About this time every year while it is still cold and often dreary in January and February families begin planning their summer vacations, deciding where and how that vacation will begin and what will be done. A vacation is both a fun time and a great learning experience and it takes an element of planning to insure it is what it was hoped to be.
A favorite vacation for many families is a road trip from home to Washington DC. An automobile trip is a great way to travel as there are many opportunities to stop at great and famous historical locations and to learn more about our great nation, and those who provided the foundation that encouraged and built it’s greatness.
If you are a Texan by birth or by choice, a great stop along the way from Fort Worth is Jefferson, Texas, The first Port of entry into the Republic of Texas providing steamship movement of goods to Saint Louis and New Orleans. Driving east, stop at Natchez, Mississippi, the location of the great Battle Ship, USS Mississippi Memorial. Continuing East, to the Golden Triangle area of the Smoky Mountains and the Builtmore Mansion in Ashville, North Carolina. From there it is a day trip to Washington DC and the greatest display of American history in it’s monuments, memorials, museums, and of course the “House of the Temple”, Masonic Lodge.
As you arrive in the Washington DC area you begin to feel a sense of accomplishment as your vacation planning is beginning to “pay off” thanks to your planning. You arrived safely and had many opportunities to see and learn about new and exciting things and places along the way.
Our journey through Masonry is a very similar to planning a vacation as it also requires planning that identifies where you start, stops along the way and where you are going. There are many “stops” along the Masonic Journey that require planning and education that matches the significance of the stop.
Remember your pride and excitement as you began your Masonic journey. You had a worthy goal of becoming a Master Mason in a Masonic Lodge in your city. You shared that excitement with the apprehension of those things unknown at that time. And then, following being initiated, passed and raised, felt the comfort of fellowship from your Masonic Blue Lodge brethren.
After becoming proficient in your Masonic work and beginning your journey through the chairs, you may have began considering “What Next” now that I am a Master Mason. You were very active in your Lodge and often had urgings internally to know and understand more about your Masonic journey.
You have or had Masonic Brothers that are involved in several other Masonic appendant bodies and on occasion you were asked asked by a Lodge Brother to consider joining the Scottish Rite. But you did not really know what it was and whether you really should consider joining another Masonic organization.
“What Next” was and is a question that Masons have asked themselves and Masonic Brothers as they “grew in Masonry” There are many “doors” that we go through in our Masonry journey and it is important we do not do so without our brethren’s help. When you find yourself thinking, “What Next”, consider Scottish Rite Masonry and its brethren to help you continue your journey in Masonry.
Scottish Rite Masonry does not replace Blue Lodge Masonry; it amplifies the journey through Blue Lodge. The two Masonic bodies are like “hand and glove” together. Blue Lodge being the hand, and Scottish Rite Masonry being the glove, both supporting each other.
The Valley of Fort Worth Texas, Scottish Rite Body is an appendant organization to the Ancient Free and Accepted Masonic Lodge. The Scottish Rite Brethren are and have been deeply involved in Masonic Blue Lodge work and have always been a major support for all Masonic appendant bodies.
The Scottish Rite is often refered to as the Masonic University because it provides the answers to and the education necessary to gain understanding of Masonry and your “walk” through the Masonic journey.
It provides a pathway for additional Masonic Degrees during Scottish Rite Reunions twice each year and provides fellowship with-in the Masonic Brotherhood while endeavoring to provide educational opportunities for those seeking additional understanding and Light for the Masonic journey.
Scottish Rite Masons believe in each other, fellowship and commitment and are proud Patriots of the United States of America.
Within our fellowship and brotherhood you may meet a Brother that fought on Omaha Beach during World War II, Pilots and Crewmembers of B-17 bombers of the mighty Eight Airforce in England that destroyed the Nazi Regime, men that fought sweltering heat in the jungles of the Pacific, served in the extreme cold of Korea, in the swamps of Vietnam and served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Our members include Statesmen, Judges, Firemen, Policemen, Truck Drivers, Mechanics, Accountants and men from all walks of life. Our Valley of Fort Worth has a long legacy of outstanding men serving Masonry and establishing themselves as leaders and “good family men” in their communities.
“Why” join the Scottish Rite is the next question.
Scottish Rite Masons pledge themselves to philanthropy supporting our only charity, The Scottish Rite Hospitals. To our legacy members and our new Scottish Rite Masons alike, we dedicate ourselves to each other by providing opportunities for further light in Masonry, fellowship in the Scottish Rite Brotherhood, opportunities for Masonic growth and because we believe in our goals and work.
Just as our Nations Founding Fathers, many of whom were Masons and Scottish Rite Masons, set the course for future Masons in action and deed, you can develop a strong sense of personal pride and a long lasting proud legacy for you and your family.
Just as important as it is to invite new Master Masons to join us, it is important to encourage all of our legacy Scottish Rite members and our newest Scottish Rite members to become encouragers and mentors as they individually and collectively seek new candidates for Scottish Rite Masonry.
Our fraternity is very special and unique. It “draws” candidates to it through our Blue Lodges naturally by association, but we can support that natural association by continuing our pledge of time and service to recruitment of those who may not have current access to information about our fraternity because of locality and or demographics, recognizing some Lodges are distant from Fort Worth.
So, just as we continue to encourage, support and mentor new candidates coming through Blue Lodge, we ask our legacy members and new Scottish Rite Masons to continue to pledge their support for our fraternity in this endeavor.
For information on how to become a Scottish Rite Mason go to fortworthscottishrite.org