Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Barkley Light: November/December 2017

Below is a link to the November/December edition of the Barkley Light.  Enjoy and we look forward to seeing you at the Lodge!

Barkley Light: November/December 2017

Sunday, November 5, 2017

A View From The East

Greetings, or rather farewell. It’s strange to think that this will be my final article as a part of the progressive line. I can hardly recognize the young man that I was four years ago when I wrote my first article as Senior Deacon. In that time I’ve learned so much about myself and our beloved fraternity, among which is the fact that I have so much left to learn.  Upon reflection, I realize this was perhaps the point for me, that it is easy enough to say that you understand that you don’t have all the answers, but to actually accept that you still have a long way to go is a hard pill to swallow sometimes.  So I won’t be writing any educational material this time, instead a simple letter of gratitude.

I learned as a Steward that the best leaders must first learn to follow, as well as the value of selfless service. As a Deacon, I learned about the importance of hospitality and fellowship, and that our bonds of brotherly love are strengthened through time spent, and sincere fraternal relations. As Junior Warden, I began to grasp the idea that charity and relief grant rewards that cannot be bought with money, and the chair also provided the foundations of planning and leadership. In the West, I learned the importance of prudence and tact in our daily dealings with others, and it solidified the idea that it is easier to dangle a carrot, than to try to push a mule.

But the lessons I’ve learned as Master of the Lodge did not come to me right away. I’ve been struggling with putting this to paper for some time, not sure what it was that I had left to say. In fact, it is in the writing of this article that I realized my greatest take away from this year was forecast in my thank you speech upon assuming the East. I stated that I did not see this as my year, but rather our year, and that I was honored to have been entrusted at the helm of such a great lodge. I still see Barkley as a large ship slow to turn, and near impossible to stop once moving. Thinking on this, my realization is one of humility and gratitude. This year was not possible because of me or anything that I had done alone, at times, it was probably in spite of me. There is a not a single week that would have happened without a concentrated effort from a strong support system, not only from the progressive line, but also from the Brothers sitting on the sidelines. Every single brother has a role to play in this lodge and fraternity.

I am reminded of words that were shared with me shortly after my installation. “Remember to give them roses.” There is no way that I could possibly mention every Brother that has made an impact on me or played an important role in this Journey we have taken together, so please suffice it to say that you are all appreciated and that I will always endeavor to be at your service with humility and gratitude for the simple honor of being able to call you all Brothers. My greatest hope for all of you is that John W Barkley continues to be a beacon of Light, guiding new Brothers to a deeper understanding of themselves and the potential they have to affect change around them.

Scott D Clark - Worshipful Master

Monday, September 4, 2017

A View from the East

Welcome back! I bet you thought we were taking a little break during the summer months! Not John W. Barkley Lodge, we’ve only been slightly less busy than during our normal operating months. It started with a really, fantastic outdoor raising on July 1st. The officers have been meeting almost weekly in some way or another to improve as officers and sure up the future leadership of the lodge. We had a wonderful evening out with the North Olmsted Rainbow Girls for Putt-Putt and Ice Cream at B. A. Sweeties. Later in July, we also heard a stellar Master Mason Exam. In August, we began the first steps of a long-term project to renovate and update our Kitchen. Most recently, we held our Autos 4 Autism Classic Car Show, which was well received and stands to become a regular family friendly summer event. 

Inevitably, the sun continues to rise and lodges return to labor. We still have many events planned for the brethren and our families. One that I’m very excited about is our Harvest Fest. 

Pot Luck Dinner on Oct. 11th. I hope to see many of you there as it will be a great opportunity to enjoy the company of our families and some great food. For a full list of the upcoming events, be sure to check out the Trestle board.

Ask, Seek, Knock

“Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” 

I’ve been contemplating this passage lately and I took something a little different away this time. The three words ask, seek, knock all share something in common. These words are all verbs, and even more importantly they are calls to action.

Ask: I have a friend who tells his children that “Closed mouths don’t get fed.”  Perhaps a nicer way to think of this in relation to the craft is that if there is something missing from your experience at lodge; let someone know who has the power to affect change. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions, or to request the counsel of those who have already forged the path that you are on.

Seek: This word is particularly interesting, and requires a certain amount of self-motivation. Seek, and ye shall find, this is the only part of the verse that is not two sided. When you ask, someone answers, and when you knock the same is true. But there is no one who responds to the “seeking”. The significance of this is enormous. The act of seeking is a very personal experience and the only one who can assist or hinder your progress is yourself. Whether you are seeking for the deeper mysteries of Freemasonry or just learning to be an effective leader for your lodge, you cannot rely on an individual or even a group of individuals to provide the answers. They are found through steadily persevering and constantly searching. The most important thing to remember is that you are required to act and if you never find what you are looking for, then there is no one to blame but yourself.

Knock: Only after asking and seeking, are you permitted entrance. Knocking provides a certain amount of closure to this verse. By this point you have asked and made your intentions known, you have sought and proven yourself, and your willingness to put in the work and necessary effort. The open door is a reward for the actions being taken in earnest.

