I hope everyone had an enjoyable September and has been able to get out and enjoy the relatively mild month thus far. As you all know, I am writing “From the East” this month because our Worshipful Master has made his transition from Washington, DC, to London and will not be able join us for the remainder of the Masonic year. I look forward to serving the Lodge and will do my best to ensure that St. John’s Lodge No. 11 meets the expectations set forth by Worshipful Brother Nalty and that his goals and objectives for the remainder of the year are achieved.
Those who might have forgotten, October’s stated will entail our Grand Lodge Visitation Ceremony. It is essential that all attend, if within the length of your cable tow to do so. This will demonstrate to the Grand Lodge that we are a thriving lodge and that we have Masons dedicated to the craft and to their fellow Brethren.
I wanted to share some of the thoughts and reactions that I had and felt following this month’s Grand Lodge Leadership Conference. The conference was not only educational it was also a great opportuni- ty to meet other Masons within our jurisdiction. I had many discussions with other “soon-to-be Wor- shipful Masters” about combining our efforts to engage further into our local communities. We dis- cussed working together to organize events and fundraisers, and discussed the advantages of traveling and visiting other lodges around the city in an effort to learn new things and encourage fellowship between lodges. Most seem to agree that they thought it was not only beneficial to visit other lodges to learn and to see how they do things, but also encourage visitors to come to our Lodge. It puts the pres- sure on the members to perform well and to be efficient when others are visiting. I believe this type of pressure is positive and pushes us to become better at rituals and degree work.
One of the major topics discussed at the conference was effective communication. Communication is essential, and, if not done effectively, can sometimes cause more trouble than good. I want us all to focus on communication moving forward. I want thought-out opinions to be expressed. I want con- cerns, comments, and questions to be addressed. I want to be part of a lodge culture that encourages input and the free flow of information to our Brethren. This is our Lodge, not just the pillar officers’ Lodge and that is something that we cannot forget. We are all in this together, and it’s going to take all of us as a unit to ensure that things are done at the will of the Lodge. So please, I encourage you all to be open with your thoughts, be open to receive other’s thoughts, and be open to change if at the will of the Lodge. Our job is to ensure that our Lodge remains operating for eternity, and our decisions should be reflective of this philosophy.
Looking forward to seeing you all soon.
James S. Parkhurst, Senior Warden