On The Level Podcast

Cultivating Harmony in the Masonic Realm Through Etiquette and Education

January 27, 2024 Christopher Burns Season 2 Episode 21
On The Level Podcast
Cultivating Harmony in the Masonic Realm Through Etiquette and Education
On The Level Podcast
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever wondered what it's like to swap stories with fellow Masons and discover the lighter side of our venerable craft? That's exactly what Chris and I did when we kicked things off with a humorous anecdote of brotherly impersonations before transitioning to a poignant reflection on the stark contrasts of our daily lives with the harsh realities faced by individuals in conflict zones. Our conversation then takes a turn towards the challenges of leadership in nonprofit organizations, with a nod to my own experiences as a past president, emphasizing the necessity of aligning a group's vision with the collective desires of its volunteers.

As your hosts, we don't just pontificate on serious matters; we also address how etiquette plays a pivotal role in maintaining the fabric of fellowship. From the respectful use of the title 'Brother' to the sensitive role of the Masonic chaplain during lodge meetings, we explore these topics with the aim of preserving unity and promoting personal growth. We also couldn't resist sharing our plans to improve our dance moves, as well as our excitement for the On the Level with Fred and Chris Masonic Education Symposium in Sarasota, Florida, which promises to be an enriching experience for all attendees.

Wrapping up the episode, Chris and I discuss the finer points of Masonic etiquette during official gatherings and how maintaining a culture of respect and understanding is paramount in our lodges. We tease the future of our podcast and the promise of innovative ways to connect with our Masonic brethren worldwide. Stay tuned for more engaging content, and remember, we're just as eager to meet you in person and hear your thoughts as you are to join us on this journey of Masonic discovery and fellowship.

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Speaker 1:

Hey, chris, yeah, fred, what's a?

Speaker 2:

Mason, that's a really good question, fred.

Speaker 1:

You've reached the internet's home for all things masonry. Join Chris and I as we plumb the depths of our ancient craft, from the common gavel to the trowel. Nothing is off the table, so grab your tools and let's get to work. This is On the Level. Yeah, there it is, the Rebel Yell, the Rebel Yell. Oh my gosh, we are back. Hey, we are back.

Speaker 2:

Wow, I gotta tell you.

Speaker 1:

Alright, I'm listening.

Speaker 2:

I was having a conversation with a brother named Michael Manning. Michael Manning, you know him. He's from a little bit north of us.

Speaker 3:

Okay.

Speaker 2:

Involved in the Scottish Rite.

Speaker 3:

Oh, oh, michael, yeah, yeah, yeah, big beard Cuban guy.

Speaker 2:

Actually, if you close your eyes, you think you're talking to Doug Dobbs. They sound very similar.

Speaker 3:

Right, right right.

Speaker 2:

And so I saw him calling and I picked up the phone and he goes, Ha, and I said, are you alright? And he's like I'm trying to do the Chris Scream.

Speaker 1:

I'm like that's that?

Speaker 2:

No, it's yeah. He was like that's it. That's it baby, come on, you gotta get your impersonations down, guys.

Speaker 1:

Now I gotta say, Michael, that was probably the best shout out we've ever done. It was pretty cool. Way to go, bro. Way to go. We have to have him on the podcast.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

He teaches firefighters, so he's got a great presence and speaking voice.

Speaker 1:

Nice, nice, sorry.

Speaker 2:

No, no, hey, I trialed you right out of the gate.

Speaker 1:

I don't know, man, I'm a little excited this morning, maybe because I probably got a decent night's sleep. I don't know.

Speaker 2:

What's that like? Yeah, what's that like right Five hours last night.

Speaker 3:

Sleep when you're dead, baby.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, I'm feeling encouraged, I'm feeling strong. Good for you. Yeah, man, you know, look, listen, listen, guys, who's more blessed than we are? I mean, you know, if you look at around the world, man, current events right now, and there are people in this world who are just flat out suffering.

Speaker 2:

We should talk about it, I guess.

Speaker 1:

A little bit.

Speaker 2:

Everyone else is.

Speaker 1:

Well, we could talk about it a little bit.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I'm a whole podcast on politics Not on politics, especially current politics.

Speaker 1:

What a drag. But yeah, we are blessed, we are kings compared to the rest of the world, especially right now with what's going on in all of these hot spots, man, that are going on. Everyone has their opinion.

Speaker 2:

We were just talking about it before the show.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, about this, that and the other, but at the end of the day, I'm always turned towards yeah, but what about all the women and children who live in these places, man?

Speaker 3:

What about?

Speaker 1:

them.

Speaker 2:

We can talk about soldiers.

Speaker 1:

We can talk about terrorists and armies and billions and billions of dollars this and that, but at the end of the day, man, it's always the women and children that end up dying. You know, afghanistan 275,000 women and children. You know, lost. You know, in Syria it was almost 300,000 civilians. You know, come on, man, I mean, that's where I go. So when I see these things happen, where these great men of political favor start fighting with each other and killing each other, it's we like to think it's a technical war out there, but it's not these long, long drug out things that go on. They kill innocent women and children. That's what happens.

Speaker 2:

You're right, and the average American. Honestly, we haven't seen war.

Speaker 1:

We have not seen war.

Speaker 2:

No, no living person listening to this has seen war on the scale that you're talking about. I mean we have people that have served in the military, that certainly, I'm sure, have seen some nasty stuff. Yeah, absolutely they're not the average American. They're the exceptions. Yeah, that's right, and they are exceptional, and they are exceptions to this. The average American just doesn't see the violence of war and how horrible it is, and just just inhuman. It really is to everyone involved.

Speaker 1:

If you think about it, most of the people in these lands. They don't have access to the information that we have access to. So, not only are they losing everything they have and losing their lives, they don't even know why.

Speaker 2:

Well, they're being lied to.

Speaker 1:

They're being lied to.

Speaker 2:

They're doing it for false reasons, probably a lot of times.

Speaker 1:

And you know from all sides, I don't care what political persuasion you happen to be from.

Speaker 2:

We have nowhere war here in our country and it's like you're at war. To try to get actual information.

Speaker 3:

Yeah right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, everyone wants to feed you their line of stick instead of give you the info.

Speaker 1:

It's tough, I know. I spend a lot of time on alternative media sites trying to get that's called pornography you don't want to, I don't I don't do pornography.

Speaker 2:

Oh, but I just heard alternative media and alternative. Oh, is that what they call it now? Is that what they're calling it now? Probably.

Speaker 1:

Oh my gosh, fred doesn't do porn. I do not do porn, no yeah.

Speaker 2:

He's a good, I don't.

Speaker 1:

I don't do it because in my opinion it's an insult to my wife.

Speaker 2:

But there you go. It insults. I can't wait to talk to your wife someday.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

Can't wait to interview her.

Speaker 1:

Well, it's going to happen. Speaking of that? Yeah, that's right. Ladies and gentlemen, let us be the first to announce well, who else would announce it? Yeah, that we have an interview coming up with our wives. Oh man, Four of us are going to sit down over drinks.

Speaker 2:

Is anything Can we give them like hey, don't tell them about this.

Speaker 1:

Nope, there's no coaching, it's no holes, bar, wow Okay. Wow, we are going to just, so our last podcast will be on We'll be on.

Speaker 2:

No, I'm actually here, you know, I have asked my wife.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, me too.

Speaker 2:

She's quite hesitant. I'm with the idea, but I said you don't have to know anything, no one's going to, you don't have to be prepped, this is just going to be. We want to find out what your life is like.

Speaker 3:

That's right.

Speaker 1:

Part of this thing. Yes, with no prep, zany hygiene, we're going to have a good time. We're going to have a good time.

Speaker 2:

We're going to have a good curse. You know we can edit this stuff. Just be yourself Forget. There's a mic there. We're just having a conversation. We're going to have a good time.

Speaker 1:

That's right. It's going to be fun and she's in. We're going to try to get to kind of like the wives perspective of what it's like to be married to a Mason. The good who spends more time with masonry than with them? Yeah, yeah, that's true story that true story that's going to come out. It'll be a lot of fun. Anyways, that was a rabbit trail that changed our current event. Yeah, Downer talk. Yeah, yeah. And from on the level with Fred and Chris, we do send prayers and thoughts out to anybody out there. You know who's suffering under this current madness that we've got going on here A lot of suffering and death. And yeah, and I would just encourage you, as a Mason brother, be slow to speak on this and quick to listen to other people. Don't throw everything that you think you know about it out there. I'm certainly not doing that, and I know Chris isn't either. Be slow, be quick to care about human beings and about their needs and about the people who have no weaponry. They have no voice, they have no influence. You know, they woke up one day and their neighbor's house was blown up and people died and they're now being told that they have to leave and that kind of thing. Let's think about it. Let's try. I would encourage everyone to try to think about it from that perspective and hopefully it'll change the way we deal with each other on these issues. But we got a long way to go on that one, brothers.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean I have removed a lot of people online that tend to be inflammatory, and they're speaking.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 2:

I don't care what side they're on.

