SGIG Message

GREETINGS TO ONE AND ALL.

I hope this issue of our Rite News magazine finds everyone well and enjoying the beauty of spring.

I know almost all of you, especially the men, have heard this verse:

“Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell in unity” (Psalms) 133(1). This verse is often used in lodge meetings, banquets, and other Masonic functions. This verse came to mind when Fred reminded me that my article was due the next day.

A few weeks back, I was passing through (or at least trying to pass through) security at the Philadelphia Airport. I had just walked through the metal detector without setting off any bells or whistles when one of their police officers stepped in front of me and said “Sir, I have some good news and bad news…” I looked at him and said OK let’s go with the good news. He replied “the good news is I can tell from your lapel pins that you are not one of those who will give me a hard time about what I have to say next..” Looking at my lapel he was referring to my Scottish Rite and Grandmaster’s pins.

I said OK what is the bad news? He replied “you have been randomly selected by the computer for further security screening.” I said OK, what do I have to do? He answered that it is a very simple swabbing of both hands, remove your belt and jacket, place your briefcase on the counter and we will scan you with this hand scanner.

To my surprise, I passed it all and was handed my briefcase and advised I could proceed. I asked the officer if he belonged to the fraternity, and in fact he did belong to a Prince Hall Lodge in Philadelphia. We spoke for just a moment about the fraternity and he told me how quickly people get mad, get excited, take offense, and get downright rude about being told that they were selected for such random security screening. My reply was that “I would rather be safe than sorry.” We talked for a few more minutes about how different meeting a Mason makes in such a diverse group of people passing through security. He went on to say despite all the differences in backgrounds beliefs and cultures most Masons treat him with respect for the job that he is trying to do.

In Scottish Rite and Masonry, we are much the same. We come from different backgrounds and have different beliefs and ideas, yet we all come together in unity. We sit together in large meetings and reunions at the Scottish Rite, Rite cheer lunches, and a wide variety of functions where we laugh, share stories and enjoy each other’s company.

There is a great sense of unity and connection with each other and this is something that is slipping away in today’s hightech world of “zoom.” I sincerely believe that people need people! There is power in coming together. While we are part of a Masonic family, we are stronger together than we could ever be apart. The Scottish Rite is a family and is known throughout the jurisdiction for our unity and hospitality.

Reflecting on this meeting in the airport, I think wearing a lapel pin may speak volumes about you. One never knows when you may meet a friend or a brother. That friend may want to become a brother!

In closing may I wish you all the Blessings of good health and a safe wonderful summer. I look forward to seeing you around the Rite.

Sincerely and Fraternally,