June 2021 Trestleboard
Sickness and Distress
Robin Winslett is still recovering from illness and phone calls are welcome!
Glen Van Steeter is recovering from a severe head-cold which turned into a bronchial infection.
Lee Rogers mother passed away last month at the age of 93.
Brethren all, if you are aware of any member of this Lodge who is suffering from ill-health or other adverse circumstances, or you yourself are suffering the same and you feel that it would benefit the member to be contacted by members of the Lodge, please reach out to the Secretary and let him know!
June 7th, 2021 @ 7:30 PM
Take due notice that our next Stated Meeting will be held on September 13th, which is the second Monday due to the fact that September 6th is Labor Day!
Either a practice for ritual or practicing a degree. These meetings usually start at 7 pm and are about 90 minutes.
Twin Peaks Lodge is “dark” July and August, which means there will be no stated meetings those two months. However, the Master may call for a special meeting for various purposes, such as committee meetings, officer meetings, degrees or practices.
From the East
As a reminder, we are authorized by the Most Worshipful Grand Master of Utah, under CDC guidelines, to practice the Utah Standard Work, and to perform all degrees using the updated protocols we have received from Grand Lodge.
MENTORS: Remember that it is considered proper to work with your candidates using telephones if you are unable to meet in person for whatever reason. Also, with the COVID-19 non-visitation restrictions having been rescinded, it is once again appropriate to visit another Lodge and attend a Degree with your candidates so that they may observe it. Please check with the Secretary or Master of the Lodge you want to visit before attending!
You can find out about upcoming degrees in Grandview. You can find contact information for the Utah Lodges on the Grand Lodge of Utah website at http://utahgrandlodge.org/lodges.php.
My thoughts: The ritual described in the Utah Standard Work, is a serious work. It is solemn and pays honor to those who passed this way before us. Our Lodge Lecturer, WB Ed Kordas has been tasked by the Grand Lecturer MWB Steven Lancaster to ensure that it is done correctly, with the due order and decorum it deserves. Please remember that during practice, meetings and degrees, all prompting is to be done by WB Kordas.
Wording of the work is per the Cipher distributed by the Grand Lodge. All Master Masons are eligible to purchase a cipher if they want one. Contact the Lodge Secretary, who can provide more information.
Richard L Wailes PM’
On the Secretary’s Desk
First, I apologize for how late this Trestleboard is in coming to you. Regrettably, I fell sick on May 28th and didn’t recover until June 6th. It was a common cold. However, let this be a word of caution to all of you as we prepare to resume more normal lives post pandemic restrictions! Most of us have been diligent in remaining in our homes for over a year, only going out to fetch needed supplies or to perform our usual vocation, and when out we were wearing masks, practicing diligent hand sanitization and keeping our distances. So, that first cold or flu that you get is likely to pack quite a punch above and beyond what you are used to!
Second, this is a reminder that the Lodge will be dark for July and August. That means our next Stated meeting will be the first Monday in September.
Third, please register on Grandview soon, or contact the Secretary and let him know that you will accept emails from the Lodge. As I stated in our May Trestleboard, I will no longer send bulk emails (like this Trestleboard) to Twin Peaks members who are not registered in Grandview or you have given me permission to send bulk emails to you using an external email list.
Glen Van Steeter
From the Editor of the Trestleboard
This is our second installment of the Trestleboard. Since the Worshipful Master asked me to send them out digitally, it just seemed to me that a plain old email or Word attachment was insufficient. It is my hope that this format will be more enjoyable and encourage you to read it.
However, now that I’ve started publishing these, I’d like some feedback! Good or bad! I’d also like to solicit educational articles that we can put in these issues to make them more interesting still. Those educational articles don’t have to be written by you personally, even though I really like those. If you’ve seen something in a Short Talk, in one of your Masonic books, or from the internet, please feel free to forward them along with any feedback or comments to [email protected].
Glen Van Steeter
The following Brethren have anniversaries of their being raised to the Degree of Master Mason in June.
- Brother Harold Paul Lish, raised on June 11, 1965 and has 56 years of service.
- Worshipful Brother Ronald James Lloyd PM, raised on June 12, 1971 and has 50 years of service.
