2019-2020 Master's Message

Brethren and Friends,

I am incredibly honored to serve as Worshipful Master of this Lodge for the ensuing year. I want to thank you for placing your confidence in me and for the support you have already given heading into our year ahead. Communication will be one of our main goals this year. Look out for communications about future events and important meetings, as well as photos and posts on our social media. We know that everyone cannot make it to every meeting but we never want you to feel out of the loop because your cable-tow may have become a little tight. This communication, however, is also a two-way street. I look forward to hearing from all of you, in person, through email, text, or phone call. Whether it's an event you want to update the lodge about, something that you need advice or help with or simply just a chance to catch up, I am always available.

We have many great projects planned for the year ahead and for the coming future years. Improvements to the physical building and its security are already underway. We continue to work toward making the Lodge a more friendly and comfortable environment for fellowship. In recent years we have added meals before meetings and refreshments following. This trend continues as our Junior Warden has planned some delicious home-made dinners that I'm sure will be well received. We have added a lounge area with couches, a TV, and games. A Library has been started to house all of the historic and Masonic books our Brothers have brought to us and a private chamber of reflection has been created to allow initiates, candidates, and Brothers a secluded place to spend time contemplating Masonry and their journey.

I, however, would be remiss if I didn't include what I feel is one of the most important elements of our craft, family, and friends. We rightfully think of our Brothers in Masonry as our family and friends. No one could argue this isn't the case. However, we should not be so quick to forget the family we had before we joined and the friends we have made leading up to our initiation. While it is important to spend time with our Brothers, we should also make time to include the spouses, significant others, siblings, and acquaintances that help make our lives so rich. For this reason, we have started trying to find ways to include these important people more in the things that Johnson City does. One way that stood out was to have a Friends & Family night where, once a month, Brothers could bring those important people in their lives to the Lodge for fellowship. These get-togethers are relaxed, non-meeting environments where we can all have fun, hang out and have a meal with refreshments. This is an opportunity to meet the people in your Brothers' lives that you may have never had a chance to otherwise. We are open to ideas if there is something that you think people would enjoy!

Another area we have focused on this year is our ritual and meetings. Improving the experience for candidates and Brothers only serves to make Masonry stronger. By improving our ritual work and the overall quality of our degrees and meetings, we can create experiences for our new Brothers that will carry with them for their entire Masonic careers. We have also added more interesting and educational programs to our meetings and have tried to shorten the business as much as possible. I feel that we have made some great additions and changes already and I encourage all the Brothers who are able to come see or participate in a Degree and experience the positive direction we are headed in first hand.

Lastly, Masonry is nothing if not a combination of its elements. Brothers without things to keep them engaged will lose interest. Engaging meetings and activities without Brothers attending them will be short-lived. Brothers attending engaging meetings and activities but excluding their family and friends from their life will find disharmony. I hope that as we move forward this year and in the coming years, we can work together to improve the experience of our Fraternity and its extended family. We cannot do this without your help and our hope is that we are able to give you the experience that makes it worth the time you have given to us. I have never been more proud to be involved with something than I am with this Lodge, this District, and Freemasonry. I look forward to the future and I look forward to seeing you all.

W∴ Andrew Patterson

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