|From The South|
|Andrew M. Outten
It is a privilege to serve you, our new WM, and our great lodge from the south this Masonic year. As many of you know, I work at Brandywine Battlefield and as a historian I reflect om the big picture which includes the Craft.
As I sit here in my office contemplating what to write as my first Trestle board message, I am staring at a picture of a major figure in Freemasonry and our nation; Bro. George Washington. While feeling like I'm being watched by him, it makes me wonder what he would think of the craft and society today.
At this time 240 years ago, Bro. Washington was just two years into a struggle that can be thought of as an experiment conducted with the assistance of Masonic principles. Born in 1732, just fifteen years after our craft was founded. At that time, man was rethinking the way he could/should live and realized that he did not have to answer to a king or ruler, but could govern himself accordingly under God. In turn, by governing himself, he could rise in society not by status, but by education merit, and more importantly, the way he conducted himself in society. That belief, something that Freemasonry is grounded upon, is something that tends to be forgotten, especially in recent times. My role of Junior Warden is to see that the brethren do not covert the purpose of refreshment to intemperance or excess. Contemplate that first word; intemperance, or lack of restraint.
As Masons, we must remember to circumscribe our passions within the compass and remember what our fraternity and country was built on and how it fits into the big picture of our lives and the lives of others. Society needs the example of our Masonic belief system more than ever. It needs us to remind them of the same belief system that was fueling Bro. Washington in his struggle of our American experiment that most take for granted today. It is our responsibility to make sure the light shines not just in our lodge, but outside of it as well. Donít forget what it means to live and act on the plumb, level, and square and how you can better yourself and society from it.
I encourage you to come to lodge more this year. Not only to support new brothers in degrees, but to attend other events and communications so we can remind ourselves what it means to be masons and to set the right examples for others.
I look forward to seeing you all very soon!
Andrew M. Outten
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