- Worshipful Brother Robert M. Hartman PM, raised on June 16, 1986 and has 35 years of service.
- Brother Robert Gordon Jones, raised on June 29, 1987 and has 34 years of service.
- Brother Rick Nils Hofmann, raised on June 19, 1999 and has 22 years of service.
- Brother Christian Ray Glad, raised on June 21, 2010 and has 11 years of service.
- Brother Byron James Huffaker, raised on June 30, 2011 and has 10 years of service.
- Brother Christopher Kalani Fong, raised on June 18, 2012 and has 9 years of service.
- Brother Richard Hunt, raised on June 7, 2013 and has 8 years of service.
The following brethren were born in June.
- Brother Christian Glad, born on June 2.
- Brother Richard Scott, born on June 3.
- Brother Robert Milbourn, born on June 12.
- Worshipful Brother Ronald Lloyd, born on June 13.
- Most Worshipful Brother Dean Rein, born on June 24.
- Most Worshipful Brother Frank Baker, born on June 24.
- Brother Brandon Albrecht, born on June 24.
- Worshipful Brother Jay Roundy, born on June 28.
- Worshipful Brother Lee Rogers, born on June 30.
Public Service Announcements
Making Dues Payments Through PayPal
Some brethren have paid their dues through PayPal that didn’t include the PayPal service fee. Please be aware that PayPal takes 2.9% of the amount paid plus an additional 30 cents. Our current dues are $90. For Twin Peaks to receive that $90, you must pay $93.00 in PayPal!
For you nerds and mathematicians: If you want to pay $90.00 in dues through PayPal, here’s the formula:
Payment_Amount =ROUND((Dues_Owed*100)/(100-(Charge_Perc*100)) + Tran_Fee + (Tran_Fee * Charge_Perc), 2)
So, if Dues_Owed = 90, Charge_Perc = 2.9% and Tran_Fee = .30:
Payment_Amount = ROUND(($90*100)/(100-(.029*100)) + .30 + (.30 * .029), 2) = 92.9967 or 93.00.
Or, you can just go to https://www.onlinefeecalculator.com/ , enter the amount to be remitted to the Lodge, and it will tell you how much you need to actually pay:
The Treasurer is working on getting the Secretary credentials to be able to log into our Lodge bank account. Once that is complete, we will start using Venmo again as when W. Bro. Gavin was our Secretary.
COVID-19 Protocol Update
In last month’s Trestleboard, we reported that the Grand Master had rescinded the COVID-19 protocols declared in Decision 2021-006. However, in the same communication, MWB Lawes stated that individual Lodges and Temple Boards have the authority to define their own restrictions until the Federal or State governments declare that the pandemic is officially over.
At the May Stated Meeting, this topic was discussed and the following policy will be adhered to by Twin Peaks Lodge during any meetings at the Midvale Temple until directed otherwise.
- We will continue to sanitize the Lodge prior to any meeting at the Temple.
- All members will wear white gloves during any meeting at the Temple. (Notable exception will be the Secretary who can’t type while wearing them.) Members are encouraged to purchase their own white gloves, which can be purchased from online stores for $10-$15.
- Mask wearing will be up to the conscience of the individual brethren.
- Social distancing will also be guided by the consciences of the individual brethren.
Masonic Etiquette When in Tyled Lodge
Throughout the history of Freemasonry, our meetings and deliberations have been guided by a largely-unwritten code that serves many purposes. Chief amongst these are to: a) recognize the authority of the Master of the Lodge to control all conversation; b) maintain an atmosphere of dignity and respect between its members; c) to keep the conversation as brief and concise as possible without imposing such a severe restriction that meaningful debate cannot occur, and finally; d) to keep the brethren as informed as possible about all the topics that one might reasonably expect to arise in a Masonic Lodge.
And so I present to you these seventeen simple reminders in the hope that our Lodge, while still enjoying the fraternal cordiality that we are famous for, allows us to keep our meetings short, friendly and informative where every brother’s concerns are heard.
The Authority of the Master
Before proceeding, it is helpful to remind ourselves that the Master’s authority regarding the conduct of any meeting of the Lodge is absolute. A wise Master will not abuse this power, but it is there all the same.
