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July Master’s Message

We’re in the middle of a awfully warm summer and while the Lodge may be dark, our minds should still be bright and sharp.aristc3b3teles

Continuous education should be something everyone strives for. Be it a whole new trade, a new method for doing something you already know, or even “re-discovering” an old passion and building on it.

So far this summer, I’ve learned a fair amount about kayaking and designed and built a contraption to help my daughter in volleyball. I started learning a programming language, a database manipulation language, read some of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, thanks to the Lodge’s summer book discussion, and learned a fair amount about my own motivations thanks to some taking some time for reflection on my life these 39 years.

I hope everyone reading this is taking time to learn and grow, for that’s what humans are meant to do in life. Don’t get stuck in a rut, find a passion, an interest, and work toward that goal.

On a similar note, I’ve been asked a couple times why I setup a Lodge “gameday” as a reoccurring event. What benefit is there to sitting around and playing board and card games (and complicated ones at that)?

First off, it’s a time for bonding. Being in a smaller setting of usually 3-6 people playing an individual game, you have a great opportunity to get to know those at the table. Find out what they’ve been up to, how their family is, etc. It’s less intimidating than talking in open lodge or even the big communal dinner before Lodge.

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Once you know the people better, you can communicate with them on a higher level. Communication is key in work, family life, and any recreational activity that involves more than just you. Playing these games you often need to work with other players to either accomplish a common goal, or to convince them not to interfere with you accomplishing your goals; which brings us to negotiation! Being able to successfully negotiate treaties, trades, etc in games are skills that can easily be put to use out in the world. You learn to recognize what you have, need, and can offer to others while also seeing what they can offer you, and need themselves to reach their goals.

Speaking of goals, (bringing this all back together here!) in a game, much like life there are often multiple routes to victory. Learning to recognize what your goal is, devising a plan to get there, and adapting that plan to changes will lead you to victory in the game, as well as life.

Please don’t be intimidated by Game day, we love teaching people new games and explaining how they work. It’s a great time and hope to see you at the next one.

Keep cool out there!
Jason Owen, WM

June Master’s Message

One of the three principle tenets of the Fraternity is “Brotherly Love”. With this month’s letter, I’d like to touch on what that phrase means to me.
Brotherly Love is a tough love, a friendship, a bond. It’s dropping what you were doing on a quiet evening to go hang out with a Brother that has had a particularly rough day and asked for some company. It’s good natured ribbing about being stood up for a lunch date. It’s being given sound advice, even if it’s hard to hear.
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Brotherly Love is being there to help, encourage, support, and keep one another out of trouble.
I’m very proud of Clinton Lodge and how the Brothers take care of each other. I’ve seen great acts of kindness and selflessness done without a second thought and with no expectation of payment simply because they were the right thing to do. I’ve heard great advice and even well structured admonishment given to those that ask.
I have been on the receiving end of very uplifting talks when I’m down, gentile reminders to get things done (like this posting), and always offered assistance in any project I’ve got going on.
It may seem like Brotherly Love like this is hard to find nowadays, but it’s there. We have it within the Fraternity, we practice it within our communities, and we teach it to our children.
With that all said, I notice that it’s June already. That means I’m halfway through my term as Worshipful Master. The experience so far has been wonderful. I’ve learned so much and like to think I’ve been doing a pretty good job so far. We have our last meeting before we “go dark” for the summer Wednesday, June 20th. We’re carrying forward the tradition of the “3 H night”. Wear your favorite Hawaiian, Hillbilly, and/or Harley attire. Over the summer we’re bringing back the reading club to meet and continue our education and enlightenment.
I look forward to seeing everyone, and any new faces that would like to join in.
Jason Owen
Worshipful Master – Clinton Lodge #175

Apr/May Master’s Message

The Grand Lodge of Michigan’s Annual Communication was this week. This was my second trip, and I highly recommend all Masons attend one of these events, especially upcoming Worshipful Masters.

