April 2022 Newsletter

Blazing Star Logo

The Blazing Star Light

Latest News & Updates From Blazing Star Lodge #694 F&AM


April Meetings & Events:

Saturday, April 9, 2022 – Fellowcraft Dinner for HRAKTP
Tuesday, April 12, 2022 – Committee Reports Presentations
Saturday, April 16, 2022 – Fellowcraft Meeting
Tuesday, April 26, 2022 – Nominations for Officers


MASONIC LIGHT

By: Bro. Frank W. Reed
(From Masonic Monthly, Philadelphia, Pa., May 1917)

When back we look upon the darksome way
From which we traveled with uncertain mind,
The selfsame mystic monsters do we find
Still making dolts their arrogance obey.
Confusing craftiness seeking to dismay
Each forward thought; their mental eyes to blind,
Enthroned deceit yells courses from behind,
And preaches hell to crutch its dying sway.
But when at last the will asserts it’s force,
And gains release from shackles long endured,
The phantom doubt dissolves in dawning light;
And from on high, where freedom gets its source,
A soul, new-born, of future life assured,
Finds God is love in each Masonic Rite.


Tuesday, March 8, 2022 – “Minutes”

Ideas

As most of us enjoyed a delicious spaghetti and meat sauce dinner prepared by W:. Andruczyk, W:. Breth spent time with one of our Entered Apprentices, Bro. Phillips. His proficiency was impressive, according to W:. Breth, and he could be ready this year for his Second Degree. This, however, is tentative since we are already approaching our last five communications of the 2021 – 2022 Masonic year.  It is amazing how quickly time flies.  

We continued the evening with some outstanding conversations on ways to make Blazing Star more social.  Several ideas were brought up before the Lodge for consideration.  Some of the best were purchasing darts, foosball, and other such entertainment to keep Brothers at the Lodge after we close our meetings.  Additionally, there was talk about starting a Brotherhood Fellowship evening on non-meeting nights. 

We are one of the luckiest Lodges in the Erie District to still own our own Lodge building.  Some say this is a burden but it gives us flexibility and the ability to meet as Brothers whenever we want.  It also is a tribute to the Blazing Star Brothers of the past.  I am sure many of them put hammer to nail to build the building that they entrusted to us.  Another great idea presented was to have all Brothers write and present a short paper about themselves.  Anything they want to let us and generations of Brothers to come to know about themselves.  These would then be placed into an archive for Brothers to read many years from now.

Have ideas?  Bring them to Lodge!


Tuesday, March 22, 2022 – “Minutes”

The evening started with another Entered Apprentice stopping in before dinner for some instruction and guidance with his proficiency. W:. Breth as usual provided him with the necessary tools he needed to continue his study. We hope to see more of our Entered Apprentices in the coming weeks and over the summer at our fundraising and Fellowship events. 

As usual, dinner began at 6:30 pm.  The Brothers present enjoyed a delicious chili prepared by Bro. Paterek but it seems that the bread was the big hit of the meal.  If interested it is the Vienna from Tops.  The secret is to let it breathe outside of the package for at least 30 minutes before cutting so it gets a nice crisp to the crust. As always our meals are not only about the food but the discussion and connections made between Brothers as we share in a time-honored tradition of breaking bread with each other.  

Our main presentation for the evening came from Brother Ken JP Stuczynski, High Priest of East Aurora Chapter No. 282 of Royal Arch.  Bro. Ken spoke about the Royal Arch Masonic tradition of the York Rite.  His intention was not to recruit but to inform Brothers about what lies beyond The Third Degree. Continuing one’s journey in Masonry is a personal decision. A Mason should consider many factors before joining another Masonic Body. Family, work, religious and personal obligations are foremost. 

If you are interested in exploring the York Rite Degrees please contact Brother Ken JP Stuczynski at ken@kentropolis.com. East Aurora Chapter meets at the Blazing Star Lodge in East Aurora, NY.  While no Mason would ever persuade any other Mason to join any other Masonic body it is something to think about as a Blazing Star Mason.  Many are already Companions of the East Aurora Chapter.  Ultimately it is your decision but this might present some opportunities in Masonry for you in friendships, education, and most importantly Light in Masonry.  

