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Sword & Trowel January 2016

155th Most Illustrious Companion Brett A. Mac Donald, KYGCH Grand Master Cryptic Masons

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Table of Contents End of Year Itinerary Accomplishments The Last Royal Arch Mason - Comments Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation Comments – Grand Sessions CMMRF Fall Report Scholarships Humor Cryptic History Pictures Contact Information Illustrious Grand Master Cryptic Masons ......... Grand Recorder ................................................. Editor ............. ............................................. Website .......... ............................................. Officers, Grand Council Cryptic Masons Grand York Rite Sessions Forms

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End of Year Companions, As 2015 comes to a close we can look back at a good year for our efforts on behalf of Cryptic Masons Medical Research Fund. Most Illustrious Tiny Potter doesn’t have the final December 31st accounting yet. I glad to report that as of the close of November California has donated just over $15,000. This puts us into first place. We can’t rest however as Florida is only $75 behind us. I felt the reason our CMMRF donations had dropped over the past few years was due to us, your Grand Officers not getting information into your hands. My main goal this year has been to increase awareness of the work that CMMRF has been doing. In a nutshell I would wager that everyone knows someone who has experienced an aneurysm, stroke, arthritis, pancreatitis, diabetes, pulmonary disease, heart attack, poor circulation or a lingering wound. Your donations are helping CMMRF to work on developing cures for all of these diseases. This year CMMRF is starting research into arthritis. They are looking at development of a cure into arthritis as one grows older and juvenile arthritis. They are working closely with a local children’s hospital that currently has 200 kids who are not being helped by existing arthritis treatments. Our Cryptic year has been going great. We have visited most of the Councils either for a meeting or reception. Our Inspectors are reporting fewer Councils are relying on their books to open and close. Please be sure to check with your Inspector and see when a Ritual Seminar will be held for your Department. Warmest Fraternal Regards, Brett MacDonald Illustrious Grand Master

Itinerary This year I will be emailing out a calendar monthly and if able to attend please make your reservations, in a timely manner. If you have any questions please feel free to call me (626) 991-6688.

GRAND COUNCIL CALENDAR 2015-2016 Saturday - February 20, 2016 3 Way York Rite Reception Long Beach March 11, 2016 Grand Officer Conference, Bakersfield Department G.O. only Saturday, March 19-22, 2016 – Formal Opening of Rainbow for Girls Grand Assembly Dress – I.G.M. Tux w/purple accents jewel & apron Lady – formal dress Officers – Suit, jewel & apron Ladies Mid-calf length dress 6:30 pm Social Hour 7:00 pm Formal Opening Reservations: Saturday – March 26 - Stockton 3 Way Reception Contact: David Studley Sunday – May 22-25, 2016 – Doubletree Bakersfield Grand Sessions 5-22-16 Sunday Grand Banquet 5-23-16 Monday Grand Family Banquet 5-24-16 Tuesday Grand Council

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Accomplishments Companions, As we enter this New Year, I am reflecting on what was accomplished in 2015. Seeing that our craft is growing in this state and I see a wonderful chance to increase the number of new members in the York Rite. Most of these new members are looking for life’s answers and the continued lessons they learned in the Blue Lodges. Our genital craft and its lessons are as important and prevalent today as they were in the past. Brotherly love, relief and truth, integrity, honesty, charity is just the tip of the iceberg of what we teach. With the help of our Ritual staff, headed by our Director of Ritual Ill. David Chesebro KYGCH IPGM, we have increased the quality and importance of our beautiful Ritual, which will be continued this year. We will also continue with our Leadership Training lead by our dedicated leaders Bud Ramsey, Randy Downey and Greg Hall who have developed a course that can be useful in our York Rite Bodies as well as our everyday life. Their work took a long time of study and experience to develop and we greatly appreciate their sharing these lessons with our present and future leaders. Our Grand Officers, led by Most Illustrious Grand Master Brett MacDonald KYGCH, are diligently working to improve our Councils in every aspect where we think will help make a difference. Remember this is OUR York Rite and your input is extremely important. We need to know what will make your York Rite experience and that of your companions be improved and more meaningful. At our Mid-term Grand Officers Conference in Covina we discussed short and long-term plans. We wrote the final draft of our Mission Statement (which was printed in last month’s Sword and Trowel). We discussed plans for everything from improving our forms and documents to improving communications to forming new Councils and more. These plans will be revealed in the coming year. I hope you and your families have a happy and prosper year 2016. I look forward to see all ya’ll soon. Fraternally, Bill Price, Deputy Grand Master

