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    District News

    6th District Schedule

    Friday
    Mar052010

    DC Speaker in NH

    By GEOFF CUNNINGHAM Jr.
    gcunningham@fosters.com
    gcunningham@fosters.com
    Friday, March 5, 2010
    Picture

    Courtesy photo D.C. Central Kitchen founder Robert Egger will be a guest speaker at a March 6 event being put on by the Seacoast Family Food Pantry.



    PORTSMOUTH — The founder of a soup kitchen in Washington D.C. will travel to the Seacoast for a March 6 "Frugal Feast" aimed at raising awareness and funds for the Seacoast Family Food Pantry.

    Robert Egger, is slated speak at an event set to begin at 5 p.m. in the Masonic Temple at 351 Middle St.

    Egger's DC Central Kitchen has distributed more than 17 million meals in the last 18 years. He is the chair of the Washington D.C. Mayor's Commission on Nutrition and was listed in the 2008 Non-Profit Times as one of the 50 most powerful and influential leaders.

    The Masonic Temple will host the "Frugal Feast," which Executive Director Diane Giese said will give attendees an idea of what's being served in soup kitchens.

    The evening begins with a family supper served in the tradition of local soup kitchens. A silent auction will be held to help raise money for a Seacoast Family Food Pantry whose mission it is to offer help with food and personal care items for the region's underprivileged.

    Giese said Egger's speech would be the night's highlight. Giese added that Egger is known as a charismatic speaker, and his March 6 appearance will see him speaking to attendees about the lack of sufficient food and other topics, like his ongoing involvement in a campaign to ensure nonprofits put themselves in a position to have a bigger voice in the political realm.

    Giese said the event is less of a fundraiser and more an attempt to raise awareness about the food pantry.

    'It's about getting our name out there and networking with other agencies," Giese said.

    Giese said the night will be informal and fun, and street performers will entertain attendees.



    Tickets for the event range in price and can be obtained by calling the Seacoast Family Food Pantry at 436-6161 or by e-mailing dgiese13@comcast.net or macheney@comcast.net.

    For more information on the event, go to www.seacoastfamilyfoodpantry.org. To learn more about Egger, visit www.robertegger.org.

     

    Orignal Artical Here.

    Monday
    Feb222010

    Objections to Freemasonry

    by Rt. Wor. Bro. Rabbi Dr Raymond Apple, AO RFD PJGW
    Past Grand Chaplain of the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales

    Freemasonry is not well known. This is why outsiders sometimes denigrate or deride the movement. Because the objections are predictable and consistent, it is important to try to forestall them in advance.

    Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry lists the principal sins of which Freemasonry is generally accused – its supposed secrecy, exclusivist chanty, admission of unworthy members, claim to be a religion, administration of unlawful oaths, and puerility. The following are answers to these objections:

    Is Freemasonry secret?

    Though Masonry has its secrets, it is not a secret society. Its principles are far from being hidden from view, its members make no secret of their Masonic affiliation and even publicise it, and its meeting places are clearly identified and in many cases open to public inspection when not in use for Masonic meetings. Those aspects of Masonry which are secret are basically limited to modes of recognition which identify a man as a Mason and indicate the level or rank that he has attained within Masonry, and certain rites and ceremonies which ritualize doctrines which themselves are open and available. And even those few things which are Masonic secrets are not locked up within a restricted circle, since new members are continually entering the movement and learning them.

    Does Freemasonry admit unworthy members?

    Not knowingly. Applicants have to be recommended by existing members of the organisation, and criteria for acceptance include good reputation, civic responsibility and family stability. Once
    admitted into Freemasonry, the member receives constant reminders of his ethical duty and social responsibility.

    Is Masonic charity exclusivist?

    The many Masonic benevolent institutions never refuse a helping hand to individuals or families in need, though it is true that in some respects priority is accorded to Masons and their families. Like all community groups that foster a special feeling of fellowship, Freemasonry urges mutual responsibility within the group, just as any sibling should be able to rely upon another in a family. Mackey says, “It is well known that those who are nearer should be dearer”, and adds that membership of a family or other group should confer a feeling of security.

    Does Freemasonry claim to be a religion?

    It does not claim to be, nor is it, a religion. Adherents of many faiths are among its members, and hardly any religious group raises objections to its believers being Freemasons. A Freemason must profess a belief in a Supreme Being, but the movement as such has no theological tenets or sectarian rituals. It is not a religion, a theology or a denomination. It stands for an attitude of personal humility and ethical responsibility motivated by belief in God, whatever the way in which one understands or celebrates Him. Members are encouraged to involve themselves in the religious denomination of their choice or upbringing. The use of Biblical terminology is Masonic rituals and the references to Biblical personages, especially King Solomon, reflect the Scriptural strand in our western culture.

    Does Freemasonry administer unlawful oaths?

    Though the wording of solemn obligations (they are promises not oaths) entered into by Masons is not publicised, there is nothing immoral, criminal, treacherous, or for that matter frivolous in such obligations. Nor do these obligations in any way compromise a Freemason’s duty to his family, profession, religion, or country. On the contrary, they reinforce the loyalties and commitments to which a person is already lawfully bound. Freemasons do not consider their Masonic obligations as in any way higher than the law of the land. The fact that so many eminent leaders in many walks of public life, known for their integrity and patriotism, have been and are Freemasons, is enough evidence that Freemasonry does not and can not countenance any compromise with the law.

