- Open Installation of 2018 Officers November 28, 2017
Please join us on December 16 as we bid farewell and thank you to the Officers of 2017 and welcome and install the Officers of 2018.
This event is open to all Masons, their families and friends. All incoming and outgoing officers should be in tuxedo or dark suite/tie combination. Business Professional attire is highly requested for all other Brothers and guests.
Fellowship @ 5:30PM, Dinner @ 6:30PM, Installation @ 7:30PM, Additional Fellowship to follow.
Hope to see you there!
- December Trestleboard and Master’s Message are here! November 28, 2017
From all the Officers at Olive Branch Lodge #16, we wish you and your families a very happy, healthy and prosperous holiday season and New Year!
- End of Summer BBQ! August 29, 2017
Please join us for our end of summer BBQ at the Lodge. This is a free event open to friends and family. If you like to bring a dish or dessert, food donations are always appreciated! Hope to see you there! See event details for more information!
- 2nd Annual Scotchtoberfest! August 29, 2017
2nd Annual Scotchtoberfest
- Teen Suicide Prevention Program August 17, 2017
Join us on September, 19, 20017 when The Grand Lodge will be hosting a Teen Suicide Prevention program for parents. At this seminar you will be provided with materials to hep you identify the warning signs that might indicate that your child or grandchild may be at rick. You will learn how to recognize these risks, and leave educated to make decisions based on your observations. You will also be provided places to get immediate help if it is determined by you that your child (or any other child in your group) may be contemplating dong something to harm themselves.
Event details are also in the events calendar.
- MAY I have a Dram and Draw (A Scotchtoberfest Warm-up) April 23, 2017
MAY I have a Dram and Draw (A Scotchtoberfest Warm-up)
- “Guide the Grand Honors for Masonic Funeral Services” is available. March 21, 2017
- NJ Freemason magazine March 16, 2017
NJ Freemason magazine
The Spring Edition of the NJ Freemason magazine can be found here
- The 2017 Junior Warden’s Trip is quickly approaching! March 8, 2017
Don’t forget to get your tickets!
- Olive Branch Lodge ByLaws have been updated! February 4, 2017
- 7th Annual Junior Wardens Trip to Philadelphia, PA January 20, 2017
7th Annual Junior Wardens Trip to Philadelphia, PA
Brothers, please join us for our 7th Annual Junior Warden’s Trip to Philadelphia, PA on Saturday, June 24th, 2017. Please see our event page for more details!
- Chief Tim Carson – 2015’s 17th Masonic District’s First Responder of the Year Honoree January 20, 2017
Congratulations Chief Tim Carson of the Jackson Fire Department. 2015’s 17th Masonic District’s First Responder of the Year Honoree! Check out the gallery for more pictures.
- GUEST LECTURER: Bro. Vincent Macrino January 20, 2017
Join us on January 24th as Vincent enlightens us with a lecture on the Kirkwall Scroll. Vincent is a published author and serves in various Masonic Bodies. His passion for learning has earned him the title of Companion Adept of the Temple, YRSC.
For details of the event, check out the events calendar.
- January 20, 2017
Congratulations 2017 Officers!
- Remembering Our Past November 28, 2017
As we become better acquainted with our Ritual work and ceremonies it should be clear that what we study is from a time long ago. I am not referring to our use of an archaic form of our English language. Although, one can’t help but admire the feeling of being placed in a different time. We must go past the syntax, grammar, and eloquent verses to a time when Brothers understood something we take for granted: the laws of Nature and Creation.
Christianity managed to keep some of its follower’s pagan traditions of Sun worship. We too have kept this tradition alive in its simplest form by celebrating the Summer and Winter solstices in the form of remembering St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist.
Masonic ritual is a reflection of man’s attempt to understand Natural and Divine Laws. Our Brothers of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries understood this when our ritual was being developed. Looking carefully we can see how our Creator is at the center. Everything flows from Him, and back to Him it returns. Do you see to what I refer? The Blazing Star shining its divine Glory upon us, to the final words of Ecclesiastes 12:1. As the year comes to an end and it seeks to be reborn, remember where we came from. Seek the Light which has shined upon you.
Thank you Brethren for allowing me to serve my purpose.
- The Temple Spiritualized November 2, 2017
King Solomon’s Temple has always been at the forefront of our ritual symbolism. Aside from its mathematical applications and the secret work that went into the building itself, we see a path laid before us. As neophytes we are placed between the pillars of J and B standing on the porch of the Temple preparing to enter. These are the pillars of mercy and severity as written about by Qabbalists. We need to balance these opposing forces in order to gain admission to the Temple. We stand to walk the middle path.
An example of the middle path/way can be found in Buddhism where the seeker endeavors to live by certain precepts. Examples are right speech, right action, and right thought. The middle pillar is the path of the righteous in the eyes of God.
We can use the principles of Masonry to become that righteous man who endeavors to reunite with his Creator. I am not referring to our reuniting in physical death, but to live life with a conscious connection to God in adherence to the principles giving to us by Him. The Mercy Seat has been abandoned and the Temple of Jerusalem destroyed. By mastering the middle path or pillar of the Qabbalah, we can enter the Holy of Holies and utter the sacred Word. Our reward is the descent of the Shekinah once again into our spiritual Temple.