Speaker 3:

That's right.

Speaker 2:

So I'm impressed with myself because my feet's not blowing up with a lot of hate Nice.

Speaker 3:

Weird stuff right now.

Speaker 2:

It's. I mean, obviously people talk about and they should talk about what's going on.

Speaker 1:

Probably we should be informed, but we should be informed with the facts, not with emotion.

Speaker 2:

And calling for you know really bad evil stuff to counteract bad evil stuff.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

It gets dicey yeah. And it all it does is feed the uniparty If you have to, but don't you. Don't have to say it on the internet to everybody.

Speaker 1:

Right, that's amazing.

Speaker 2:

Maybe that's not a best idea.

Speaker 1:

Well, and if you're calling out entire people groups in some pejorative way, then you know, you're just wrong. Your method is wrong. Your message might have some validity in it, but your messaging is completely wrong and it's always going to be wrong to to take an entire people group and classify them you know, into one group.

Speaker 2:

Don't call all Palestinians Hamas.

Speaker 1:

Basically Right, there is a difference between the mom and dad, palestinian mom and dad who are just trying to make ends meet, and the evil organization known as Hamas. There's a difference. Yeah, and educate yourself on that. Take a look at what that means.

Speaker 2:

They're talking about nuclear weapons in Israel.

Speaker 1:

They're always talking about nuclear weapons. This is always the big bugaboo.

Speaker 2:

I don't think that is a big bugaboo. It's a big bugaboo.

Speaker 1:

I think that there are radicals in this world who do want to burn it all down, you know, like the Joker, you know that's scary. But, generally speaking, the grifters in the uniparty, they, they want to scare the golden goose, but they don't want to kill the golden goose and, generally speaking, that's the way it works. You know, kings and queens and and all of the highfalutin uniparty people, they, they know how to keep this thing going, you know. And nuclear war is a quick stop.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

To poverty for all, including them. So I would say that they use it as a tool to keep people afraid and scared, but I I still am of the belief that we are not going to see any kind of nuclear action in our lifetime, if ever in my opinion.

Speaker 2:

From your lips to you. Know God's ear. Yes, please, yes, lord, let it be All right. Aliens come. We need your help. Now's the time. Here we go, the alien talk, it's only a matter of time, aliens. Before aliens are put into this situation. No, sorry, ancient aliens, ancient aliens, they're the best kind that's right.

Speaker 1:

So I thought I'd bring up a little topic, another. This is not a rabbit hole. This is an official topic, okay, but it better be a little topic. All right, little topic before we get back to the etiquette book which we are in. This is number two of the etiquette book series that we're doing currently, but so the question I want to pose to you, brother, is me, yes, oh no. How would, how would a man, one man who's in charge of a not for profit organization, get those men in the organization to follow his vision? What is an adequate or good way that one might achieve getting these men who are in a volunteer organization? They don't get paid, they don't have to be there, they want to be there. And you have a strong vision, you have something that you really want to accomplish, man, you want to get it done. How do you do that without scaring them all off or making them mad and making them go home and ruining the whole thing in the beginning? How is that done? Just hypothetically, of course, impossible.

Speaker 2:

Cannot be done, cannot be, done. I think our listeners probably have all of them have answers to that question.

Speaker 1:

I bet, I bet, they do Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

I think you have answers to that question. Yes, I mean is personally, because I just am wrapping up a year as basically the president of a not for profit organization situation you just talked about. I'm not saying that I succeeded or failed.

Speaker 1:

I'm saying he did.

Speaker 2:

But I have some experience in this and for me the way was to meet early with as many people as openly as possible and not talk about my vision at all.

Speaker 3:

Right, that was the way to do it.

Speaker 2:

Right, because, amazingly, your vision is their vision. So when you start asking people what's important, you'll be amazed how quickly your thoughts come out of their mouth and all of a sudden it's their idea.

Speaker 1:

That's profound, Not your idea. That's really profound because really we do all want the same thing we do.

Speaker 2:

We do, and the message is different when you ask what's important to you, versus me saying this is what's important to me. It's different, it just is different.

Speaker 1:

Yeah Right, why wasn't I consulted on this?

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, well, I mean yeah.

Speaker 1:

You don't ever want to hear that from anybody you know.

Speaker 2:

You got to show up, you got to show up. You can't show up sporadically and then get upset. If you don't know everything, that's your fault, not the other people. That's right. That's right.

Speaker 1:

And the assumption that you are owed all the information that is currently at hand is a bad assumption, because not everybody, no one, knows all the information we don't know. Some people have a vision to do something and they're in a small group of men together and they were like yeah, that's a great idea, brother, let's give that a try. The brother takes off on it and does it, and everyone's excited about it. But then one person is like well, you know, this is interfering with my thing and it's like well, we had a meeting and you know it's like. It's like. The assumption is is that everything that I want to do should be taken seriously, over and against everything you want to do. That should be taken seriously and I think your approach is the best approach.

Speaker 2:

Is that your approach? That my I'm not in your mind when you pose the question. I'm curious to hear your answer to your own question.

Speaker 1:

Well, I knew where you were going to go, because I agree with you 100%. This is you used me yes, I did To say your idea. Look it, you're a genius. I'm not done using you, sir.

Speaker 3:

I like it, don't go there.

Speaker 1:

So I knew you would go there because I followed you and I've seen the way you did it and it is profound in that generally speaking masonry in a lodge environment where you've got a lot of guys, a lot of egos, a lot of ideas, everybody generally wants the same thing. We want to see the lodge prosper. We want to make new masons. We want to better ourselves. We want to better our community. We want to have fun. We want to enjoy ourselves Generally speaking, everybody wants that by coming to individuals and or small groups and saying, hey, what do you guys see in the future? What would you like to do? What is your good, your bad, your ugly? Where are you at with all this? And then you just moving forward with the general consensus that, at the end of the day, we don't want this to suck. That's the bottom line. I don't want masonry to suck so bad that I don't want to go there anymore, right?

Speaker 2:

It does seem to be a bit like we're in an interesting time in freemasonry. It's almost like a revitalization, I agree.

Speaker 1:

A word, a word, a word a word.

Speaker 3:

A renaissance. Well it's almost like what is a renaissance?

Speaker 2:

It's like a changing of something new that's also old.

Speaker 1:

I don't know how you Right, so a Reformation would be a Reformation Well that's a return? Well, maybe because that's a return to something from the past that was lost.

Speaker 2:

You're reforming more of a reformation, more it's kind of a a reformation.

Speaker 1:

I like to say it's, it's, it's an ascendancy to where it once was.

Speaker 2:

Yes right.

Speaker 1:

We want masonry to go back to the days where it was a very solemnly respected Member of the community right. You know the right. All right, that weird building with no windows on the end of the street. Yeah, that's a little weird, but the guys in there, they're awesome.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean we, we were coming out of our own lodge the last meeting.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

I believe, and a woman was walking by and started cursing at Worshipal Leonard who was coming out of our lot right was like oh, you're done with your Satan worshipping you evil, blah, blah, blah. I don't know what you're talking about. Man, she's like, you know what I'm talking about. And she was cursing at him and he said I'm a good Christian, I don't know what you're talking about. I don't know anything about what you just said. And she wasn't satisfied because she didn't get that.

Speaker 1:

She didn't get the reaction.

Speaker 2:

The reaction, she really wanted was for him to be all like how dare you man?

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 2:

And so that's alive and well today. And who do we have to blame for that? This is our town. We haven't been in our town enough showing people who we are.

Speaker 1:

That's our fault. Oh, good call, we need to get out there and show these guys.

Speaker 2:

We're here for you, we're here to help, and that's something we should work on in the future. If there was a public meeting in the leadership of our lodge and anyone asked an opinion. I would say maybe we should focus on that a little bit.

Speaker 1:

Right, yeah, if there were any kind of questions like that out there. Who knows, maybe there is, maybe there isn't, I don't know. Anyway, I just thought I'd bring it up. It was on my mind just arbitrarily, for no particular reason, and I thought you know it's and I like where we just went, I think the listeners probably did too.

Speaker 2:

All lodges, I bet, have the same issue.

Speaker 1:

How do you get? How do you get and I bet Grand Lodge has a lot to share about this as well is, how do you get the men of differing positions and different thoughts and ideas and egos to want the same vision, as the leader, as the worst master, without making it so bad that nobody wants to come anymore? And not only did you lose your vision, you lost your manpower, and it is a unique man who can pull it off. And I think your subscription, the direction you went, chris, was the right one is that this is a volunteer organization. Everybody matters, but not everybody can get everything they want.

Speaker 2:

So we all have to, but you will be hurt. You will be hurt.

Speaker 1:

Everyone deserves to be hurt, and respected Sure and you won't be gaveled.

Speaker 2:

You pay your dues, right? You're a member.

