Chapter

High Priest’s Address | Jun 2013

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Greetings Companions, 

At our April Communication we held our election of officers for the 2013-14 Capitular Year. I am proud to say that Companion Thane Domrase, the current Worshipful Master of Olive Lodge in Chelsea has been elected to the start the officer line as our Royal Arch Captain.  His leadership skills and enthusiasm will be a fantastic addition to our dedicated line of Officers.  I would like to thank all of our officers for committing to another year of service. 

Our own, Excellent Companion Brandon Mullins, PHP has been elected to serve as President of the Southeastern Michigan York Rite Association. We know he will serve this regional service body well and bring many new ideas and energy to that organization as he did with our Chapter and other York Rite Bodies.  I wish him well on this new endeavor.  The next meeting of this body for all York Rite Masons is on the fifth Monday or July 29 at Milan Masonic Temple at 37 Tolan St in Milan.  

It’s an honor to be elected to a second term as High Priest of Washtenaw Chapter.  I am looking forward to another great year of Capitular Masonry with the finest group of Royal Arch Masons in Michigan.  Although we may be small at this moment, we have proved time and time again that we can do great things and we are on the long term path to growth. As a York Rite team we will be able to go far and restore our place as a premiere York Rite organization. 

On Monday, June 17 we will confer the Mark Master Mason degree, opening at 7 pm for brief business and then confer this thought provoking degree. I hope you can attend this night of fellowship and ritual work whether you come every month or if this will be your first time back in a while.  We meet at Calvary United Methodist Church, 1415 Miller Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48103-3758. For up to date information visit us on Facebook or at www.aayorkrite.org where EC Brandon Mullins maintains a fantastic website. 

Fraternally, 

Corey F. Curtiss, PHP 

Mark Master Mason Degree | June 2013

Greetings Friends & Companions,

On June 17th at Calvary United Methodist Church, at 6:30pm, join us for our upcoming Mark Master Mason degree. We will hold a short business meeting, and then go straight into the degree.

As always the more the merrier so we’d love to see companions from across the area out for this great evening of ritual and fellowship

It was a lot of gold in the room for our humble chapter, but it was great to be in company of such wonderful companions and we hope to see them again soon! We send our special thanks to Most Excellent High Priest, David Dossette of the Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of Michigan, and Most Illustrious Grand Master, Robert Troutman of the  Grand Council, Royal and Select Masons of Michigan for visiting us this evening.  Brandon Mullins Thrice Illustrious Master 

It was a lot of gold in the room for our humble chapter, but it was great to be in company of such wonderful companions and we hope to see them again soon! We send our special thanks to Most Excellent High Priest, David Dossette of the Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons of Michigan, and Most Illustrious Grand Master, Robert Troutman of the Grand Council, Royal and Select Masons of Michigan for visiting us this evening.

Brandon Mullins
Thrice Illustrious Master 

Washtenaw Chapter No. 6, RAM & Ann Arbor Commandery No. 13, 2012-2013 Installation of Officers

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Brothers, Companions, Sir Knights and Friends,

Please join the Washtenaw Chapter No. 6, Royal Arch Masons and Ann Arbor Commandery No. 13, Knights Templar as we install our officers for the 2012-2013 year. This event is open to the public and very well may be your last chance to attend an Ann Arbor York Rite installat

ion so please feel free to come out and join in the festivities. We’ll have snacks and fellowship starting at 6:30pm, the Chapter Installation will begin at 7:00pm, and the Commandery Installation will follow at 8:00pm. We hope to see you there!

I’ll also make mention that the installation team is still in need of members so if you’re familiar with the ceremony your help would be greatly appreciated!

Region 3 Meritorious Service Award Dinner

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Join Washtenaw Chapter No. 6, and the Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons of Michigan as we honor 2011 Michigan - Region 3 Meritorious Service Award Recipient, Companion, Arthur W. Davidge.

