October Communication – The Three Pillars & The Circumpunct

Much is happening at the Masonic Lodge in East Aurora, New York! Masonic education is starting to take center stage. Brother Todd Paterek (our Masonic Education Officer) presented a paper written by Brother Thomas J. Williams called; Redefining The Three Pillars. Please follow that link to The Midnight Freemasons and read the original article. Brother Paterek followed it up with some comments relating to Freemasonry at Blazing Star Lodge. Please follow the link above to read the original paper then read below for Brother Paterek’s follow up.

Adapting Brother Williams’ Three Pillars To Blazing Star Lodge.

Education: We are starting this, I am standing here talking your ears off and it is a start. However, I should not do this alone. Lodge education comes from everyone. Anyone can do research and write a paper, then bring it here to present. It is encouraged! Also, if you heard or read a published paper and it inspired you, please bring it in, read it to the Lodge, pass it around. Masonic education is what makes us better men. We learn from each other and we teach each other. This is not a classroom; this is where we work. We knock way the superfluous pieces of our ashlars and we get a little better each time we leave the Lodge. Not because we paid the bills after proper audit, but because we were able to take away something that inspired us to be a better man. We take that inspiration out into our communities, back to our families, and with us at work. We then inspire another, and they another, and around and around it goes. This is how we make good men better and how we make the world better.

Fellowship: There is no reason, even during COVID, why we cannot meet here in the Lodge and talk about Masonic topics, about the Buffalo Bills or Buffalo Sabres, about anything really. We can order a pizza or tacos and share a couple of beers. Our Brothers built this Lodge in 1906, many with their own hands. Brothers for decades since then have maintained the building and grounds, cleaned the floors, cutting the grass, changing lightbulbs, installed water lines, filled the toilet paper, and much more. Let us honor them by enjoying the fruit of their labors. Our Lodge is a huge jewel that many are not lucky enough to have. If anyone is interested in arranging a monthly, or weekly time to meet here and discuss Masonic topics and have some Fellowship, please let me know after Lodge or anytime by email, text, or phone.

Ritual: We got some Masonic education, we then had some fun and Fellowship, now it is time to work. To take the knowledge we learned through the education we received, together with the bonds of Brotherhood we formed in Fellowship, and apply all of it to our Ritual. I want us to be perfect at the Ritual, but it is okay if we are not. Delivering a good ritual and backing it up with a proper explanation of the ritual afterward is essential. Because without the explanation and discussion after, we might as well do it all in Latin.

Our main program for the evening was an adaptation of W:. Jon T. Ruark’s, PM of The Patriot Lodge #1957 presentation; “The Philosophical Elements of the Circumpunct”.

Brother Paterek took us from the circumpunct (Dot within a circle) drawn with compasses through the building blocks of life, and to the intelligent design of the universe. Brother Ruark’s presentation is far more in-depth and can be found on YouTube.

Are you interested in Freemasonry?  Contact us to learn more.

Guest Speaker: MW:. Jeffrey M. Williamson

A Lifetime in Masonry, Ritual, Observations and the Book of Ecclesiastes 12:1-7

By Jeffrey M. Williamson, PGM

Please join us on February 25, 2020, for a presentation by the MW:. Jeffrey M. Williamson, Past Grand Master of Masons in the State of New York. MW:. Williamson will present; “A Lifetime in Masonry, Ritual, Observations and the Book of Ecclesiastes 12:1-7”.  This is a presentation every Mason should attend. MW:. Williamson is an awesome speaker and has years of Masonic knowledge, some of which he will pass along this evening. Please RSVP if you wish to attend. All Entered Apprentices, Fellowcraft, and Master Masons are welcome to join us for this exciting event.

Fellowship begins at 5:30 pm, dinner at 6:30 pm, and we will open Lodge at 7:30 pm sharp with Fellowship continuing after Lodge closing. If you are attending or possibly bringing along some Brothers for the dinner and presentation please RSVP to ensure there will be enough for all.


Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 King James Version (KJV)
12 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years
draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after
the rain:
In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, 
and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,
And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise 
up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;
Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond 
tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth 
to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the
fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Are you interested in Freemasonry?  Contact us to learn more.

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Masonic Poll Results

Masonic Poll Results

By: Todd M. Paterek ~ Senior Deacon of Blazing Star Lodge #694 F&AM

We posted a quick survey on our Newsletter and our website asking some specific questions about your experiences in Masonry at Blazing Star Lodge #694 F&AM.  The results are in and I want to address a couple comments directly.  I do not want you to think that these are rebuttals, nor will I try to defend the Lodge, I will not even take a side.  I want to give my view of the comments.  I am happy the comments were posted (anonymously) because we need to know where we have to improve.  We need to talk to each other and listen to each other if we want to be successful in our Masonic journey.  For those who answered you are anonymous but I personally think it is best to voice your opinions in person.  We spend about an hour having dinner and general Fellowship before we open Lodge, we then have at least another hour after we close Lodge.  These are perfect informal times to voice your opinions, ask questions, and get involved.  If you want fell free to pull me aside and talk one on one.  I am no authority in the Lodge, none of us are, but I am one that is pushing for change so if the boat is rocking, they expect it is me.

What did you expect of Masonry before you “knocked on the door”?

I knew nothing about masonry, except I knew my dad’s friends who were masons, and that they were quality gentlemen whom I had grown up knowing and thinking highly of. I wanted to be among those type of men.

This is common in quality men seeking Masonry.  Quality men want to be gentlemen and they understand that to become better they need the influence of other quality men.  I like to think that each of us who knock on the door are already good men.  We are looking for another good man to answer the door and welcome us into a group who will teach us, learn from us, so that what is gained is equal to that which is given.  In reality the good man knocking on the door becomes a better man, the good man answering the door and the group of men welcoming in the new man also becomes a better men.  We all gain and become better with each new Brother.  Sadly we also suffer when a Brother walks way.

Fellowship in a lodge that did something more then just open pay bills close and everyone departs. Learning, presentations guest speakers. Brotherhood which included time after a meeting for cards or some entertainment.

YES!  Well that is just the opinion of these two Masons.  Business must be addressed, we have to pay the bills but who joined Masonry so they could pay the bills?  We can do that at home where we can fully enjoy the act of paying bills…   Hmm?  We are a social organization, we bond during dinner, we joke over cookies and coffee.  But when was the last time we actually had Masonic education?  What about an esoteric conversation?  What do we use the two foot ruler for?  Yes but why?  There is so much to learn about Freemasonry and we choose to spend our time on bills.  Now let me also say that we are trying new things.  We started the Cinco de Tuesday’s on every fifth Tuesday.  Starting this year, each Movember we will grow mustaches and raise money for men’s health.  We are trying to get some good Masonic education presentations together to enlighten.  Things are starting to happen and we need your enthusiasms, knowledge, and wisdom to help contribute to the betterment of everyone at the Lodge.

Now that you are a Mason, what is Masonry offering you?

The primary thing was instant friends. Immediately upon entering the building, found a group of instant friends, and it didn’t take long to discover that those friends are all over the place.

This is absolutely true and it makes me feel good that this Brother feels this way and that we made him feel this way.  We are friends.  Sometimes we throw the word Brother around too much and sometimes what we need is a friend.  This is important to me, to know that I have a friend and that I am a friend to another.

A chance to come to lodge to try to make a difference. Ascending through the chairs with the hope of someday leading a successful lodge of such.

Allow me to break this one into pieces.  First I want to reword it if I may.  A chance to come to Lodge, ascend through the chairs, and one day lead a successful Lodge of better men, thereby making a difference in their lives, who will then make a difference in their communities and ultimately by the actions of my Brothers we will make the World a better place for everyone.  This Brother’s statement is so profound, so full of the true meaning of Freemasonry everyone needs to read that again.

