The North Carolina Mason

September/October 2020

North Carolina Mason

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September/October 2020 The North Carolina Mason Page 3 By Beth Grace Mason Editor What came you here to do? It's possibly one of the most important questions of Freemasonry. When first confronted with this question, a newly made Entered Apprentice may not appreciate its importance. In fact, many Master Masons may not appreciate the significance of what is being asked. But, it's a question brethren will hear often in the coming year, as posed by Grand Master-Elect R. David Wicker Jr. Because of ongoing COVID restrictions, the question will come in a variety of ways – whether in a Zoom meeting, a lodge gathering, in the Grand Master's regular column in e NC Mason or via the best- case scenario: a face-to-face District Meeting. e coronavirus is still a factor as we head into late Fall and Winter, as Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master Wicker, elected GM Sept. 25 at the first-ever virtual Annual Communication, prepares for his installation on Dec. 5. In early September, hopes began to rise for a return to some sense of normalcy when Gov. Cooper moved the state into a new phase that allows more people at gatherings. GM Bradshaw quickly ordered lodges to follow those guidelines, and most wasted no time in calling a stated communication. But Masonic life here and around the world is still not what it was when the year dawned and few folks had heard of COVID-19. GM-Elect Wicker says he anticipates that stated meetings and other gatherings will still be restricted until March or April. Nonetheless, his district meetings are being planned, and he is hoping all can be held as usual. It's hard to make a plan when you don't know if folks can actually get together to hear you. But there are other ways to get a message out and he is ready. "One thing I will do, no matter what … is talk about marketing," he said in a recent interview. "We are terrible marketers. In my opinion, 'To be one, ask one' is a terrible marketing tool. It means we're not going to do anything unless you ask us. I don't subscribe to that. I'm not going to endorse going out to solicit membership but I will talk about how we won't get members by just sitting around." ere are many ways to get the message out, he said. Why not wear shirts with the lodge name? Lodges can sponsor local youth teams. Get involved in community events, blood drives, animal shelter work, or maybe Habitat for Humanity or a similar organization. Even just placing a Masonic sticker on your car consti- tutes marketing. Some brothers are hesitant to speak publicly of their Masonry. He says there's very little you cannot talk about as a Freemason. "No, you can't talk about degrees or ceremonies. But you can talk about who you are, what the Masonic lessons are, what those lessons teach us and how we are transformed by those lessons." He also will ask brothers what they – individually – are doing for our charitable homes? Have they visited? "I know some lodges are a long way away, but it's one day, one time. Please make a visit. See the work that's being done," he said. He also supports efforts in lodges to provide current information and education about our charities to all petitioners. A second theme will focus on a bigger question. "It's the first lesson in Freema- sonry. What came you here to do? What is your purpose for being here? What is the purpose of a Masonic lodge in 2021," he said. He has asked himself the question, more than once. "You generally first come to Masonry because of someone you know, like or admire. at's why I joined," he said. "Going back to our poor marketing, when I joined, I didn't even know that my grandfather was a Mason and so were my three uncles. My grandmother was Eastern Star. "Over time, the transformation came. I began to really understand the messages in each lecture, and I learned that we are all human – you make a mistake but learn from it and keep moving forward." With encouragement from his friend and brother Archie Smith, he got in the line at his lodge. Along the way, he found more brothers who engaged and encouraged him. He became a certified lecturer. "DDGL was my path," he said. "If you have a speaking part, you find that you are always engaged." Raised at Oak Grove #750 in 1999, he is a member and past master of Oak Grove Lodge #750. He also is a charter member of Orphans #761 and Mosaic #762 and honorary member of Eno #210. He truly has engaged. He has served on virtually every Grand Lodge committee and on the board of the Masonic Home for Children and WhiteStone: A Masonic and Eastern Star Community. GM-Elect Wicker: Make Masonry known Grand Master-Elect R. David Wicker Jr. speaking at the 2019 Annual Communication. Honor Our Grand Masters by being a part of virtual fun run Have some real fun and join in the inaugural Grand Masters Fun Run, a virtual contest to honor Grand Master Shaun Bradshaw and GM-Elect David Wicker. Complete your chosen run or walk by the Grand Lodge officer installation on Dec. 5. Proceeds from the run, which opened for registration on Sept. 25 – the date of the virtual Annual Communication – will raise money for our two Masonic homes. The run is the brainchild of Grand Lodge officers Bobby Rideout and Gilbert Bailey. This event allows you to choose to participate in a 1K walk/run (0.62 miles); a 5k run (3.1 miles) or a 10K run (6.2 miles). After you complete your event, send creative proof to The submission can take any form. Some ideas: running data from a smart watch; a selfie of you standing in front of a cool tree/monument/building on your route; maybe even a photo of your route on a map. You can walk or run for yourself, someone else, your lodge, or in memory of another. Registration costs $20. Register here: Names of participants who complete the event will be published in the NC Mason along with the distance they ran/walked. The editor of the NC Mason will select the top three photo submissions and publish them and the names of all the participants. Questions? Contact is Matthew Robbins, administrative assistant and outreach coordinator at the Grand Lodge, at (919) 787-2021 or

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