How I Sat in the East and Changed Freemasonry Forever

Ok, that might be a little bit of an overstatement. I’m just a working class schlub, but something interesting did happen, and I wanted to share it.


My master’s hat for the evening… seriously.

I’ve sat in the East Chair twice before, both this past year, but for degrees. They were good degrees. I think I stumbled through the opening and closing during one of them, but for the most part I’ve not come too near leadership in the lodge, despite my swirling ascent through the chairs. And my brothers have noticed. I’m a joker. I’m a smoker. (I’ll stop there.) But despite never being shy to shout out an idea about every five seconds, I’ve never expressed a particular vision for my lodge. I’ve never displayed many measurable leadership qualities. I’ve mostly just been good for one-liners.

But for those who have been paying attention, and there have been some, I do take the Craft seriously, even if I don’t take myself seriously sometimes. And one thing I appreciate about the Craft is the traditions we have. I’m not looking to dazzle people with my particular notions of what masonry should be. I don’t care to express my will and pleasure that all brothers come in a jacket and tie. I don’t care to express that we have too many pancake breakfasts or not enough. I don’t see the Master’s chair as a way to express my personal tastes, even for just one year.

But I will try things. Because I’m not scared to try things.

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Fundraising: Braden Style

It’s said you can determine the personality of a group by the way they raise money…

Ok, no one says that, but it’s probably true, and we dig pizza, beer, and bowling. So to raise money for our scholarship fund, which actually gives out honest-to-goodness money to people, we’re having a family-friendly bowling outting. $25 for adults, kids are free. It gets you a lane, shoes, and pizza for two hours. Not too bad.

Click the pic to join us!


Thursday Fellowship Night events

When masons meet, it's always a party.

Thursday, March 24, is our next Fellowship Night. At Braden we take fellowship very seriously, and it’s something we do differently than do most lodges.

Typical masonic lodges meet twice per month (some only once). Their dinners often begin at around 6:30, with a meeting to follow. Fellowship among brothers is squeezed into dinnertime, and possibly over drinks at a nearby bar for those who don’t mind staying out a bit later.

This was about how things went at Braden (minus the tasty dinners, from what I’ve heard) until about a year ago when our landlords reminded us that even though we only met twice per month, we were technically paying for the space each Thursday. This caused one of our brothers to say “Hey, I’ve got keys to the place. I’m just going to show up every Thursday, and anyone who wants to join me can join me.” and you know what? We did.

Now Braden Lodge meets every Thursday, stated meeting or not, dark month or not, just to get together. We start pouring in around 6:30 pm, and brothers come and go. At any one time there’s usually a dozen of us there, and we talk.

Sometimes we have more formalized meetings. The Internet Committee or the Fundraising Committee has a little powwow, but even then it’s just part of the normal discussion. And we talk until the last guy who’s got a key wants to leave, often pretty late in the evening, and sometimes even then it moves to a bar or restaurant.

And you know what? It’s nice. It’s good times spent with good friends.

This Thursday were having some informal discussions.

7:30 pm – Discussion of Lodge Dues and Degree Fees (Braden brothers only)

8:30 pm – Socrates Cafe: What it means to be a brother (All welcome to attend

However, as there are always people milling about, there is no need to participate in any of these discussions to have a little fellowship. Stop by, have some coffee, and talk a while. You’re always welcome.