The Last Royal Arch Mason - Comments In recent public speeches by companions of California York Rite concerning our shrinking numbers (our numbers has been shrinking since 2001) and the efforts of the Ritual Bodies, we, the Masonic Publication Board of Directors, which produces the Sword and Trowel; decided to re-publish an article by John L. Cooper III “The Last Royal Arch Mason” in our December issue. Comments: California has a large population of York Rite Masons compared to other States but are we losing ground? Discussion’s overheard, and I do travel, so please do not try and connect the dots;  

“York Rite Masonry” is hurting in the “Central Valley”: a Commandery was requested for a flag escort during an installation and DeMolay did the honors. o I asked why and “only two Sir Knights stated they would be present”.

When any member of York Rite visits lodges, at the appropriate time when asked to say a little about York Rite we do so but when the comments are made at the lodge where the Commandery Flag Escort was requested, how will the comments be taken about York Rite? 

Currently, California has 44,848 (2015) Master Masons and approximately 4,423 York Rite Masons at the end of 2013, although there is currently less. Doing a minor calculation percentage wise; leaves York Rite Masons at 9.7263012765%.

With a little analysis, Southern California and the Silicon Valley have the majority of York Rite Masons. 

York Rite is primarily represented in the counties of Alameda, Butte, Humboldt, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Monterey, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Shasta, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Tuolumne, and Ventura, with some of the listed counties have less than 100 members.

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There are 58 counties in California, with 28 listed as having a York Rite population, leaving 30 counties as having no York Rite population. York Rite Bodies, in the Central Valley, are few and far. In a straight line, using 99 and parts of 5 as the centerfold; we find Redding, Red Bluff, Chico, Yuba City, Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto, Hanford, Bakersfield, & with a curve Nevada City, Auburn, & Sonora. And if you live in Fresno, the nearest York Rite Body and your home will cost you plenty of gas and mileage on your car.

The paper presented by Companion Cooper was a look into our probable future but it did present one solution, communications. Do we contact our members if they do not attend a Convocation, Assembly, or a Conclave? Do we contact those members who are sick? Do we have a Bulletin we send to our Companions? The Workman by the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons and the Sword and Trowel by the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons are types of Communications and are these papers reaching your members? Send the papers electronically to all your members having e-mail, send them by mail to all member not having e-mail (if you can afford) and tell your members, those attending York Rite meetings where these publications can be found on the web, either at the Grand York Rite web site or on Facebook – communicate. Your York Rite should have a monthly publication, communications to all your members, and should be placed on a table outside each lodge in your area. Let them know about York Rite. 

Think about it, Fresno County has a population of 965,974 and we are NOT represented in that county. Oh, last count of Masonic Lodges in that county = 4.

Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation Our Charity (Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation) can really use your support with Dollars. Please send all donations to me, so that I may process the proper receipts and mail all donations to Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation in Nashville, Indiana. Please take a few minutes and think about our charity.

Fred J. ‘Tiny’ Potter, MIPGM Chairman, CMMRF (California) 345 Otono Court Camarillo, CA 93012-6822

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Comments – Grand Sessions

Companions/Sir Knights, It is that time of the year for a change of leadership in our York Rite bodies. As each of our new officers take their new offices, I would like you to think about your responsibility to the Grand Chapter, Council, and Commandery to attend the Grand Sessions in May or to have a representative attend. I understand that the cost to attend the entire sessions can put a strain on one’s finances. I would like each of you to at least consider attending the sessions of the three Grand Bodies or the one you are dais officer in. I hope that each of the dais officers, plus the past presiding officer, realize that they are voting members of the Grand Bodies. Please don’t let your vote go to waste. Registration form are available at ca-gyrs.org. We as masons have a tendency to put things off until the last minute. Let us strive in this New Year to plan ahead. We would also like you to consider placing an ad in our Program. You can find an ad form in this publication. When you attend the Grand sessions pick up your copy. Also pick up a copy to be left in your Blue Lodge. If we are to grow, this is an avenue to show others who we are. James G Baum Executive Officer Grand York Rite Sessions Remember if there is anything you would like to improve our sessions, please let me know. These are your sessions and we want to make them enjoyable for you and your Lady. “Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it. And then he feels that perhaps there isn't.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

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CMMRF Fall Report

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Scholarships Companions, your children, grandchildren, & for some, great-grandchildren may receive financial help for attending school. After opening up Scholarship Center website, have them go to bottom of page & find the Scholarship Manual in (PDF format – 450KB) to download. There they will find instructions for filling out the forms. This is the link which will take you to the public Grand Lodge web page on scholarships. All the information you need should be right there. This is a complete manual that you can download that talk about all of the scholarships available from the California Masonic Foundation as well as the Scottish Rite, York Rite, Eastern Star, High Twelve, DeMolay, Job’s Daughters, & Rainbow for Girls.

