Master’s Messages – 2021

  • Greetings from the East! December 1, 2021

    My Brothers,

    Let me begin by thanking you all.

    This year has been a bumpy road, but we made it work and I couldn’t do it without your support. Each of you have helped or inspired me in your own way and I am grateful for that.

    My message of alchemy and continuous self-improvement has not fallen on deaf ears. All of you have come together to form a cohesive team to keep the momentum of Freemasonry going.

    I ask you all to keep that drive going. The momentum of rebuilding and re-energizing the Craft. This momentum of teaching and nurturing new candidates. And, of course, the momentum of new fellowship and fraternity, with all those that walk through our doors.

    The Craft would be nothing if it weren’t for its members. You all showed me and our new candidates, and even some future prospects, why Olive Branch continues to be a beacon of Freemasonry.

    Thank you again. I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday season.


    WM Andrew

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  • Greetings from the East! November 1, 2021

    “You think you know how the world works? You think that this material universe is all there is? What is real? What mysteries lie beyond the reach of your senses? At the root of existence, mind and matter meet. Thoughts shape reality. This universe is only one of an infinite number. Worlds without end. Some benevolent and life giving. Others filled
    with malice and hunger. Dark places where powers older than time lie ravenous… and waiting. Who are you in this vast multiverse, Mr. Strange?”

    The same lesson applies to you, my Brethren. Do not assume to know but continue the quest to find.

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  • Alchemy September 30, 2021

    An ancient form of speculative science that sought to transform physical objects from one form into another, particularly copper and lead into silver and gold, respectively. This science has evolved into many laboratory techniques and terms that are used even to this day.

    But what does alchemy have to do with Freemasonry?

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  • Greetings from the East! August 26, 2021

    My Brothers,

    As the autumn air will slowly start to make its way to our quarries, I hope you all enjoyed your summer
    break, no matter where it may have taken you. I pray that it was relaxing and refreshing and that you
    return to the Lodge with a renewed vigor, ready for the remaining work ahead.

    This month’s biggest event is our Advanced Station Entered Apprentice Degree, with Brother Lee
    Friedland sitting in the East. I look forward to seeing how it all comes together after all the work his team
    has been putting in during the summer months. The gentlemen being initiated have been patiently waiting
    for this day and I know Brother Lee and the Officers of 2022 will certainly impress them (and those of us
    watching) with their efforts.

    Space is short and time is of the essence so, I leave you with this quote and a question.

    “In general, men prefer to let their actions speak instead of words. When they’re in pain, they
    don’t want to burden anyone with it, not if they can help it. They don’t want anyone to worry
    about them. That’s how they are. Even so, there may come a time when they’ll ask for your help.
    And when they do, I know you’ll be there for them…”

    Will you be there to lift someone while they are at
    their lowest? Or will you walk by and try not to
    burden yourself? The decision you make, your
    actions, speaks volumes.

    WM Andrew

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  • Greetings from the East! June 9, 2021

    My Brothers,

    As I sit behind the glowing screen of my laptop, I can’t help but reminisce on the past month. Many things happened during May, most notably, a positive upswing in our great fraternity. From the degree, we had at the beginning of the month, to the indoor and outdoor gathering numbers increasing, and, with that, candidates, petitioners, and absent Brethren returning with renewed vigor and interest in who we are and what we do.

    My Brothers, let us show them just that!

    Who are we?

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  • Greetings from the East! March 31, 2021

    “The perfect being, you say? Well, I have to tell you the honest truth as I see it. In this world, nothing perfect exists. It may be a cliche after all, but it’s the way things are. That’s precisely why ordinary men pursue the concept of perfection, its infatuation! But, ultimately, I have to ask myself: what is the true meaning of being perfect? And the answer I came up with was…Nothing! Not. One. Thing. The truth of the matter is, I despise perfection. If something is truly perfect, that’s it. The bottom line becomes there is no room for imagination. No space for intelligence. Or ability. Or improvement. Do you understand? To men of science, like us, perfection is a dead end, a condition of hopelessness. Always strive to be better than anything that came before you, but not perfect! Scientists agonize over the attempt to achieve perfection. That’s the kind of creatures we are. We take joy in trying to exceed our grasp, in trying to reach for something that, in the end, we have to admit may, in fact, be unreachable.”