One of the things I love about Grand Lodge, is the passion members have for Masonry. Some might see the arguijosephjason2ng of grumpy old men, but I see men who are passionate about the Fraternity and it’s laws and customs. These men have strong opinions and are there to express them to keep Masonry what they feel it should be, or to help guide it from something that isn’t working into something they think will help us all.
While I may not agree with all these ideas, I respect that these Brothers are doing what they can to try and improve things.
Talking with a Brother about a piece of legislation that you don’t quite understand the background, or what exactly they’re trying to accomplish can make a world of difference as well.
While all the formal stuff is a great experience, just like regular Lodge nights, is to be had after the meetings close. Sitting down and chatting with Brothers from all over the state, getting to hear their stories, how their Lodge works, etc. is by far, my favorite part of Masonry. Probably why my favorite line has always been “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”
Upcoming events:
  •  Wednesday, May 31st – 5th Wednesday Discussion Night
  • Monday, June 12th – Visit Olive Lodge #156 in Chelseagrumpy
  • Monday June 19th – School of Instruction @ Palmyra Lodge #184
  • Wednesday, June 21st – Standard Communication and “3H” night: Dress code is Hawaiian, Hillbilly, and/or Harley.
Over the summer we will be doing the Reading Club with Brother Tapp as well!
Lots of great stuff going on, and can’t wait to see everyone again.
Jason Owen
WM, Clinton Lodge #175

March 2017 WM Message

March is winding down and Spring weather is settling in. I wanted to talk this month about a section of the closing that always caughtFarm Regaleira Black And White Masonry Well Masonic my attention.

 

The line in particular reads: “In the meantime it is hoped and expected that each brother will demean himself as becomes a man and a Mason.”
When I first heard this, the word “demean” stuck out to me. Why would I be asked to do something that’s below my dignity, or cause me to humiliate myself? After thinking about it a bit, I decided the wording was meant to remind a brother to not think himself better than others, and that working within the community was not below his station in life. A noble idea that I carried with myself until this year when I was studying things to brush up for being WM.
Turns out the other definition of demean is where we get the word demeanor. In the passage from the closing, “to demean oneself” is to conduct oneself in a particular way, in this case, as becomes a Man and a Mason. Which, oddly enough, fits in with what I was thinking originally, but also expands on it.
I encourage Brothers to seek continuing education both within and outside Masonry to expand their knowledge and understanding of our world.
This month we had our annual Irish dinner, a big hit as always. Brothers, their families, and friends all came up to the Lodge room and enjoyed a wonderful dinner and delicious desserts. Special thanks go out to the McKelvies, Tapps, Millers, Brother Sholz, and everyone else that made that afternoon happen.
We also unveiled our new Traveling Gavel. Keep an eye out for an update on the official rules and a page that tracks the Gavel as it makes it’s way around.
During the Stated Communication we made donations to the Clinton Softball team, I92 Ministries, discussed some more upgrades to the Lodge Room, and brought up future event plans.
Speaking of I92 Ministries, members of both Clinton and Tecumseh Lodges, as well as various churches, and the River Raisin DeMolay pitched in and helped pack meals for the needy children of Lenawee County so they will have plenty of food during spring break. I92’s program that organizes these food drives and daily meals helps feed so many kids, it truly is amazing and humbling.
I look forward to seeing Brothers at our April Meeting, and as always, anytime in between meeting.
S&F
Jason Owen
Worshipful Master, Clinton Lodge #175

Brotherly Love and Living Better

Sometime in February my youngest was looking at the Masonic sticker on the back of the vehicle as she carhelped me unload groceries. She piped up in her sweet little voice and asked, “Dad, do you think you’ve been living better since you joined the Masons?”

My immediate thought was “Yes, of course!”, but I didn’t answer right away. I took a moment to reflect on the happenings of the last few years to make sure it was true.

When I did answer, I told her. “Yes I do honey. Since joining the Lodge I’ve become a better friend, father, husband, neighbor, and person in general.”

“What do you mean?”, she asked.

I explained, “Well, I make it a point to ask more how friends are doing rather than just hang out. I look for ways to help where before I might have just wished them well. I try to spend more time with you girls as well as your Mom. And I’ve learned to move out of my comfort zone and do and try things I would have avoided before. It’s not that I was a bad person before, I’ve just learned to be better.”

She agreed with me and we finished our task.