Speaker 1:

It's your lodge.

Speaker 2:

It's your lodge I think that's part of our issue is that we elevate individuals, and I was trying my wife and I watch a lot of documentaries and we were trying to define what a cult is.

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

And oftentimes, if you look at the definition of a cult, it does come down to elevating one charismatic individual to be like the supreme leader or whatever Right. That everyone has to listen to, and I'm afraid we might have gone too far in elevating our leadership, including even the masters of our lodge and say you're supreme in your leadership.

Speaker 3:

Right, no one can question you.

Speaker 2:

Right, ok, ok. But let's be real, it's a service job, it's a service job, you're really here to serve. You don't really get to vote on things or raise any kind of motion. It's like you're just a ringleader man. You're just supposed to be here to coordinate things and I like that we dedicate one person whose job is to bring light to the craft.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 2:

So that man's job is really to think about how can I help my lodge become better? How can I get more education in here? How can I get them better at their ritual work? Really that's the job of the master.

Speaker 1:

How can I foster that fellowship Like last night? Everybody was in the dining hall eating last night together and it was great I heard people laughing and joking I didn't either. I was the treasurer. I was in the office. That's all right. I served. Yeah, you were too, but as I walked in there, passed through there to go to the bathroom and run back into the office to get back on my computer. Everybody's having a great time.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome. I'm so happy to hear that yeah.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and it was pretty full.

Speaker 2:

Oh good.

Speaker 1:

The dining hall was, and so a lot of guys came out last night to our stated meeting and it was a stated meeting man, you know, there's not we do what we can.

Speaker 2:

It's a business meeting guys. We have our little trivia game. That's a that actually came about, so I'm sorry.

Speaker 1:

No, no trivia game Like they know what I'm talking about. We go ahead.

Speaker 2:

Explain. We do open education before lodge for 30 minutes after the meal for everybody. But then in the lodge we have Masonic education and we sometimes do that, have actual closed tiled Masonic education for the Masons. But we always do a trivia game. So we bring in a gift card. We have a list of questions with some answers. It's kind of topical the fellow craft degree, the master of recent charge. It's kind of like a topic, and whoever raises their hand after the question's asked gets to answer the question. First guy goes west of the altar. Once he's right, the rest of the craft keep going until we have two guys west of the altar and then those two alone answer trivia in a trivia off and the winner gets the gift card. And then we just kind of ask the rest of the questions in case we can go through them just to get some more education and we try to include some information. People might not know about the topic. So you had a game, you had fun, you want money, but guess what? You learned something.

Speaker 1:

You learned something along the way. We did the education in a fun way. We're kind of about education over here, a big time education, I mean think about it.

Speaker 2:

We're doing 30 minutes before. Sometimes we do 10, 15 minutes, in plus the trivia game. That's a lot of education that we still get out by 9 o'clock, mind you.

Speaker 1:

And Chuck 3.0, shout out to Chuck did a very good presentation last night on the masonry and the Nazi party and it was quite informative actually, people get really engaged in that, Because our education isn't someone reading from paper something he wrote and then sitting down.

Speaker 2:

Our educations tend to be somebody talking about a topic that they're kind of passionate and knowledgeable about, and then the conversation and the conversation is a big part of the education. So don't skimp on the questions and answers and back and forth and the things people talk about on that topic. That's kind of the best part of the education.

Speaker 1:

That's right. Yeah, I agree, I agree. And when we do the esoteric discussion group, getting men involved in discussion and drawing them out of their silence into discussion, it really helps everybody. Everybody learns, because you don't really when you hear yourself articulating a position. It's really different than how you say it inside your own head, isn't it? Yeah, and I have many, many long sessions in my office talking out loud and my wife knocks on the door and says who exactly are you talking to in there? It's like, well, no one yet, but eventually I will be.

Speaker 3:

So get out.

Speaker 2:

Get out of here I'm working can't you see?

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So yeah, the trivia game is. I think it's a great idea. It makes it fun.

Speaker 2:

What the esoteric thing you discussed is. You guys have probably seen we post pictures online of in-person groups that we have. You see the people showing up. This is multiple lodges in our district. The last meeting we had more than one district represented. Right A master from another district came down. And it was great he shared so much of a different perspective.

Speaker 1:

He brought so much to that conversation. Shout out Worshpill-Carroll.

Speaker 2:

And we had a new EA from our lodge that attended. Usually EAs from other lodges are there, but for once we had one of our guys there. So I was doing his catechism class last night and I was so curious what did you think about that? And the other EAs are around that weren't there and he was like absolutely blew my mind, like this is why I wanted to join the fraternity. That's awesome I didn't even know it could be that useful and cool what you guys did for us. He's like I felt heard Right, even though I was an EA. You guys at one point asked us specifically for our viewpoint and his apprentices, yeah. He's like I felt like you guys cared about what I was thinking and it was what I had to say mattered. And he's like I learned so much from listening to other people's point of views. I never thought that I could have an experience like that. So it's profound for a new Mason to come into an environment where they see Masonry. We talk about it a lot with entered apprentices right. We go over the catechism, memorizing the stuff, and we talk about it in the mentoring, but did they really see it? Do they see it? That's an opportunity for you to let them see and feel what Freemasonry is. Let it get into their hearts more than it already is. So we encourage everyone to start in your district. Think about doing an esoteric discussion night outside the lodge like this. We're publishing blog posts now, like we promised on our website.

Speaker 3:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

And we will start publishing agendas for esoteric discussion groups.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's kind of how to do it. As this year winds down Sorry, I'm going to cut you off, brother as this year winds down and we're freed up more and more, chris is super busy right now as Worshuffle Master and the Guardian of all things Masonry in District 23.

Speaker 2:

Not for much longer? Not for much longer, it's almost over.

Speaker 1:

Once that is over, and then I'll be freed up as well we promise you, dear listener, that we are definitely going to take this OTL, which is on the level, to the next level. We absolutely will, in a big way. Yeah, we're blowing it up.

Speaker 2:

We decided we just want to go ahead. So much resources and tools to help everyday, mason. That's our goal.

Speaker 1:

And that's what you guys have been telling us over and over. We get more and more people all around the world telling us that this is something that they want, this is something you guys want and need in your lives, and we have heard that, and we should be in a good position coming up this new year to absolutely fulfill that dream and desire, man.

Speaker 2:

So we will be in a good position. We will be, doesn't matter what happens in our lives, that's right, we will be, we'll go on.

Speaker 1:

It will go on, like we said in the very, very beginning you, you stuff me, you put me here and you look at me when you talk about stuff.

Speaker 2:

I want to be part of the show.

Speaker 3:

You know what I'm going. That's going to be maybe some digitized version.

Speaker 1:

You're good at that stuff, so there, digitize yourself Robot man and then yeah, and then we'll, we'll go that, we'll go that way, but yeah, so anyways, guys, keep listening, keep up the emails and the contact of support. We really, really appreciate it and good, good things are coming.

Speaker 2:

It's your show. We want you to be part of it. We want to definitely help you include some of the stuff that we're doing in your life and your lodges, that's right.

Speaker 3:

If it works for you, that's right.

Speaker 2:

Look for, looks for some big things.

Speaker 1:

Coming from absolutely, it's coming. It's coming, ok. So why are we here again? I forgot, oh right, so we're here to we're taking dance lessons, but we're talking.

Speaker 2:

Oh no, that's not till 10.

Speaker 1:

OK so AM so your hardcore dancers 10 AM on a Wednesday. Yes we'll be dancing with the stars.

Speaker 2:

No, we're talking about Masonic etiquette still.

Speaker 1:

Oh, that's right. Masonic etiquette. So this would be the second broadcast of our series on the etiquette book GL 208. Sorry, worsfield Kara, he's probably yelling right now out the correct name of it. Here's the problem I left my book at home again. Those of you who are at the discussion group will know what that means, because I left, oh, gl, gl 208. Got it Reprinted in 2010.

Speaker 2:

Nailed it.

Speaker 1:

And we nailed it and we went through some. Go back to the last one. Where we left off was Bible presentation, and I think that's on the sixth page, if I'm not mistaken. It is there we go. Sorry, and so I'll read it if you want, Chris, and then you can comment on it. We don't have any of this memorized. All of this is published. Doesn't matter if you're an EA, fellow craft or master Mason. You should know this. You should know where your copy it's a yellow cover copy of a book that you got when you were in.

Speaker 3:

EA.

Speaker 1:

So this book is somewhere with dust on it in your office. Please go get it, brother. I admonish you with all love and respect to go get it and to read it and to understand it, because it matters. This book speaks about Masonic etiquette in and out of the lodge, and I think it's important. We are supposed to be gentlemen. It actually uses that word.

Speaker 2:

Yes, repeatedly, that gentlemanly behavior is a hallmark of Freemasonry.

Speaker 3:

That's correct. That's correct.

Speaker 2:

If you want to be a good Mason, you got to start thinking more gentlemanly here.