Remember when you are Master and beyond, that day you walked through the inner door a good man full of expectations.  Hopefully, you will see them coming though that same door just as good and full of expectations as you were.

What are you looking for from Masonry that you are not receiving?

Masonry is something you can get as involved with as you do or don’t wish, which is nice, because it accommodates the interest level of any man. But I do wish we had more members. Not just quantity, we always want the kind of man who fits in well and enjoys it, but it sure would be nice to be in a situation where we didn’t have to sweat it out every year to fill officer chairs, or rely so heavily on a handful of members to carry the load. As it is today, basically everybody who regularly attends will be asked to take an officer position, which isn’t unreasonable, but there is a place, a real place, for brothers who just want to visit, enjoy masonry, enjoy friendships, but not feel obligated to take a position of responsibility in the lodge. There’s nothing wrong with brothers wanting to be a sideliner, and I wish we had the numbers in the craft to support that.

I am going to take sides on this one.  I completely agree with this Brother.  If one of us does not want to take an officer’s chair, then they should not be made to feel obligated to do so.  It is certainly possible that we lost some of our new Brothers because we immediately pushed them into an Officer’s chair.  We essentially robbed them of the learning experience that comes with sitting on the sidelines.  What if that Brother is not comfortable with public speaking, had a bad experience, or just wants to take it all in?  Now we throw him into the chairs with the added pressures of learning lines and being “on stage”.  For some that is enough to make them walk.  I want to take this opportunity to invite any Brother who took an Officer’s chair against their wishes to come back to the Lodge and relax on the sidelines.  I will take the heat from our Worshipful Master.  No pressure Brothers, just come and enjoy the brotherhood.

Coming to Lodge means you are participating.  We have plenty of Officer chairs available.  However, even if you sit on the side you are just as much a part of that Lodge as the Worshipful Master.  You have just as much to contribute to the Lodge and Brothers in the Lodge as anyone there.  Ascending through the chairs is admirable, necessary, and a bit of an obligation to your Lodge.

I don’t see our lodge as successful in getting or retaining membership. It isn’t a very active lodge and new members are few and the ones that have become don’t return.

This is obviously a concern of everyone.  Membership is down, those who are active are not very active.  We need some ideas, we need our member to come to the Lodge and talk about their ideas.  We have over 100 paying members, and out of those 100 members about 10 show up for a stated communication.  A good percentage are out of town, or cannot physically make it to the Lodge and we understand the many other obligations that come up that prevent us from making it to the Lodge.  However, you also made an promise to the Brothers in the Lodge.  You can read a little on my Quality Vs. Quantity post about that.  As we implement ideas, get new ideas, and Brothers start to return to the Lodge to see what we are doing they will attract new members and more activities will result with more participation.

What is keeping you from coming to the Lodge?

Difficulty sitting in lodge, use a walker to get around.  Might have to leave before the meeting is over with.  Have been a good attendance previous years and miss it very much, this news letter is great , keep up the good work.

I am truly humbled by this response.  I know it is difficult when age takes away the things we love most in life.  I know that if any Brother needs to leave the Lodge before we officially close or needs special seating we can and will accommodate.  We have our ritual and such but NOBODY will raise a brow if a Brother stands up and walks out.  I am sure one will follow to make sure you are okay and need help, but we understand.  I wonder if we could make an abbreviated Lodge communication once or twice a year, maybe cut out reading of the minutes, so we can welcome some of our seasoned and experienced Brethren back.  We miss you too and I am sure there are some who never met you Brother yet hold you with as much respect and admiration was each Brother we see every week.  Your encouragement about the newsletter truly makes me happy to be able to bring a small part of the Lodge to you and others who legitimately cannot make it to Lodge.  This makes me want to do even better.  Thank you Brother.

There were a few more questions but these are the answers I felt needed attention.  I think what I learned is that we are a good bunch of Brothers, there are improvements needed, and we need the help of each of our Brothers.

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