Shriners come from all walks of life. We are members of the community who are working or retired, members of the trades, business professionals, business leaders and men who want to just have fun. We are fathers, uncles and sons. We are also brothers. When you become a Shriner, you become part of a brotherhood of men committed to family, engaged in ongoing personal growth, and dedicated to providing care of children and families in need through Shriners Hospitals for Children regardless of their ability to pay.
While our backgrounds and interests may be diverse, what binds us together are shared values and a desire to have fun, do good and build relationships that can last a life time. Is it time for you to learn more about Shriners International? Visit www.beashrinernow.com and find out. You can also go to our Join Nile page for what it will take to join.
Michael J. Riley
I love good jokes and bad puns. In high school, I wrote a poem titled, “Ode to My Underwear”. When asked if my glass is half full or half empty, my favorite response is, “…wait a minute, you got a glass?” In short, I tend to look at things a bit differently. I know that I can’t control what is going on around me, or what others do, but I can control what I do and how I react to it. With that said, 2020 has been a transformative year so far.
Practically overnight, the world was able to transition to “remote work and learning”, resulting in safer work environments, reduced carbon emissions and cleaner waterways. We have seen the stock market “crash” and rebound almost immediately. Space X took U.S. astronauts into space for the first time since the decom-missioning of the shuttle program in 2011.
There has been an increase in community spirit. People are checking in on their neighbor’s well-being, wearing masks to protect others and speaking out about social injustices. With video chatting apps on nearly every computer and phone, and restrictions on actual travel, people are more in touch with family and friends.
Entertainers have found ways to provide access to culture, without having to travel. Though there are many wonderful live plays and concerts available, I have particularly enjoyed watching Cirque du Soleil. Additionally, this year, though I feel a bit bad for the graduates, I have seen college capstone performances, graduation ceremonies, and commencement speeches and from the comfort, convenience and safety of my home.
If you listen to the news, I overlooked a few possibilities in my risk mitigation plan as Potentate for 2020, but overall, things aren’t all that bad.
The Golf course is open, and we have been seeing the course fuller than in previous years, indicating a renewed interest. Between that additional income, our savings, and reduction in costs, we are going to be able to make it through this. Our catering and room rental business is currently suspended, and the restaurant is operating under limited service.
Fraternally, the Grand Master of Washington has restricted us from meeting in person, and many of the events for this summer have been canceled. I am optimistic that restrictions will loosen in time to reschedule the Summer Luau (Nile Family Picnic), hold the Potentate’s Ball in September, and conduct our Haunted House fundraiser. The Grand Lodge and Imperial both approved a special Zoom meeting to elect a new member, Noble Bob George of Warren G. Harding Lodge #260. I am excited to have Bob as our newest member and appreciate the efforts of all who came together to make this happen.
Nobles, please take care of yourselves both mentally and physically. Use this time to work on those uncompleted tasks and love those around you. Remember that you are in control of whether your glass is half full or half empty. I want mine overflowing with abundance so I can share it with others.
Lastly, to the guy who invented the number zero, thanks for nothing.
At the recent Conference of Grand Masters in Louisville, Kentucky, Imperial Potentate Jeff Sowder, along with Scottish Rite Sovereign Grand Commanders David A. Glattly, 33° (Northern Masonic Jurisdiction), and James D. Cole, 33° (Southern Jurisdiction), announced a formal partnership on the Path Forward for Freemasonry.
As part of that initiative, the three leaders announced BeaFreemason.org, which features a wealth of information including an explanation of Masonic terms, lodge life, symbolism, degrees and family organizations. Launched in mid-February, this first-of-its-kind site introduces Freemasonry to men who are looking to "become the best version" of themselves. The site has a "Get in Touch" button, so prospects (in North America) can fill out a short form that will put them in touch with a Masonic leader in their local area. We hope you share this helpful site with men that you know who are committed to lives of honor, integrity and character.
For more information, go to: beafreemason.org