Master’s Messages – 2019
- Greetings from the East! October 30, 2019
As the hourglass reminds us that our time here is finite, the sands are draining quickly on our year together! The next two months gives us only three regular meetings before our Installation of the 2020 Officers!
I have always looked forward to this time as a Mason here at Olive Branch as I’ve felt the bonds of brotherhood even more. As Brothers we get to look fondly back on the year at our accomplishments and recognize ways, we have grown either together as Brothers or personally.
You may have heard it said that personal growth has a schedule and a goal to be achieved. Perhaps that’s good for some but I like to think of it as a realization within you which can take you by surprise. As we live in the human condition, we strive for perfection but cannot ever attain it. I can share with you that while reviewing my obligations as a Mason, I have realized that I have missed the mark from time to time. After every meeting, we are charged to remind an erring Brother of his failings. The more import part of this is to aid in his reformation and to suggest the most charitable judgment, or more simply to offer a kind and caring suggestion. This, gentleman,
is the essence of Brotherly love!
So, my Brothers, I charge you to reflect on our year together. What did it mean to you personally? What have you learned and in what ways have you changed as men and Masons? What will you take with you into next year? I look forward to speaking with you about it at our meeting on November 12th.
See you in lodge!
Ken Long – Worshipful MasterContinue reading →
- Greetings from the East! September 30, 2019
Welcome to October! I have always viewed this month as one of change, shorter days, turning leaves,
colder nights and birds gathering for their southern winter vacation flight, and of course Scotchtoberfest!
Change is something we Masons should be intimately aware of when we came from darkness to see the light. No doubt this brought about a change in you, in your heart and your mind. Brothers, I submit to you that the change doesn’t stop there. Everything changes around you every day and you find yourself changing with it in some way as a man and a Mason. You’ve heard it said recently that Freemasonry must change and we, being the leaders of today, must be that change if we are to grow. But first, change must come from your heart.
You’ve heard me speak many times this year about the ‘heart’ of Masonry, what it means to you in your heart and what you do with it. Gentlemen, we all live in the human condition, subject to fault and error, but this also comes with our ability to change an error or turn a fault to good, and an often-forgotten skill to forgive.
So, I challenge you to remind yourself of the obligations you’ve made as a Mason, to all mankind especially the Brethren but first and foremost: to yourself. We have each other’s back and are there for one another, we NEVER quit on each other, we look to each other for guidance in bad times and we NEVER turn our backs on each other. Although the slogan of the Musketeers’ has been well used, it’s very appropriate here, “All for one and one for all”. It’s about all of us, not one of us!
See you all in lodge!
Ken Long – Worshipful MasterContinue reading →
- Welcome back! August 27, 2019
Welcome back! We got a lot done over the summer:
redoing the Fellowship Hall floor and repainting both the Fellowship Hall and Kitchen and a great landscape clean-up on probably the hottest possible day of the summer! I wish to offer my sincere thanks to all those who came out to help with these projects.
The highlight for me, however, was our raising of 5 Master Masons at our outdoor degree amidst torchlight with over 60 Brothers in attendance. Our hearts were full that night in what I’d like to describe as a near-perfect display of Brotherly love. As the summer commenced, however, we continued to be at Lodge every Tuesday. No lights were dark at Olive Branch and the doors were always open to greet a Brother, shake his hand and offer him some food and drink.
This is our strength, Gentlemen, us together doing the work of Masons and being there for each other.
We’ve had a great year so far and I have seen us grow together, felt our bonds become stronger with each other. Our Lodge is our sacred retreat and our home, not because of its physical walls but what we
do and who we are within and outside of them, and what we’ve become as men.
I am looking forward to the next 4 months and sitting in Lodge with you. They will be busy ones but certainly nothing we cannot handle. Be steadfast Brothers, love yourself and each other and remember, we always will have each other.
Continue reading →
Ken Long – Worshipful Master
- Greetings from the East, June 2019 June 12, 2019
“The action of helping or doing work for someone.”