Speaker 1:

Gentlemanly, using manners and slow and wise counsel and speech, and the way you carry yourself, that people men and women, men, women and children would look to you simply because of the way you carry yourself. And that's one of the ways to tell that if you're a man, a gentleman, people will trust you simply because of the way you live your life and the words you say. That doesn't come overnight and I'm not saying it's done to perfection. I certainly don't do it to perfection. I am an absolute slob at times.

Speaker 2:

It's a lifelong journey. It's a life-long journey. It's a baby steps that you got to take every day.

Speaker 3:

That's right.

Speaker 2:

And you'll never be perfect. You'll never reach the destination, but it's about the journey, right? Correct and every time you correct something you become a little more confident in fixing the next thing and they start to build and snowball and your progress gets faster and faster.

Speaker 1:

Correct, correct. So it's gentlemanhood, gentlemanliness. I can't believe I said that you can say anything if you started it, Excuse me sir. Yes, that's right, that's the gentleman's fighting words. Excuse me, sir, a gentleman's only comeback is good day, sir, and good day to you.

Speaker 2:

Good day sir.

Speaker 1:

That's your only comeback.

Speaker 2:

They can't pretend. Good day to your mother.

Speaker 1:

They're really not allowed to say anything else. Good day, sir. I like what they say in parliament. When somebody asks a question that's unnecessary, they say. I refer my esteemed colleague to the answer I gave a moment ago.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, in America we're like I just told you, a-ho, that's right.

Speaker 1:

Don't you listen? What's wrong with you over there? Shut up and sit down.

Speaker 2:

You have to start with it. Excuse me, sir, I just told you A-ho and then you're a gentleman, maybe not? Maybe not.

Speaker 1:

Perhaps we should keep reading All right, page 2, gl-208, the 2010 revised version Bible presentation. Our regulations prescribe that the Bible used in the Lodrum should be the unadorned holy Bible. It is not believed that this prohibits the presentation to a new brother of a Bible bearing the square and compass on the back, the remainder of the covering being plain and of a solid color. Nor does it prohibit the use of the Bible having a page in the front for recording presentation. It goes without saying that no one new member is to be singled out for such presentation, that if the Lodge authorizes such presentation, then the Bible should be presented to each member thus received. When so presented. The officiant presenting the same should deliver a short and dignified message as to the place the holy Bible occupies in Masonry and its significance and binding effect upon every Mason. In parentheses, the C also presents to candidate. I don't know what that means, but we'll figure that out. So, anyways, the Bible that's on our I think there's more to be said in this other part presents. So we'll get there, it looks like. So the one that sits on our altar is the King James Version, the authorized King James Version, and it seems to bring a little bit of controversy with it.

Speaker 2:

I think the spirit of this is that they don't want a God-y book.

Speaker 3:

Oh, right right.

Speaker 2:

You know what I mean. It's profound enough on its own. It doesn't need that. It doesn't need that gold leaf, flowery things flowing off of it. It's profound enough, the written words on the pages. And so let's focus on that, right. Let's just have the scriptures open, correct. We're doing business and not focus on our distractions from the shiny. Whatever that book had, we have used the Masonic Bible in the past on our altar. It does have a picture on the cover.

Speaker 1:

I remember that. I remember seeing that it's gone now.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we're trying to get to a more plain looking Bible, which is what we use today. I don't think it's over adorned. I don't think we have any over adorned scriptures in our body.

Speaker 1:

No, the one that you're talking about did have a portrait on the cover of. I believe it was John the Baptist, but it was a portrait which was inappropriate. It's not supposed to be clearly by this standard here. That's not supposed to be. That's the reason why we removed it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and we're always learning and trying to do things the right way, correct. So there you go. You need to have a fairly simple, authorized In Florida. We have to have an actual Christian Bible on the altar.

Speaker 1:

That is correct.

Speaker 2:

It is law, we are allowed to obligate other brothers under their books of faith and they can be on the altar. Florida work says that we remove it very quickly after the obligation so that the one book remains the focus.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so during our last era esoteric discussion group that did come up. That came up, yeah, and I learned something.

Speaker 2:

I guess we were talking about this.

Speaker 1:

We were talking about it and it seems so long ago, right. But I you know, I've you know, everybody knows. You know my particular faith, being from the Christian faith. So you know the scriptures that I've studied for 35 years and theology that I've studied. So to me, the Bible is very, very familiar for me.

Speaker 2:

You're dispensational premillennialism.

Speaker 1:

No, I'm not a premillennial dispensationalist.

Speaker 3:

I just learned that.

Speaker 2:

I just wanted to use it because it sounds smart.

Speaker 3:

If you say it.

Speaker 1:

I'll tell you what sounds smarter is. I am a never, mind.

Speaker 2:

I like to hear myself talk. That's the problem. Go back.

Speaker 1:

You were talking about the esoteric discussion group and this Right, right and so I, what I learned is and I'm always like trying to figure out, lord, you know what? What do I do? I'm a, I'm a, I'm a Christian man who happens to be a Mason. Yeah, and it it for me. It has so sharpened my faith within my own mind and caused me to dig deeper and deeper and deeper into all of this teaching, and I hope everybody has this experience. You know that you're digging deeper and deeper into what you believe and why you believe it. But I I came to this conclusion during that time and the conversation was about why the Christian? Why in Florida? Does it have to be the actual old and new Testament, the King James 1611 authorized version of the Holy Scriptures, which has been the rule and guide for all Christian doctrine and behavior for thousands of years Well, since 1611, as far as that particular canonized version goes, and all of these things. But for me, I came to the conclusion that the reason it's it's on that altar. The reason why in Florida it's there, is because that's where we get all of our analogies and teachings from Right. It doesn't necessarily preach. You know, if you open up that Bible, go to the book of the gospel of John and read it. Okay, you're going to find a lot more than Masonry in there, bro, and but but the reason why it's it's the standard for this state is not for any religious reasons. It's because that's where you find Solomon, that's where you find the temple, that's where you find, that's where you find the King of Tyre, that's where you find Hiram Abif, that's where you find Sikh. Knock, ask, it's all in there. And that's what's used for our degree work, for the, the analogies we use for living a good life, for squaring your work by the, the. You know the virtue, virtues, all that stuff.

Speaker 2:

Like you said, the characters that we use in our stories to teach moral lessons all come from there.

Speaker 1:

Moral lessons come from there. That's why it's there. It's not promoting any one religion. We are not a religion. Masonry is not a religion. We are a group of brothers of it's a fraternity of religious brothers, of men who believe that there is a God, and we come together and and all are welcome with under the roof, as long as we all treat each other with gentleness and respect with regard to our individual belief structures From that place. I've said it before and I will say it again and again and again there is no other place like that on this planet currently. I don't know if there's ever been a place where people from different faiths can sit and enjoy a meal together, discuss their differences in harmony and come away at being better men. For it, I just it's, it's worth the price of admission, baby, right there, I'm telling you, man, it's, it's an, it's an amazing thing. Anyway, I'm I'm going on a little bit here. Help me out.

Speaker 2:

The one kind of hot topic that came out of this in our discussion group was and I I actually agree with the dissenting view of against Grand Lodge here is because I've been the senior deacon and I've been in this position. So you have a Jewish brother who's obligating himself on the Torah, the Tanakh.

Speaker 1:

Oh, tanakh, okay, it's great.

Speaker 2:

Yep. And then you have the obviously Christian Bible for the other guys that are potentially going with him. And so you, you know we don't want to get into details here, but we do take our obligations together and we take our obligations on the books that are sacred to us and we allow that in free masonry it's totally okay, totally common, especially in Florida, to have that happen. But in Florida our rules say basically, as soon as that's over, you take that book right off of, right in front of them, take it off. And that's where I personally feel it's quite disrespectful to the person to remove it while they're still there right in front of them. It seems like it would be more compassionate to wait until later, point, when they're not right in front of it, to remove it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I don't. Do you know the reason why that is? I don't.

Speaker 2:

I really don't know. I just know it only recently became. Somebody made this rule just a couple of years ago, wow, and I don't know what the spirit of it is, but I know it's tough. It's tough to be the person to yank that book off in front of the brother.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and get rid of it.

Speaker 2:

It seems a little bit disruptive to the entire process anyway, I mean, that's where the only confrontation I think came in with our discussion was a lot of people apparently feel that way.

Speaker 3:

Interesting.

Speaker 2:

We should probably wait until we're at break or something, when no one's around, and then remove it and no one will even notice it's gone then.

Speaker 1:

Right, right, because the the jewels stay on the original one anyway.

Speaker 2:

Correct.

Speaker 1:

And that's a new rule also.

Speaker 2:

We only have we used to have jewels on each of the books.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

And now we only have one book with jewels, which is way better, right, so way better.

