If you're anything like me, you read the title of this blog, "The Society of King Solomon" and immediately thought "What the heck is that?". Well, I'm here to let you know what it is now that I have not only figured it out, but also have become a charter member.
I'm sure you all know how big Freemasonry is in charities, both local and national. The Society of King Solomon is an Illinois based organization which recognizes extraordinary contributions to the Illinois Masonic Charities Fund. The Illinois Masonic Charity Fund insures that individual charities like the ILCHIP (Illinois Child Identification Program), Masonic Outreach Services and the Illinois Masonic Children's Homes stay operational and funded.
Every year when I pay my dues to my home lodge, I always include a bit extra to be put into these charities, but I asked myself "What else can I do?". I first heard about the Society of King Solomon at a special Masters Dinner at a local Shrine Club, the Medinah Shrine Club to be exact.
While checking in, one of my friends and Brothers, Joe, asked me if I would be interested in donating to the Society of King Solomon, then explained to me that depending on the amount I donated I would get some kind of jewel. But to be honest, I just didn't have that kind of money. After all just an associate membership was five-hundred dollars. After talking to him about it and the director of the program, it turns out that bequeathing also qualifies you for not only associate but also full memberships.
That being said, that is indeed how I chose to give to the Society of King Solomon. I asked my financial guy to get me a form so I could update my beneficiaries, I then filled them out and then got those forms to the Grand Lodge of Illinois. After that, I received in the mail, a very nice jewel which I am supposed to wear to all Masonic events.
Many of the Grand Lodges across the states have programs which are very similar. I urge you all to look into your Grand Lodge and find out the specifics. If you are in Illinois then click here and it will take you directly to the page on the Grand Lodge of Illinois' website which explains it completely. Remember, even if you don't have the money to give now, bequeathing (giving from your life insurance or other after your passing) is a great option. I know it isn't all that comfortable to think about our own demise, but discuss it with your family and decide together. It is a good cause which deserves our help.
Bro. Robert Johnson, 32° is the editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the First North-East District of Illinois. He belongs to Waukegan Lodge No. 78. He is also a member of the York Rite bodies Royal Arch, Cryptic Council and Knights Templar, and a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts a weekly Podcast (internet radio program) Whence Came You? which focuses on topics relating to Freemasonry. In addition, he produces video shorts focusing on driving interest in the Fraternity and writes original Masonic papers from time to time. He is a husband and father of three. He works full time in the safety industry and is also a photographer on the side as well as an avid home brewer. He is also working on two books, one is of a Masonic nature.