The North Carolina Mason

May/June 2009

North Carolina Mason

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The Mason NORTH CAROLINA Official Publication of e Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina Volume 134 Number 3 Oxford, North Carolina May/June 2009 Ric Car ter photos see BOTTOM LINE, page 2 see CORNERSTONE, page 4 see WEBB, page 4 The BoTTom Line By Dan C. Rice Grand Master Are we all created equal? It has been drilled into me since I was very young that God created us all equal. I have some problems buying into that theory. I know that some very smart people have made that statement over and over again, but I just do not buy it. Before you think I am a complete heathen and out in left field, let me explain. I remember playing basketball for the Orphanage. On my best day, I could not make a three-point shot or dunk a basketball. ere was even a girl at the orphanage named Sandra Perkins that could regularly beat me one-on-one in basketball. She later played and started for Florida State's women's basketball team, so I guess it was okay that she could beat me. I recently watched the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament and watched those guys make three-point shots effortlessly. ere is simply no equality in our basketball talents. In algebra class at the Orphanage, I remember watching people struggle and trying to understand what I thought was extremely clear and easy. At the time, I just figured they were lazy or not try- ing. I was not smart enough to understand that algebra was just easier for some people. Just when I developed an overly exagger- ated opinion of my own math skills, I was picked to study math at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee with 29 other exceptional high school math students from all over the country. at proved to be a sobering experience as I went from being the leader in the math class to, at best, just average. It has become quite clear to me that, as individuals, we are certainly not made equal. Some people are physically strong, and others are weak. Some people have high IQs, and other people are mentally challenged by daily life. A couple of years ago my church offered a Spiritual Gifts Class, and a group of about 20 of us took a psychological, personality, and emotional makeup profile test to determine what spiritual gifts God had given each of us. is was really neat as it revealed just how differently God has made us individually. Some of the gifts revealed were the gifts of wisdom, teaching, mercy, empathy, sympathy, giving, healing, and discernment. As an example, several of our group scored really high in empa- thy. I scored almost a zero. It is not that I do not care about people and their problems. I simply am not made to listen to people's problems unless I can help find a solution. When someone just wants me to listen patiently to them and not to solve the issue, my ears fold up and go into my head, and my mind drifts away. It became clear that each of us has a completely different mix- ture of all the God-given gifts. God had not only made us with totally different physical characteristics such as size and shape, He has also mixed in totally different strengths and weaknesses of personality and emotion and problem solving skills. We tend to really like working in our areas where we have been blessed with the strength of a spiritual gift. We are most uncom- fortable when we get into areas where God has not blessed us with a particular gift. For instance, some people can stand in front of a crowd and deliver a message without any fear. Other folks would have their knees knocking together if they had to merely stand in front of a crowd. We tend to judge others by our own strengths and not by our own weaknesses. For instance, when Tiger Woods looks at oth- ers and sizes them up, I am sure it is based on their golf skills. Michael Jordan would certainly not use someone's ability to do a physics problem as criteria for their basketball skill level. He would most likely judge them on their ability to play basketball. Albert Einstein or Isaac Newton would not have used basketball or golf skills to determine their worth but would have based their value on scientific knowledge or skills. I am always impressed when one of our brothers delivers a Masonic lecture. e ability to memorize large amounts of ritual- istic work is certainly a gift. I understand that learning the lectures is also very hard work and requires both dedication and time, but it also requires the ability to retain large amounts of information. Does the fact that a Brother can recite all three lectures, charges, and rituals from memory make him a good Mason? Does being wealthy or successful make a man a good Mason? What about the Brother that struggles to memorize his degree catechisms, but is always willing to help with any lodge fundraiser ROCKINGHAM — More than one foun- dation was set when Masons dedicated the cor- nerstone plaque for the new Richmond County Courthouse here April 24. It was also the first joint ceremony by North Carolina's two grand lodges. e two organizations normalized rela- tions in September 2008. e about 50 Masons from both grand lodges who gathered at Rockingham 495 late that Fri- day morning didn't quite know what to expect. What they got was history. e county seat's lodge was hosting the for- malities. For such dedications, the Grand Lodge is opened and closed before moving to the site of the public ceremony. It's much as is done for an open installation in your lodge. But, no joint Even though their mission was to land on the moon, running NASA in the 1960s wasn't rocket science. e agency best known for its rocket science is now sa- luting a politics- and business- savvy administrator who helped propel them into fulfilling one of the biggest promises ever, landing man on the moon in less than ten years. e Hubble Space Telescope's successor will be known as the James Webb Space Telescope. In 1907, James E. Webb was born in Stem (some report Tally Ho) in southern Gran- ville County. His dad was su- perintendent of schools there. (In fact, the school our kids at the Masonic Home for Children attend was named for his father.) James Webb got a degree in education f rom the University of North Carolina-Cha- pel Hill. While a student, he took his Masonic degrees in University 408, later transferring his membership home to Oxford 396 (later Oxford 122). He got his three degrees on con- Masons set cornerstone for Richmond County Courthouse A cornerstone for the future By Ric Carter communication of the two organizations had ever been held before. At 11:00 a.m., the lodge officer stations were filled by Masons from several lodges in both ju- risdictions. Other than more racially diverse look than usual, the only difference was the presence of three men sitting in the East. ere were seat- ed two grand masters — our own Grand Master Dan C. Rice and Prince Hall's Grand Master Milton F. Fitch Jr., and Rockingham Master James Chavis. Since it was a joint ceremony, there were two grand lodges to be opened. e solution preventing running overly long or finding two locations for the official open- Grand Master stand-ins James Alford and James Chavis spread mortar on the cornerstone of the new Richmond County Courthouse, above. At left, Grand Masters Rice and Fitch enjoy their joint appearance and the production of the first cornerstone with two GMs. Space exploration's next Hubble named for James Webb Tar Heel Mason bound to the stars By Ric Carter secutive Mondays in December 1927. He served in the Marine Corps before study- ing law at George Washington University. He worked in the Dis- trict of Columbia for several years before entering World War II as a Marine. After the war, he returned to the nation's capitol to serve the Truman Administration as un- der secretary of treasury, director of the Bureau of the Budget, and under Secretary of State. After the Truman Administration left town, Webb entered private enterprise, joining Kerr-McGee Oil. Webb was called back to Wash- ington f rom private industry in 1961. President John Kennedy and Vice-President Lyndon Johnson drafted him to head the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. He was to be the man to steer the agency through Kennedy's perhaps rash pledge to land a man on the Moon in less than ten years. The Webb Space Telescope is set for 2013 launch and deep space orbit. James Webb NASA's 2 nd leader

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