- Greetings from the East! November 1, 2022
There is, however, a much narrower sense of family that shares the same values that we experience each time we come to Lodge. That family is the Brothers we see on a weekly basis whom we have a stronger connection with. These are Brothers who we have come to meet their children, significant others, and/or parents over the years. They are also part of our family. These are the Brothers we have relied on for advice and assistance over the years. Those that we have spent time with outside our Masonic home and in our own homes, that we have shared experiences and made memories with, that the term Brotherly Love hits a bit deeper.Continue reading →
- Greetings from the East! October 3, 2022
As the days grow short and the air starts to chill, we welcome the Fall season.
Fall is an amazing time of year that seems to kick our senses into high gear. Fall welcomes our favorite flannel shirt and football jersey back into service as nature treats us to an explosion of fall colors of reds, maroon, shades of orange, and yellows that contrast with the rich earth tones of farm fields at harvest time. Some days the air smells crisp and cold or damp and earthy, and on other days we enjoy of the smells of leaves; wet leaves, dry leaves, burning leaves, and the subtle smell of decaying leaves. Fall is a season to hunt and gather, to bring in the crops, harvest the garden, or take a trip to the pumpkin patch, farmers’ market, or apple orchard. Fall is a time of plenty; however, things don’t last unless we take care to preserve our harvest.
Every member of our Masonic family needs to reach out and make an extra special effort to welcome our new Brothers and their families into our fraternity. To make them feel part of our Masonic family. As we work with these new Brothers, we must also take time to find out why they joined our fraternity, and then help them to realize their expectations.
For each new Mason we initiate, pass, and raise, we should keep in mind the need to balance today’s rapidly paced schedule and demands of working families. In other words, we need to respect time and provide value.
We initiated, passed, and raised a great crop of Masons this year but it’s what we do after they are raised that will determine if we retain and engage them. The degree of care we take in our Lodges after they become Master Masons will determine if we preserve them in our years to come. I appreciate the support, and your efforts, to keep our Lodge healthy and growing.
Peace and Harmony,Continue reading →
Br. Lee Friedland
- Greetings from the East! September 9, 2022
I hope you all had a prosperous and healthy summer. As our refreshment draws to a close, I look forward to seeing you once again in the Lodge. We had some great fellowship and some more amazing changes to the building during the past few weeks.
I went on a vacation this summer to Florida, and it made me think about traveling in general. The different places you visit, the sites you see, and the people you meet. You never know who you will run into or their story. We as Masons are very fortunate. Wherever we travel, we could meet a Brother, go to a Lodge, and feel at home anywhere. We meet others who share a bond like no other. I have never met a Brother who did not greet me with a smile nor immediately make me feel like family. Nothing that I have been a part of has ever given me the same pride and assurance that I am never alone. We should all travel more! We need to make an effort to get around our district and even more so throughout our Grand Jurisdiction. While my schedule does not allow me to take advantage of visiting other Lodges much this year, as it lightens up, I am looking forward to taking visiting Brothers up on their offers to come to their Lodges. I am excited to be introduced in their Masonic homes, meet new Brothers, and hear their stories.
At our home, the 2023 Officer Line has been busy preparing for our Advanced Station Entered Apprentice Degree. We are very fortunate to have had the assistance and great support from the Past Masters and I want to thank all that have been involved this summer.
I’m very much looking forward to a great fall season at Olive Branch. Please join us and visit the Lodge; there are some newly renovated spaces to behold, new Brothers to meet, and new stories to be created!
Continue reading →
Peace and Harmony,
- Greetings from the East! June 2, 2022
Summer is almost upon us. That means the Lodge will be on refreshment soon. This is a break, a chance to refresh.
Our lives are full of craziness. Our moods and the way we experience things change all the time as we react to what unfolds around us. Occasionally, we need a chance to take a breath, to not think about anything, and to just be. Over the break, make sure you take that moment. If you are vacationing, enjoy that time; take advantage as we don’t get away that often. This does not mean take a break from your Masonic obligations, however. Never forget that we are Masons outside the Lodge mixing with the world amidst its
concerns and employments.
