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Educating our Brethren: Rubicon Lodge #237

“In a world where it feels like everyone and everything is trying to tear you down, Freemasonry builds you back up. Right now, that kind of brotherhood is needed more than ever. We as members are here to make men better and to provide the tools and good counsel to do so. It is an honor to have been elected to this Lodge as Master and to call these men my brothers. So Mote It Be!” – Brother Robbie Franks, Past Master of Rubicon Lodge

An image of Rubicon Lodge #237 officers
Rubicon Lodge #237 Officer Installations, 2022

Tell us about Rubicon Lodge. 

Rubicon Lodge has been around since 1856 and has been a prominent lodge in the Toledo area. In the early 2000’s we relocated to Waterville, Ohio to the Browning Masonic Community after our original location at the Stranahan Masonic Complex closed. 

What makes Rubicon Lodge unique? 

There are four quadrants that make up a lodge: Ritual, Education, Fellowship, and Charity. Ritual is to set the tone for the individual’s experience. Education is to reinforce the masonic teachings. Fellowship is to unite the brethren and when all those are united, we perform acts of charity. These are not just financial acts of charity, this also includes how we treat each other. One of my favorite words to represent this, is “Agape,” which is to love for the sake of loving. Every lodge is a unique gem, some Lodge’s focus on more education, while others focus more on fellowship. What makes us unique is that Rubicon fulfills all four of those quadrants. 

What is Rubicon Lodge known for?

Rubicon is known for its high regard for ritual. We have expanded our education at Rubicon with our lecture series that started in December 2021. We are a close group of brethren in fellowship and education is always at the forefront of our minds. We are also heavily active in our community and are always looking for new ways to be part of improving our network. The past masters of our lodge have continued to be heavily active in the illustrious 11th Masonic District in leadership positions for both our district as well as in other appendant bodies. Some of these other bodies include: Scottish Rite York Rite and Shrine. 

Alt Text: An image of a brother performing at a Waterville, OH community event.
Bro. Mark Harris PM of Rubicon Lodge #237 performing at “Rock the Block!”

What is the community of Waterville like? What is your Lodge’s interaction in the community?

The community of Waterville is a small but growing community. Waterville is known for hosting several festivals and events throughout the year and has a passion for blues and rock music. We interact with our community in a number of ways. The Waterville Chamber of Commerce and Rubicon Lodge #237 work together often and volunteer together to support our local festivals and events such as “Rock the Block” which is held in June every year. We also volunteer at “The Roche de Boeuf,” an annual parade festival held in September. Rubicon has also worked with the local cigar store, Third Street Cigar, to hold and host many activities and social events. Third Street Cigar is a very Masonic friendly establishment and several Freemasons are members of the private club they offer as well.

An image of a Rubicon lecture series poster.
Rubicon Lecture Series featuring Bro. Kevin Fuller

Tell us about your Lodge’s monthly lecture series.

During my year as Master I worked closely with our Lodge LEO Br. Jerel Fish DEO of the 11th Masonic District to promote education in Rubicon. We wanted to incorporate educational opportunities at one of our stated meetings. Since we have two stated meetings a month we decided that the first stated meeting of the month would be a business-only meeting and the second stated meeting would include a brief business meeting followed by a lecture series to incorporate new educational material for our brethren. We could then use the remaining weeks each month for degree work and Brethren bonding. This would allow us to promote fellowship and invite prospects who were interested in learning more about the fraternity.

This is how the Rubicon lecture series was born. We started the first lecture series in December with author Russ Herner and his presentation, “Cathedrals Built By the Freemasons.”  Brother Herner brought in tools and artifacts that were used for cathedral building, as well as designs laid out showing the different architectural styles. We took a break from the lecture series in January and February to allow time for inspection season. The lecture series returned in March with Bro. Jon Majerowski and his presentation, “UFO’s on the Level.” Bro. Majerowski is a social media influencer who has his own YouTube channel called “UFO’s on the Level” as well as a podcast. His presentation was about the history of UFOs and the influence of the Masonic connection. After you listen to his presentation you will see some undeniable connection. In April we had Worshipful Master Kevin Fuller and his presentation, “Walking with Wilmshurst – In the Conditioning of a Masonic Lodge.” In May we had RWB. Bill Carter III, Junior Grand Warden of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Ohio. His presentation for the Rubicon lecture series was called, “The Tree of Life – The Connection Between Kabbalah and Freemasonry.” In the month of June our featured guest speaker was RWB. Jeff Sime’s and his presentation, “Alchemical and Egyptian Masonic Marriage,” his presentation centered around the relationships between alchemy, ancient Egypt, and Freemasonry. We have had a wide variety of speakers, with many different topics. 

An image of a Rubicon lecture series poster.
Rubicon Lecture Series featuring RWB Bill Carter, Junior Grand Warden.

Are they free to the public or only Masons?

The Rubicon Lectures Series has been a Masonic-only event. It is free to the brethren but due to some of the Masonic context and discussion, we have had to make it Master Mason only and within a tyled lodge. There has only been one lecture that was presented after lodge was closed and it was recorded. It was a presentation by Bro. Jon Majerowski called, “UFO’s on the Level.”

What does this series mean to the Brothers of the lodge? 

This series has meant everything, not only for the brethren of Rubicon Lodge but for the members around our area. It has truly promoted fellowship and connection in our Lodge. A true appreciation for the series can be seen across the board. There are both young Entered Apprentices and experienced past Masters in attendance. We’ve also had open discussions after the presentations and have also started to see that other lodges are starting to bring in guest speakers to enhance their education for members.

Are there any upcoming events or lectures you’d like to share?

We are taking a break on the Rubicon lecture series throughout the summer to spend time with our families. We also have a lot of candidates who are going through their degrees this summer and we don’t want them to miss the lecture series.

I am happy to announce that the Rubicon lecture series will be returning in the fall with three more guest speakers. On September 26th, 2022 at 7pm the series will begin with Illustrious Brother Dan Hrinko and his presentation ,“What Constitutes a Well-Educated Mason?” This lecture focuses on the multitude of opportunities to provide Masonic education to a brother as he moves through the process of inquiring, preparing for initiation, and at every step along his Masonic journey. It will clarify what it takes to ‘Make Masons’ as our charters require.

On October 24th, 2022 Illustrious Brother Michael Lake will be presenting, “Speculative Specters – History and Tales of Haunted Masonic Lodges” a discussion analyzing how the opening and closing of a lodge is considered a banishing ritual.

On November 28th, 2022 Illustrious Brother Rodney Blount will be presenting, “Historical Overview on Ohio Prince Hall Freemasonry!” This presentation will showcase how Prince Hall Freemasonry started and the historical figures that were integral in its inception.

What about this Lodge made you want to be part of it? What type of Mason does it attract?

October 13th, 2022 will mark my 10 year membership to Rubicon Lodge. Words cannot express the deep brotherhood and colorful culture we have at Rubicon. We have overcome many obstacles throughout the pandemic. We are a close group of friends who bring out the best in one another. In a world where it feels like everyone and everything is trying to tear you down, Freemasonry builds you back up. Right now, that kind of brotherhood is needed more than ever. Rubicon is not considered a white-collar lodge or a blue-collar lodge, it accepts everyone for who they are and what they contribute. We as members are here to make men better and to provide the tools and good counsel to do so. Every member, from the youngest Entered Apprentice to the most senior members do just that. It is an honor to have been elected to this Lodge as Master and to call these men my brothers. So Mote It Be!

Interested to learn about what other Lodges are doing in their community? Read our interviews with Alpha Lodge #729 and Middleport Lodge #363!