Humor Rule Number 10 in Dating a Daughter of a Freemason but of course I also loved number 9 Rule Ten: Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy near Hanoi. I have Agent Orange and when it starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit your car with both hands in plain sight. Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely, early, and then return to your car – there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine. Rule Nine: Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a spade, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.

Cryptic History 

Originally read and in part a re-written play from the Grand Council of New York.

What is Cryptic Masonry? Why should I, a Mason, be interested in learning about these degrees, Capitular and Cryptic? What further Masonic Light can I learn from them, should I seek to become Royal Arch Mason, a Cryptic Mason? Free and Accepted Masonry is comprised of three degrees, Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason, which each one of us has received. Over a period of many years in the history of our fraternity, brothers, just like you and me, have conceived, designed, and perfected additional degrees to impart further Masonic Light who have a genuine desire to expand their Masonic interest and Knowledge. In California the York Rite consists of Royal Arch Masonry, Cryptic Masonry, and Knight Templar but let’s talk about degrees of Cryptic Masonry and why these degrees are important in the study of further Masonic light. In studying the Cryptic Degrees; the Cryptic Degrees of Royal Master Degree, Select Master Degree, and Super excellent Master will shed further Masonic Light. Cryptic Degrees complete the “Circle of Perfection”. You began that circle when you received the symbolic degrees in your lodge. The Circle of Perfection continued when you received the Capitular Degrees in your Chapter and the Circle of Perfection was completed and with it you gained a new and fuller appreciation of these degrees when you completed the Cryptic Degrees. The Cryptic Degrees can be called the “Degrees of Preservation” because the degrees focus our attention on that which was preserved at the time of the building of King Solomon’s Temple for the benefit of Future Generations. The Cryptic Rite is a progression of “Solomonic” degrees and only Royal Arch Masons may join a Council of Cryptic Masons. The name “Cryptic” does not mean “secretive” as was my first thought because I have an Intelligence background but refers to the underground “Crypt” or “Secret Vault” built by King Solomon, where as a Royal Arch Mason, you discovered the Long Lost Master’s word. Sword & Trowel

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Individually, Cryptic Masons address each other as Companions, same as Chapter. We meet in local bodies known as Councils and work under the authority of the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons, California. (The first Council was formed in New York City, a few years after the founding of the Grand Council and this Council is still active today).

Two Degrees are conferred in a Council of Cryptic Masons: the Royal Master Degree and the Select Master Degree. There is a third degree, the Super Excellent Master and is an honorary/optional when conferred. The Cryptic Masons Degrees conferred in our Councils are connected to the degrees we received in our Blue Lodges and the Capitular Degrees received in our Royal Arch Chapters. What makes the Cryptic Degrees unique? These degrees continue and more importantly, complete the Masonic story of King Solomon’s temple. These degrees cover a period beginning just prior to the Master Mason Degree in the Lodge to a time immediately leading up to the start of the Royal Arch Degree in the Chapter. The Royal Master Degree gives you a deeper understanding and appreciation of the “Master Mason Degree”. In the journey toward being raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason each of us was required to symbolically represent Grand Master H.A. who was slain for refusing to compromise his integrity. In the Royal Master Degree, you meet and talk with Grand Master H.A. and you come to understand why he was chosen by our early brethren to personify all the being a Master Mason means. In the Cryptic Masonry Degrees there is one thing you must remember, the order in which events happen is seldom the order in which we learn about them. The successive degrees in Masonry picture events in the order we learn about them, not the chronological order in which they occurred. For instance, the events of the Mark Master Degree took place before those of the Master Masons, but they were not presented to you in that order. The Royal Master, setting for this degree is King Solomon’s Temple, pictures events that happened prior to, and after the Tragedy of the Third Degree, and we would have you notice how well they fill the gaps in our knowledge of that Tragedy and its meaning. In the Royal Master Degree, you symbolically represent Adoniram. The Holy Bible informs us he was both a trusted friend of Grand Master H.A. and is his assistant. He was charged with the responsibility of overseeing the cutting of the timer in the forests of Lebanon and the quarrying of stone used in the construction of King Solomon’s Temple. In the first section of the Royal Master Degree, Grand Master H.A. shares with you what it means to have taken upon yourself the character of a Master Mason. He talks with you about the profound and lasting influence you may have, as a Master Mason, an influence that you may not even be aware of and how for that reason, you are to remain true to your Masonic Character and Principles not only while in the company of Masons but while abroad in the world. … let there be displayed about the Altar of Obligation three burning tapers placed in a triangular position; and may the virtues which they symbolize be a light unto the feet of every true and faithful Mason, in all walks of life, until that perfect day, when the glory of the Lord shall illumine our souls forever. … In the second section of the Royal Master Degree, you are admitted into the presence of King Solomon following the death of Grand Master H.A. for reasons that are made known in the ceremonies of the degree. King Solomon chooses to confer upon you the new rank and title of Royal Master. Companions, it is your character as a man which laid the foundation for your seeking to be made a Mason. Your desire to build on that foundation as a Master Mason led you to become a Royal Arch Mason and you received the Master’s word. The further Masonic light you received in the “Royal Master Degree” cements your understanding and appreciation of what it truly means to be a Master Mason.