The Worshipful Master can rule any brother “out of order” at any time.
He has the prerogative to set the agenda and to decide what can or cannot be discussed on the floor of a tyled lodge. If any brother feels that the Master is acting in a manner that is arbitrary, unjust or unfair, then it is within his rights to appeal to the Deputy District Grand Master, who may determine whether or not the appeal has merit, in which case the complaint will be forwarded to the Grand Master for consideration.
At no time, during the conduct of a lodge meeting is a brother permitted to speak over the Worshipful Master, even if a disagreement exists. If he persists after the Master has ruled him “out of order”, the brother may open himself up to being charged with a Masonic offense.
Having said that, the items that follow below are not Masonic offenses, but instead guidelines to help you follow proper etiquette during the conduct of a lodge meeting.
Item the First – Walking between the Altar and the Master
Except during explicitly defined moments during the Three Degrees, no brother should ever pass from north to south or south to north between the Altar and the Master. The Altar, upon which the three Great Lights rest, symbolically provides the Master with the wisdom needed to guide his lodge.
Item the Second – Taking a Seat in the East
Brethren do not take seats in the East without invitation. This is to signify that all the brethren are equals in a tyled Masonic lodge. To sit in the East is to imply that a brother is “more equal.” Obviously, during Grand Lodge official visitations or when a Grand Lodge elected officer is present (and especially if he is representing the Grand Master) the Master will invite the visitor to join him in the East. There are also times when a brother being honored in the lodge may be invited to join the Master in the East. The important thing to remember here is that you should not take a seat in the East unless invited to do so.
Item the Third – Always Appropriately “Clothed”
Once the meeting is tyled, no member or visitor should ever enter a lodge room without his Masonic apron being secured and the apron itself displayed in the correct manner according to his highest degree. The Master asks all brethren and visitors of the Lodge immediately prior to opening if they are “properly clothed.” Therefore, to enter a tyled lodge while still tying on the apron or arranging it in the proper manner is a sign of disrespect to both the Master and the Lodge.
Item the Fourth – Standing When You Want to Speak
Once the meeting is opened, no man sits while speaking in the Lodge room, no matter whom he is addressing. Per Arizona ritual, any time a brother wishes to speak, he should stand and wait for the Master’s acknowledgement, after which he should give the proper salute. At that point, he has the floor and may speak. Once he has completed speaking, he should retake his seat. The Master will usually make allowances for those who have difficulty rising and standing without assistance, or those who may be called upon frequently to address the lodge during the conduct of a meeting. Lodge secretaries will often request at the beginning of a meeting to be permitted to conduct his office from the seated position in order to avoid jumping up and down like a pogo stick.
Item the Fifth – Talking out of Turn
Side conversations, especially during degrees is considered very bad etiquette and will probably earn you a conversation with the Master after the meeting. The entire focus of a degree should be on presenting the ceremony of the degree to the candidate in the most dignified manner where all attention is on him.
Item the Sixth – Points of Business
If you know before the meeting that you plan on making a motion or bringing up a matter for discussion, you should notify the Master prior to the beginning of the meeting. No point of business discussed in a Masonic lodge should ever be a surprise to the Worshipful Master, and since the Master has the prerogative to decide what will be discussed in any meeting, the courtesy of advance notification will allow him to better determine if the topic to be discussed is appropriate for a Masonic lodge, and further will save you embarrassment if he should gavel you down for raising a topic that the Master objects to.
Again, it should be stressed that all conversation in a lodge meeting “goes through the chair”, meaning that all discussion is controlled by the Master. Therefore, no brother should speak without being first recognized and given the floor.
Item the Seventh – Obey the Gavel
Obedience to gavel raps is immediate. One rap concludes a point of business or seats any standing brethren. Two raps is a signal for the officers to rise, the number of officers who rise being determined by the degree the meeting is opened on. Three raps is a signal for all in the room to rise.
The Master will usually permit those who cannot stand without assistance to remain seated when all are gaveled to attention, and when they wish to speak.
To continue speaking upon a point of business that has been gaveled “closed” is considered to be very rude and can open the offending brother to being brought up on Masonic charges.