It’s always a good idea to take a little time now and again and reflect on how you are going about your journey through life, and she gave me a chance to do that just then. The growth the Fraternity has helped me to achieve has come through the things we are taught in our lectures and educational pieces, as well as just hanging out with a wonderful group of guys. I can’t say enough how members of the Lodge have helped me out over the years. Through listening, advising, encouraging, assisting with problems, and just being there as a friend and Brother. I would not be where I am in life without them.

Speaking of which, we had our annual Past Master’s Dinner with oyster stew and a Master Mason degree all in one day. Seeing some of the Past Masters come up to Lodge and carry on with each other and Brothers they’ve not seen in a long time was a wonderful sight. It was like they’d only missed a meeting or two and were right back at giving each other a hard time, chatting about their lives, and having just a great time.

That kind of Brotherly Love is hard to come by, and the Fraternity promotes it so well, I’m proud to be a member of this Lodge. We had another Brother we’d not seen in awhile make it back up for the Business meeting and it was great seeing him. He had a good time and expects to return more regularly.

I’m hoping we’ll be seeing some more returning members, as I miss a lot of the guys from my early years who helped myself and so many others like me get involved in everything the Lodge has to offer.

As always, feel free to drop me a line and I look forward to our next meeting (be it formal or informal).

Jason Owen

Worshipful Master

An Irish Afternoon 2017

shamrockCome join Clinton Lodge for an Irish Afternoon filled with family, friends, food and fun March 11th from 1-5p.

This family friendly evening will feature Irish food selections including kid friendly food alternatives. After dinner stick around for fun family games, kid friendly movies and other activities. Be sure to bring your families favorite game and/or activity to share.

Seating is limited so be sure to RSVP right away, as they tickets will go fast.

If you would like to help or have a dish you would like to bring feel free to contact Bro. Joseph McKelvie using the link below.

January 2017 Master’s Message

We Miss You!

Hello again Brothers!jason

One of the reasons for starting this blog was for Brothers that couldn’t attend meetings could get an idea of what’s going on. What I hope to accomplish by doing that is to bring back some of the Brothers that we haven’t seen in awhile. The impression I got when speaking to a couple Brothers that hadn’t been up in a long time was that they felt they lost touch with what the Lodge was doing while they were away. The feeling was that they were hesitant to come back because they felt they like they missed out and wouldn’t fit in.

Remember when you first joined? You knew 1-3 guys, had no idea what was going on, etc.. You grew to know, respect, and love your Brothers.

Being gone for a stretch is even easier to overcome. These Brothers I saw in the community and easily struck up a conversation with them. It was like nothing had changed, and we talked about family, work, etc. The connection is still there, and still strong. You just need to come on up the third Wednesday of the month and come back to see us.

On that note, this month’s meetings have been a lot of fun.

We had a Fellowcraft Degree on the 11th that was quite impressive. The 10 visiting Brethren, mostly from Tecumseh including their Worshipful Master, along with Cement City’s Worshipful Master really enjoyed the degree work. Dinner arrived late, but the pizza was greatly appreciated.

January’s business meeting didn’t feature any guests, but did have a delicious chili prepared by Bro. Miller’s wife, Valerie. We discussed plans for upcoming events and made a donation to the Chad Tough volleyball fundraiser being held at the High School March 11th.

Speaking of charitable donations, even if you can’t make regular meetings, we can always use help running Charity Poker. Three of us a shift count money, hand out poker chips, and enjoy hanging out with each other. As Worshipful Brother Quick is fond of saying, “It’s a heck of a lot easier than bake sales and raffles!”

Here’s a couple of things from the upcoming schedule (Which you can see by clicking the downward arrow next to about on the left side menu there and clicking calendar.)

Jan 29th – DeMolay “DemCon” gaming event
Jan 31st – Cigar night at La Casa De La Habana
Feb 3rd – Visit Tecumseh Lodge #69
Feb 8th – MM Practice
Feb 15th – Regular Communication
Feb 22nd – Lodge of Instruction at Clinton Lodge
Feb 25th – MM Degree and Past Master’s Dinner (11am start)

Lots going on, lots of good fellowship, discussion, education, and growth, both personal and Lodge wise.

Can’t wait to see you there, and for you to see my fancy hat.

Jason Owen
Worshipful Master