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Pictures Some pictures of York Rite Activities

Grand Commandery of Knights Templar Connecticut

Grand York Rite Reception – Riverside #2

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Grand York Rite Reception – Riverside #1

Grand York Rite Reception – Riverside #3

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San Diego

Rainbow Girls

More great events with the LLL. "Lovely Ladies of the Lodge #1" at Yorba Linda 469. The really make us better men and a great Lodge. The Yorba Lodge LLL lovely ladies of the lodge hold their own event at a brother’s home. They have 30 plus members and lots of wine centered events. Involve the ladies and watch your lodge prosper. Where is your activity????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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Contact Information Illustrious Grand Master Cryptic Masons: Most Illustrious Companion, Brett MacDonald, KYGCH Grand Master Cryptic Masons of California (626) 991-6688 © Grand Recorder: Ken Hope 11428 E. Artesia Blvd, #13 Artesia, CA 90701-3872 (562) 924-6500 (W) (562) 484-1611(C) Editor: Richard E. Thornton (209) 747-9518 (C) Website: Grand York Rite of California Note: Hyperlinks or links to other pages or web sites are prevalent throughout the document. Please notice the reference “Sword and Trowel; if you run your mouse over these names you will see “Ctrl + Click to follow link”. These are valid links to York Rite information.

Have you gone to our Grand Council website lately? www.yorkriteofcalifornia.org/ Do you know that there you can find rosters of officers, forms that you need, and a complete copy of the Officers Guide. The Officers guide helps you plan and know what is expected you.

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Officers, Grand Council Cryptic Masons We, Grand Council of Cryptic Masons Grand Officers, are here to assist you, we are here to help. 155th MOST ILLUSTRIOUS GRAND MASTER Brett A. MacDonald, KYGCH & Donna Shekinah Council No. 35 C.M. DEPUTY GRAND MASTER William E. Price & Janet California Council No. 2 C.M. GRAND TREASURER Robert A. L. Whitfield, MIPGM & Genie Oakland Council No. 12 C.M. GRAND DIRECTOR OF RITUAL David L. Chesebro, MIPGM & Sarah San Luis Obispo Council No. 38 C.M. GRAND CHAPLAIN (South) Mark A. Quinto & Trudy San Diego Council No. 23 C.M. GRAND CONDUCTOR OF THE COUNCIL Eduardo Estrada & Natasha Omega Council No. 11 C.M. GRAND SENTINEL Peter G. Champion & Jan San Luis Obispo Council No. 38 C.M.

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GRAND PRINCIPAL CONDUCTOR OF THE WORK Lee P. Whelan & Teresa Riverside Council No. 59 C.M. GRAND RECORDER Kenneth G. Hope, HMIPGM & Sonny Shekinah Council No. 35 C.M. GRAND CHAPLAIN (North) Richard E. Thornton & Cara Stockton Council No. 10 C.M. GRAND CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD William S. Dann & Anne Pacific Council No. 37 C.M. GRAND STEWARD Robert A. Morrison & Pauline Shasta Council No. 6 C.M. GRAND ORATOR James M. Sunseri Orange County Council No. 14 C.M.

GRAND MARSHAL (North) Clive Moss & Betsy Modesto Council No. 61 C.M.

GRAND MARSHAL (South) Paul A. Clark & Cindy Pomona Council No. 21 C.M.

GRAND SOLOIST K. Mark Harris Oakland Council No. 12 C.M.

GRAND MUSICIAN Roderick E. Betham Marysville Council No. 3 C.M.

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Sword & Trowel - January 2016  

A Monthly publication by the Grand Council Cryptic Masons of California