Speaker 1:

For me personally. I know the scriptures. Like I said, I've studied theology for many, many years and I have no problem with it because it always comes down to the same thing. You know, if you truly believe something, can it stand the test, any test, you know. So if it, can Right so it should be able to stand the test, and can you defend your position and your beliefs in a way that you know that is respectable for others? And are you confident enough? Am I confident enough to see that the King James version of the scriptures is sitting next to the Tanakh on a Masonic altar while we do a degree? Of course. Of course. It's really the spirit of it is about that, brother.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

He's coming in. He's bringing with him something from his life that we knew nothing about before we met him, and this is we're accommodating him in that way. Now, as you know, do I want to be able to teach him something about my life? Yes, do I want to learn something about his life? Yes, I do. I do, but I don't understand the reason behind it. Maybe, if somebody out there is listening and they know why that came about, I'd really like to be educated on that too, I'd be curious to know too. Yeah, I really would be, because if anything, it seems just all right. So all of a sudden, everybody knows where the part of our degree that we're talking about right there.

Speaker 2:

They do.

Speaker 1:

And it's always a bit hard to negotiate. Anyway, it seems to be, at least in our lodge it does. There's a lot going on there, we've drawn blood during that time and that small space. Yeah, yeah. So it just seems disruptive at that point. Just leave it there and move on, but I'd like to know why. All right, next one is Brother is a title. I read that forever saying Brother as a title, but it doesn't say that.

Speaker 2:

It says Brother is a title right, it's the title, it's the one we all joined for it's the great equalizer man.

Speaker 1:

You can have a bunch of letters before and after your name, which I respect if you've made your way through.

Speaker 2:

It's kind of ridiculous. Let's be honest, I have several titles now.

Speaker 3:

Right, you do, it's quite annoying.

Speaker 1:

It's quite annoying.

Speaker 2:

And it's hard because, like we had, brother Marty Sia was talking about something in the lodge last night and he was trying to tell stories of many people in our district that are leadership and good. Lord getting the titles right takes longer than the story Right right, it's ridiculous yeah yeah, okay, so we have a past district deputy who's a current sitting master. His proper title is Right, worshipal, worshipal Master.

Speaker 1:

That's the proper title.

Speaker 2:

That is currently his title it doesn't just roll off the tongue and you don't say it every day, so you really got to think about it when you say it, and no one ever says it right. So it's almost like ah man. And he caught it after he said Right, worshipal, right, honorable, right, worshipal, right, worshipal, worshipal. He was like you know what.

Speaker 1:

Brother. He just wanted a brother.

Speaker 2:

Brother and everyone was like thank you. Thank you Please just call them all brothers. Let's get to the story Right. We don't need to spend more time focused on the titles than the point, and the titles, in my opinion, get in the way a little bit. I've been master in introducing Grand Lodge officers and holy cow, it's stressful to remember. Is it grand something or is it something grand? And it's tough? And then they're also right worshipals and you know, illustrious in this degree and over there you're something else. It's, it's it's, it is hard to get all these titles right, and for an organization that's so focused on equality, we have a lot of titles.

Speaker 3:

We have a lot of titles.

Speaker 2:

So let's just stick to brother. If you're struggling, don't struggle. No one wants to hear you struggle, just say brother.

Speaker 1:

That's and that's what this is going to say here, I'm sure, and I remember first early on in my Masonic career bumping in I would almost avoid Right Worshipal Haber. You didn't want to say it, because I couldn't figure it out and in my mind I'm going at 100 miles an hour. Okay, it's right. Worshipal District Deputy Grand Master.

Speaker 3:

Haber.

Speaker 1:

Right and I'm in my head I got it, I got it I stick my hand on. I'm like, oh he's, he looks at me and you know, and you know, you know, Haber is he's like, just call me brother, just call me brother you did that. Well, yeah, just call me brother, and it's just like ah. And from that day forward I just felt like yeah, I get, I get it, I get that, so anyway honestly the people that that that got titles that earn those titles, don't care about the titles. Don't care about the titles, yeah.

Speaker 2:

I mean, we do it out of respect, I do it to I really want to get people's respect for the position? Sure, yeah, that's correct and you want to show the person you respect them, so you want to say their title right. And then it can be stressful because you really want to get it right. Yeah because you're like man. I just made it worse when I got the wanted to be respectful and now he thinks I'm a tool, right.

Speaker 1:

I just wanted to do it right. I tried so hard and now I look like an idiot. It's hard.

Speaker 2:

Don't feel bad if you can't get the titles right. It is hard. When a lot of titles and you don't say them often. So when in doubt, pull the ultimate title brother. Just call my brother brother.

Speaker 1:

In the usages of Freemasonry, brother is neither a sentimental nor familiar form of address, but it is a title, as much so as worshipful, right, honorable right, worship or most worshipful, and must always be used as such. A man does not attain a lodge communicate. A man does not attend a lodge communication in his capacity as a private individual. He is not just Joe or Bill or John, but is there in his capacity as a Mason. For this reason one should never in open lodge, refer to Bill be, but always to brother be in the same literal sense as any other office of the lodge or grand lodge. So that means that you know, as you would address most worshipful bishop, the same in the same spirit. Brother Chris is in the same spirit. Yeah, you know, and that's that's what it's saying here. It doesn't matter who it is or what their title is. You should always refer to them with their ultimate title, which is brother.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and we've now interviewed grandmasters. We have told us that that's right, I don't mind being called brother.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah absolutely.

Speaker 2:

Yep, like I like for you to think of me as your brother instead of this other thing. Yeah, because I am.

Speaker 1:

I'm your brother, yeah, and you know it's. It's just as cringy and awkward for them to watch you struggle, yeah, as it is for you to struggle through it when in their heart they're they're thinking of self. Just call me brother, man.

Speaker 3:

We're brothers.

Speaker 1:

I started where you started, I'm, I'm where I am and you're where you are, and we are brothers. Always address a grand lodge officer at any communication by his correct title and he in turn must show the same courtesy to other grand lodge officers present, as well as the worshipful master and to the brethren of the lodge.

Speaker 2:

So everyone's a brother, but only call them by their titles in the grand lodge when must learn right on the most worshipful. You've got to say those titles in open lodge, I think is what they're saying when, when, when.

Speaker 1:

When you're in an actual called communication, you should always use those titles and you know as as part of addressing them. This rule of etiquette should be punctuously observed, punctualistically observed. No matter what ties of family or friendship may exist.

Speaker 2:

So even your buddy needs to be used the proper title. Yeah right, that's right.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so like I'm supposed to call you Worshful Burns. Right, I should not be saying yo, what up, dude. So even in, and this rule of etiquette is to be punctuously observed, which I would assume means everywhere, all the time Observed, no matter what ties, family or friendship may exist. So technically, I should be referring to you as Worshful Burns, and I know if I do that you're going to hit me over the head with a nerf bat.

Speaker 3:

So I guess I understand, because we're supposed to be gentlemen, and so this is a gentlemanly thing to do is to learn the titles and use them properly. Right.

Speaker 2:

But I guess it also says a fallback of brother shouldn't be the end of the world, right?

Speaker 1:

That's right.

Speaker 2:

If you just can't get it, just please say brother and move on. Yeah, but don't go around calling everybody brother, try to get the titles right, if you can.

Speaker 1:

I think you should, and in the work we're required to use titles in the war.

Speaker 2:

It's Florida works.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 2:

You've got to learn them, at least in that extent you got to know them. Please, if you're a junior warden, senior warden or master or junior Dinker, anyone that's going to say, right, worshful District, deputy Grandmaster, maybe spend a few minutes saying it a couple of times, because, right, honorable those you are going to say they are part of the ritual work and if you don't say it, right, yeah, it's kind of well, like Master Mason Association, we do a school of instruction afterwards.

Speaker 1:

Yeah and right, honorable broom.

Speaker 2:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Is is is acting in his position, even though it's not a college communication. He is giving instruction to the group, so you refer to him as right, honorable broom, that's the way it's proper. So to shout out across the room, yo broom, what's up, man? That would be inappropriate, even though we're not in a called communication.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, he's doing his function of his job. He's doing his job in his function.

Speaker 1:

He should be referred to in that way. That's correct. Yeah, that's good. I mean, that's good information. Next is Chaplain. Oh brother Chaplain, and it goes on, it goes on a bit.

