Grand Lodges holds Conference in Minnesota

“Masonry in Kansas is not as unique as you would think”, commented Rick Reichert, Grand Senior Warden, while attending the 2011 Midwest Conference of Grand Lodges on August 13th.  Grand Lodge officers from Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and the Canadian province of Manitoba assembled near Minneapolis to share problems and their potential solutions.  “Very valuable information is presented.  It is time well spent and we get to bring new and innovative solutions back to Kansas,” said Tracy Bloom, Grand Master, who along with Brother Reichert, attended with Brothers Don Newman, Deputy Grand Master, Bob Pfuetze, Grand Secretary, and Joey Stiles, Assistant Grand Secretary.  “Kansas Masonry may have some issues in common with other Grand jurisdictions, but thanks to Vision 2020 we’ve been forging ahead with solutions.  We’re leading in a lot of areas and need to continue leading and improving in Kansas”, concluded Reichert.

GL Scotland Pulls Recognition of GLNF

The Grand Lodge of Scotland announced yesterday that has withdrawn recognition of the Grande Loge Nationale Francaise – the French Grand Lodge considered by Anglo-American Freemasonry as the only regular jurisdiction in France.

The action by the Scottish Grand Lodge follows a lengthy period of turmoil at GLNF which has seen the French courts step in to resolve several long-standing disputes between a faction of the membership and the Grand Master, François Stifani. According to the statement issued by Scotland’s Grand Master, “the continuing state of affairs in the Grand Loge Nationale Francaise is liable to damage the International status of Freemasonry and it is therefore necessary that the reputation of the Grand Lodge of Scotland be protected.”

This decision by Scottish authorities expressly prohibits GLNF brethren being received as visitors  in any Lodge under the Scottish Constitution, denies visits by Scottish members to any Lodge working under the GLNF and prohibits any affiliation by GLNF members with any Scottish Lodge.

See the full statement here.

Ben Hur to Hold 4 X 4 Fundraiser

Ben Hur Lodge No. 322 of Kansas City, in association with Kansas Rocks & Recreation Park will hold a 4×4 Rock Crawl fundraiser for the Downs Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City.  This event is an open run at Kansas Rocks & Recreation Park located in Mapleton, Kansas on September 10, 2011.

According to Andrew  Cassity, Master of Ben Hur lodge, the rock crawl “consists of 4×4 traversing trails, obstacles and generally going places that you wouldn’t believe an automobile could climb over or drive through!”

Registration Packs starting at $25 and include a rig, one meal, an Event T-shirt and a raffle ticket.  Additional meals are available at a cost of $6 per person, and extra T-shirts and raffle tickets will be offered for sale.

Questions about the event should be directed to Ben Hur Lodge.

To learn more about the Downs Syndrome Guild please visit their website.

Downloadable donor registration form for registration and contact information:

Donor Form-2011

2011 Warden Class to be held in Statehouse

Mark Saturday, October 1 on your calendar and consider attending the Grand Lodge Warden’s Class in the historic Kansas State House.  The annual Warden’s School is a leadership seminar conducted by the Grand Lodge and addresses all aspects of lodge leadership. While having sections specifically designed for the upcoming Master, this year’s session with have a variety of topics and breakouts appropriate for every lodge leader.

Registration for the event is open to all Masons and their wives.  This year’s seminar will be held in conjunction with the Grand Secretary’s class for Secretaries.


G. Cliff Porter, Worshipful Master of Enlightenment Lodge No. 198 in Colorado Springs,Colorado will be the featured speaker at the event.  His address will discuss the psychology of leadership.  W:. Bro. Porter’s biography may be found here.

Lunch will be provided and the traditional ladies program will also include a chance to hear WB Porter speak.

Registration information will be available soon; check back for updates.

St. John’s Day Events

The Grand Lodge of Kansas will be opened on the First Degree of Masonry this Sunday, June 26th at the Grand Lodge Building, 320 SW 8th Ave., Topeka KS.

All Masons are invited to attend the opening of Grand Lodge at 9:30 AM. Immediately following we have been invited to attend church at St. David’s Episcopal church at 17th and Gage starting at 10:45 a.m., in celebration of St. John’s day.
All Grand Lodge Officers should wear Tux (no Tails), Collars and Aprons for the opening of Grand Lodge.

The schedule for events is as follows:

0900 Gather at the Grand Lodge Building 320 SW 8th Ave, Topeka KS
0930 Open Grand Lodge
1045 Attend Church services at St David’s Episcopal Church in Topeka (17th and Gage)

Cliff Porter to Speak at Justice Lodge Aug 13

Nationally-known Masonic author and commentator Cliff Porter will be the featured speaker at the August stated communication for Justice Lodge No. 457, which is slated to meet in the quarters of Emporia Lodge No. 12 on Saturday, August 13, 2011.

Cliff Porter is W:. M:. of Enlightenment Lodge No. 198 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he works as a homicide detective for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. Bro. Porter is also recognized nationally for his work in teaching and presenting on the areas of Subconscious Communications as it relates to personal interactions and communications. He has worked cases gaining international attention, been featured by the Biography Channel, and has lectured Internationally for the United States government and military, state and local law enforcement, private corporations, churches, and spiritual centers. He has had published a number of Masonic writings as well and is the author of The Secret Psychology of Freemasonry: Alchemy, Gnosis and the Science of the Craft, Masonic Baptism: A Postmodern Ritual for an Ancient Craft, and 10 Easy Steps to Being a Heretic.

