From the East ... Dec. 2020
First, I must apologize for the timing of this communication. As it tends to do at times, life got in the way and time got away from me.
2020 has been a year that will take up not only a chapter in history books but entire collections of work. What the world, The Craft, our Lodge and each of us individually, has endured is nothing short of monumental. I use the term endure entirely intentionally. Merriam-Webster defines endure thusly - to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding.
The world will endure. We will, undoubtedly, see long-lasting changes, but our daily lives will return to a more familiar state. Shops will re-open (disappointingly, some may not), social media will quiet, we won’t need to check daily rates of infection, and the news networks will be able to move on to a new lead story.
The Craft will endure. All over the world, Masonry is handling the pandemic differently. There is no one way to deal with unprecedented times and each Grand Jurisdiction is doing what it feels is in the best interest of its membership. As time marches on, various restrictions will be lifted and Masons around the globe will get back to what we all love about our ancient fraternity.
Our Lodge will endure. Through the combined will and the unflappable spirit of our membership, Ionic will not yield. I have been awed and inspired by the devotion of the Brethren to the core tenants we hold dear. Despite the current situation, we have grown and maintained our charitable relationship with Cornerstone Housing for Women; we have come to the aid of a brother in need; and, over the coming days, we will continue our tradition of distributing holiday baskets. I am also aware of many who have demonstrated individually their commitment to improving the lives of others. We have also had good attendance at our monthly virtual meetings. These meetings give not only an opportunity to socialize, but it has been an important chance to inject Masonic educational aspects into our lives. If you have been unable to attend, I highly encourage it. We will, in the foreseeable future, thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, be together again - sitting in Lodge, conducting our ritual, breaking bread and simply enjoying the presence of one another which is something I know I will never again take for granted.
WE WILL ENDURE. In times such as this, it is easy to see only the darkness. I implore you as men AND as Masons: look to the light. While the tunnel may be a long one, we can see the end of it. We can see a time when we will hug our family, meet with our friends, and live once again as the social creatures we are. The past year has been one of personal hardship for many; financial, emotional and medical. As we turn the calendar to 2021, let us take stock of what we have to gain, and re-gain, and not what we have lost. Let us look forward and not back. We are resilient, we are strong, and we are capable of amazing things, both individually and within our family unit.
In closing, I would like to extend my sincerest wish that you and your family have a safe, healthy and happy holiday season. While it may be different than what you are used to, we can all find our own ways to make it special. While circumstances make it challenging to physically be with many of our loved ones, we have all discovered new ways to connect. Always bear in mind; we are apart today, so we can be together again tomorrow.
“The future depends on what we do in the present” (Mahatma Gandhi)
WM Ionic Lodge No 526