We are still at the Lodge on Tuesdays sharing Fellowship and practicing ritual. Our Officers for 2023 will be working over the summer focusing on their work in new chairs and learning their ritual with our Past Masters.
While we are together at the Lodge, take advantage of the opportunity to have discussions with a Brother to help you work through something that is bothering you, plan to achieve a goal, laugh, or just to let it out again some relief. This is the house we share with our Brothers. A safe and comfortable place to decompress and take a break.
While we will be busy at times over the break, we will also make sure that there is downtime to enjoy and relax.
Traditionally, Summer, is the time to practice and prepare. However, it is still a time to enjoy the Lodge.
As I have asked all year, almost in every message, to those of you who have not been to see us in a while, please come back. There are some great things happening and I am always looking forward to the opportunity to see you.
We have had some great success this year so far, and I am truly looking forward to the latter half of the year.
Br. LeeContinue reading →
- Greetings from the East! May 3, 2022
Brethren, I hope the spring season is treating you well. I can’t believe how fast this year is moving. I was told by Past Masters that it goes by quickly but, it feels like I was just installed yesterday. It’s hard for me to believe we are a month away from the Lodge going on refreshment for the summer.
I wanted to share this letter with you, my Brother, especially those we haven’t seen at Lodge for some time.
Remember when we first met. Neither of us knew what to say, so we started the way most great friends do, with “hello, my name is…” From there, one could say the rest is history. But it’s that history that is so important.
There are so many things I miss about you. I miss seeing you smile when I say something unintentionally funny. I miss our fellowship, and discussions when it was just a few of us downstairs. I miss the way you were an open ear, a shoulder to lean on and someone to laugh with, all in one package.
I miss the way you could offer insight when I needed it, a new perspective on an old situation. I miss the way you seemed to understand me even when I couldn’t find the words for what I really wanted to say.
What happened to us? A better question would be, what happens to all great Brothers? We grew, we changed, we lived. It’s an inevitable reality that we all face. I didn’t see it coming. In fact, I didn’t see it happening until I was looking at it from the present. I was peering into the past at the life we all used to live.
Changing is an integral part of life attempting to figure out who we are. Through that growth, it might mean finding your true self. But it can also mean losing touch with a Brother or two in the process. If your friendship is a good one, a strong one, it will survive. It might take a little more work than some things, but if it’s worth it to you and your Brother, you will find a way to work it out.
I certainly hope that you can find a way back to the Lodge. After all, I miss you.
With Brotherly love and respect,
An Olive Branch Brother
I hope to see you all soon.Continue reading →
Peace and Harmony,
- Greetings from the East! April 21, 2022
The flowers are blooming, the leaves are forming, and the sun is coming out of cloud hibernation. Spring signifies a rebirth of sorts. Wildlife can sense it and so can our brains. As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, we inexplicably become more active creatures. Think about it, when was the last time someone participated in winter cleaning?
Just being outside more in the spring is an instant mood boost. Vitamin D levels go up as the sun acts like a UV solar power charger to our mind and mood. Exercise is correlated with warmer, sunnier days as well, and those extra endorphins boost that feel-good mood.
This is my favorite time of year; I wish New Year’s Day was April first. I am hoping for the feeling of the change in season makes you feel the same way.
Over the last few months, I’ve asked brothers who have not been to lodge in a while to come back. Now is the time. Come and share with us. This year has been very special to me as it is to every Master, and I would like you all to be part of it. Come out and meet some of our new Brothers, the officers, and future officers of the Lodge. Enjoy the fellowship. We will be enjoying the extended days and time at the lodge as we come out of the winter funk.
We will be working on the Master Mason degree for June, and some projects around the lodge. All hands are welcome and appreciated. As always thank you to all who have stopped by and spent time keeping up the building and grounds. Your efforts do not go unnoticed.
Continue reading →
Peace and Harmony,
- Greetings from the East! March 2, 2022
Winter is coming to a close and spring is around the corner. One more month of on and off cold weather. The time changes and daylight savings time works to our advantage.
