Iowa Freemasonry is a personal journal of a Freemason in central Iowa. This blog documents my Masonic research interests, experiences, and reflections. Welcome!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The duty is performed

Pictures from the funeral of Worshipful Master Steve Layton, Operative Lodge #308, Polk City, Iowa.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pictures of Steve Layton at the Des Moines Scottish Rite's Robert Burns Night

Pictures from Jan. 25, 2011 at the Des Moines Scottish Rite. Photos courtesy of Jay Simser.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

RIP Steve Layton

-You're the first Mason I recall meeting at my very first visit to a Lodge
-You're the first Santa my son ever sat on...
-as the most inexperienced Junior Steward ever, you're the first Warden who taught me what to do...

Although I knew you just a little over a year, I owe you so much, good friend. You will be greatly missed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fellow Craft degree at Operative Lodge #308 in Polk City

Operative Lodge #308 in Polk City, Iowa passed Jeremy Whitlatch to the degree of Fellow Craft on Monday evening April 18. We had a light crowd with fourteen brothers witnessing Jeremy’s second degree, however the quality of the ritual and floorwork was excellent. The Middle Chamber lecture is one of my favorite parts of all of the craft degrees and once again, brother Dave Aves from Mount Olive Lodge #79 in Boone did a fantastic job on this challenging lecture.

Jeremy and his mentor used the Grand Lodge of Iowa’s new on-line Mentor’s Assistant tool and both said they found the new internet-based resource useful. The Mentor’s Assistant features separate elements for each of the three degrees which allow the new Mason and his mentor to review each degree interactively. It works in conjunction with Iowa’s Systematic Masonic Enlightenment Course.

Jeremy’s third degree is scheduled for Monday, May 16 at 6:30 PM in Polk City.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Chief of the Tabernacle

The Des Moines Scottish Rite 2011 Spring Reunion continues today with the Marvin A. Pomerantz, 33˚, class completing degrees twenty-three through the thirty-second. This was the first time the Des Moines Scottish Rite had ever performed the twenty-third degree, Chief of the Tabernacle, and I was proud to be a part of the degree team. Ten brothers had parts to play on the floor including James R. McOwen, Ernest L. George, Jeffrey L. Vandewater, Daniel L. Beyer, Darrell G. Fremont, Nathaniel A. Hedin Schmidt, Russell E. Saffell, Ryan G. Williams, Nicholas J. McGahan, and myself. Our candidate for this degree was Matt Noble from Specialis Procer Lodge #678. Mark Cook took care of sound for us and W. Charles Smithson led our team as Degree Master. This was my first role on a degree team and I truly enjoyed it, especially since seven of the members of the degree team are from my fall 2010 class.

Brother Charlie was a tremendous help to us and deserves special thanks- it may not have been his first rodeo but it surely was mine, and most of the other members of the team, as well.

If you missed the degree, you’ll have a chance to see it at the reunion this fall. I posted a few pictures of the set-up and degree team members below.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Des Moines Scottish Rite 2011 Spring Reunion

The Des Moines Valley’s Spring Reunion opened Friday, April 1 with the fourth degree- Secret Master. Twelve candidates began work at 4:00 PM and finished for the evening before 9:00 PM, well ahead of schedule, thanks in part to the efficient degree teams and the effective direction of the class marshals.

This year’s Spring Reunion is designated the Marvin A. Pomerantz, 33 Degree Memorial Reunion. Work continues Saturday, April 2 with the eighth degree and concludes with the Knight Rose Croix degree late Saturday afternoon. The Reunion continues April 15 and 16.

I was able to attend three of the degrees Friday: Perfect Master, Confidential Secretary, and Provost and Judge. The Seventh degree, Provost and Judge, remains as one of my favorites. The set and costuming are simple yet the message of the degree is profound.

The Fifth degree, Perfect Master, had special interest for me this time due to my work in the Master Craftsman course. I’m working on part two of the course and my current assignment is to write a 500 – 1000 word essay on the lessons of this degree. Seeing the degree performed complete with props, costuming, and special lighting inspired my thinking and led to several ideas for my essay.