The event will be held on Saturday, May 12th, 2012 at the Clarion Hotel and Conferen

ce Center at 2900 Jackson Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Reception: 6:00pm

Dinner: 6:30pm

Buffet (Roast Beef & Turkey) 25.00 per person

Send reservations no later than May 1st to:

secretary6@aayorkrite.org

or the Washtenaw Chapter No. 6 office using the flyer found below:

4551 N. Maple Rd.

Ann Arbpr, MI 48105

Event Flyer

http://www.pershgo.com/2011%20Meritorious%20Service%20Award%20Dinner.pdf

High Priest’s Address | Apr 2012

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

Two years has gone by so fast. It was in April of 2010 that I, with much anticipation was elected as High Priest of Washtenaw Chapter No. 6. At the time I had a 3 week old son, and an excitement only tempered by the sleeplessness that comes from a colicky infant and his 15 month old sister. Now as I prepare to celebrate my son’s second birthday, I with mixed feelings see my term coming to an end. On Monday, April 15th a new High Priest will be elected and I hope that I’m able to present him with a chapter that’s grown stronger over these past two years. In this time we’ve gained 6 new members including brother Thane Domrase, and Brother Robert Blackburn who received their Past Master Degree last month. We’ve started a practice of providing our new members with a newly designed chapter penny that has their personal mark engraved on it, restarted the practice of giving out ornate membership certificates, created a new website and social media pages for the Ann Arbor York Rite as a whole and reclaimed or replaced much of our regalia we lost with the Ann Arbor Masonic Temple. And though I certainly know there is more I could have done I’m proud at what we’ve accomplished not only in providing a better experience to our new candidates but meshing as a fraternity even while saying goodbye to companions whose travels took them elsewhere.

So to end my last letter as High Priest, I will end it how I’ve ended all of them, with Dominus Vobiscum, Lord be with you. Often ignored, but at times controversial, I’ve signed off on nearly every official correspondence as High Priest for the past two years with the phrase Dominus Vobiscum. To translate it simply, it means LORD be with you, and has its roots in the Vulgate translation of the Bible. The phrase is spoken by Boaz, Saul and the Spirit of the LORD himself in the Vulgate, and can still be heard today in Latin or another language in a number of Catholic and Anglican churches across the world, and the Hebrew version specifically, Adonai Immachem is often heard in Synagogues as a man comes up to read the Torah. I, growing up protestant never heard the phrase in church, but when I came across it in my studies it immediately resonated with me and I grew attached to it. I suppose I could speak it in any language, but in its Latin form its global usage, from the Catholic Church down the street to the churches of Kerala in India appealed to me along with the simple sound of such a strong Latin phrase. As a salutation it has never carried the wide spread usage of other cultural and religious greetings like Namaste or As-Salāmu `Alaykum, but I find I have an appreciation for it none the less, and find it particularly appropriate for the Royal Arch. The motto of Royal Arch Masonry is Holiness to the LORD, a reference to the phrase inscribed on the Tzitz, or crown of the Kohen Gadol, or Jewish High Priest. This was worn to atone for haughtiness to remind both the wearer and the audience that no matter the circumstance we owe all things to the LORD. In that sense Dominus Vobiscum is not dissimilar, because to wish for the presence of the LORD to be upon someone you are doing so in recognition of the LORD, as you know him being the source of every good and the architect of every gift. In that sense I find Dominus Vobiscum to be all encompassing wishing every good upon a person because without the LORD no such things are possible.

I’ve enjoyed the past two years and I hope I’ve served you well, but remember companions, the chapter cannot stand without your help so if you have been waiting for the opportunity to join or become active within the chapter, this is that time. Elections are next month, and with them a renewal that fits the spring season in which they take place. So if you are able, I hope to see you take part in this process and begin a new year for Washtenaw Chapter No. 6, Royal Arch Masons.

Dominus Vobiscum,

Brandon Mullins, HP 

Past Master Degree | Mar 2012

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Please join Washtenaw Chapter No.6 in conferring the Past Master Degree on brother Thane Domrase and Worshipful Brother Robert Blackburn. This will be a busy night, as there is a Council school of instruction preceding the degree at 6:30 but there will be no business meeting, and the degree is scheduled to open at 7:30pm. We hope to see as many of you there as can make it.