Speaker 2:

Essentially, our chaplains are supposed to be the person connecting with the sick and infirm and elderly brothers of the lodge and just really making sure he's the advocate for them in the officer's line.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

Making sure that we are all not forgetting about the brothers that are sick, any brothers that can't make it to lodge, any brothers that you know are dealing with any kind of long term health or even short term health problems. It's his job to be in touch and in tune with that and make sure the craft is aware. And also in many lodges, like we just did, we have a brother who had a heart procedure, worshipful, not going to say his name in case he doesn't want his medical information out there but, he did and it was mentioned in the lodge bought some cards and we all signed them and the chaplain did that. The chaplain's coordinating, sending him our thoughts and prayers through him. Right so he's kind of like that's the center of that for the lodge. I don't know what the book is going to say, but I think it's basically saying that in a nutshell.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so I'm an ordained chaplain. I've been one for many years. I've done hospital work and jail, jail ministry. Can you bless me as a chaplain? I can, of course I'll sneeze. Far be it from me not to bless my brother. But the word chaplain is an interesting word. It comes from it's a French word is where it comes from, and it comes from Chappelle, which was that the king of France his. He had an attendant that would hold his cloak, so the king's cloak could never touch the ground and it had to be protected at all times. So when the king took off his cloak he handed the chaplain, or he handed his cloak to the chaplain and he was the one who tended the king. He was also protector and minister of the king. So that's where the word chaplain comes from Protector of the king. Protector and minister to and of the king to the people. So he was kind of like the king's right hand man.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so he was right.

Speaker 1:

So chaplaincy, like in the military, a chaplain is, he is. He's the one who, if, like a Christian chaplain, a Muslim chaplain, a Jewish chaplain in the military, is the right hand man of the church. So he's the one who's out in the field representing the church to the people who need to hear from their faith. He's the go between in the field of battle, in the in, you know, in the trenches. That's what chaplains do. So you know me as a. When I worked at Manatee Memorial Hospital I was on the chaplain corps and whenever somebody they feel you know, if you ever been in the hospital, you fill out that, that piece of paper and it asks you what religion you are. Well, if you were to check Christian, then that that goes into the computer and the computer finds out who's next on the roster and then we're responsible for going up there and saying did, do you? Hi, I see that you. You check that you are a Christian, or if you were a Muslim or or or a Jewish person. Whatever Do you need do? Would you like me to sit with you, talk with you? Do you need us to pray with you? Do you want? You know some people would be like, oh, I'm so glad you're here and the other people are like oh, I don't know, I just checked it because my parents were and now get out, you know. But but that's, that's where the, the whole idea behind chaplain comes from. If he and, I think, in Misson, in Masonry we're about to find out here by reading it but it's, it's that, like you kind of said, he represents the, the, the worshipful master and Masonry to the brother outside who's hurting or inside who's hurting. So he's the liaison, he's the guy in the trenches that goes like we ask, we ask all the time. Brother Chaplain, are there any distress, any reports of distress? Yeah well, he's supposed to know that right, because he's the guy in the trenches making the phone calls and getting that and people call him and he calls them to find out where they are. Now, some chaplains do that work better than others, obviously, but but that's kind of the idea behind it and that's where the word comes from, chaplain.

Speaker 2:

It's an important role.

Speaker 1:

It's a very important role.

Speaker 2:

You're not in the progressive line, which some people don't like, right? But think about that. That means you're an officer who's going to run through. The only other officers like that are the treasurer and the secretary.

Speaker 1:

Yes, you're on that level right.

Speaker 2:

You're the institution. You're helping the new masters and the new officers.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you sit at the left hand of the east.

Speaker 2:

I mean you're involved in everything in your opinion should be really greatly appreciated, because you're like the legacy of the watch, right? Yeah, there's not many people at an officer's meeting who have been there year after year. Chaplain should be one of them.

Speaker 1:

You have the opportunity to be the point man for the physical needs of your people Huge, huge. I love the chaplaincy work I did. I was a chaplain for Sarasota County Jail for all of 2013. Some of the best experiences of my life being able to go in there every night, every Sunday night. For 52 Sundays in a row. I was able to go in there and create relationships with men, some who went on to completely turn their lives around. You know, few, there's few, but some that did, and it was just an incredible experience. But you're literally in the business of tending to the needs of others, yeah, and to me. If I could do that full time, I would, but that's that's a dream. That's gone a different direction. Chaplain, as an officer of the lodge and while acting in the capacity, the correct place for the chaplain is to be seated during a communicate. For the chaplain to be seated during a communication is to the left and in front of the worshipful master. The prayers at the opening and closing of the lodge may be offered by the chaplain while kneeling at the altar or while standing at his place, at the option of the worshipful master. The scriptures assigned to this, to the circumambulations, should be recited by the chaplain standing in his place of the lodge. Yeah, we do have.

Speaker 2:

Florida work at details when he stands, when he sits when he says things when he doesn't.

Speaker 1:

So that is all spelled out and your combined floor workbook, which I hope you all have chaplain standing in his place in the lodge. Sorry, I lost my spot here and should, should not be read. I didn't know that.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you're supposed to memorize these prayers.

Speaker 1:

Now I was always told that chaplains. The reason why the chaplain spot is a bit attractive for some people is because they don't have to memorize everything.

Speaker 2:

That's the wrong way to look at it. I think if you're new, maybe you're not going to be expected to do it right out of the gate, but it should be an expectation that before the end of your first year you're doing it by memory.

Speaker 1:

Okay, okay, so it says it right here. So that's obviously true. The chaplain has otherwise so little to render. The chaplain has otherwise so little to render that the memorization of these portions should not prove burdens into him.

Speaker 2:

Whoa, that's right. Well, you're not learning all the different parts and all the degrees like the other officers.

Speaker 3:

That's true.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's right, you just have these to learn, so it should be easy for you to get it. Look at what all the other guys are learning.

Speaker 1:

That's true. That's true. I mean any, what do you know?

Speaker 2:

junior warden already, you know junior deacon, you know. You know all these different roles right right different degrees to they just have to learn the prayers, which are all written out.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, they don't need any help, and it's the same every time, so you should be able to get it. It's not? It shouldn't prove it shouldn't prove to be burdensome to him. No, only the adopted ritual prayers as founded in the official Florida monitor shall be used in opening, closing and during degree conferrals, except that the chaplain may add some words of his own at the end of the opening and or closing prayer in non sectarian language and in good taste. I love that.

Speaker 2:

Well, we are so lucky, Our chaplain is the best chaplain out Chaplain Joel brother Joel Furman. I mean, he's a competition chaplain.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, he's great he did many times and flawlessly.

Speaker 2:

But he doesn't just know our work, he knows the, the Canadian charge right. And he has very various other flavors of prayers that he does add to the opening and closing after the proper ones. Yeah so we're just so lucky. He knows all of the prayers and all the circumambulation for all the degrees from memory and he knows all the charges. He's got a brown card, which means you know all that stuff and you can do a pen presentations and 25 year presentations. He's got it all.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and he's such a humble man, you know, and once he wants the best for that position, you know he's yes, he's willing to train.

Speaker 2:

See that. So our chaplain, when was this last month? Yeah made an announcement that he won't be continuing.

Speaker 3:

Right, right.

Speaker 2:

And literally in open lodge, requested anyone interested to get in touch with him so that he can personally make sure that he trains them and that they learn everything before they're installed. Yeah so they can abide by the Masonic etiquette book.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I love that he just takes such ownership and pride in it. And the reason why he's stepping down is he says he's got some health reasons that he's not comfortable with the way he's doing it. I am completely comfortable, brother, with the way you're doing it, but I get it.

Speaker 2:

His issue is that he's losing his hearing. He has been progressively so. He's been learning sign language for years to prepare for this, so he can't hear 90% of what happens in our meeting. Can you imagine sitting through one?

Speaker 1:

of our meetings and not knowing 90% of the time. What's going on? That would drive me nuts.

Speaker 2:

It drives him nuts.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I can see that.

Speaker 2:

And I actually learned the sign of Brother Chaplain, lead us in prayer in case it got that bad for him. We did that together, he showed me.

Speaker 3:

Oh, that's cool.

Speaker 2:

But he's still able to hear it. We talk loud. He can hear it. He kind of knows when to do it, and so he's powering through. But yeah, next year he doesn't have a desire to. Well, I'd be present and not know what's happening.

Speaker 1:

I hope that doesn't mean we won't see him.

Speaker 2:

Oh no, he'll be around. Yeah, yeah and I hope he's there.

Speaker 1:

I think Marty's taken over, right, brother Marty Sykes is going to be Chaplain.

Speaker 2:

So, that's what I'm hearing. They're working together. They're working together already. He's teaching him to memorize this, and Marty's a great man.

Speaker 1:

We love Marty and we're so glad he's part of our lodge man. He's cool man. I don't know why there's always an incur. He's one of those guys. There's always an encouraging word. When Marty's walking towards you, you know what's coming and he's just going to put his arm around you and he's just going to say I love you, brother, this, that and the other, but it's always going to be an encouraging word and he reminds me of what it's supposed to be. That reminds especially when I'm having a really rotten day and I really want to choose somebody's head off. It's nice that Marty's got that spirit that I covet so much. I'm not that way by nature. I'm the opposite. So, anybody who has that spirit in them by nature is something that I aspire to. Correspondence, masonic correspondence, this is interesting. When addressing male to a brother Mason, do not put his title as such on the envelope. It should be addressed as honorable John Doe. I didn't know that In the salutation of the letter the title should appear as right. Semicolon period w semicolon period John Doe with his address and then dear brother Doe. That's interesting.