    Is Freemasonry puerile?

    Perhaps because its rites and ceremonies are not open to public view, the movement is sometimes ridiculed by outsiders who invent and imagine supposed rituals which they then proceed to attack as outlandish or childish. Every club, organisation or community has its ways of doing things – running a meeting, addressing the chair, keeping the records. Anything can be criticised as childish or absurd, but the fact is that tradition and ceremony lend character and even drama to the affairs of the group. Masonic ceremonies symbolize principles and teachings which might otherwise remain so theoretical and vague as to be in danger of evaporating. True, the best ritual can be performed in sloppy and even absurd fashion, but if those taking part do so with intelligence and dignity and explain the symbolism of the ceremony, it is not puerile but poetic.

    The accusations against Freemasonry are fallacious and unfair. The movement deserves a better deal.

    

    Click Here for Full Artical.

    Sunday
    Feb212010

    SF Masonic battle.

    SAN FRANCISCO—A battle is brewing over a proposal to make an auditorium in San Francisco's upscale Nob Hill neighborhood a major entertainment venue in the city.


    The Masons of California want make about $5 million to $6 million in renovations to the Masonic Center, then lease the auditorium to concert promoting company Live Nation.


    The concert promoter would then arrange to bring about 70 concerts a year to the revitalized venue.
    Backers of the proposal say it would pull in more entertainment dollars to San Francisco, instead of the money being spent at entertainment venues in other cities.


    But neighbors complain it would bring more traffic, noise and crime to one of the city's most upscale and storied neighborhoods.

    Click Here for the full artical.

     

    Sunday
    Feb212010

    Masons in the movies.

    Recent books and movies about the Masons might be what's piquing the interest of an increasing number of young men under the age of 30 to seek out a Masonic lodge and apply for membership.

    Even Jim Gardini, the master (equivalent of a president) of the Utica-Macomb Lodge 64 in Ray, said it surprises him.

    "I think when 'The Lost Symbol' movie based on Dan Brown's book comes out in July or August we will see another uptick in membership," Gardini said. "Obviously some things in Dan Brown's books are fictionalized and we laugh at those things, but he certainly makes it interesting and it spikes people's interest in us. He said when he did his research for writing his books he thought it was a great organization."

    The History Channel has also aired some programs on Masons.

    "I won't say they get it right all the time," Gardini said. "But people come to us saying that's where they learned about us and they thought it was pretty cool and they say 'what can you tell me about it?'

    "But besides the curiosity spawned by movies and books, I think young men are looking for a moral compass. The Masonic philosophy is about how we deal with one another as human beings. We become better neighbors, better husbands and better friends. That seems to be lacking in young people and they are looking for a place to learn values."

    Although Gardini is an engineer, there is no requirement to be in a building profession to be a Mason.

    "Those days are long gone," he said. "We have doctors, lawyers — people from all walks of life. It doesn't matter if you are the president of the company or if you sweep up after the president of the company, you are all on the same level when you meet in the lodge. Masons like these attributes and want to surround themselves with people who have the same values. We say we take good men and make them better men."

    Masonic terms are commonplace in our language. "On the square" (treating someone squarely or fairly), "the third degree" and "being blackballed" all come from the Masons and their practices and rituals.

    Gardini said that courts adopted the use of a gavel from Masons, who first used it in their meetings.

    Masons require that a man applying for membership believes in an afterlife, and in a supreme being Masons call the supreme architect of the universe.

    "We encourage people to be very active in their churches, synagogues and mosques. Other than that, religion and politics never enter into it. They are the two things that we avoid talking about because that can cause disharmony," he said.

    "Anyone can come to our lodge to learn about our symbolism. We use the ancient working tools like the square, the level, the plumb and the trowel to convey stories and allegories about morality. For instance, the trowel is used to spread cement in buildings. We spread the cement of brotherly love and friendship like cement unites a building. The other service organizations are great organizations, but we are more philosophical," he said.

    There are about 6 million men worldwide, and 2.5 million men in the United States who belong to the organizations in the Masonic family that includes the Shriners, 32nd Degree Masons, Knights Templar, and the different rites. The Order of the Eastern Star is for women and there are several youth organizations like the Order of DeMolay, Rainbow Girls and Job's Daughters.

    "To be one, ask one" is a Mason's bumper sticker slogan, but Masons are not allowed to ask a person to join.

    "We have a lot of fun and, yes, we do have a lot of rituals. What people see on TV may or may not be true. Our rites of initiation are kept secret because we don't want to lessen our new members' anticipation about it. We want it to be a solemn, meaningful experience. It is more or less about a man's obligations to his family and to his fellow man. We use Old English because it's fascinating and funny.

    "Our lodge is a place to meet, eat the food we have catered in, and hang out and do what men do. We sit around and talk and discuss our charities," he said.

     

    Click Here for the full Artical.