So, make your intentions known, put in the work that is needed to succeed in your goals, and receive the rights and benefits fitting of such a worthwhile endeavor.

Scott D Clark - Worshipful Master

Barkley Light: September/October 2017

Below is a link to the September/October edition of the Barkley Light.  Enjoy and we look forward to seeing you at the Lodge!

Barkley Light: September/October 2017

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Dining to Donate Fundraiser

Join us on June 24, 2017 @ Applebee's North Olmsted for Dining to Donate.  Simply come out for dinner between 11 am - 9 pm and present the below flyer when you get your bill. 

That is it!  Applebee's will donate 15% of your bill to the Lodge.  Easiest fundraiser around!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Barkley Light: May/June 2017

Below is a link to the May/June edition of the Barkley Light.  Enjoy and we look forward to seeing you at the Lodge!

Barkley Light: May/June 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017

A View from the East

First and foremost, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who helped out with our Inspection. Especially to the Rocky River Chapter Eastern Stars for serving an excellent dinner. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming Table Lodge and More Light Night, and the fellowship that happens at both of these events (see trestle board).

Some changes have been made and I’m grateful to everyone for supporting these new ideas. Starting with our investigation committee, we have returned to home visitations and committee chair Derek Widowson has been doing an excellent job of coordinating this. Our lodge meals have been broken up, so that four brothers are taking on the responsibility, instead of one or two. A very big thank you to Bro Briggs, Johnson, Columbro, and WB Schultz for making this happen. Be sure to congratulate Bro Jason Briggs if you see him, as he was elected and installed as our new Junior Deacon. Lastly, in efforts
to bring further light to the lodge, we have guest speakers lined up for a special talk once per month. I am very grateful to all of the distinguished brethren who have agreed to speak and spread the light of Masonry at John W. Barkley.

The Pendulum

A recurring theme has been in my thoughts recently and it keeps finding its way into my conversations. I’m talking about the nature of the pendulum swing and the lesson that is contained in it. The pendulum always swings back and forth travelling the same distance from center in either direction. This can be applied to almost anything. Take the craft for example, after World War II soldiers returning from war were looking for a place to find the same camaraderie and brotherhood that they had in service. Masonry and old, well known fraternity provided that, and our numbers swelled to all-time highs. As the Baby Boomers came of age, the numbers slowly began to level off and some even suggest that Masonry skipped a generation.

Now almost 75 years after the Anniversary of the Bombing at Pearl Harbor, our numbers are dwindling quicker than we can keep up. This troubles quite a few people and understandably so. But, when we apply the pendulum to this situation, it quickly becomes clear that this is an inevitable ebb for the fraternity. The question is then raised of what to do with that? Should we turn into Degree Mill Lodges that open the doors wide in the West to admit anyone that comes knocking? Should we be accepting questionably adequate candidates to qualify for an award?

My suggestion is not to shut the doors altogether, but instead focus your energies on member retention and engagement and inclusion of the candidates that you already may have. Being in sales I learned early, it is far less expensive to keep a customer coming back than to acquire a new one. If you don’t have these elements taken care of, then you won’t have anything tangible to offer your new candidates when you find them. A smart brother told me recently that if you focus on one tree you will never be able to perceive the forest.

I’m not worried about the future of Freemasonry, because I understand the pendulum. I think our focus should be on finding ways to strengthen the foundations of our gentle craft, while we allow the pendulum to swing as it must. That way when it turns again in favor of fast growth there will be value and substance to offer.

All things are cyclical in nature.

Scott Clark, Worshipful Master

Barkley Light: March/April 2017

Below is a link to the March/April edition of the Barkley Light.  Enjoy and we look forward to seeing you at the Lodge!

Barkley Light: March/April 2017

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A View from the East

From The East I greet you. WOW! That’s about all I can say right now. I really owe every brother a great debt of gratitude for selecting me to steer the ship. The year has only just begun and I have an all new appreciation for any brother who has taken on this task. So far we have had an Installation, which I think went pretty well. St. George Lodge from Toronto seemed to enjoy themselves, and the fraternal bonds were strengthened by our time together. We have also remembered Pearl Harbor
Day, and had very nice Awards evening. Our Junior Warden conducted the Yuletide Visitations which always brings a smile to our brothers that can’t be with us throughout the year.We even had a visit from Santa and his friend the Bubble Lady at the Children’s Christmas Party.

All in all it has been a very busy month so far. The minutia of planning can be overwhelming at times; it definitely teaches you clearly that you cannot tend to every single detail yourself. I am humbled by the trust you have placed in me and I take this responsibility very seriously. With that being said I really believe this year is going to be a fun one. Our officer line has been working tirelessly to bring you great family events and I’d really like to hold to our steadfast traditions as well as introducing new ideas into the mix. Be sure to watch your trestle board for upcoming events. But the best way to know what’s happening is to come to lodge as often as you can.

Fraternally: WM Scott D. Clark

Barkley Light: January/February 2017

Below is a link to the January/February edition of the Barkley Light.  Enjoy and we look forward to seeing you at the Lodge!

Barkley Light: January/February 2017