It brings more light, the Masonic fuel. It’s a time of renewal. Days start to change from gray and dark, to starting to see shades of green and bright. How does it change you? It seems as though people have more energy, more enthusiasm and a general awakening. I know for me, it’s as if a switch gets flipped and everything starts to seem right again. I am excited to get some projects moving and enjoy some evenings outside at the Lodge. The Lodge is open and growing. We have made it through most of the dark winter while enjoying the fellowship and brotherhood at the Lodge. Momentum for our year is picking up. I think we are hitting our stride and getting comfortable in our roles. As I converse with the Past Masters, our Entered Apprentices, and our petitioners, I see so many similarities in thoughts and experiences, we are all of one mind. It is truly an eye opening and heart filling experience serving as Worshipful Master. You all are making me a better man.Continue reading →
- Greetings from the East! January 31, 2022
As we get into the heart of winter, we find ourselves less active with more time to think. I find that true for myself anyway. It was truly inspiring to see so many in attendance for the month of January. I am grateful to have every one of you as members. I hope we continue to see Past Masters and Members coming back to Lodge. Please join us, as every Brother’s contribution is important. You may inspire a Brother, help him grow, make him feel better, and help to build our Lodge.
Remember our Lodge is not just a room or hall. It is a group of men, Brothers who have dedicated themselves to a common task. To build. Building character, building community, building a bond to each other. Take time to think about this: what part do you play? How do you engage? How do our actions affect each other? We will continue to make time for fellowship. This is the time I see the purest, care and concern shown for each other. The discussions, laughter, the energy in the Fellowship Hall is what I hope resonates with you. Allowing us to leave feeling better than when we arrived. Wanting to come back for more.
I want to thank you all again for the hospitality and acceptance that you offer to our guests. It is clear that someone who walks in for the first time nervous and unsure about the experience but leaves Olive Branch with a very positive and comfortable feeling. The same applies for a Brother who returns from a hiatus, re-experiencing that feeling. That’s how we build our Lodge.
As far as meetings go, they need to happen to get things done. We will do our best to keep them as painless as possible. I respect your time. Your opinions and desires matter. Your presence allows you the clearest understanding, and an opportunity to share opinions and concerns. I’m looking forward to this month filled with more fellowship,
another EA degree, and working on plans for the Lodge and several events. The bonus is getting to see the Past Masters hone the craft like a surgically sharpened blade for the Fellowcraft Degree as they rehearse the ritual for March.
Hope to see all of you again this month. If we didn’t see you, make the trip, we miss you.
Peace and Harmony,
Br. LeeContinue reading →
- Greetings from the East! January 3, 2022
As the New Year is upon us and our work is to begin again, I want to start by saying thank you. I am looking forward to serving you as Worshipful Master and appreciate the confidence you have expressed in me. I truly believe that great things are in store for Olive Branch Lodge in 2022.
This time of year, we tend to make resolutions, however many fall off as the year progresses. I am asking that you all take a moment to contemplate your obligations. As these should never fall off or be forgotten.
As Freemasons, our obligation is part to God, to our neighbor, and ourselves. We need to strive to maintain our commitments and faith, remember to help those in need, and never forget that it’s OK to ask for help for yourself when needed. That’s what Brothers are for.
We are all pillars of the Lodge and in that light, are also the support of the Lodge. Make an effort to attend if you haven’t, make a call to a Brother you haven’t spoken to in a while. Communicate any concerns or ideas to the senior officers or me. My hope is that this year we can experience more growth, continue the work of our Past Masters, and make our Lodge the place we all look forward to visiting. You have all heard fellow Brothers state that “it feels like a weight lifted off my shoulders as I come down the stairs”. Some of you may not have experienced that for a while with the turmoil of life over the past couple of years. Come back. Make this the year that you renew that feeling. Nothing is being asked of you except to be present. I hope that we can all work together and make the Lodge prosper Masonically and be what you expect of your Lodge. Remember, the Lodge was built by men, but made of Masons.
Wishing you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Peace and Harmony,
WM LeeContinue reading →