“Millions are involved in voluntary service”
synonyms: act of assistance, good
turn, favor, kindness, helping hand;
assistance, help, aid, offices, ministrations
“he has done us a great service”
The definition of service can take many turns and have many meanings. I was honored this past Memorial Day to lead a group of men and Masons, at least 20 strong, in the Freehold Memorial Day Parade. I often looked behind me during the parade to see many of the best men I’ve ever known walking with me. Normally we do not expect much applause or clapping during our march as many do not know or understand who we are or what we do, but at the end of the day, that really falls on us.
During the parade, I was pleasantly surprised by a group of people who began clapping and applauding us and I heard someone shout, “Thank you for your service!” I realized that we do serve the community but have much more work in that area and indeed, it is a work in progress. Whether many more people acknowledge that in next year’s parade should be of little matter. What’s more important is that we do the work and keep up our diligence in this respect, not for praise (which is always nice to have) but that we as men and Masons know we’re doing the work, doing the service and continuing to increase that service to others. Every human being has a claim upon our kind offices.Continue reading →
- Greetings from the East, May 2019 May 2, 2019
First and foremost, on behalf of Olive Branch Lodge no 16, I wish to congratulate RW Gary J. Olsen on his election to Junior Grand Warden of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the State of New Jersey. Olive Branch Lodge will always be a home for you as it is for us!
After watching our Past Masters from the sidelines confer the Fellowcraft Degree to four of our Brothers last night I was inspired by seeing experienced older Brothers amidst younger Brothers and candidates just starting their Masonic journey. I guess the best way to say it is that I had a moment of clarity and I’d like to share that inspiration with you now.Continue reading →
- Greetings from the East, April, 2019 March 28, 2019
April… Wow! Has it gone fast for you? It has for me; perhaps a bit too quickly. I have thoroughly enjoyed being with you all so far and, well, I want to slow it down. There’s so much more we need to do together!
At the closing of each regular communication, during my final charge I say, “be ye all of one mind”. What does that mean? Does it mean we should have the same views on politics? The world? Foreign policy, economics?
In fact, it means just the opposite.
It means as Brothers and Masons, we know well diversity and accepting of each other’s views, position or vocation in life, and opinion. It means as Brothers, we have agreed to accept one another as an equal, despite their shortcomings or difference in viewpoint that you have. Being of one mind is to accept one another; to love one another; to help one another. After all, are we not trying to make the world a better place, even if it’s only in our little corner?Continue reading →
- Another month is behind us in our Masonic Journey this year. February 25, 2019
Another month is behind us in our Masonic journey this year. We’ve managed so far to bring four Brothers to the craft in our first Entered Apprentice degree of the year.
During the closing after the degree, I had asked the Senior Warden how should Masons meet. His response was, “on the level”. I then asked the Junior Warden how should they act. His response was, “by the plum”, and my response was, “and part upon the square.”Continue reading →
- Greetings from the East! January 30, 2019
Well, we made it through our first month and what a month it was! We’re just beginning our journey this year and I am looking forward to what we can all accomplish together.
In learning my ritual this month, I kept running into the phrase ‘worthy men’ and it has stuck in my mind. Here’s the official definition: “..Having or showing the qualities that merit recognition in a specific way…virtuous, good, moral, ethical, principled, honorable”
Then I found another definition of a worthy man which is one that is open minded, willing to learn, listen and emulate what he feels is right. My Brothers, as Masons, the only recognition we should seek is from the Grand Architect of the Universe. As Masons, we are open minded, accepting, virtuous, compassionate, ethical, honorable and constantly long to seek knowledge about the world and the universe about us. More importantly, we should look to seek knowledge of ourselves and our place in the world and among our brothers, and, who we are to ourselves.
Gentlemen, this month, seek the truth within you and around you. Be worthy men. Be worthy to yourself, to your Brothers and others.
“Bidh athair neonach comhla” (Heavenly Father, be with us”)
Ken Long – Worshipful MasterContinue reading →
- Greetings from the East! January 2, 2019
It is my honor to serve you from the East this year! I am very fortunate to have such dedicated and strong men and Masons to accompany me on this journey through 2019.
Many look on the New Year as a chance to improve ourselves, our situations or a new opportunity for change. Although the weather may not be as uplifting as we would like, it can be a time of anticipation of what’s to come and for what is possible in our lives.Continue reading →