High Priest’s Address | Mar 2012

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

On Monday, February 24th The Mark Master Mason Degree was conferred on Brother Thane Domrase, of Olive Lodge No. 158 catching him up with Worshipful Brother Robert Blackburn who also now awaits the Past Master Degree. We plan to confer the Past Master Degree with Allegory on March 19th at our home, Calvary United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor at the usual time of 7:00pm but we’re going to skip the pre degree dinner to make time for a Council school of instruction starting at 6:30pm. For the upcoming Most Excellent Master and Royal Arch Degrees we may mix things up. The scale of the Most Excellent Master Degree has us looking for other possible locations to host it and for the Royal Arch Degree I’m working on something really special, an outdoor degree. But nothing is set in stone yet but I just wanted to give you a little taste of some of the exciting things we’re planning for Washtenaw Chapter.

The subject I wanted to talk about in this article is one that has affected me directly and given the vast variety of duties I’ve taken on in life will certainly continue to. With the various activities in life that vie for our time, and the poor state many of our Lodges are in, how can one justify their involvement in an appendant body? I suppose the obvious and most common answer is to receive and confer additional light in Masonry. While this is a noble pursuit indeed if we truly believe the Lodges are the core of our institution it seems to reason that with so many in such a poor state if a brother is strapped for time he should focus his efforts on them, rather than appendant bodies to make sure the foundation of our fraternity doesn’t crumble. Some men may have the time for both and that is certainly fine, but in the 21st century where wages are low, and both parents in the household must work to pay the bills a family man rarely finds himself in that position. I struggled with this for a long time. In my lodge I tried to stay active, and began my journey down the officer line but my busy schedule insured that I missed far more than my fair share of meetings, and while I know I was doing my best to serve the fraternity I constantly felt like I was failing, and felt as much shame as I did pride in my involvement. In the Royal Arch on the other hand I where the meetings where monthly rather than weekly, though time was still an issue I felt like I could greatly concentrate my efforts into providing a good program for candidates, and though in that capacity I have certainly run into problems, the ability to make it to every meeting and give each one my all gave me greater confidence and greater passion for Masonry. After years of trying to stay involved in Lodge, my work schedule finally changed this January making further attendance impossible, and I had to drop out of line. And though I’m sad I’ll no longer be able to take part in their meetings and degrees I think I can be comfortable in saying that perhaps it has been for the best. Right now I know I have enough time for the York Rite. I can attend our monthly meetings and not feel over extended or overwhelmed. This is a good niche for me today. Tomorrow may change and I’ll once again have more time for Masonic activities, but for now a part time job in the quarries fits me quite well, and I think others may be able to benefit in the same way. So many brothers get the feeling that because they cannot attend every meeting, four to eight times a month that Masonic involvement is beyond their reach, but I say send them our way, let them know that there are institutions in Masonry where they can still be involved, still take part. And in all honesty that’s how I justify my involvement in the York Rite, despite the limits on my time. I like it, and I can dedicate the time I need to be active in it.

I hope you have enjoyed this article and I hope to see you at our next meeting that in spite of several challenges in organizing it will be our first Past Master Degree with Allegory in a very long time.

Dominus Vobiscum,

Brandon Mullins, HP 

Mark Master Mason Degree | Feb 2012

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

On February 20th at Calvary United Methodist Church with a meal starting at 6:30pm and us opening at 7:00pm we will be conferring the Mark Master Mason Degree on a brother from Olive Lodge No. 158. We will be catching him up with Brother Blackburn who has already received the Mark Master Degree and will be able to participate in the festivities. This should be a great evening and we invite all who can attend.

High Priest’s Address | Feb 2012

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

This month, one year ago we packed up our regalia and headed out to Belleville to put on the Mark Master Mason Degree, the first in a set of degrees we would confer there. We had a lot of fun and made three new Mark Master Masons that day. Those Mark Masters have gone on in the York Rite and this year we’re conferring another Mark Master Mason degree in February here in Ann Arbor. On February 20th at Calvary United Methodist Church with a meal starting at 6:30pm and us opening at 7:00pm we will be conferring the Mark Master Mason Degree on a brother from Olive Lodge No. 158. We will be catching him up with Brother Blackburn who has already received the Mark Master Degree and will be able to participate in the festivities. This should be a great evening and I invite all who can attend. Also the day before the degree, Zion Lodge No. 1 is holding their annual wreath laying at DeLue’s “George Washington as Master Mason” at Mariner’s Church in Detroit. They will be meeting up at the Renaissance Center at 2pm. All Masons are invited so I’ll try to be there and I hope to see some of you there as well.