Item the Eighth – Try Not to Turn Your Back on the Master
There may be times where a brother, usually when wishing to address the entire Lodge, may need to turn his back to the Master in order to make eye contact with all the attendees. When doing so, he should ask the Master, after being recognized to speak, if “he may address the Lodge.” If the Master consents, he may then face as feels is necessary in order to effectively speak to the assembled brethren.
In all other circumstances, to turn your back on the Master is considered poor manners.
Item the Ninth – Saluting in a Lodge
The following rules generally apply to any member or visitor in an Utah Lodge.
After standing and being recognized by the Master, before speaking he should render the salute to the Master.
Any time a brother retires or enters a tyled Lodge, he should approach the Altar on the west side, facing the Master and then give the salute.
If the Master is in the middle of a point of business, a member or visitor wishing to retire or enter a tyled lodge should stand to the south of the Senior Warden and salute.
The salute is a sign of respect to the Master’s authority and to the Lodge in general. Additionally, given the requirement of rendering the appropriate salute confirms to the brethren and the Master that the person giving the salute is aware of which degree the lodge is opened on.
Finally, a properly rendered salute should be done in a precise manner, but without jerky movements. This signifies the individual’s respect for the Craft. Any of the officers of the lodge will be happy to demonstrate a proper salute if you feel unsure.
Item the Tenth – Balloting
Members of a Lodge are often asked for input concerning decisions that affect the entire Lodge. Sometimes, a simple “vote” will suffice, such as when approving the paying of the bills. Votes are public.
Balloting is done when each member’s cast ballot must remain a secret, such as when voting on an application for membership or electing the officers to serve the Lodge for next year. There are two means to perform a ballot. The first is using a ballot box containing white balls and black cubes. The second is using paper ballots.
When a secret ballot is called for, follow the proper procedure for balloting using the ballot box and make sure that you conceal your selection of either a white ball or black cube. When using paper ballots, you must take care to conceal what you have written on the paper chit from all others, which is best done by folding the chit in half before handing it off to the teller. Allowing your vote to become known on a ballot can be considered a Masonic offense.
Item the Eleventh – Voting is Mandatory
You are informed in the ballot box lecture that Master Masons in good standing and who are members of the Lodge in which a ballot is called for MUST vote. In the case where the ballot box is used, you must select either a white ball or black cube. In the case of a yes/no vote using paper ballots, “yes” and “no” are the only valid options. In the case of a paper ballot used to elect a member to an office, only the clearly readable name of a qualified brother is acceptable.
Can a member abstain from voting? “Abstention” votes are an oxymoron, since an abstention is a refusal to vote. Per Robert’s Rules of Order, where the majority for approval is determined by the total number of members of the organization, an abstention has no effect since only “yay” votes count towards the number needed to overcome the majority. On the other hand, if the majority for approval is determined by the total number of eligible members present as is usually the case in Masonic lodges, then an abstention represents a refusal to obey the Master and cast a ballot. The abstention vote is not included in the vote total and changes the number used for those present. This can affect the majority needed to pass. Here is a simple example: The Master calls for a paper ballot, which requires a simple majority (50% + 1) to pass. There are 18 brothers present. Majority to pass is 10. 9 members vote “yes” and 9 members vote “no”. The ballot fails. But let’s say that 9 members vote “yes”, 7 vote “no” and two “abstain”. The two abstentions are thrown out as illegally cast, reducing the total ballots cast to 16. Since simple majority for 16 is 9, in this case, the ballot passes.
Casting a vote that is unclear or causes confusion is unsettling to the peace and harmony of the Lodge. Failing to comply with the Master regarding balloting can result in Masonic charges.
Item the Twelfth – Putting Your Shoulder to the Wheel
It is always good Masonic etiquette to accept a request made of you by the Lodge, and especially by the Master, if it is within your ability to do so. A lodge is much like a beehive wherein its ultimate success or failure is dependent upon the efforts of all who can work, called upon or not. Service on committees should be diligent, authentic and conducted with zeal. Any time that a committee member fails to do his part, he is not only letting the committee down, but also pushing off his responsibilities onto his brethren who shoulder as much burden as himself.
Lodges are forgiving places and experienced members will gladly help the inexperienced in the performance of their duties and assigned tasks.
