Category: Trestle

From the West – October 2020

From the West – October 2020

Brethren,
Mizpah Lodge means a lot to all of us. This is incredibly apparent when we look at the attendance, engagement, and fellowship at our monthly Templecraft Days. On September 19th, we hosted another such day, and conversations and lodge planning far outshined the hard work that went into cleaning and upkeep. I want to emphasize the importance of this, as the cleaning is not the point of these days. It is merely a medium for the real points, which are leadership, fellowship, and growth.

These three categories are incredibly important to masonry. As such, they deserve the hard work and attention that we as officers have been trying to bring to them. Let’s move to the difficult part. Sometimes the task of emphasizing the importance of these is not as easy, and sometimes it can get uncomfortable. For instance, future planning of the lodge will continue to focus heavily on leadership skills in the future, which can be an uncomfortable subject at times, if done right. In doing so, we must continue to acknowledge and focus on improving areas where we as individuals need to grow more than other areas at that time. This is uncomfortable for all, as it is not easy to tell a brother of their potential shortcomings. But without this type of interaction, we are failing to provide our brothers what we OWE them, which is good counsel.

I have had many difficult conversations over the last few weeks and many conversations of opportunities and possibilities. All of these conversations were and will continue to be about providing what I owe each of you, which is mentorship. On that same note, each and every one of us owes the other the same mentorship. Whether you are sitting in the East or on the side, in a white apron or an intricate one, and Entered Apprentice or a Master, we owe our brothers our mentorship and counsel.

I want to take this time to emphasize again the point of elections in November. If you do not agree with the direction of the lodge with me in the East, or any elected position for that matter, it is your duty to make your voice known through ballot. You owe the lodge good counsel, as opposed to a potentially damaging tradition of just moving someone to the next chair because “it is their year”. I do not believe that any year is “someone’s year”. Elected positions should never be given without reason. Next year, if elected as Worshipful Master, I will continue to emphasize this. I will continue to have these difficult conversations and will continue to make decisions that I believe are for the good of masonry. As with my opinions on long-form proficiency and time spent in each degree, my continued emphasis on not moving people to positions that they are not prepared for yet may not be as agreed upon by all in the lodge. That is okay! These are just the aspects that I hold dear and what I believe is absolutely vital if we are going to reset masonry and ensure that this institution that we love exists and flourishes in the future.

Fraternally,
Jeremiah David Jones
Senior Warden

From the East – September 2020

From the East – September 2020

Good day brethren,

We have several exciting things that have happened in this last month and more that will be happening in September.

On the 29th of July we were judged once again to be proficient enough to hold degree work in the EA and FC degrees, this is thanks to the depth of experience and commitment to ritual work that runs throughout Mizpah from our experienced past masters and eager younger members alike. Originally it was planned to have the Master Mason proficiency on August 26th, however due to circumstances that has been postponed until September 30th to make sure we are ready.

On August 19th Garrett Price was enthusiastically initiated as an Entered Apprentice mason in the presence of our hard working degree team, several past masters, and honored guests from  Mercer lodge. It was a joyous and momentous event and good fellowship was had afterwards in the common area, welcome to Freemasonry brother Garrett.

We should have more degree work coming up in the month of September and we will have more information on that at our next business meeting on September 2nd. We look forward to seeing as many brothers there as are able to attend.

Brotherly Love
Thomas A. Gibbs
Worshipful Master

From the East – August 2020

From the East – August 2020

Hello Brethren of Mizpah lodge, we have some fun and exciting updates this month on what’s been happening.

Our focus for July has been ritual practice for proficiency, on the last Wednesday of the month we will be examined for proficiency in the Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft degrees. This has already been an amazing opportunity to connect with our brothers in one of the most essential parts of our works as Masons. Seeing everyone come together to refresh and renew our commitment to our obligations even if primarily in practice of ritual has been a fantastic opportunity for genuine fellowship, I’m very happy with how everyone has stepped up in this trying time. August will see us practicing for Master proficiency and I encourage anyone feeling left out to please join us, you are more than welcome and we would love to see you.

Since the last time we spoke we have purchased a tablet for the Nebraska Masonic home to assist with communication with loved ones and we could not be more honored to assist in that mission. We have also continued our commitment to help our internal community during this crisis with anything they might need, we love being a resource to offer kindness and succor wherever we can as this fulfills us good and true masons. Our youth committee led by Kyle Barchus has also taken some interesting steps to ensure that youth members do not lose touch during the crisis, we organized the first of hopefully many events Saturday July 25th to hold online gaming interactions on our own gaming server that has been setup by T.J. Brumfield.

