State of the Craft

Delivered November 17, 2011

By Daniel D. Hrinko, WM

Brothers of Arts and Sciences Lodge No. 792.,

Let me begin by thanking you for the opportunity to serve you this past year. As Arts and Sciences moved from Consecration to our Annual meeting, I am humbled by the confidence you have shown as I have faced the responsibilities incumbent on the office of Master of Arts and Sciences.  What we have accomplished over the past year would not have been possible without the support and the direction you have given me to bring our vision to fruition.

This past year has been a year of firsts.  Our Consecration by the Grand Lodge of Ohio on October 30, 2010 began our life as a chartered Lodge with all of the privileges and responsibilities that accompany a charter.

We held our first Annual meeting as a Chartered Lodge one year a go where we reviewed the state of the Lodge and discussed the wishes of the brothers of Arts and Sciences Lodge.  Topics to discuss, ideas to explore, and activities pursue that promote and deepen our understanding of Freemasonry were the focus of this meeting.  Through this process we created a calendar of events that allowed us to explore the depths of the relationships we build through Freemasonry.  In this meeting, we return to our vision and reinvented Arts and Sciences Lodge, learning from our previous experiences to keep our Lodge fresh with ideas on the practice of Freemasonry and yet grounded in the traditions of our craft.

This past year, we have celebrated the feast of Sts. John in December as a family event and in June as a tiled table Lodge attended by the Grand Master and the officers of the Grand Lodge of Ohio.  We enjoyed informal fellowship as we performed quality control duties on the beef brisket that was featured at our inspection dinner.  We discussed various topics and Lodge leading to a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the lessons of Freemasonry.  We sample the fruits of brother wears labors at our spring planning meeting.  We were able to again participate in old Hilliardfest to raise funds to support the Hilliard community putting a public face on the practice of Freemasonry for all to see.

We initiated several new brothers and placed in motion a formal program of instruction for men and brothers beginning with the school of the profane and setting agendas for lodges of instruction for entered apprentices, Fellows of the craft, and master Masons.  As our first group of brothers move through this process, we anticipate reaping the benefits of the time we invest in making Masons, not just members.

Our responsibilities to the Grand Lodge of Ohio include exemplifying all degrees at least twice and being proficient in the prescribed ritual.  Our first annual inspection was, in my opinion, a great success.  We demonstrated our proficiency in the entered apprentice degree, as required by the Grand Lodge, while allowing the character of arts and sciences to shine through our work.  Many in attendance were inspired.  Without doubt, none left saying it was just another presentation of the work.

The most important view of our inspection came from Brother Farrell, our pro-tem candidate.  Although he has seen this work on many occasions, he shared with me he was profoundly moved by his experience.  This view of our work told me that we are succeeding in our primary purpose of facilitating the transformation of a man into a Mason.

Our discussions over the past year continued to raise topics and questions that are informative, stimulating, and enlightening.  We discussed the nature of time and fears that often accompany our understanding of death.  We discussed storytelling as a means of teaching, and held two discussions that were open to friends and family.  This gave them an opportunity to engage in discussions in a manner we have come to appreciate and enjoy.  My wife, for one, was glad for these opportunities.

In the middle chamber lecture, we learn that the architect begins his designs and those designs, improved by experiences, can produce works which are the admiration of every age.  Our task at this time is to attend to this valuable lesson.  We should take this time to reflect on the past year, keep that which is meaningful and valuable, and discard that which has been found to be of little value.

We should explore and invent ways of better fulfilling our vision about how Freemasonry can be practiced, and again reinvent arts and sciences Lodge for the upcoming year.  This will truly allow us to put that valuable lesson from the middle chamber lecture into action;  to learn from our experiences and improve our designs for arts and sciences Lodge.  Thus, we too can build structures that are the admiration of every age.

Fraternally,

Daniel D. Hrinko, WM

Arts & Sciences Lodge No. 792

Grand Lodge of Ohio.
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