I'm in Overland Park, Kansas right now taking an CRM class (for you non insurance folks, CRM stands for "Certified Risk Manager"). I have a test in a couple hours and then I can come home. Looks like it will be in the rain. I'm ready to come home. Sitting in class listening about insurance topics for 20 hours does get to be a bit much after awhile.
Monday evening was a really great night. I visited Lenexa Lodge #135 in Lenexa, KS. It was a short drive over from the hotel. It was a very fun and enjoyable evening and I'm glad I went. I had never set in lodge in Kansas before (I have set in lodge in Hawaii, Missouri, and Florida). Lenexa was having a third degree that night, they raised Bro. Rod Pittman. It was fun to see the floor work and the ritual and make notes in my mind on how it compared to Iowa's.
The one thing that really struck me in the obligation was when they got to that part about not violating the chasisty of a Master Masons wife, mother, sister, or daughter...they don't mess around with niceties in Kansas on that one...it is plainly said "illicit sex"!
They had a series of questions and answers (like we do in the first degree). The brother doing the "catching" was a younger brother...only been a Mason for 9 months. He did a good job. The brother who served as Jr. Steward had a been a Master Mason for less than a month.
The third section lecture was conferred using a video tape. One of the brothers sitting next to me said he really liked seeing it on a video tape...he could hear and understand it and it was well presented. I think that is maybe something that Iowa should consider. We don't see those third sections done very often (which is too bad, because they do a lot of explaining of what the new brother has seen). Maybe we should consider having the video option for those lodges which do not have someone to actually do the ritual.
The thing that most impressed me and has always impressed me when I have visited a lodge out of state is how warmly I'm received. The spirit of Masonry really comes alive during that experience. I told the candidate on Monday evening that he and I would probably never see each other again, but to always remember wherever he goes in life, he will run into brothers who will warmly receive him as a brother. I really truly believe that in my heart.
The W.M. of Lenexa Lodge #135 was W. Bro. Angelo Mino. He was a great guy. He is originally from Ecuador and was raised there. I was escorted to the alter after the degree and Bro. Angelo welcomed me to Lenexa Lodge. They gave me a "forget-me-not" pin and related it's story. I had heard the story before so that part was not new, but I was really glad to receive the pin. I do not have one (despite my jewelry box being full of Masonic pins). I will be something that I will wear proudly and remember my visit to Lenexa Lodge.
One brother that met there was Bro. and Illustrious Sir Jim White 33rd. Bro. Jim served as potenatate of the Shrine down here. He was such a great guy and so friendly. He knew Jerry Sellers from Za-Ga-Zig. We really hit it off.
Lenexa Lodge is a really great lodge. They are very active and are brining in lots of new guys (besides already having them). They had a nice display in their dining room of pictures from their various activities. They had received a proclamation from Gov. Kathleeen Subulius (Kansas Governor) for all of their community activities. I could tell there was a lot of Masonic pride in that lodge. It showed...why can't every lodge have that Masonic pride and be proud of themselves???
Anyhow, it was a great evening...check them out at www.lenexalodge135.org. Wish me luck on my exam in a couple hours. I'll be glad to get in done and on the way home!