What would George Washington Do?

Posted by on Jul 22, 2015 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

President and Brother George Washing was born on February 22, 1732. His home in Mt. Vernon, Virginia, is a testament to his leadership in both our Country and in our personal lives. When George was 16 years of age, he was given a writing exercise, and he wrote his 101 Rules of Civility. Here are a few and are presented in the language and phraseology of the era: Every action done in Company ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present Let your Conversation be without Malice or Envy…,And in all Causes of Passion, admit Reason to Govern. Shew Nothing to your Friend that may affright him. Reprehend not the imperfections of others… Never express anything unbecoming… Associate yourself with Men of good Quality, … for ‘tis better to be alone than in bad Company. Today, many, if not all of these rules sound a little fussy, if not downright silly. It would be easy to dismiss them as outdated, and appropriate to a time of powdered wigs and quills. But they reflect a focus that is increasingly difficult to find. Fussy or not, they represent more than just good manners. They are the small sacrifices that we should all be willing to make for the good of all, and for the sake of living together. Civility in our daily lives is not just something that is nice to do. Civility is politeness and courtesies in our behavior and our speech. By civil behavior, we learn to disagree without being disagreeable. Civility is the hard work of staying pleasant, even with those with whom we have profound and de-rooted disagreements. As Masons, we obligate ourselves in our three degrees to good manners and fair dealing with our Brother Masons in the Lodge. But these generous principles extend further, and are to be applied outside the Lodge as well. Excerpted from The Short Talk Bulletin Vol. 93 No....

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The White Leather Apron

Posted by on May 26, 2015 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Here’s a toast to the Lambskin, more ancient by far Than the fleece of pure gold or the eagles of war; ‘Tis an emblem of innocence, nobler to wear Than the Garter of England or order as rare. Let the king wear the purple and point to his crown Which may fall from his brow when his throne tumbles down; But the badge of a Mason has much more to give Than a kingdom so frail that it cannot long live. Let the field-marshal boast of the men he can guide, Of the infantry columns and the heroes that ride; But the White Leather Apron his standard outranks, Since it waves from the East to the Death River’s banks. ‘Tis the shield of the orphan, the hostage of love; ‘Tis the charter of Faith in the Grand Lodge above; While the high and the low, in its whiteness arrayed, Of one blood and one kin by its magic are made. Kingdoms fall to the earth; cities crumble to dust; Men are born but to die; swords are made but to rust; But the White Leather Apron, through ages passed on, Has Survived with the lodge of the Holy St. John. So a toast to the Lambskin, which levels, uplifts— To the White Leather Apron, most priceless of gifts. ‘Tis the badge of a Mason, more ancient by far Than the fleece of pure gold or the eagles of war. Franklin W....

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Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

Masonry is Friendship—friendship, first, with the Great Companion, of whom our own hearts tell us, who is always nearer to us than we are to ourselves, and whose inspiration and help is the greatest fact of human experience. To be in harmony with His purposes, to be open in His suggestions, to be conscious of fellowship with Him—that is Masonry on its Godward side. Then, turning manward, friendship sums it all up. To be friends with all men, however they may differ from us n creed, colour, or condition; to fill every human relation with the spirit of friendship; is there anything more or better than this that the wisest and best of men can to do? Such is the spirit of Masonry; such is its ideal, and if to realize it all at once is denied us, surely it means much to see it, love it, and labour to make it come true. Nor is this Spirit of Friendship a mere sentiment held by a sympathetic, and therefore unstable, fraternity, which would dissolve the concrete features of humanity into a vague blur of misty emotion. No; it has its roots in a profound philosophy which sees that the universe is friendly, and that men must learn to be friends if they would live as befits the world in which they live, as well as their own origin and destiny. For, since God is the life of all that was, is, and is to be; and since we are all born into the world by one high wisdom and one vast love, we are brothers to the last man of us, forever! For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, and even after death us do part, all men are held together by ties of spiritual kindship, sons of one eternal Friend. Upon this fact human fraternity rests, and it is the basis of the plea of Masonry, not only for freedom, but for friendship among men. Joseph Fort...

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Freenmasonry and Education

Posted by on Apr 1, 2015 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

With appreciation from Freemason.org (originally published February 2005 on CalLodges.org) Traditionally, throughout its long history, Freemasonry has taken a leading role in the promotion of learning and education. From its early beginnings, in the 18th century in England and Scotland, Masons were among the founders of learned academies. Masons have been active in education at every level from grammar school through university. The Charge of the Fellowcraft Degree reminds the candidate that the impressive ceremonies of the degree are calculated to inculcate in his mind the importance of studying the liberal arts and sciences. He is particularly reminded to study the noble science of Geometry, which forms the basis of Freemasonry. Not only does Geometry explain the properties of nature, it demonstrates the more important truths of morality. If Freemasonry is “about” anything, it is about the education of the individual to become a knowledgeable, informed, and moral human being within society. Education is valued above ignorance. Seeking further Light in Masonry means more than learning more about the Craft. It also means that Freemasons and non-Masons alike must discipline themselves to seek knowledge through whatever means available—by studying at colleges and universities or by self-directed reading and study. Because Freemasonry places such great importance on education, we have become steadfast supporters of the Public Schools. Horace Mann, the father of our present system of public schools, wrote that the object of a free public schools system is “to give every child a free, straight, solid pathway by which he can walk directly up from the ignorance of an infant to a knowledge of the primary duties of a man.” The same can, of course, be said about the progress of a candidate through the three Masonic Degrees, from Apprentice, to Fellowcraft, to Master Mason. Freemasonry and the public schools share several important values. Basic to each is the concept of the dignity of the individual. Every man, in every condition, is great. The grandeur of each man’s unique nature makes insignificant all external distinctions. It is the internal and not the external qualifications that make a man who he is, and entitles him to be treated with respect and dignity. Respect for the dignity of the individual is essential in a free society. Human rights rest on human dignity. Man’s minimum needs must be met if he is to live at all, but men and women cannot live a human life “unless they have the chance” to satisfy the needs of their rational and spiritual nature. Democracy is the only form of government founded on the dignity of man. Equality and justice, so important to Freemasons, are the two distinguishing characteristics of democracy. Democracy enables us to enjoy the freedom to live human lives. We must be free in order to exercise those talents where with God has blessed us, as well to His glory as to the welfare of our fellow creatures. Freedom,...