After closing Lodge, many Brothers stayed for Fellowship. Strawberry and cherry cakes were available but because of Lenten sacrifices and/or diets, they went untouched.  This is probably for the best since summer is around the corner and we all need to look our best at the pool, at the beach, or on our yachts.

It is always good to see Brothers talking and exchanging ideas and experiences. 


Brothers Of The Bread Update

Lots of bread

Brothers of the Bread is the main charitable outreach of Blazing Star Lodge.  Each month, we supply between 5000 and 9000 loaves of bread, treats, and/or rolls to food pantries in Erie and Cattaraugus Counties alone.  In the photo you see one trip to the local bakery, we have between three and four pickups per week.  You will find Brother Egressy (The Bread Man) at the Lodge every Tuesday passing out bread, jelly, treats, and more to local food pantries.  

Each trip to the bakery gives us between 30 – 36 trays of assorted bread and sometimes pastries or donuts. 


Freemasons of East Aurora

The Lodges and concordant bodies that meet at Blazing Star Lodge started a Facebook page. This page will promote the activities of each Lodge and Concordant body that meet in the East Aurora Lodge building. Please like and share as appropriate.

https://www.facebook.com/EAFreemasons


Robert R Livingston Masonic Library

Are you interested in learning more about Freemasonry?  Do you love reading? Then you need to join The Reading Course Program of The Robert R Livingston Masonic Library. As a Mason in good standing in the State of New York, you are privileged with the ability to check out books from the Library. Each Reading Course is a set of books on a Masonic study and interest. This opportunity is presented to New York Freemasons free of charge, Brothers are only responsible for the return postage which is under $5.00. Speaking from experience this is a great way to increase your knowledge in Masonic study.


The Masonic Minute

By: Steven L. Harrison, 33, PM, FMLR

One evening, in 1948, the President of the United States abided the press, his entourage, and some of the agents of the secret service to sneak off and attend a Master Mason Degree at Beech Grove Lodge #694.  Donald Earl Bauermeister and President Harry S. Truman.

The 2021 – 2022 Trestle Board

Meetings are on the second & fourth Tuesdays from September to June
(Unless otherwise specified)

April Meetings & Events:

April 9, 2022 – Fellowcraft Dinner for HRAKTP
April 12, 2022 – Committee Reports Presentations
April 16, 2022 – Fellowcraft Meeting
April 26, 2022 – Nominations for Officers

Upcoming Meetings & Events:

May 10, 2022 – Voting for Officers
May 25, 2022 – Installation of Officers
June 14, 2022 – Old Timers’ Night / Recognitions

Past Meetings & Events:

September 14, 2021 – Welcome Back!
September 28, 2021 – First Degree Prep 1
October 12, 2021 – First Degree Prep 2
October 23, 2021 – Ghost Hunt
October 26, 2021 – Stated Meeting
November 9, 2021 – Rememberance
November 23, 2021 – Thanksgiving Week
December 11, 2021 – Fellowcraft Dinner for HRAKTP
December 11, 2021 – First Degree Rehearsal
December 14, 2021 – The First Degree
December 18, 2021 – Fellowcraft Meeting
January 11, 2022 – Welcome back from Winter Break!
January 25, 2022 – Stated Meeting
February 8, 2022 – Stated Communication
February 19, 2022 – Fellowcraft Meeting
February 22, 2022 – Stated Communication
March 8, 2022 – A Night of Proficiency and Planning
March 19, 2022 – Fellowcraft Meeting
March 22, 2022 – Ken JP Stuczynski on Royal Arch


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October 27, 2020 Communication

Our last communication on October 27, 2020, was very informative. Even without an actual program, the Brothers pulled together for some good Masonic teachings. First off was Bro. Paterek with the Masonic Minute (we should find a new title for that). Brother Paterek read an original paper relating the stages of Halloween to each of the Masonic Degrees. You can read it below this post. We attended to some needed business before our SW Bro. Snyder put on a presentation of symbols and how they connect heaven and earth, God and us. If you are not at Lodge you are missing out on some fine Masonic education.