In addition to the usual announcements I’d like to take a little time to talk about an object not unfamiliar to the Royal Arch Mason, the Arc of the Covenant, and more specifically the Cherubim that adorn it. The prophet Ezekiel describes Cherubim as a tetrad of living creatures covered in eyes and resembling living fire, with each cherub having four faces: a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle. They are said to have the stature and hands of a man, feet of a calf, and four wings each. Two of the wings extended upward, meeting above and sustaining the throne of God; while the other two stretched downward and covered the creatures themselves. Images of Cherubim were a common feature in the architecture of King Solomon’s time and Bazaleel and Aholiab no doubt made many for the First Temple. The significance of such creatures is widely debated with explanations ranging from the theological to the philosophical, but what I’d like to bring up today is a potential astronomical and perhaps astrological connection.

In depth research on the subject is slim, and I certainly haven’t made my mind up on the matter but housed at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem is an Ivory carving of a Cherub that has been described as a miniature map of the stars. 

This particular Cherub, dated to around 8th or 9th century BC, was thought to have once been part of a throne’s ivory inlay and represented some of the finest ivory carving of the era. Though beautiful to look at there is a belief that perhaps there is more to this Cherub than meets the eye. What may have spurred on the idea that this carving was not just a simple royal affectation comes from the concept of the wheel within a wheel  described in the Inaugural vision found in Ezekiel chapter one, and the various circular designs that can be easily found when looking at the Cherub. These circles if properly drawn are said to give us a map of the night sky from the time of Ezekiel and serve as an astronomical and astrological chart.

One such believer of this theory, Mr. H. Peter Aleff has done the compasswork and has overlaid these circles both over an image of the Cherub, and over the night sky as the northern night sky would have appeared from a rough idea Ezekiel’s location and time, and the way they sync not only is an indicator of the location of various stars but apparent magnitude as well. An interesting theory to say the least and not only explains the astrological significance of the animals that make up the Cherub but the Maimonidite theory that Angels such as the Cherub allegorically represent scientific truth which further backs up the belief that men like Ezekiel were not only prophets but students of the advanced arts and sciences. I could go into this subject more deeply but I just wanted to provide a little food for thought this February making sure that we’re ever mindful to deeply investigate and understand the symbols around us, and though like the Arc and adorning Cherubim we may have a symbol or tool resting on our shoulders a deeper meaning may await us if continue our search for light.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s article and hope if at all possible you will join us for our Mark Master Mason degree this month, and help our brothers at Zion Lodge honor our worth companion. 

Dominus Vobiscum,

Brandon Mullins, HP 

High Priest’s Address | Jan 2012

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

Welcome to 2012. For me it means a new job, working as a District Executive for the Boy Scouts in the Mahican district. For the Chapter it means a new Past Master, and a new candidate waiting. And for everyone it means the chance for a new beginning. New Year’s resolutions often get a lot of attention, and catch a lot of flak. You see online and in the papers, stories inquiring as to what people’s New Year’s resolutions are but with the qualifier that far more often than not they fail and the criticism that after all New Year’s Day is “just another day” and if you “really wanted it” you wouldn’t wait until the New Year to start. But as Masons I feel that we have a unique insight into the power of symbols, and can clearly see why they should not be so quickly discounted. The New Year is a line in the sand, recognized by the world as a new beginning, and people can’t help but be aware of that distinction. It may just be another day but that focus, that emphasis on the world starting anew can be immeasurably powerful when trying to make a change in your life. Symbols help us mark our lives, and allow us to justify what otherwise may be considered too difficult or best to be saved for later. I personally recommend everyone to use the opportunity that the New Year gives us and when they hear Brother Robert Burn’s famous poem, Auld Lang Syne know that they now have another to chance to make a change, and improve themselves in this New Year of 2012.

