A Challenge to Become an Individual Giver
Jerry Jerome Miller
Gulf Council No. 29 R.&S.M., Florida
Editorial Note: This is an article from a Companion in Florida. It is directed at his Council, but the
message of the article applies to all of us.
It was my honor to serve as a delegate of Surf Chapter No. 57, R.A.M. and as an observer member of St. Elmo Commandery No. 42, K.T. and Gulf Council No. 29, R.&S.M. to the 2019 Florida Grand York Rite Bodies of Freemasonry Conference. The experience is appreciated. I will be pleased to again receive such honor from you and attend in future years.
Each session was informative and inspiring. There was much substance presented in the sessions. I was wanting of information and guidance that would assist me to become a better York Rite Mason. I was fulfilled in that quest with the bonus opportunity to build relationships with other Companions and Sir Knights from around Florida. I encourage each of you to plan to attend in the future, especially for those of holding delegate offices in each of the Fort Walton Beach York Rite Bodies.
I was especially attentive to absorb our purpose for being generally and to identify an opportunity to contribute to our success. Among the three sessions, special attraction to the purpose and work of the Council of Royal and Select Masters became apparent.
On the Cryptic Masons Council International web site can be found a form of Mission Statement and purpose. It is:
“Freemasonry seeks to improve community by improving the individual. Therefore, Councils of Cryptic Masons are found working with Lodges, Chapters, and Commanderies, giving more opportunities to improve one’s skills in leadership, public speaking, interpersonal relationships, and administration. This empowers masons to become better leaders in their career, church, and community. Councils also work with these and other Masonic groups in community service projects to demonstrate Masonic teachings as a way of life.
General Grand Council established the Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation to give Cryptic Masons an opportunity to turn Masonic philosophy into a living practice.”
During the sessions, there were reports and recognitions presented regarding district and nit participation in the separate sponsored charities. It seemed we might have the capacity to participate at a higher level. As to the Council’s principal charity, Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation, it is my suggestion we could find ways to place more emphasis on our charitable work in Gulf Council.
While we are all aware that Gulf Council makes an annual contribution to the Foundation, some research disclosed that only three of our living Companions are recorded as contributors to the Foundation. Thank you, Companions Jack Mauldin, Dennis Barbarisi, John Gray and Leo Calef, for your leadership example in the Foundation. That begs the question, what are we about if our commitment to the Foundation is not a personal commitment for each of us?/p>
I have provided you each a current edition Foundation brochure. I have also provided stock of current brochures for our Council and each the Crestview and Pensacola York Rite Bodies within our district. I will this year make a special effort to help all of us make a difference for Gulf Council and the Foundation. As a part of that, if I have not already contacted you regarding contributing to the Foundation, expect the call. I believe it a reasonable goal for our Council that at least twenty Gulf Council Companions this year evidence his support for the Foundation by attaining the first special recognition award with an initial contribution of $50.00.
I would further challenge each of us with a Franciscan prayer:
“May God bless us with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships so that we may live deep within our hearts.
May God bless us with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that we may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war, so that we may reach out our hands to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.
May God bless us with enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in the word, so that we can do what others claim cannot be done, to bring justice, relief and kindness to our fellow man.”
And may we always remember that Kindness is Powerful and within our power to wield!
Thank you, my Gulf Council Companions. I do so enjoy this travel with you.