Fellowcraft TV Raffle:  The members of the Fellowcraft club arranged a TV Raffle.  You can win an RCA 55″ 4K, Ultra HD (2160P) HDR Roku Smart LED TV  Tickets can be purchased for $2.00 each or three for $5.00.  The drawing will be held on January 30, 2021, plenty of time to get it set up for the Superbowl!  Please contact W:. Markus for further details or to purchase tickets. info@blazingstarlodge694.com

W:. Capron brought up the idea that since we can not actually give the password in Lodge due to the current COVID restrictions, from now on a couple of canned goods or non-perishable food items will be required in lieu of the password to be admitted into Lodge. As part of our community involvement, we will be collecting these items for our local food banks. It is a small way we can give back, and also pay it forward. With the Holidays coming this can help make someone’s Thanksgiving a real giving of thanks. But with that said we will continue it thru this Masonic year, donating for Christmas and Easter. It can be re-evaluated next year by the Master and stopped or modified to go with the current social/covid conditions and restrictions. It is positive for our Lodge and our communities. So remember this is the way to be admitted into Lodge as a symbolic “password”.

This outstanding idea is one wherein one evening we can literally donate enough food for several families to have several meals.  Just another way we are helping our community.  W:. Capron is requesting that this practice continues through the end of his term but we sincerely hope it will become a Blazing Star Tradition that lasts long into the future.

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


A Masonic Halloween
By: Bro. Todd M. Paterek

The connection between Halloween and Freemasonry is not very distinct.  On the surface why would we want to associate a child’s holiday filled with skeletons, ghosts, and candy with such a distinguished fraternity?  Stay with me and I will try to explain.   I can still remember the smell of the hard-plastic masks and plastic costumes we all had the pleasure of wearing.  They were easy and got the job done.  We could put them on and harvest a huge crop of candy.  Honestly, I had far more fun building my costumes with my parents.  Always a little too close to October 31.  I didn’t acquire any more candy but the satisfaction of building a costume with my own hands was far better than the quick and easy Woolworth’s costumes.   Add some apple cider and donuts as a staple and it kept our energy at a maximum.  One year I was Dracula, complete with a coffin that opened and closed plus bats flying above me (I got second place at the Fork’s Fire Hall Halloween parade).  It did not matter that I won or only came in second place (I was much better than that pumpkin daughter of the chief!); I got my candy.   The exuberance of youth was on my side! 

“for there, the Lord commanded the blessing, even life forevermore.”  

As I grew older and began to raise my own family the holiday changed for me.  I passed from the carefree younger days running around gathering as much candy as possible that I expected to last forever, to the parent overseeing my children as they did the same enthusiastic, carefree search for more candy I did in my youth.  Being older now I am responsible to guide and teach my children through the night’s festivities.  I must temper their passions from time to time, but I like to let them have as much fun as possible because as we all know, it ends all too quickly. 

“Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people”  

My children are growing up and some are already too old to trick or treat.  The night is beginning to take on another meaning.  Skeletons and ghosts will soon be my fate.  Nobody is immune to the icy touch of the Grim Reaper (which was another costume I made with my parents).  I am reminded of a Masonic quote that is universally used throughout the world; “Memento Mori” which literally translated from Latin means; “Remember that you die”.  However, reflecting on the meaning I want to propose a deeper meaning.  Yes, we all will one day die that is painfully true but because of that fact, we must also remember to live.  People say “you only live once” but that is not true, you only die once but you live every day.  Halloween is a celebration of the life you are living because you are not yet dead.  However, when your time comes near and you look back on your life, ask yourself these questions.  Did you enjoy it as much as possible?  Did you help others enjoy their lives as much as possible?  Will you be proud of the man you became because of the legacy you left behind?  One day you too will look like him.  Just like every other human on this planet that ever was or will be.  However, your actions now as you live should have lasting positive influences that are remembered long after you put down your working tools.   

“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not”  

We are all still young, while we have a breath to breathe, we are children with all the excitement and anticipation of any child running house to house gathering candy.  We may not gather candy anymore; our grinder may not be as sharp.  However, maybe it is the sweet taste of Fellowship, the satisfaction of fundraising for the less fortunate, or possibly the addicting pursuit of knowledge and more Light.  Now is the time Brothers while you still have breath because one day your bones could be up here while another gives a speech.   

“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”  

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.

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