The North Carolina Mason

March/April 2021

North Carolina Mason

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S omething feels different. I'm not sure why, but it feels like things are changing. Like we're getting close to maybe, nearly, almost, quite possibly back to normal. I am writing in a whisper. Don't want to just say it outright: We're getting back to normal. at would jinx it. Still, something feels different. e pandemic numbers are slowing and drop- ping. Restrictions made by government and by Freemasons are easing. Vaccinations, for those in favor of them, are giving some folks a new lease on life. Others are doing their best while they wait to keep safe in masks and washing hands. It's time to celebrate. It's time to come back to life. Even while restrictions are in place, we can rejoice that brothers are coming back to lodges, in measured numbers for now, but at some point – life will return to normal. It's clear even from social media posts that a return is the heart's desire of brethren in all 370 lodges. Say what you will about how useful social media is in everyday life, sometimes it's positively poetic. Take this question, recently posted by a brother on the Grand Lodge Facebook page: Have you ever contemplated what you expected to receive from joining a Masonic Lodge? Ask yourself in refection, What do I get out of being a Mason? Be honest and post your thoughts here. Research your answer inside yourself. Many answers and great stories followed, all of them filled with love of the Craft. Let me share a few. Brother Todd Derksen of Wilmington #319, then a resident of Rhode Island, had just been raised at a local lodge, when he was summoned to a gathering meant to help the wife of a brother who had passed suddenly. As the wives went to visit with the wife, the Master turned to the brothers and announced that another brother needed firewood. "Like a herd of animals, the brethren that were there just got up from their chairs and we all piled into three pickup trucks and liter- ally drove to the middle of nowhere. … We then began to load the wood into those three trucks and we then drove to Jesse's house to stack the wood at his house. … It was on that day that I had learned a life lesson, just what I had stumbled into. Yes, it all began with the passing of my father. Harmony Lodge was this circle of family that could be counted on, whenever and wherever you needed them, but more importantly I needed to be there for them. e lodge taught me to put others ahead of my own needs. My lodge is my family, they are my circle." Brother Ryan Ziegler, a relatively new member of Kedron #387, says "Masonry has made me a better man. Not because of our business meetings we have. Not even because of the Brother- hood I have with my Masonic Family. For me, I'm a better man because I do everything I can to live my obligations. "In my line of work, I don't get very many compliments. When I arrest someone for missing court and they have been on the run for months, they typically don't like to see me. When someone tells me that I'm a good man, it hits differ- ently now. It means much more. Even while I'm arresting their loved one, they still call me a good man. at is what being a Mason means to me now. Honestly, being a good man and working to become better." For some, the work of Masonry speaks volumes. "I learn something – better said as 'I gain insight' – every time I see a degree, and especially when I'm giving one of the lectures," wrote PM omas Pope of Stedman #730. PM Fred Whitty of St. John's #3 would agree. "I learned to subdue some passions, that I needed to, while increasing those I needed Page 4 The North Carolina Mason March/April 2021 T h e m i s s i o n o f f r e e m a s o n r y i n n o r T h C a r o l i n a i s T o r a i s e T h e m o r a l , s o C i a l , i n T e l l e C T u a l , a n d s p i r i T u a l C o n s C i e n C e o f s o C i e T y b y T e a C h i n g T h e a n C i e n T a n d e n d u r i n g p h i l o s o p h i C a l TeneTs of broTherly love, relief, and TruTh, whiCh are expressed ouTwardly Through serviCe To god, family, CounTry, and self under The faTherhood of god wiThin The broTherhood of man. (USPS 598-260) is published bimonthly by e Grand Lodge of AF & AM of North Carolina, 2921 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27608. ird class postage paid at Oxford, NC 27565. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to e North Carolina Mason, School Of Graphic Arts, Masonic Home for Children, Oxford, NC 27565. Grand Master R. David Wicker Jr. Board Of Publication Kenneth Lambert Adam Cloninger Dwight Decoskey omas VanEtten omas Pope Editor Beth Grace Good quality pictures are essential for suitable reproduction. e right to reject any submission is reserved. Pictures will be returned to the sender only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Email submissions are preferred: high resolution, unaltered JPGs and Rich Text Format documents only. Submissions and other correspondence should be sent to the editor at 2921 Glenwood Ave., Raleigh, NC 27608 or Each North Carolina Mason is a subscriber to The North Carolina Mason. If you know a member who is not receiving the paper, please send us his full name, complete address, and the name and number of his lodge. Masonic widows receive The Mason free upon request. Subscriptions are available to others at a rate of $5 per year. Subscription inquiries and address changes only should be sent to: e School of Graphic Arts, Masonic Home for Children, 600 College Street, Oxford, North Carolina 27565. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The North Carolina Mason, the Grand Lodge, or Board of Publications. From the editor's desk Grand Master R. David Wicker Jr. ............................ Deputy Grand Master Larry B. ompson Jr. Senior Grand Warden Kevan D. Frazier Junior Grand Warden Donald E. Kehler Grand Treasurer Lewis R. Ledford (PGM) ............... Grand Secretary T. Walton Clapp III Senior Grand Deacon Robert W. Rideout ................. Junior Grand Deacon Steve M. Norris ........................ Grand Marshal Gilbert D. Bailey Grand Steward Michael A. Register Grand Steward Phillip R. Johnson ........................... Judge Advocate T. Marcus Browne III Grand Chaplain Paul F. Menard Grand Tyler Calvin A. Rogers Jr. Grand Lecturer Herbert C. (Dicky) Lyon Grand Historian Daniel F. Finch Grand Orator E. Oscar Alleyne NORTH CAROLINA The Mason By Beth Grace Editor ■ see NORMALCY, page 7 Facebook posts tell a tale of a return to normalcy

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