Speaker 2:

That was it. So you will be getting correspondence from Grand Lodge, right, you will be.

Speaker 1:

Yes, because you have, because you signed me up for stuff I wasn't aware of, you will be.

Speaker 2:

And this is exactly how it's going to look. They follow these to the T.

Speaker 1:

Well, I know, on my Treasury report I learned to brother dot semicolon period Fred Packwood, so I know to do that, so I get that. But it's interesting that on the cover of the letter Honorable, honorable, h-o-n period and then the name should be on that. So when I get my monthly trestle board I'll have to look and see if that's how it's addressed.

Speaker 2:

If not, somebody's head's rolling.

Speaker 1:

Somebody's head's going to roll.

Speaker 3:

Why wasn't I told about this?

Speaker 2:

Oh, man Can't make that stuff up.

Speaker 1:

Here's one that we might end on this one We'll see Discussion in Lodge. I know, let's do this, let's do this. So OK, we've dealt with this in our lodge, just so everybody knows.

Speaker 2:

High level. I, as the master and the fan of lettering everyone speak their peace until they're satisfied, correct. I understand that that is not a prominent way of thinking. People want to just get out as quickly as they can. That's kind of what people are more focused on than hearing everyone out. But when you have an amendment to raise your dues, for example, a lot of people are going to come and they're all going to have an opinion and you saw it at Grand Lodge. The way that we accommodate, that is, we say all right, this number of people will speak for it, this number of people will speak against it, you'll have X number of minutes each to speak, and then that will be, it, and so that way you get a representation of the pros and cons from the craft. But in general, everyday meetings, we don't need to do that. Brothers can just follow the guidelines here in the Masonic etiquette. But, anyway, we should be good.

Speaker 1:

Guidelines, which are all sectarian discussion, all argument or statement pro or con as to the merits of civil politics or any given religion or theological creed or racial questions or private businesses or of any other non-Masonic subject by which masons might be divided into classes, feuds, schisms or opposed schools. Ooh no, sports talk Is at all times forbidden. It is strictly forbidden to discuss a petitioner. Or it is strictly forbidden to discuss a petitioner or for a Mason to reveal how he has voted or in any way to seek to persuade members to vote one way or another on a petitioner. All uses of personalities, all expressions of bitterness or ill-will, acrimoniousness, and all, any, all or any slurs upon the lodge or its officers, grand lodge or its officers and the fraternity itself, and all flippant, unseemly or discourteous remarks addressed to the lodge or its officers are condemned alike by the principles of common courtesy and etiquette and by the disciplinary laws of the craft Wow.

Speaker 2:

Wow, disciplinary laws can come into effect. Interesting.

Speaker 1:

Man, that's pretty heavy man. So sectarian discussions and arguments and it really boils down to that one statement right there. That would cause schism and separation and disharmony. That's what it's all about, and we talked about this before on the show. When I first came to the lodge, there was this belief that there's this hard fast rule that you cannot talk about anything of a religious nature or a political nature, and if you do, the thought police are coming your way to shut you up Like ever.

Speaker 2:

Like ever. Some people thought that as a Mason, you just can't ever talk about this stuff.

Speaker 1:

Right, but they're Mason and my question is well then, what do we talk about that has any kind of meaning or substance? What we adopted, I think we killed it.

Speaker 2:

We successfully killed it, we killed it, we killed it Way of thinking, at least in our lodge, and I think it may be spreading to other lodges.

Speaker 1:

I hope so, but what we came up with was the concept that first thing were grown men and were masons, so we should be able to have a conversation about anything Anything at all with gentleness and respect with regard to the other person's feelings, and that we have adopted in our lodge, and it works very well.

Speaker 3:

It works very well.

Speaker 1:

Nobody's ever walking away offended because somebody barked at them their viewpoint on some political issue, and I know that does happen in lodges.

Speaker 2:

It shouldn't happen in the lodge.

Speaker 3:

It should never happen.

Speaker 2:

What we're talking about here in the etiquette book is during the stated meetings.

Speaker 3:

Correct, that is right.

Speaker 2:

In the open lodge we treat each other more respectfully, we use our proper titles, we behave more gentlemanly and you don't talk about anything that's going to cause disharmony or disrepute to the brother or the fraternity right.

Speaker 1:

It says it right here in black and white yeah, that's right.

Speaker 2:

It does not say and, furthermore, you shall not go home and talk to your friends about anything important.

Speaker 3:

It doesn't say that Right right.

Speaker 2:

It says in the lodge. You need to be thinking about and not doing these things, because they do cause disharmony and they would probably I mean it would it's just we're too crazy divided in this country for it not to affect people. So, and anything it says, anything. Religion and politics are two great examples, but it's not the only ones given there.

Speaker 1:

It says anything, like you said, sports that could divide.

Speaker 3:

If it could divide you. I'm thinking about you, johnny Schaefer, you Eagles.

Speaker 1:

Philadelphia Eagles fan.

Speaker 2:

Cincinnati.

Speaker 1:

I don't know anything about sports, but it came up John will cut you, man, He'll cut you oh yeah, he'll cut you man.

Speaker 2:

Try to move her open houses, because it interfered with his football season. Sorry.

Speaker 3:

You're down right.

Speaker 2:

But it did happen in Lodge last night and according to the etiquette book it was incorrect to be done. Somebody made a joke about a sports team that our senior warden likes and it didn't do well, and they were making a little jab at them. That was fun and playful but that could cause some disharmony because people get really attached to their freaking sports team.

Speaker 3:

Oh man, I know.

Speaker 2:

I guess you got to be careful with that stuff and also the making jokes that could be offensive to people or cause them to feel like they were made fun of or belittled in their way. I think it goes back to our original statement.

Speaker 1:

You're a grown man and you're a Mason. You know when you've gone too far. You know when a joke, when a comment, you know you can tell by the body language of the person you're talking to, by the way it's being received. When you're saying something that you already know is potentially off cuff and then all of a sudden the crowd goes silent, it's probably time to stop saying it and think about it. Because you're a Mason. Check yourself. Check yourself before you wreck yourself, because at the end of the day, what we want to do is it's OK to share what you believe and why you believe it. But if you're not doing it with the view to teach and to share and to educate and to be a part of the conversation, then you might as well not do it at all, because it's not going anywhere, it's not for educational purpose, it's not Masonic and at the end of the day, you're only harming your own reputation. You're going to get a name there as a guy. That's constantly. You know. There's always trouble. There's always this guy every time this guy talks. After a while, your reputation will precede you and you don't want that. We're a Mason. We're supposed to be gentlemen. That's what this whole book is about being a gentleman, a Mason, caring for the needs, the feelings, the thoughts, yes, even the feelings and thoughts.

Speaker 2:

Excuse me, sir, I care not for your thoughts or feelings. Good day, sir.

Speaker 1:

There see, gentlemanly argument just happened, all right here this is not to say that a master Mason, particularly one who has acted as a representative in Grand Lodge, should not inform the craft fully and completely as to what has taken place in Grand Lodge. Such a report can be rendered truthfully and with dignity and without the use of personalities, and this rule of course should always be observed. A brother wishing to participate in a discussion in open lodge should always rise and address the worshipful master. He should speak on the subject at issue in the fewest possible words, not using his privilege of the floor as an opportunity to deliver a speech merely for his own sake.

Speaker 2:

Is this thing on? Hello. Could you repeat that last sentence just one more time in case people weren't listening, because it's incredibly important?

Speaker 1:

He should speak on the subject at issue in the fewest possible words Wait, I don't think I said that right. Fewest possible words, not using his privilege of the floor as an opportunity to deliver a speech merely for his own sake.

Speaker 2:

There you go. A lot of people violate that one.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

A lot of people violate that one.

Speaker 1:

Now look, I get it. No one likes to hear themselves talk more than me. I totally get it. I am my favorite subject, make no mistake about it. But we have to resist the desire to get up there and drone on about things that are not like it says. Don't use your privilege of the floor as an opportunity to deliver a speech for your own sake, because what happens is that silence that you notice while you're talking. There's a reason for it. There's a definite reason for it, because everybody knows what you're doing and it's just cringy and you don't want to do it. I'm telling you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, don't be afraid to talk. I mean, I would encourage people to participate more and stand up and speak, but this is a very clear admonishment that you should think about what your point is and get to it as quickly as possible.

Speaker 1:

Correct. That's what it's saying. Think through what you're going to say, say it and be done.

Speaker 2:

Get to the point of it.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

You don't need to add a personal story or color it or use a few extra words and draw it out. Get to the point, say what you got to say.

Speaker 3:

Right and sit down.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so that somebody else can come up and say what they have to say. We have a limited amount of time in our meetings. Everyone wants to get out of a reasonable hour. We care about what you have to say, but there are people that they talk.

Speaker 3:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

And they're telling a story and they're relating it to something in their life to make their point, and then they sit down and somebody else says something and they pop right back up and respond to that.