    This dialog, uttered by the character Mayuri Kurotsuchi (from the Japanese comic “Bleach”), may not have any Masonic connection, but its message should be clear.

    While we, as good men and Masons, constantly strive to make our ashlars as smooth and square as possible, we should understand that nothing we do can become perfect. To attain perfection is to challenge The Grand Architect itself, as nothing The Creator makes may be as perfect as The Creator.

    Don’t fret, however, Brethren. The pursuit of improving yourself, those around you, and any other situation you find yourself in is, of itself, an incredibly noble, honorable, albeit arduous, task. This is one of the reasons I enjoyed the overall message of WB Chris Harris’ year (Navesink #9 – 2020): “Leave it better than you found it.” You may not be able to achieve perfection, but you can improve whatever it is so that those who come after will have a better place to start.

    Honestly, Brethren, that’s all one can truly hope for. That you have made such a mark on your world and the world around you that those who come after will remember your deeds and celebrate your life.

    Don’t be perfect. Be better.

    WM Andrew

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  • Water March 1, 2021

    “This is what it is, ok. I said empty your mind; be formless. Shapeless. Like water. You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

    While these words by the amazing Bruce Lee were said in regard to his fighting techniques, I believe they can be used in our everyday lives. Simply put, one must learn to be flexible and adapt. Standing your ground for what you believe is right and just is always admirable, but if this is your reaction to every situation, you will never learn all the information, about the troubles of others, or improve yourself. Some things require a more open interpretation and stance, rather than an automatic hardening of one’s resolve and refusal to change.

    If you want a more Masonic allusion, water is another tool that can be used by the builder to cut away or smooth rough edges. Have you ever picked
    up a river rock? Its natural smoothness is caused by years of water passing over it, slowly removing any juts or sharp angles it may have originally had. Like that rock, you must use the waters of time to smooth over any of your own aggressive or negative characteristics. If you choose not to, you will end up more like the Grand Canyon, which has been carved away by the Colorado River, dividing itself by miles.

    Everything we are taught in Masonry is meant to help us improve ourselves. Be open and adapt, my brethren. Be accepting of change.

    Be like water.

    WM Andrew

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  • Patience February 1, 2021

    My Brothers,

    One of the many things that was said to me as I made arrangements for my year in the East was that I would learn things about myself. Although it has only been a month, those lessons are already starting, and I would like to share one with you all.


    Some say it’s a virtue. Others, like myself, have a hard time finding it. Still, no matter how hard it is to obtain, we all must attempt to utilize it. If things are built too hastily, their foundation may not be properly laid, leading to a collapse of the entire structure. Patience allows us to step back and analyze a situation and determine the best course of action.

    Patience is also the natural enemy of anger. Anger is quick and voracious, devouring clear thought and mindfulness without a care for the outcome. Patience slows the mind, grants us the ability to see through the fog of anger, and focus on a goal that will be the most advantageous to all involved.

    So, be it through music, meditation, prayer, or whatever allows you to find it, I ask you, my Brother, to find and use patience in all of your endeavors, so that they all may be in your favor.

    Be the builder, not the shovel.

    WM Andrew

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  • Greetings from the East! December 30, 2020


    Well, here it is. My first Master’s Message. To be honest, it still hasn’t set in yet. With all the commotion and uncertainty that was 2020, the idea that I would ever be in a position of leadership, either at my job or within our Fraternity, never even occurred to me.

    Sure, plenty of Brothers have sent their congratulations and well wishes but hearing the words “Worshipful Master” before my name, or when an officer or brother requires my attention, still affects me differently. I am truly humbled that you all allowed me to hold this office.

    That being said, we have a lot of work ahead of us. We have been unfortunately tied down by the mandates of our local government, but let me assure you, this will not stop us from remaining a beacon both within our community and within Freemasonry. Brotherly love and friendship cannot be affected by this virus, so don’t let it stop you from reaching out and reminding each other that we are our Brother’s keeper.

    Patience, my Brethren. Remain vigilant while we are apart. Celebrate the times we do get to see each other. Forget not the obligations you took. We will all get through this, and when we do, the event will be memorable.

    WM Andrew

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