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What is Freemasonry?

Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in Masonic Mouse | 0 comments

In our youth groups, they talk about a “30 second elevator speech”. They have developed one and I think we, as Freemasons, need one too. This one comes from Brother Keith Herman, a New Jersey Mason: “Due to the proliferation of the use of social media such as FaceBook, Twitter, LinekdIn, etc., elevator speeches can no longer last 30 seconds and you need to define what you do in two words.  These two words lead to a further conversation as they say enough to define your objective and at the same time intrigue the listener to follow up through inquiry or conversation. Upon reflection on the ‘two word elevator speech’ the phrase which works for me is ‘Enlightened Fellowship”. Now when I am asked ‘What is Masonry?’, ‘What does Masonry mean to you?’ or ‘What can you tell me about Masonry?’ I can answer that Masonry is Enlightened Fellowship. The usual response is ‘can you tell me more?’ At this point, I can expand that masons consist of men who through common experience, inquiry, personal growth and acquired knowledge come to know one another, become friends and share personal bonds, which will last throughout their lifetime.” This sounds like a pretty good one. Anyone care to create one of their own? Let me know what it is, submit it to me in a word document and I will print it in this missive. Fraternally, The Mouse (c/o:...

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History of Freemasonry

Posted by on Dec 22, 2014 in News & Events |

The inception of Freemasonry In the Middle Ages, the term “freemason” was awarded to highly skilled stonemasons who were hired as free agents to build castles and cathedrals in England and Scotland.  Because of the inherent danger of their work, stonemasons formed local organizations, called lodges, to take care of sick and injured members as well as the widows and orphans of those who were killed on the job.  The first Grand Lodge was established in 1717 in London.  In 1718,  English Freemasonry spread to France and Spain, and after 1729, to India,Italy, Poland and Sweden.  Freemasonry spread to the other parts of Europe and eventually made its way to the American colonies.  In 1733, the first American lodge was established in Boston, under the authority of the Grand Lodge of England.  Of the 39 men who signed the U.S. Constitution, 13 were Masons. Freemasonry come to California Freemasonry has been an integral part of California for more than 150 years.  During the Gold Rush of 1849, thousands of settlers came to California in search of fortune.  Many of these men had been Masons back East and brought with them the tradition of Freemasonry.  Not surprisingly, some of California’s first Masonic Lodges were established in the mining towns of the Gold Country.  In 1850-the same year California became a state-the Grand Lodge of California was established in Sacramento.  Within 10 years, the number of Masonic Lodges had grown from 11 to 130, while membership soared from 258 to more than 5,000.  Over the years, the Masons have played a key role in shaping the history of California.  To date, 19 California governors have been Masons, and at least four California Masons have been elected to the U.S. Senate.  Today, the Grand Lodge of California has almost 90,000 members in about 400 Lodges located throughout the state, making it one of the largest Grand Lodges in the world. A legacy of philanthropy Throughout their 150 year history, the California Masons have remained steadfast in their commitment to helping others and serving the community.  They have volunteered hundreds of thousands of hours and donated millions of dollars to support a wide range of charitable programs.  Among the fraternity’s first charitable activities was helping victims of the great cholera outbreak in Sacramento in 1850.  Three Lodges, with a combined membership of 69 men, raised more than $32,000 to help build and maintain a hospital at Sutter’s...

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Becoming a Mason

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in News & Events |

One of Masonry’s customs is not to solicit members; men must seek membership on their own through a Mason they know or a local lodge. California Masonic membership is open to men age 18 or older who meet the qualifications and standards of character and intention, and who believe in a Supreme Being. Men of all ethnic and religious backgrounds are welcome. A Mason who recommends you for membership will assist with completing and submitting the application. After submitting the application, you will be interviewed by members of the lodge you wish to join so they can learn more about you and you can learn more about Freemasonry. If the interview is favorable, your application is presented to the lodge for a vote. If the vote is affirmative, you receive the Entered Apprentice degree – the first degree of Freemasonry. When you advance through the next two degrees, you are a Master Mason and a full member of the fraternity. If you are intersesting in learning more about Freemasonry or would like to inquire about joining or affiliating with Peninsula Lodge #168, please fill the form below. Alternatively, you may use the Lodge Locator tool to find a lodge near your home. If you would like to be contacted by a member of Peninsula Lodge to learn more about the Lodge and Freemasonry, please fill the contact form below. Your Name (required) Your Email (required) Your Phone Number How do you prefer us to contact you? EmailPhoneEither Subject Are you a Mason? No - I am not a MasonYes - I am a Mason from another Lodge Your...

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