A genuine Past Master of Ann Arbor-Fraternity No. 262, F&AM, Robert Blackburn will be taking a moment to sit in the East once again as he receives his Past Master Degree with the optional allegorical section. As discounted as the degree often is we can never too often be reminded of the fact that at any time in life we may be called to lead and we have to be ever ready for such an opportunity and responsibility. The degree which was previously postponed is now set for January 16th with a small meal starting at 6:30pm, us opening at 7:00pm, and the degree starting no later than 7:30pm. In addition to Brother Blackburn’s degree we will also be discussing the dates for a new candidate, and a plan to set aside some time to organize some of our materials now that we should have everything back in our possession. I would also like to apologize to everyone who has ordered shirts so far. The embroiderer has been unavailable to make any new shirts, but should be back on schedule soon. In other Royal Arch news there is a Michigan Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons Education Seminar on Saturday, January 28th at the Best Western Hospitality Hotel in Grand Rapids at 8:30pm. This year’s seminar will focus on “Vision” and will involve interesting presentations, discussions, group participation, and hopefully you will leave with something useful. Once again I hope to see anyone who can make it out for our Past Master degree on the 16th, and hope you all have a wonderful start to your New Year. 

Dominus Vobiscum,

Brandon Mullins, HP 

High Priest’s Address | Dec 2011

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

When December rolls around I’m never quite sure if it feels like the longest or shortest month of the year.  It can feel long when you think of all the holidays and winter events you have to prepare for but short when you realize you have to get it all done in a mere 31 days. For Masons we have Lodge and Council installations along with Lodge Christmas parties in addition the regular duties of the holidays. But as stressful it can be I love the holiday season.

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And this season is particularly special as Hanukkah overlaps both Christmas and the Winter Solstice as it only does every few years creating a great opportunity for interfaith fellowship. 

But as High Priest of this Chapter one of my primary duties involves visiting the surrounding lodges for their installations and presenting the incoming masters with their master’s pin for the insuring year. This yearly presentation is to remind us of the intimate connection between the lodge and chapter reminding companions to be involved in their local lodges and informing brothers of light that awaits those who chose to join the Royal Arch. 

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When attending these events you’ll see me in my full Royal Arch regalia and while many Royal Arch jewels are similar to those you’ve come to know in lodge I thought it might be nice to take time and explain the meaning of the High Priest’s jewel, which isn’t seen in any other Masonic body. As you may or not know the High Priest in Royal Arch is an allegorical representation of the Kohen Gadol, or Jewish High Priest, member of the order of priesthood descended from Aaron. Among the strict guidelines High Priests were required to follow there was a specific set of bigdei kodesh, or eight holy garments that the High Priest was required to wear when ministering at the Tabernacle, and in fact these men were not even granted the title of High Priest unless they were wearing their garments at that time.  Among these holy garments was the mitznefet, commonly translated as miter, which could better be described as a broad flat topped turban upon which was attached the Tzitz, a golden plate inscribed with the words “Holiness to the LORD.” It is this particular vestment that was chosen as the jewel of a High Priest in the Royal Arch. The High Priest’s jewel often simply called the miter does in fact better resemble a western miter worn by bishops and abbots today with the exception of still including the Tzitz and being topped with the Triple Tau, symbol of Royal Arch Masonry, but putting the issue of translation aside the modern miter does find the roots of its design in the mitzenfet and is a commonly known western heraldic symbol which is likely why that particular design was still chosen as the High Priest’s jewel. Each part of the High Priest’s bigdei kodesh had a deep symbolic meaning and the miter was no different. The Miter was made to atone for haughtiness and the Tzitz to atone for arrogance, two similar but distinct concepts, but appropriate for the role of the Royal Arch High Priest as those are among the sins that come most often with leadership. And like in all Royal Arch jewels encompassing the jewel is the triangle which serves a symbol of the three attributes of deity. I hope this gives you a little more information on why we wear what we wear and gives you a little something to think about when I come for an installation visit.

Taking these visits into account along with the other business that comes with this festive month we will not be having a Chapter meeting as we usually would on the third Monday. However, Ann Arbor Council No. 86, R&SM will be meeting for their public installation so I greatly encourage all companions attend and show their support. Also as the month draws to a close at my Mother Lodge, Myrtle Lodge No. 89, F&AM I will be hosting a Brother Rudyard Kipling Night at the Belleville Masonic Temple on December 29th at 6pm. There will be a dinner, a viewing of “The Man Who Would Be King” and a reading of Kipling’s famous Masonic poetry.  Come January we will return to our regular meeting schedule kicking off the New Year with a Past Master Degree with Allegory so expect more details on that to come soon. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this month’s address, and have a merry Christmas, happy Hanukah and a joyous New Year. 