Speaker 3:

Right.

Speaker 2:

Did you have to do that? Did you really need to further anything that you didn't say the first time? Those are the kind of things we have to think about, right, because when you start popping up and having a conversation in front of everybody he talks, then I talk, then he talks, then I talk that's really got no place in the lodge. Right, I say my point and I sit down. He says his point and he sits down, and that should be the end of it.

Speaker 1:

Right, exactly, I think a lot of guys feel like they might want to do presentations or do speeches and stuff.

Speaker 3:

And that's great.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. That's great. You should do that. It's not as easy as it looks. Let me just share that with you, but if you feel that that's something you want to do, I would encourage you to pursue it. It's part of the seven liberal arts and scientists. One of them is rhetoric, and that's the ability to portray through words ideas and thoughts. For the purpose of teaching Learning rhetoric, the art of rhetoric, is part of what Masonry is all about. I encourage you to do that and sometimes I feel like there's brothers out there who feel like they want to get up. These opportunities to stand up in open lodge and say a few words is their opportunity to practice on their rhetoric or to be heard and to try it out. That's not the place, brother. If that's something you want to do, there's lots of opportunities. Put together a presentation for Masonic education and get on the list.

Speaker 3:

That's a great way to talk.

Speaker 1:

That's a great way to do it. It doesn't have to be, you don't have to be Plato, man or Aristotle here. You just put together something that you think that's important to you and you think the brothers would appreciate, and then get out there and do it, man. Don't do it in lodge while we're all trying to get out of there by 930.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, and don't have a conversation in front of people in open lodge either. Save it for later.

Speaker 1:

Save, please. So one thing.

Speaker 2:

Or, if you think it's going to happen, request a committee before so that you can go talk about it outside the lodge.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely, absolutely. Something jumped out at me here. Let's see, the brother wishing to participate in a discussion in open lodge should always rise and address the Worshipful Master.

Speaker 2:

This also gets broken a lot, a lot.

Speaker 1:

So I know this is going to come up here in the future, but the way I was taught is that if you have something to say in open lodge, you stand up and you don't say anything else until the Worshipful Master addresses you. Then you address the Worshipful Master. May I? Whatever it is, and that's the way it's supposed to be.

Speaker 2:

May I address Brother Packwood Right. May I address the craft.

Speaker 1:

May I tell Brother Packwood to shut up Right.

Speaker 2:

I mean you should request permission to address anyone other than the Master.

Speaker 1:

May I address the craft? May I walk about the lodge? That's the proper way to do it and I think it goes into that a little more in depth as we go forward more and more.

Speaker 2:

Well, I'm waiting to be recognized. Don't just pop up and start talking, especially to somebody else. You should start as Worshipful Master. Blah, right, you don't just get up and start talking.

Speaker 1:

And the fact that you stood and you're waiting to be recognized. You are not guaranteed and you don't have a right to be recognized, you stand up and if the Worshipful Master deems it appropriate, he will address you, and then you address him. And all of this should be done with decorum, thoughtful, thoughtfully, slowly, cautiously and with decorum. And I think we're getting there more and more in our lodge yeah. It's getting better and better. I really dig it.

Speaker 2:

I like that stuff. Yeah, it does give more gravitas to the whole situation when we follow the rules of decorum.

Speaker 1:

That's right. Well, the next one is District Deputy Grand Master.

Speaker 2:

So maybe we'll there it is.

Speaker 1:

Maybe we'll save that for next time.

Speaker 2:

The director district. Ah, you've got to learn that Wow.

Speaker 1:

It's two pages long. So, yeah, we'll save that one for next time, or we'll skip it all together. We'll see how that goes. So what's going on in your life there? Worshipful Burns.

Speaker 2:

What's coming up here? What do?

Speaker 1:

we got going on.

Speaker 2:

Awesome things coming up.

Speaker 1:

Somebody told me something about a symposium in January.

Speaker 2:

I was hoping you'd want to talk about it. I was like don't do it, so we have a date. This isn't an official announcement. This is an unofficial, because no one's listening.

Speaker 3:

It's the official, unofficial. If you're listening, don't tell anyone. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Don't tell anyone, tell everybody.

Speaker 2:

OK, In January I won't say the date yet, but in January or early January we are hosting our first ever On the Level with Fred and Chris Masonic Education Symposium in Sarasota, Florida.

Speaker 3:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

Yes, it's going to be an all day event. We've already lined up two prominent Masonic speakers that we just love. We've seen them personally speak in person.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes, excited.

Speaker 2:

So excited to have those brothers come and talk. We'll be talking. The format's a little different than we've seen in the past. A speaker will speak, there'll be questions and answers, and then Fred and Chris will get to sit down with the speaker in front of everybody and ask. We'll do a short interview with them Short interview.

Speaker 1:

We're going to put them in the middle and Chris will be on one side. I'll be on the other side.

Speaker 2:

It'll be completely unprepped and unstructured conversation with the speaker. We don't know what's going to happen, and then at the end of the day, we will have a round table with us and all the speakers and that's for everybody present to participate.

Speaker 3:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

Everyone, we hope, will participate in that round table discussion at the end of the night. We're working on food, potentially drink tickets for the people that come. We'll have an after party. This is going to be the happening event.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and if you don't know, the Sarasota Sahib Shrine, they have a gigantic tiki hut bar, restaurant, tiki hut out front. It's wonderful and Tommy shout out to Tommy down there it has done an amazing job. And to potentate Paul Beckin House yes, Doing a fantastic job, doing a fantastic job down there, so just that alone is going to make it worthwhile. There will be. There will be live ations, there'll be food. We're not exactly sure how it's going. We have a couple of keynote speakers that we're working with right now. Hopefully the one we really, really want will say yes, we can't tell you who that is right now, but we will once we have it confirmed. But please plan on attending. It's the first or second week in January, I think is what we're thinking.

Speaker 2:

I think it's the second Saturday in January.

Speaker 1:

We think it's the second, check your calendar right now. Stop Pull over. Check your calendars right now and try to make sure you can make that. It's at the Sarasota Sahib Shrine. That's on Beneva Street, beneva Boulevard in Sarasota January 13.

Speaker 2:

January 13. There you go, 9 AM to 6 PM 9 AM to 6 PM. Lots of breaks, long lunch yeah right. Like you're going to get over stimulated here.

Speaker 1:

This is not a seminar, this is a symposium. This is a great day of food, fun, live-ation and some great Masonic teaching. Man, you're really, really going to end and a vision for the future of Florida hopefully A vision for the future of Florida masonry is what we're really hoping for.

Speaker 2:

Can't really announce that far yet From a man who might be shaping that future for us.

Speaker 1:

That's enough, all right, stop right there.

Speaker 2:

OK, but everybody says they want Masonic education. Well, let's see. Let's see if you really want Masonic education because we will make it available to you.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and the cost? We're going to keep the cost down as low as we can get it.

Speaker 2:

We want as many people come. No, we want to just cover the cost of the event and get you guys here.

Speaker 1:

Yes, that's it, and the goal is, if this one's successful and that depends on you guys listening then we want to do one every quarter.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, maybe in different areas of the state Different areas, different districts, if you guys at any.

Speaker 1:

Maybe in other states.

Speaker 2:

Maybe in other countries. Hey, depends on who's listening.

Speaker 1:

Ireland would be great If you're listening in Ireland we'd love to come.

Speaker 2:

Oh, top of the morning. Until you want some Masonic education If I don't get my wife to Ireland soon.

Speaker 1:

She's probably going to kill me in my sleep.

Speaker 2:

Oh cool, all right. Well, keep a four-leaf clover under your pillow.

Speaker 1:

And on that note, oh, I hear the music. I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it, brother, I just every time we do this, man, I'm just reminded. I know I say this all the time, you guys are probably sick of hearing it, but every time we do this I'm just reminded of how much I love it. Yeah, and this is going Mark our words, guys. This will be next level in this coming year. 2024 is going to be the year If Chris and Fred have anything to say about it. It's going to be the year for on the level with Fred and Chris. I can guarantee you that, chris, you got anything on our way out.

Speaker 2:

We've got some big things planned for the future. Look for technologies coming, look for tools, useful items that will be available to you so that you can do what we're doing, and look to be able to meet us in person, because we're going to be out there. We're going to be out there, man, we want to meet you.

Speaker 1:

In full glory. We'll be out there. And again, if you've listened to the podcast of the very end, you are our heroes, man. You're what make this show work. Any questions, comments, anything? Please Just email us, fred or Chris, at onthelevelwithFredandChriscom, and I will see you next time. And I'll see you next time.

On the Level
Leading a Non-Profit Organization Successfully
Masonic Etiquette and Bible Presentation
Importance of Using Title 'Brother
Military and Freemasonry Chaplain's Role
The Importance of Masonic Etiquette
Masonic Education Symposium Announcement in Florida
Future Plans With Fred and Chris

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