Becoming an Ohio Freemason means upholding the values of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth through actions large and small. We continue to be overwhelmed with the remarkable responses we’ve received for how each of you is spreading the tenets of Ohio Freemasonry into your communities during the Coronavirus pandemic. We’re continuing to read all of the stories we’ve received and would like to share more ways your brethren are doing good in our series called Stepping Into the Light. A nod to both MWB Newton’s initiative set forth at the beginning of his term and to how you have all lifted others up during this trying time. Keep reading to see how your brothres across the state are living the Masonic values.
Bro. James Fletcher of Bartlett Lodge #293
After being moved by a lecture given by DDGM Mike McCarty, Bro. Fletcher was activated to start his own reach-out plan before COVID-19. When the pandemic hit, it only fueled his drive further. Since then, he has spent his free time as Secretary to reach out to all of the members of his lodge to check and see how they are doing.
“I have received a very good response to my reaching out and am finding out very interesting things about members that I haven’t met, or haven’t seen in a while. I learn of everything from surgeries to cars, from gardens to vacations. I am very satisfied with the response from our lodge members. It gives me a chance to have fellowship while maintaining social distancing, and hopefully, it will bring in that one lodge member, that one brother that we haven’t seen in a while, to a meeting, when we are able to go back to normal. WB McCarty was instrumental in activating my thought process to start my own reach out plan even before COVID-19 started, and for that, I am extremely thankful to him.”
Bro. Frank Mills of Garrettsville #246
Bro. Frank Mills has been working with Tupelo’s Saint Luke Food Pantry to supply boxes of food to help all those who have been affected by this virus. At the time of sharing his story with us, he says, “We’ve helped to feed 1,700 families per month and will continue to do this every Thursday. We have taken every step possible to follow safety guidelines set down by the CDC to complete this task. We protect our volunteers and clients to help stop this virus yet feed families. The time has come to truly look at the whole human race as one family of brothers and sisters. Brotherly love, relief, and truth.”
Bro. Keith B. Semones, District Deputy Grand Master 13th Masonic District and member of Lithopolis #169
For Bro. Keith Semones, he took his Masonic duties an extra step by reaching out not only to brethren of his lodge but members throughout his district. As he has been leading by example, he has seen the support returned to him in kind by our brotherhood as he fights his own health battle.
“In the 13th District, we have a number of brethren who are aligned with the Ohio Masonic Home Resource Center as ambassadors. Our responsibilities are to check on our district brethren and to provide relief to them and their families without subjecting ourselves to material injury. The ambassadors of the 13th district diligently make telephone calls to our brethren and make sure that anything they need is provided to them.”
“In this ongoing pandemic, it is imperative that we maintain that contact with the brethren who are infirmed and are in need of help. I for one have reaped the benefit of my own lodge brethren taking care of me recently. One of my lodge past masters brought me a case of Boost protein drink to supplement my diet, as I am fighting the most dreaded disease on the planet, cancer. This, my brethren, is what being a Mason is about. Providing for your fellow man in whatever way you can to afford him and/or his family relief. Take time this week to reach out to some of your members and check on them to see if they are maintaining during this pandemic crisis.”
Bro. Denny Pierce of Yellow Springs Lodge #421
Bro. Denny Price and his fellow neighbors are working diligently to care for those in their neighborhood where the average household age is 90. Right now he and the other residents that are more able are helping their senior neighbors, dividing up responsibilities between the households that need assistance. One of his neighbors is 91 and is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
Bro. Price says, “His closest family lives in Pennsylvania. He doesn’t cook and would normally go out to eat, but with the shutdown, he had nowhere to eat. My wife and I take dinner to him. He understands that we are in a shutdown and why. But each day he does his usual routine only to find out that we are in a shutdown. He’ll do the same tomorrow, and I will explain it to him again. This has to be hard for him. Not only is this how he gets his meals, but it is his social life. We try to make sure we check on him at least twice a day if not more.”
“We do this not because we are being asked to, but because we want to and it is the right thing to do. We don’t expect or want anything in return. We only hope that we can set an example to others in the hope they will do the same and get others to join in making the world a better place. If only for the person or people they help.”
We’d love to keep hearing how you all are Stepping Into the Light in your own way and inspiring others inside and outside the Masonic community to join in on these acts of kindness. Please send all stories via email to OhioLodgeLife@freemason.com.