Dominus Vobiscum,

Brandon Mullins, HP 

High Priest’s Address | Nov 2011

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

Welcome to the busiest time of the year! There’s Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Lodge & Council elections, the kickoff of the Christmas season, and all the while it’s getting colder every step along the way. I have personally been very busy starting a new job while my wife peruses her Master’s Degree at the University of Michigan, and the chapter has been busy as well, having just welcomed Companion, Jason Bryce over the summer we now start Worshipful Brother, Robert Blackburn on his path through the capitular degrees with his Mark Master Mason degree in taking place on October 17th and his Past Master degree with allegory taking place on November 15th. 

With all that’s been going on personally I’ve hardly had the time to write a proper article but given we’ve just held a Mark Master Mason degree I’d like to take some time and talk about the concept of one’s mark. The idea of having an individual mark to distinguish your labors dates back millennia and continues to this day. Societies have long seen the benefit of making sure a person’s work could be identified in order to praise or admonish the person responsible. Such practices resulted in the trademarks of today’s modern marketplace, and we still give our signature to mark our intentions. But before there were signatures there were marks. An older friend of mine still tells the story that when he started at Ford if you were illiterate in lieu of your signature you were asked to make your mark. We, in a lodge of Mark Master Masons request all incoming brothers to make their mark before they receive their Royal Arch Degree. We ask them to make this mark in our Book of Marks that will identify them as a Mark Master Mason. So what’s in a mark? Looking over Washtenaw Chapter’s Book of Marks I’ve seen no shortage of variety. Symbols of faith, working tools, and any number of designs that could have meaning to a man grace its pages. Some are as simple as a set of initials while others are so complex they can hardly be etched on a coin. Knowing many of the companions, I often smile after realizing how fitting many of the marks are. This is true of even one of our most famous Mark Masters, George Washington. 

Companion, George Washington's Apron

Companion, George Washington's Apron

As you can see by looking at #42 on the diagram, Companion, Washington’s chosen mark was the beehive, a long held Masonic emblem of industry. How fitting a mark for the father of our nation? But whether your mark has a strong symbolic meaning or not isn’t actually what’s important. The important part of your mark is found in making it. Our operative brethren may have been forced to mark their work but in modern society it’s easy to hide poor workmanship. You may be just one man in a company of thousands, in a community of millions, but I think should be the goal of every Mark Master Mason to happily mark all of their deeds and when asked if it is indeed their work, answer with pride. When I was young I was a member of AWANA which is an acronym that references 2 Timothy 2:15, Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed. I find this particularly appropriate for the Mark Master Mason as well. Work diligently and skillfully, marking it without shame, so when it comes for approval, you can present it joyfully. 

As I stated before we’ll be conferring the Past Master degree on Worshipful Brother, Robert Blackburn on the 15th with allegory, so if you know a part in the degree, or are simply interested in attending please feel free to drop by. Dinner will be at 6:30pm, Council elections are at 7:00pm and we’ll be starting the degree at 7:30pm. Our next degree will probably not be until February so this should be a great time of fellowship for all. Also our Ann Arbor York Rite shirts are in. They are $25 and have two designs. One design featuring, Lodge, Chapter, and Council, and the other featuring Lodge, Chapter, Council and Commandery. You can order them at the meeting or just send me an e-mail to highpriest@aayorkrite.org specifying how many you want, which design you want and your size. They will also be available soon at http://aayorkrite.org. And remember on November 5th at 7:30pm the Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti Ann Arbor-Fraternity No. 262 is hosting the Freemason Party for Food Gatherers, so you should come and show your support! Thanks for reading and happy Thanksgiving!

Dominus Vobiscum,

Brandon Mullins, HP 

Mark Master Mason Degree | Oct 2011

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

Please join Washtenaw Chapter No. 6, Royal Arch Masons for a Mark Master Mason Degree this Monday, October 14th. A light dinner starts at 6:30pm, and we open at 7:00pm. We have many key positions filled but we’re low on manpower and could certainly use the help. Hope to see you all there!