I am optimistic to see that outcome of their enthusiastic partnership in the interest of Nebraska Masonic youth.

August business meeting will see some momentous things happening, we have several petitions to go over including candidates that we’ve become very fond of. Please come to the next meeting so that we can catch you up on the details or just for some good fellowship. (Wednesday August 5th)

Nebraska Masonry is alive and well, and I could not ask for better friends and brothers

Brotherly Love
Thomas A. Gibbs
Worshipful Master

From the East – July 2020

From the East – July 2020

Good day brethren,

I hope that you are safe and well during these trying times. There have been several exciting developments since last
we communicated. Starting with the 1st of July we are returning to in person physical business meetings with these adjustments, we are not having a potluck dinner and masks are required, if you do not have one we will provide one. We also ask that all brothers refrain from any extra physical contact i.e. handshakes, hugs, Greco-Roman wrestling, etc. We have the first of our ritual proficiencies coming up on July 29th for EA and FC, we haven’t had as much time to practice due to the pandemic so we’re asking any past masters or brothers reading this to please help us with whatever parts you are comfortable with.

No matter how bleak the world looks I always take solace in, and find peace, when I think of the work I do with my brothers. I hope this is true for many of you as well, remember in these trying times that it is imperative that we subdue our passions and act for the good of masonry at all times.

Brotherly Love,
Thomas A. Gibbs
Worshipful Master

From the East – June 2020

From the East – June 2020

Brethren,

This month has seen some interesting developments for Mizpah lodge 302 and I am proud to bring them to your attention to day, hopefully making it a little brighter on our journey towards further light. While the quarantine has been a rough adjustment for our entire culture I am proud of my officers for stepping up where we need them to help others and ourselves.

Virtual meetings have been a resounding success and I personally have never felt more informed and active in our committees than right now. It has made me very happy to be able to see quick response to delegated tasks and daresay we will be happy to keep many digital telecommunications elements involved in our lodge social network going forward.

The Plattsmouth Masonic home stated that they were in need of hardware to upgrade their communications infrastructure, an iPad so that residents can continue to communicate with loved ones during lock down. We were more than happy to approve buying one for them as a lodge as the home is always very close to our hearts.

Some interesting changes to education and fellowship has been meeting up virtually to either wax philosophic on the masonic journey as a whole, or play interactive games and conversate with brothers out of a desire for camaraderie. Just about every Wednesday if we aren’t meeting in an official capacity there will be brothers meeting up to hang out during our usual time frame. For more information please reach out to our fellowship committee (Charles Davis, T.J. Brumfield) for more information about any upcoming meetings.

Kyle Barchus has been doing a great job with the Masonic Youth committee getting online events setup to encourage sustained engagement during the lockdown, Saturday June the 20th he is preparing to run a Team Fortress 2 tournament for the DeMolay boys.

Thank you to all of our officers and brothers in this trying time for doing everything they can for each other as a community. it is a daily inspiration and I miss you all very much.5

Locked down, but not out
Thomas A. Gibbs
Worshipful Master

From the East – May 2020

From the East – May 2020

Brethren,

This is a difficult period for all, not just masons. In this trying time, the officers of your lodge have been working closely to ensure that our brothers, especially those more senior, are able to have what they need. We have made many phone calls and had many online discussions, and we feel confident that we are doing our duties to the best of our abilities.

That being said, please reach out to those around you when you need help and take care of one another. Call that brother that you haven’t heard from in a while, email that officer when you have questions, and seek that good counsel when you have concerns. It may not seem it at times, but we are all in this together. We love you all and hope that you know that. We are our brother’s keeper.

May brotherly love always prevail,
Jeremiah D. Jones
Senior Warden

From The East – April 2020

From The East – April 2020

Brethren and ladies of Mizpah 302,

I hope this message finds you well, we are in the midst of dealing with an unprecedented crisis from multiple angles. I am confident in our brotherhood’s solidarity, ingenuity, and compassion due to the response our officers and brothers have had and will have as time goes on.

All physical meetings and events for March and April have been canceled at this time due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The safety and security of our widows and members are our top priority and we proudly accept this challenge. If you know of anyone or their families that can use our assistance please let us know, it is and should be our greatest joy to be helpful in times like this. Lodge operations have adopted a virtual meeting style at the recommendation of our brothers and the grand lodge.

