Traveling Together -- The Power of BrotherhoodThe Grand Lodge has provided support for constituent lodges, been active in community events, cornerstones and dedications during the year just ending. The officers have been a part of innumerable appendant body events and activities. We have made a positive difference in our youth groups.
Thank you for letting me be a small part of that story in 2016.
In 2017, we will increase the assignments of your Grand Lodge officers. Some will act as liaisons with our appendant bodies. We will strengthen and improve our great relationship with the Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Nebraska. It is our intent to host a joint celebration of our mutual recognition this fall. We will shine a light on fraternal activities and provide more opportunities for fellowship.
On March 4, we will hold "A time with the Ladies" in Omaha, reminiscent of M.W. Russ Reno's event held several years ago. All are encouraged to attend a day of pampering massages, facials, and poker at the Omaha Valley Scottish Rite, culminating in a marvelous dinner, and a night of great music.
We will hold two sets of area meetings, in the fashion of town hall meetings, where lodge representatives can interact with Grand Lodge officers about topics of interest or concern to the craft.
I hope you will plan to join the "Grand Master's road trip" at the end of June, as a motorcycle rider, a passenger or driver of a vintage automobile, or in any other form of motored transport you choose. We will begin at Waterloo Lodge No. 102 in Elkhorn, and end our trip several days later at the Masonic-Eastern Star Home for Children in Fremont, stopping on the way at as many lodges as Stephen Kennedy can arrange--on each occasion enjoying conversation and fellowship with the Brethren and their families. If your lodge wants to participate as a host, or by providing riders, contact Worshipful Brother Stephen for details.
M.W. Dean Skokan, PGM, has agreed to translate my enjoyment of pistols and shotguns into an event for Brothers and their ladies to enjoy a day of target shooting short guns, long guns, trap and skeet. More details later from M.W. Dean, but I hope you and your fellow lodge members will bring your ladies and enjoy the fun.
As is customary, we will again host a "Day of Golf with the Grand Master on September 11 at the North Bend Golf Club. I hope all lodges will send a team, and offer to provide transportation for teams of the fairer sex as well. All are invited and welcome.
Two programs from 2016 will be noted for special mention. We will continue the passport program encouraging lodge visitations. We have modified the documents so that each lodge will maintain its lodge passport, but individual sheets are available to a member who will visit another lodge. The individual sheet is then returned to the home lodge for inclusion in the lodge passport.
Our Ritual Competition will again be scheduled. This year, the competition will be the Second Section of the Master's Degree. We will add an individual award for "Best performance by a Brother acting as a Ruffian." Form a team from your lodge, or from area lodges, and get involved.
I have designed a pin for 2017. It contains two phrases thereon:
1. Traveling Together--reminding me and my Brothers that we are all traveling together, on the level, on this journey through life. Both the Grand Lodge officers, Lodge officers, and every Brother Mason is encouraged to remember that we are on the same path, descended from the same stock, and that we have committed ourselves to each other's happiness and success.
2. "The Power of Brotherhood"--reminding us that we are part of a powerful force, a society of men of integrity and honor, bound together in friendship. Dedicated to help each other, look after each others' families, to be part of something bigger than ourselves. To improve ourselves as men and citizens.
These two phrases serve as a reminder of our obligations, and will emphasize my hope for the ensuing year that Nebraska Masonry will increase as an influence in all our lives.
In 2017, I am hopeful the Grand Lodge re-emerges as a resource to help lodges succeed. We have membership programs, written materials, leadership materials, and lots of willing hands and hearts. You, as leaders of your lodges, have a shared responsibility to your membership to take positive actions to improve the lodge experience. Never again should we find a lodge that rarely does anything other than have a stated meeting and reads the minutes. You should be at the front of an active group of lodge members who organize opportunities and activities to enjoy fellowship, to improve yourselves, your families and your communities. Grand Lodge has only two functions, it seems to me:
1. To grant and supervise the chartering of constituent lodges, and to implement and enforce the Constitution and Bylaws of the Grand Lodge that you have adopted in Grand Lodge sessions.
2. To be a resource to assist constituent lodges and their members to thrive.
In 2017, we will encourage your lodge to thrive, and to find ways to assist your laudable efforts.
At the end of the ensuing Masonic year, I hope you and I will be able to reflect on 2017 and say "That was a good year to be a Mason. I am glad I was along for the ride."
2017 – 2018 Grand Lodge Officers
|Grand Master||Richard D. Myers||Fremont|
|Deputy Grand Master||Patrick D. Barger||Lincoln|
|Grand Senior Warden||Robert W. Moninger||Burwell|
|Grand Junior Warden||Ronald D. Stites||Papillion|
|Grand Secretary||Reginald S. Kuhn, PGM||Lincoln|
|Grand Chaplain||Corey L. Bergstrom||Sidney|
|Grand Orator||Ronald D. Grass||Tekamah|
|Grand Historian||James J. Jones||Seneca|
|Grand Custodian||Scott J. Krieger, Sr., PGM||Hastings|
|Grand Marshal||John B. Ferguson||Kimball|
|Grand Senior Deacon||James A. Carlton||Bellevue|
|Grand Junior Deacon||Alexander F. Straatmann||Kearney|
|Grand Senior Steward||John L. Millington||Lincoln|
|Grand Junior Steward||Charles J. Odorizzi, III||Omaha|
|Grand Tyler||Karl H. Rasmussen, IV||Fremont|
|Personal Representative of the Grand Master||Alvin O. Benemerito||Long Pine|
|Personal Representative of the Grand Master||Anthony "AJ" Johnson||Bellevue|
|Personal Representative of the Grand Master||Tyler S. Loontjer||Bellevue|
Nebraska Living Past Grand Masters
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|First Name||LastName||Term Start|