- October October 25, 2017
Some of you may not be familiar with his name but ALL of you are familiar with his work. William Preston was an 18th century Masonic scholar and responsible for a lot of the context for our lectures! I am going to avoid a history surrounding him to save space. You will find his name in most Masonic History books.
If you are to look back into the history books of Europe in the 17th to 18th centuries you will find that people were not as educated as they are today. When Preston wrote the second degree lecture, his intentions were to teach people on subjects they were not familiar with. All we need to do is go to school for a few years and the coursework will include some of the most basic ideas in these lectures. To the people of the 17th and 18th centuries, knowledge of the 7 liberal arts and sciences was not common. It was also not uncommon to find a cadaver being studied in some lodges!
Masonic Temples served as a breeding ground for the dispersing of knowledge. Imagine a lodge room today that is not so different than the aforementioned time period. It seems that we are still struggling to grasp concepts that were spoken about centuries ago! Are we fulfilling our purpose in educating our Brethren and reinforcing morality into their hearts so as to become the fulfillment of the Spiritual being manifest into the material? Think about that…
- September August 29, 2017
Typically my messages are filled with esoteric information and a dive into my interpretation of Symbolic Masonry. I want to take this time to write about a bit of history.
The time I will refer to is 1930-1939, when the world was feeling major unrest. This was an important time for the evolution of American Masonry. During this time numerous side Degrees were brought over from Europe. To add a bit of context, prior to WWII there was major uncertainty in European Freemasonry. There was a fear of the eventual suppression of the Craft due to the rise in power of Nazi Germany.
In 1932 J. Raymond Shute, along with other delegates from America, traveled to the European continent and discovered various Degrees that were not yet being conferred in the US. Some of which may have existed but not in a formal sense or under a particular Grand Jurisdiction. What we now know today as the Allied Masonic Degrees and Knight Masonry, as far as their existence in the US, was born from Shute’s visit and correspondence with our European Brethren.
I bring this to bring this piece of history to attention to show the strength of our Fraternal bonds. During a time of great despair a few individuals were able to provide a breeding ground for Degrees that would have potentially been lost. I must add that thankfully, this was not the case and the Freemasonry still flourishes in most European countries. The lesson I learned is that a few people with the strength and support of others can accomplish great things. May we carry Freemasonry into the future and build upon the traditions our forefathers have given to us.
- June May 31, 2017
Hidden in our allegories there is a lesson about the spiritual death of man. We will be forever bound by the elements unless we learn to master them. Have we not been taught to sever those passions that bind us to this world? There is an allusion of the severing of those ties in our first degree. Stripped of our sinful vestments and outward displays of pride we are brought down to the level of the natural world. Continue reading →
- May April 26, 2017
This space reserved for the Masters Message has become a canvas for me to share thoughts and ideas that manifest into my mind. Until becoming a Mason I did not have an outlet for my thoughts. They were able to lay dormant in my mind and I would build on them as I learned new information about each concept. Here is one of those manifestations. Continue reading →
- April March 29, 2017
It should be known to all Freemasons that the year 2017 marks the 300th anniversary of the formation of the first Grand Lodge. Since the Grand Lodge of England was formed from subsequent bodies it is no secret that we have existed prior to 1717. Manuscripts and records indicate that Freemasons were around as early as the 14th century, if not earlier. Making the claim that we are the oldest fraternity in the world is a humbling truth. What is so humbling is that we withstood the test of time. The spiritual principles that are embedded within our society transcend time. After all, they are no secret to the world, but a majority of the world has taken them for granted. Continue reading →
- March February 21, 2017
There was once a time when churches were built from stone. Cathedrals were built over decades and in some cases centuries. Edifices were erected all over the world by peoples of various religions. These structures had a specific purpose, and typically that purpose was to praise and worship God. In some cases, people of all faiths spent their entire lives working to create a monument that they would never see completed! It would be hard to deny that this was a testament to man’s commitment to God. Faith in God was the strength of a community and a nation. Do we share that common bond today that transcends all religions? Continue reading →
- February January 25, 2017
It is no secret that I like to do research and write. I am a bit obsessed when it comes to esoteric knowledge. Since I was a teen, I have always been on a quest to learn as much as I could about the mysteries of this life and the next. There were times when I thought to myself, maybe I should just be a monk and seek spiritual fulfillment that way. There is nothing practical for me in that approach. You may be wondering; where is this going? Continue reading →
- What value do I bring to the world? January 20, 2017
On a recent drive home from a Masonic function I asked myself, “What value do I bring to the world?” Not only as a Freemason but as a human being. In moments of reflection the luxury problems of my life seem minimal and pale in comparison to the world’s struggles. We are in trying times where peoples’ faith, not only in religion, but in their country and government, are being challenged. I see the people of my generation broadening their horizons and expanding their views; searching for something yet not knowing what they are searching for. Continue reading →
Even Better -- Not Just a Man. A Mason.
Most Worshipful Dieter B. Hees
Grand Master of Masons of the State of New Jersey