A lamentable side effect of the current market downturn has led us to slash our expenditures at the lodge as well. It is all part of good stewardship and the lodge is secure, we’re just being as cautious as we are taught to be during such days.

If you want to know how you can be active in our efforts to assist those in need please reach out to me or any of our officers.

 

Sincerely & Fraternally

Thomas A. Gibbs

From the East – March 2020

From the East – March 2020

Hello Brethren and Ladies of Mizpah 302, the month of February has been an exciting one with more to look forward to in March as well. As I am writing this up the shrine circus is in full
swing and many of you are busy supporting that event and I thank you for your diligence. A fun concept that has come up is cooking more food at the lodge for ourselves, or having more catered meals for special occasions.

The Valentine’s dinner we had on the 12th was amazing, the fellowship committee served a delicious homemade lasagna made by T.J. Brumfeld. Afterwards Amanda Sampino taught us all how to make customizable truffles by hand with several different kinds of chocolate and available added ingredients. As someone who doesn’t cook desserts very often it was empowering to see how simple it can be if you have the right materials.

The second half of February has been marked by a number of meetings, at our officer meeting on the 19th we met with a community coordinator for Morton Meadows and discussed the exciting prospect of helping out with the community garden nearby as well as how we can be more active in the local area. Afterwards we went over the goals for our committees as we are coming to the end of the first quarter of the year and looking forward to greater light.

February 29th will be our maintenance meetup and Brother Dalton Kock will be preparing hamburgers and fries in house for attending brethren to help foster camaraderie and establish that
the conversation that happens in well-doing is as important as the tasks themselves. Please join us for the conversation and give us your input if you are available for these informal meetups.

Note from Website manager: Burgers will be served on 02/26 not 02/29. 

 

Sincerely & Fraternally

Thomas A. Gibbs.

Worshipful Master

From the East – February 2020

From the East – February 2020

I am writing this trestle before our February business meeting and right before Grand Lodge’s annual communication for 2020. We’re only a month in to this year and already things are moving forward for this year to be one of the best.

January 4th’s installation ceremony was very fun, and thank you to everyone on my installation team and all the brethren that assisted in making it one of the best events I’ve ever seen at Mizpah.

A special thank you to my partner Amanda for being able to coordinate the food, lighting, and dinner reservations. Several things happened at our monthly business meeting, it was pleasant to see everyone and we received all our reports in on time for the printed materials that Worshipful brother Ben Zaayer has prepared for each meeting. One thing we went over were the amendments that are up for a vote this year at Grand Communication, there are a few that I feel very strongly about and would love to discuss them in person.

This entry is meant to be a personal message to everyone reading it in the simplest terms, I love you and thank you for supporting our work.

Sincerely & Fraternally

Thomas A. Gibbs

Worshipful Master

From the East – January 2020

From the East – January 2020

I am writing this trestle on Christmas Day surrounded by the love of my family both here at home and by yours as you celebrate the day however you each see fit. Our family has prepared a nice dinner and I  can begin this year as your Worshipful Master at peace knowing that we will support each other throughout the following year cemented by our brotherly love and affection.

On Saturday December 14th we had the annual lodge maintenance where we began preparing the lodge for the end of the year festivities. While it is a simple thing to sweep and tidy a space, knowing that we were beginning a new year together brought a more solemn gravity to a traditionally simple task.

On Wednesday December 18th we had our final officer meeting of 2019 wherein we went over the agenda of events we plan to have for 2020, the enthusiastic participation of various officers/committee chairmen and our dutiful secretary and treasurer was quite helpful in setting out the plan for the year.

Saturday December 21st was when we received payment as Master Masons for the work that we do. The lodge Christmas party for the various families and children involved always brings a special joy to all of us, and demonstrates to me, as I hope it does for you as well, the real wages we receive for our earnest labors as Master Masons. The warmth and joy we create for others, especially those young ones that have yet to plumb the depths of life’s mysteries, is the greatest currency that we should save and cherish.

On January 4th I will be installed as Worshipful Master for Mizpah 302 A.F. & A.M., the ceremony will begin at 3pm. If you are an officer then you need to show up by 1pm with a dark suit, let’s make ourselves look good for our new ceremonial aprons and jewels brethren.

 

Sincearly & Fraternally

Thomas A. Gibbs

Worshipful Master