High Priest’s Address | Sep 2011

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Report of the Grand Convocation

August 17th, 2011

Lexington Hotel

Lansing Michigan

Congratulations to Michael Whiting who was elected and installed as Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. Most Excellent Companion Mike has been in Masonry since 1979 in Pontiac Lodge and has served admirably and with distinction in all of his Masonic Bodies.

M. E. Comp. Mike served as Grand Master of the Cryptic Masons in Michigan in 2004-05. Has served as Royal Patron of the Order of Amaranth for 4 terms. He is one of the most well-traveled Brothers in the state for all of the Masonic Bodies. He will do an excellent job for the Royal Arch in Michigan, however, as he has noted he cannot do for you. He can give guidance and support. You must do the work in the trenches.

The Junior Past Grand High Priest, Most Excellent Companion Robert E. Cooper of Cedar Springs won the election as Grand Secretary, Paul Howell stepping down after 12 ½ years in that position, having taken over from our own Ralph Raiford. M.E.C. Cooper will operate the Grand Chapter out of the Grand Rapids Masonic Temple. 233 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids 49503.

Elected to the position of Grand Master of the 1st Veil was Michael Roberts of River Raisin Chapter No. 22 in Monroe, MI. Elected to replace Fred Schneider as the Right Excellent Grand Sentinel was Eldin Miller, Secretary of Mt. Vernon Chapter No. 37 in Samaria. 

Most Excellent Companion Paul Howell was voted to receive the distinguished title of Right Excellent

Grand Secretary Emeritus of the Grand Chapter and Excellent Companion Fred Schneider was voted the permanent title of Right Excellent Grand Sentinel of the Grand Chapter.

At the Thursday night Banquet they were each presented with the appropriate Aprons for the new rank.

3 Ladies were awarded the honor, title and rank of General Grand Chapter Sweetheart Award: Sharon Cooper, Nancy Helm & Janet Schneider.

Special recognition goes out to Joseph Medved of Lapeer Chapter No. 91 and Jerry Ritzert for St. Ignace Chapter No. 134 for being awarded the rank and title of District Deputy Instructor Emeritus of the Grand Chapter for their long and distinguished service to the Companions by serving as a District Deputy Instructor for over 7 years with distinction.

Ex. Comp. Frank James Huey was awarded the General Grand Chapter Bronze Award. The Region 3, Michigan Meritorious Service Award was awarded to our own Companion Arthur W. Davidge. Congratulations Art.

There was one Amendment to the Red Book of Capitular Law that was proposed this year. It was to reduce the number of required meetings for a Chapter from 10 to 8 per year. That motion passed but it was made known that that was the minimum number and that each Chapter could and should have one each month along with a Special for the purpose of rehearsal, Degree conferral or special Dinners and functions.

The 2012 Grand Convocation will be held at the:

Doubletree Hotel

Bay City, Michigan

August 22nd, 2012

2011 Michigan Grand Chapter Region 3 Meritorious Service Award Winner, Art Davidge

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

Michigan’s Mason of the Year for 2011 is honored by receiving the Michigan Grand Chapter Region 3 Meritorious Service Award. Art was acknowledged at the Grand York Rite Banquet at Lansing, Michigan on Thursday evening August 18th. 

He will be formally presented with his award at a dinner in his honor which is to be held during this upcoming Capitular Year. Arrangements are to be made in the very near future and word will be passed out.

High Priest's Address | Aug 2011

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

We’ve had no shortage of activity lately, welcoming new friends into companionship as we bid farewell to those who traveling on roads that will lead them several states away. In July our King, George Lucero completed his move to New Mexico, and though he won’t be able to complete his term as Thrice Illustrious Master we presented him with his Past Illustrious Master’s apron. July was also Paul Howell’s last meeting with the Ann Arbor York Rite before he heads out to Arizona. Paul leaves enormous shoes to fill and in consideration of the amazing work he has put into supporting the York Rite in the Ann Arbor area and beyond the Ann Arbor York Rite bodies have awarded him the Ann Arbor York Rite distinguished service award. But as we wish these companions well on their journeys we welcome in our new companion, Jason Bryce into our chapter who received his Royal Arch Degree on the 27th at the Detroit Masonic Temple with help of Monroe Chapter No. 1. He certainly had to travel a rough road to get there, but we’re happy to have him with us. 