When called upon to perform an investigation or to present a part in a degree, it will be your utmost duty to come to the lodge on the day of the event ready to give your report to the Master or to perform your part in a knowledgeable, confident, and proficient manner.
In the case where the Master may assign you a task that you know is not only beyond your capabilities, but that you are unlikely even with hard effort to become capable, then it is your duty to inform the Master as soon as possible so that other arrangements may be made. You will do well to remember that every Mason, at one time in his career, was just as new to the customs and courtesies as you yourself may now find yourself and that you are expected and encouraged to grow. For example, the fact that you may not know how to perform a degree part now does not mean that with hard work and discipline you cannot achieve that which is required tomorrow. This is how we advance in Freemasonry.
Item the Thirteenth – Use of Proper Masonic Names
During a tyled meeting, our ancient usages and customs require us to use proper modes of address. The formula is pretty basic and easy to remember. “Title” followed by either their Last Name or their Office. Examples: “Brother Junior Deacon” is an example of “Title” and “Office”, whereas “Brother Anderson” would be an example of “Title” and “Last Name”. The title for Sitting and Past Masters changes to “Worshipful Brother” but the formula remains the same. Sometimes, in more informal settings or perhaps during a complicated discussion, “Title” and “First Name” is acceptable, such as “Brother Josh”.
Outside of the tyled lodge room, it is perfectly O.K. to call a brother by his first name only, but to do so during a stated or special meeting is considered rude.
Item the Fourteenth – Correction of Verbal Errors
The customs of the Lodge require that no one except for the Worshipful Master or his preassigned designee (eg: “the prompter”) may correct any mistake that occurs during the course of a Ceremony or degree, and even then only when the mistake would materially change the meaning of the part being presented. It is discourteous to point out the mistakes made by a brother in the full view of the other members of the Lodge, and disruptive to the presentation being made.
The person assigned the task of giving prompts should only provide one when clearly needed. An unusually long pause in the ceremony may initiate a prompt, but many brothers use pauses for dramatic effect during our ceremonies. A better solution is for the Lodge to train the brethren in how to request a prompt, whether by subtle body or hand cues or by asking for a prompt. There is no shame in this, especially from a brother who has clearly done his work and simply cannot find the next word.
Item the Fifteenth – Exhibit Good Posture
Slouching in your chair, arising in a casual manner, failing to stand erect when addressing the Master and the Lodge can be regarded by the members of the Lodge as a sign of disrespect. Remember at all times that the Lodge is a symbolic representation of the Temple and that the same dignity and attention should be presented.
Item the Sixteenth – Prayers Must be Non-sectarian
Freemasonry is a universal institution found throughout the world. It has no established religion and for a Lodge to act in such a manner would be considered profoundly rude. Therefore, all prayers must not include any words or phrases that might reasonably be assumed is specific to a particular religion. The proper object of any prayer should be “the Creator”, “the Grand Artificer” or “the Supreme Architect of the Universe” to name a few. References to Jesus Christ, Mary, Muhammad, Jehovah, Allah, etc. should be scrupulously avoided.
Why? Because there may be members of multiple religions represented in any assemblage of Masons. To offer up a prayer that appears to be specific to any given religion could be interpreted to place greater value upon that religion than others, and discussions or references to the validity of one religion over another is expressly forbidden in a tyled lodge, and strongly discouraged at untyled gatherings.
Item the Seventeenth – Mobile Phones Should be Silenced
Much like sidebar conversations, a cell phone that rings during the middle of a stated meeting or a degree is an unpleasant intrusion into the dignity and solemnity of the ritual or the functioning of the lodge while at work. For this reason, you should always turn your cell phone off or set it to silent during a meeting. If you are expecting an important phone call, you can either leave your cell phone with the Tyler (if he sits outside the meeting) or if you get a silent notification of a phone call, you can then leave the lodge room after getting permission from the Master. If you are waiting for a phone call that is extremely urgent, it might be better for you to not attend the meeting or degree.
Our Lodge does not stand too much on ceremony, but a refresher course in Masonic etiquette will help us to not stray beyond that boundary of good conduct so essential to the character of a Mason.
Glen Van Steeter, PM