Thursday, January 24, 2013

‘Your brother will rise again’

A lot of positive things are happening in New Jersey, among them the creation of a “new” lodge in the Camden area.

This edition of The Magpie Mason borrows its title from the Gospel of Saint John, Chapter 11, when Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. There are different interpretations of these verses, one of which posits how Jesus in fact did not restore physical life to a four-day-old corpse, but instead brought to light a man living in darkness. Another suggests Jesus returned to community/brotherhood a man living in exile.

There has been a lodge in Camden, New Jersey named Lazarus Lodge 001 at labor under something called United National Masons. Full name: The United National Supreme Council, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Free Masons of the World, 33rd and Last Degree and Order of Eastern Stars, Inc., headquartered in North Carolina.

Currently located near our Valley of Southern New Jersey in West Collingswood, Lazarus Lodge, through certain personal contacts, expressed an interest in affiliating with the Grand Lodge of New Jersey. Last December 17, New Jersey Grand Master Glenn Trautmann issued the dispensation needed to create Lazarus Lodge under the Grand Lodge of New Jersey, with our Deputy Grand Master and Grand Wardens serving as the Master and Wardens of this lodge, which will meet in Haddonfield, where our Rising Sun Lodge meets. On Saturday, February 2, Grand Lodge will convene a one-day class to initiate, pass, and raise the men from Lazarus, “healing” them (although that is not a term we use), and preparing them to begin new Masonic lives as New Jersey Masons. This will take place at USS New Jersey Lodge No. 62 in Cherry Hill.

Throughout 2013, the brethren of Rising Sun Lodge will teach the Lazarus Masons the rituals, jurisprudence, etiquette, etc. of their adopted grand jurisdiction. At a certain point, Lazarus will take up permanent residence inside the Camden Performing Arts Center, and New Jersey Freemasonry will have a lodge inside Camden for the first time, probably, in decades. Its warrant will be issued when Grand Lodge meets in April.

Cheerful best wishes and congratulations to all involved.

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