The  meeting will tyle at 2 p.m. and  is open to all regular Masons.  A Festive Board will convene at 4 p.m. at Plumb Place in Emporia and is open to Masons and their guests. Cost for dinner is $25.  Seating is limited, please contact the lodge secretary for reservations.

Invitation and Reservation Details Here.

Grand Lodge Repairs On-Going

By Tracy L. Bloom, Grand Master

In accordance with the goals and objectives we have set out in our Strategic Plan, we’ve begun maintenance and repairs to your Grand Lodge Building this spring.  This post is an update of the progress we are making.

Workers are nearing completion of the installation of a water and vapor barrier for the foundation walls of the building.  Some years ago a similar system was installed on the West side of the building and it was a great success in eliminating a moisture problem in that area.  This work is eliminating the moisture concerns on the East side of the building.  It was quite extensive but was necessary as the infiltration of moisture and water over time will start degrading the foundation walls and this method of prevention was deemed the best way to prevent that from occurring.

The workers first dug down to the footings of the building at the foundation walls, cleaned the walls of all debris, and coated the walls with a liquid sealant. Following the application of the sealant, they installed a rolled-type of moisture barrier followed by  a sheet of water conduits. At the bottom of the ditch is installed coarse rock and drain tile to divert the water.  The intent is to direct any water or moisture directly to the bottom of the foundation where the drain system will pick it up and allow it to drain into sumps that will then pump the water away for safe discharge.

This work should alleviate the water infiltration into the building on rainy days and when the snow melts in the winter.  With some minor repairs on the inside basement walls things should be back to normal in no time!

I will update you on further repair progress as events dictate.

Kansas Mason Presents at International Freemason Conference

Assistant Grand Secretary Joesphe Stiles recently spoke at the Third International Conference on the History of Freemasonry held May 27-29 at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia.

Stiles’ presentation,  Using Progressive Era Ku Klux Klan Membership Activity in Kansas to Understand Changes in Freemasonry and Similar Fraternal Organizations, concerned  Ku Klux Klan  activity in Kansas the 1920s, using that small amount of data to support conclusions about fraternalism more generally.

According to Stiles,  the high point of Masonic membership  occurred in the 1920s. By contrasting Masonic membership data with Klan membership numbers, a new perspective on fraternal membership life cycle may be understood.  “Rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan at the same high membership point of civic and fraternal membership in whole gives us insight into much larger fraternal trends that have nothing to do with the Klan. And since there was so much cross-over of membership in groups with only slight change to the economic situation, and no change to political and social structures, it becomes a potentially powerful tool to examine the attitudes and changes in civic organizations as a whole. ”

Contending that each few months of the life of the Klan organization strongly mirror decades long changes in other groups, he argued there is a lot to learn, however metahistorical it may be.

Stiles was a part of a panel that included Masons and non-Masons who conduct academic research about Freemasonry.  The panel was chaired by Dr Susan Mitchell Sommers of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and included Dr Kristofer Allerfeldt of the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom, and WB Adam Kendall, Director of the Henry Wilson Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry at the Grand Lodge of California.

The Conference, which  meets biennially, features papers and discussions with Masons and Masonic scholars from around the world, and is held under the special patronage of the 11th Earl of Elgin, who is head of the Scottish House of Bruce, and formerly the Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.  His age and health prevented his attendance at this session, but each presenter was given a copy of the book, authored by the Earl, on his ancestor, King Robert the Bruce.

The next conference location will be in the north of England, at a date and precise location to be determined.

Strategic Planning Conference Set for Fall

By Cole Presley, DDGM, Dist. 35

On September 17, 2011 at noon, at the Prairie Junction Restaurant in Morland, Kansas,  Millbrook Lodge No. 281 and the 35th District will be hosting a Strategic Planning Conference.

The purpose of this event is to allow lodges from across the state to put their heads together as they begin to build their strategic plans as required by 2013 under Vision 2020.  This will also be a good chance to consult resources for planning and to work out issues in creating goals. RW Rick Reichert, GSW, will also be in attendance with members from his Leadership Task Force to assist any lodges with their plan.

May 2011 Kansas Mason Now Online

The May 2011 issue of the Kansas Mason is now posted online, and the issue has been sent to the printers in advance of our publication deadline.

This is only possible because of the hard work of our writers and editors for this issue; Howard Duncan, Dan Morrow, Chet Peterson, Max Pittman, Nolan Sump, and our proofreader,  Jan Nelson. The issue contains the regular columns by the Grand Master and the Grand Secretary and GSW Rick Reichert also provided us with an excellent article on the Masonic experience life cycle.  Also included are the official edicts from the Annual Communication, and news of the Craft both in Kansas and abroad. The paper copy should reach your US Mail carrier the first week in May.

The issue is full, and  regrettably we had to make some hard choices in deciding what could fit in.  Submissions that reached us in advance of the deadline and were in electronic format received precedence over hand-written or paper submissions. Because of the all-volunteer nature of our staff, we do not have the time or manpower to transcribe hand-written or paper submissions.  But you can help bridge that gap by sending all submissions by email with electronic images (.jpg/.png) accompanying each story.  For further information, please consult our style sheet.

The Fall issue of the Kansas Mason is due out in September 2011. Writer’s deadline for submissions is August 15, 2011.