Greetings from the East!

As the 2020 Masonic Year draws to a close, we remember just how difficult and unusual the period has been. And like many, I too did not envision this for my year as Master of our Lodge. I am relieved, however, with our progress throughout and pleased with what we have been able to accomplish in these trying times. I am extremely thankful to all Brothers who have had a hand in making this year special, the faith & trust you reposed in me, as well as the privilege to serve my Brothers, families, and friends in this trying time – Thank you.

The chain of men leading the Lodge has remained unbroken for 171 years and will continue in the coming years. All the Brothers who have gone before us, in a variety of ways beyond simply serving in a place or station, deserve our recognition for their labors. Those who labor in Masonry today, no matter where or how, and especially in a Lodge like Olive Branch where history is a defining part of our collective identity, are able to do so only
because of the work of countless men who are sometimes a handshake away, and at other times separated by a great distance.

The mystical link that binds the past, present, and future is a difficult point on which to meditate. To the Brethren who have passed away this year, Brothers Douglas Gillespie, Willard Mount, Karl Rauch, and Derek Smith-Winnes, perhaps this mystery of past, present, and future is no longer obscure. For us, on the other hand, we are left with the best tools we can find, like our faith and Freemasonry, to understand the nature of things. I want to encourage you, my Brethren, to keep an open mind and to look for unexpected and desirable opportunities to use our tools, both within and without Freemasonry, when things seem unmanageable or it feels as though there is no way forward. That there is no scientific answer to life’s unknowns, even to the day-to-day struggles life throws us and including the challenges that arise within the workings of a Freemason’s Lodge, should not be a source of apprehension. Our Masonic teachings offer fixed paths and beautiful tools with which we may work to comfort each other and ourselves as we continue our respective journeys from the darkness of the unknown to the light of understanding and Brotherhood.

We all are about to begin a holiday season in which our respective faiths can inspire and guide us. It is a season where coincidentally Light is a prevailing theme. Let our prayers and meditations focus on the noble task of honoring the work of those who have laid down their labors, as well as giving us the insight and inspiration to enable us to continue those labors today and on into the future.

Worshipful Bro. Peter