What is a Lodge? by MWB Jack Allen

On April 24, 2010 Sunrise Lodge #783 dedicated their new Lodge building located in Gahanna Ohio. MWB Jack Allen offered these words to describe what Sunrise Lodge has created: 

Webster’s New World Dictionary defines LODGE as a local branch or meeting place of certain societies or clubs. That’s us … a local branch – one of over 500 lodges in Ohio and thousands in America and hundreds of thousands in the world. This local branch is 500 strong and exactly 7 percent attend to its affairs…both business and Masonic…SEVEN percent.

But all 500 in this branch, this lodge…and all 100,000-plus in Ohio, and maybe a million or more in America and who knows how many in the world contribute their monies so that Masonry can educate young people, treat the burned, crippled, sick, visually impaired, mental challenged, the destitute, the lonely and those in need of senior care. All the branches of our society coming together to do together what no one person in the world could do alone.That is why we have lodges…to work together, even this small branch.

David R. Ray, in his book “Wonderful Worship in Smaller Churches” captures the essence of “small”. He defines it as INTIMACY, IMMEDIACY and INVOLVMENT.I am proud that this branch, this lodge, spends 5 minutes of each meeting reading minutes, listening to the financial reports and then spends an hour or more on INTIMACY, IMMEDIACY and INVOLVMENT.

Under the heading of intimacy we share the details of our lives with each other, our successes and failures, our joys and sorrows. We guide Bro. Don around the hazards he can’t see, we speak the words for Bro. Bob because he can no longer speak.Under immediacy we address issues on the spot. The Jobies need money to go to pageant – done. The American Legion needs help sending girls and boys to their mock state government gatherings – done. A brother needs fuel oil to heat his home – done. A wife needs expensive new glasses – done.

Under involvement Bro. Fred had no one locally to handle his funeral and burial. We made the arrangements, conducted his funeral service and escorted him to his grave. Bro. George needs socializing and trips to the barber – done. A member needed help burying his brother in Ghana – done.Together, Masons have banked enough money to provide $12 million in endowed care at the Ohio Masonic Home annually…$3 million a day in America in Masonic care and charity.

My brethren, the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge Officers have dedicated this room to Masonry, a place to gather and concern our selves with INTIMACY, IMMEDIACY and INVOLVMENT; an inanimate object that can do nothing but shelter us. But you, my brethren, you are the animate objects; you provide the INTIMACY, IMMEDIACY and INVOLVMENT. You are the lodge.

Thank you RWB Mick for allowing me to speak in your place, and thank you Grand Master and Grand Lodge Officers for making April 24, 2010 a day to remember for Sunrise Lodge No. 783.

Editors Note – Sunrise Lodge #783 was established May 2, 2002 under consolidation of two lodges, Caledonia Lodge No. 416 and East Gate Lodge No. 603 after all most 2 years of working together. On February 8, 2006 they were joined by Bexley Lodge #704.