge. This year was no different. So, on a perfect summer night 5 new brothers gathered to share wonderful stories and wonderful food. In addition to WB Clark, our Brother Secretary (not pictured) Tom Brinker, and Worshipful Master Omar Flores were there to give guidance — sprinkled with a healthy amount of corny jokes. We look forward to the leadership that the Brothers who gathered: (to WM Omar’s left) Aaron L., Aaron O., Kyle B., Tyson S., and Jacob F., will provide in the days and years to come!