A Return to Basics - Masonic Education Begins Anew

by Midnight Freemason Emeritus Contributor
R.H. Johnson

After starting a whole new Masonic Lodge bent on nothing but fulfilling an intense desire for Masonic Education, I demitted from my Mother Lodge (Waukegan No. 78). I had my reasons. I had, from the time of my Raising, until I took my demit, never been a sideliner. From Jr. Steward to Worshipful Master, and then immediately into the Secretary seat for three years--We met every Monday, no exceptions. I missed, in all those years, maybe five meetings. I loved Waukegan 78.

In October of 2019, Spes Novum Lodge No. 1183 received its charter from the Grand Lodge of Illinois. What a proud day. Fast forward through the years until now. A pandemic, drastic shifts in the way people are working, schooling, and, let's not forget, the home life that changed. What a time...

Spes Novum No. 1183 is what I believe to be the Premier Masonic Education Lodge in the State of Illinois. We do our thing. It's magical. It's education that cannot be matched. And we are succinct in all business, with no concern with anything other than a Genuine Masonic Lodge Experience, focussed on Education, Brotherly Love, and Connections.

Something, for me, was missing. How do you go from meeting every Monday, to just once a month? My Big Brother Bob came over to knock out a tile backsplash for my kitchen. A typical Brother, wouldn't take money. My wife baked him some of her famous cookies as payment. Sitting at the table in the dining room, chatting with Big Brother Bob, I realized how much I missed seeing him every week. And for that matter, all the members.

I disappeared for a few moments. I printed out an affiliation petition and filled it out. I sealed it, and when Big Brother Bob was about to take off, I handed him the envelope. I said, "Can you give this to Carl? It's my petition to come back." Bob looked surprised and happy.

The following Monday, I joined the Brothers for a Fraternal night at a local pizza joint where significant others and spouses were gathered. News spread fast of my petition to re-affiliate with Waukegan 78. Lots of smiles and handshakes and hugs where I heard, "Glad you're coming back." At the next stated meeting, I sat in the familiar orange cloth-covered pew seats and listened to my old friend, mentor, and Secretary read my petition. The District Deputy was in attendance for his annual visit, which also happened to be his final one, as he was retiring from the position to follow his wife to Nebraska.

My petition to re-affiliate had to lay over, and an investigation committee was assigned. Fast forward a bit. I met with my committee, and they assured themselves, I was in the right frame of mind and without mercenary motives, and reported favorably. At the next stated meeting, after being accosted by several Lodge members not present the previous month--(I was almost hugged to death. We should all be so lucky.) I sat in those same orange cushioned pews, and once more, my petition was brought up. I was asked to retire from the Lodge whilst the members had to vote.

I was a little nervous. I had left the Lodge, and I know not everyone was happy about it. I wondered if I would pass the vote. I was called back in, and as I approached the altar, I was greeted by clapping hands and the words of the Worshipful Master that I helped Raise, "Welcome Home." I was emotional inside.

Not being able to sit still, I accepted the offer to become the Lodge's new LEO (Lodge Education Officer.) From it, I came, and to it, I returned. My plan is to have concise, one-page Masonic Education written up for each meeting of Waukegan 78 and then, offer these Lodge Education pieces right here on the Midnight Freemasons after I've presented them to the members of Waukegan 78. They will likely also appear in The Lyceum.

I hope you enjoyed this piece and that you also enjoy the short educational pieces that are to come.


RWB Johnson is an Emeritus Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 2nd N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Spes Novum Lodge No. 1183. He is a Past Master of Waukegan Lodge 78 and a Past District Deputy Grand Master for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. He is the current V:. Sovereign Grand Inspector for AMD in IL. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts his weekly Podcast, Whence Came You?, which focuses on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of The Masonic Roundtable, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four and works full-time in the executive medical industry. He is the co-author of "It's Business Time - Adapting a Corporate Path for Freemasonry", “The Master’s Word: A Short Treatise on the Word, the Light, and the Self – Annotated Edition,” and author of "How to Charter a Lodge: A No-Nonsense, Unsanctioned Guide. More books are on the way.

1 comment:

  1. I love that story. Very fulfilling from several directions. Thanks for sharing.


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