As usual there’s a subject I’d like to discuss this month. I’ve noticed that when I am talking to someone about Freemasonry and mention that I’m the head of a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons in Ann Arbor people tend to take it at face value. But there are times, especially when I begin to mention one of the Ann Arbor Lodges, or the fact that my Lodge is in Belleville, that I get a few follow up questions. Usually along the lines, of “Well I thought you said you were the head of the Masons, in Ann Arbor” and continuing with “So what’s a Royal Arch Mason then?” And I find that while I’m good at explaining Blue Lodge, and what Freemasonry is in general, I’m bad at explaining Royal Arch to someone without confusing them with details on our organizational structure or the nature of our work. Appendant bodies in general are a complicated subject. The whole idea of having these degrees and bodies that are considered higher yet at the same time equal and in many ways subordinate to Blue Lodge make for no short discussion. Military rank, or corporate structure serve as poor comparison, and Royal Arch is in all likelihood the most complex of the appendant bodies to explain given its position as a completion of the third degree, and the whole subject of the Antients and Moderns. 

I’ve always thought of a Royal Arch Mason as a curious Mason who is unsatisfied with substitution and has an interest in following the path that history has taken our craft. It may not be a simple explanation but when someone asks me why I joined the Royal Arch, going as far as to become a leader of a chapter I find myself driven to give them an explanation that simply says the craft lodges, give you a part of the story, and the Royal Arch continues it. Such a vague explanation may lead to more questions, on the Royal Arch and the initial story Craft Masonry tells, but if they want to know, I guess they’ll just have to petition a Lodge and find out.

Now there are plenty of activities this month so remember to keep these things in mind. On August 15th we have our regular meeting, and among other things we will be ordering our new Ann Arbor York Rite polo shirts. The shirts are $25 and have two designs. One design featuring, Lodge, Chapter, and Council, and the other featuring Lodge, Chapter, Council and Commandery. You can order them at the meeting or just send me an e-mail at highpriest@aayorkrite.org specifying how many you want, which design you want and your size. I’m also working on making them available to buy online at http://aayorkrite.org but that will take a little time. On August 17th is Grand Chapter so if you’d like to come once again mention it at the meeting or send me an e-mail and we can ride together. August 28th is the Annual Ann Arbor Freemason’s Tri-Lodge Picnic at Gallup Park. I know I’ll be there and I’d love our members there out supporting Ann Arbor Freemasonry. And last but not least we are hosting the Southeastern Michigan York Rite Association meeting this month on August 29th with the aid of York Chapter at the Milan Masonic Temple. There’s plenty going on this month so make sure to mark your calendars and I hope to see you there!

Dominus Vobiscum,

Brandon Mullins, HP 

Mark Master Mason Degree | Jul 2011

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Greetings Friends & Companions,

Please join Washtenaw Chapter No. 6, Royal Arch Masons for a Mark Master Mason Degree this Monday, July 18th. We’ve had to set this up last min to catch a brother up with the class so we could use all the help we can get!

Most Excellent Companion Paul Howell will be serving a delicious meal at 6:30pm, and we will open at 7:00pm. Hope to see you there!

Capitular Degrees at the DMT | Jul 2011

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Greetings my Fellow Companions,

Please join us along with our host, Monroe Chapter No. 1 at the Detroit Masonic Temple for our upcoming series of Capitular degrees. Monroe Chapter has said they are willing to provide all roles for the degree, conferring it upon both our and their candidates, but if you know a part from memory they are more than willing to take you so feel free to volunteer! The Mark Master Mason Degree will be held on the 13th, the Past Master & Most Excellent Master Degrees on the 20th, and the Royal Arch Degree on the 27th. Our Ann Arbor Masonic News article stated that we would also be doing the Past Master & Most Excellent Master Degrees ourselves in Ann Arbor at our Stated Convocation but due to schedule changes all degrees will be done along with Monroe’s candidates in Detroit. Show up at 6:00 to partake in food and fellowship, and we open at 7:00pm. So if you can make it out I’m sure our candidates would love your support, and this is a great opportunity to visit another Chapter and see work in the most amazing building in Masonry. Hope to see you there!

Dominus Vobiscum,

Brandon Mullins, HP