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

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Iowa Research Lodge #2 Meeting

Iowa Research Lodge #2 held its semiannual meeting Friday, December 6 at Black Hawk Lodge #65 in Cedar Falls, IA. The goal of Iowa Research Lodge #2 is to increase masonic knowledge within the Craft. The Lodge holds two meetings a year which feature speakers on masonic topics. Past speakers have included well-known masonic authors, university professors with academic interests in Freemasonry, and presentations from members. All Masonsare welcome and encouraged to join! The next meeting is May 15, 2015 at West gate Temple in Des Moines.

Friday night’s meeting featured George Harrison and Jeffrey Heimensen’s presentation on Iowa’s new Optional Mentoring Course (OMC). The OMC is an effort to increase Masonic Light and provide additional opportunities for mentorship. Brother Harrison and Heimensen’s presentation provoked much discussion among members present.

This was my first visit to Black Hawk Lodge #65. If you haven’t visited this Lodge you are missing one of the beauties of Iowa Freemasonry. Located on historic Main Street in downtown Cedar Falls, the Lodge is ornately decorated. Two large pillars dominate the west while the north has several rows of theater seats. There are numerous display cases and wall hangings of historic value. I posted a few pictures below.

Iowa Masonic Library: World War I Exhibit

I stopped by the Grand Lodge of Iowa's Masonic Library in Cedar Rapids the other day. There's a new exhibit that Assistant Librarian Bill Krueger told me about: Iowa Masonry and World War I. The exhibit tells about the role of Iowans in the War. The exhibit includes some WW I weapons (including a Big Bertha artillery shell!) but focuses more of masonry and Iowa masons who served. In addition, there is an exhibit of WW I posters.

I took a few pictures of the exhibit below. The exhibit will be open through June 2015 and is located on the 2nd floor.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mark Master essay question: Companion Adept of the Temple

I'm currently working through the Sovereign York Rite College of North America's Companion Adept of the Temple course (see the post before this for more info). Here is an excerpt from my answer to question seven over the Mark Master degree:

The chisel and mallet are the working tools of the Mark Master degree. Compare and contrast these tools with the working tools from the three Craft degrees. What do they teach us about our journey in life?

All these tools (Mark Master’s chisel and mallet, the Entered Apprentice’s twenty-four inch gauge, the Fellowcraft’s plumb, square, and level, and the Master Mason’s trowel) share a common symbolic teaching as they relate to our journey in life. As creatures created by God, we are made in his image with the ability to reason and apply that reason to our daily lives. We use these stone mason tools figuratively to help us better understand God's purpose for our lives and to improve the lives of others. Our journey in life can be derailed by passion, lack of education, and disputes. The tools in the Mark Master and other degrees are meant to help us follow God's plan for our lives.

By the way, the Iowa York Rite web site has all of the on-line texts needed for the course posted in one convenient place. Click here to go to the list of links for the on-line texts.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Companion Adept of the Temple course

The York Rite Sovereign College of North America has developed a self-study course on the York Rite. The course is titled "Companion Adept of the Temple" and consists of a series of self-study open-book exams over the degrees of the York Rite. There are no additional textbooks to buy: all of the study information is available on-line through free google books or web pages.

I just finished the first exam which covered the Mark Master and Past Master degree. I found the questions to be challenging; this is not a simple test in which you look it up and repeat it back. Students need to interpret what they read and apply the information to Masonic concepts in order to successfully complete the exam. At least I think I was successful- we'll see once it's checked and returned!

More information on the course can be found at Chris Hodapp's Freemasons for Dummies blog. The enrollment form is in pdf and is available here at the York Rite Sovereign College of North America website.

Friday, June 6, 2014

2014 Grand Conclave

Here are a few photos from this mornings Grand Conclave of Knights Templar of Iowa:

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Worshipful Master Keith Gordon, Operative Lodge #308

2014 Operative Lodge #308 Worshipful Master Keith Gordon (in the middle) with installing officers Worshipful Brother Jim Trotter (PM), Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master Mike Aves Sr., Most Worshipful Brother D. Dean Johnson, and Worshipful Brother Lane Shaver (PM).

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Knights Templar Honor Guard

Sir Knights Rusty Hill, Wade Sheeler, Tom Megel, and Mike Miller (not pictured) assisted in the installation of officers at King David Lodge #407 in Altoona, Iowa on January 7, 2014. Megel, as the 2013 Eminent Commander of Temple Commandery #4 in Des Moines, initiated this practice of performing an honor guard at the officer installation ceremonies in the Des Moines area. The Sir Knights march into the Lodge room, present swords, and form an arch of steel in honor of the new Worshipful Master and other officers of the Masonic Lodge. The honor guard performed by the Knights Templar is a way to show respect and add to the dignity of the officer installation ceremony. Other Sir Knights participating in these honor guards at local Lodges include Dan Hobson, Ken Brickman, and Charlie Smithson. More information on Temple Commandery #4 in Des Moines can be found at this link.