St. John's Lodge No. 9

Seattle's Oldest Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons

Seattle Freemasonry for the 21st Century 2015 Lodge Officers 2014 Principle Officers and Board of Trustees Fraternal Bonds Mentoring Young Masons Masonic Ceremonies and Traditions

Welcome to St. John's Lodge!

As Seattle's oldest Masonic Lodge, St. John's offers a tried and true system to create society leaders and give men working tools to enable positive change around them. This Lodge provides an environment of friendship where men of all trades mentor and help each other grow. This is what Freemasonry is all about.

Our Vision: St. John's Lodge No. 9 will be a recognized Masonic leader in personal growth through association, ritual excellence, education, and charity.

Our meetings are held every 3rd Wednesday of the month. Visitors are always welcome!

Join us for Dinner in August!

Worshipful Master Russ Johnson invites all our brethren to our monthly stated communication, with a special invitation to those who are serving in one capacity or another as part of the Grand Lodge Team. Wear your Grand Lodge name badge for a special recognition and an opportunity to receive our thanks for serving the fraternity in a broader capacity beyond our Lodge room.

Our topic of Masonic Education this month will be exactly that – discussion on how best to present Masonic education in St. John’s along with a plea to those who have something to share to step forward in the months to follow. WBro. Eric Koteles will lead this discussion, with hope for a renewal in our search for Masonic Light.

WBro. Richard Hawley plans to present a charity policy recommendation for discussion at this meeting. All charity requests for the 2016 budget should have been received by June 30. This month will again be casual attire – no tuxedos for officers; leave your jackets and ties home until September.

Please make your 6:15pm dinner reservations with the secretary at 206 623-0261 or by Friday, August 14, prior to the August 19 meeting. Invite a brother to accompany you to Lodge and bring your Lady!

The evening's schedule is as follows:

Dinner – Guests Welcome

1. Menu: salad; smoked beef brisket, sliced; smoked ribs with KC-style BBQ sauce; homemade baked beans, potato salad, cornbread. Chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches
2. Introduction and Announcements

Stated Meeting - tiled

1. General business – reports & planning
2. Masonic education: “The Cornucopia or horn of plenty” – discussion led by Helmuth Svoboda


Kick back, visit, and enjoy a beverage and dessert

St. John's Noble Cause for 2015

Seattle Teachers Autism Symposium

Autism in the classroom: One size doesn’t fit all

The parents and the professionals all agree that it takes lots of hard work to help a child with autism get the most out of the classroom experience. It also takes, they say, a good dose of structure and the understanding that every child with an autism spectrum disorder is unique. That means each child has different symptoms as well as styles of learning.

“Autism isn’t like diabetes,” psychologist Kathleen Platzman says. “With diabetes, we have two or three things that we absolutely know about every kid who has it. But since it’s not that way with autism, we need an educational model wide enough to take in the whole spectrum. That means it’s going to have to be a fairly broad model.”

On August 12th and 13th, St. John’s in partnership with the University of Washington Autism Center, will produce a series of classes to educate Seattle-area teachers on how best to recognize, teach, and integrate students with autism into their classrooms. The statistics are staggering how much the autism spectrum affects our youth in the US and this is our own grassroots effort to make the teaching force in our area a leader in giving those challenges associated with autism the proper amount of attention they deserve.

St. John’s is offering this symposium free of charge as our contribution to the community. Teachers may register at the Seattle Teachers Autism Awareness website.

From the East

A Monthly Column in our Trestle Board Publication

by Worshipful Master Russ Johnson

Remember what makes a Mason from last month? While everyone has his own definition, it was put forward last month that it is his commitment to learning and sharing knowledge.

It is written that in Lodges prior to the 1940s the focus of Lodge life revolved around education, as it currently is in Lodges outside the United States. Lodges were smaller and focused on the growth and development of every Mason. At many Lodges, each Mason had annual research projects to perform, which were then presented in Lodge and discussed. The Lodge took seriously its commitment to improving each and every Mason through focused and individualized attention to their growth and education. Masonry’s most important tenet and value proposition was based on the attention the Lodge paid to each Mason’s education and the special fellowship that came from such intense work.

With the explosion in Lodge membership during the 1940s and 1950s it became impractical to maintain this level of attention with Lodge memberships in the hundreds or thousands and the practice was mostly lost. It was during these years that, I opine, Masonry lost that important tenet and value proposition. As these record-high numbers began to ebb in the 1960s, Lodges focused on membership drives in attempts to maintain their numbers. These efforts trended towards making it easier for men to become a Mason. The focus of Lodge life continued to shift away from the continuous education of its members, even spawning “fast tracks” such as One Day All the Way programs. As such, Masonry continued to drift away from its value proposition and its members the commitment to learning and sharing also declined. This trend progressed until, in many Lodges, it was lost all together.

With the focus on maintaining membership numbers rather than the individual‘s learning, the rolls filled with men who did not receive the benefit of the Lodge’s attention to their education and did not possess the commitment to learning. They became, based on the above definition, Lodge members rather than practicing Masons.

Today Masonry continues to struggle with membership, even in the face of rising interest in the craft. Retention rates compound the problems, as Lodges bring young men in only to have them leave within the first three years. Young men today are asking the question, “What does Masonry offer?” Our answers are often hollow sayings from the past, “make good men better,” etc... So my question is, are we actually making good men better? If so, how? What are we doing for our youngest members to improve them? Do we consider the degree lessons the extent of what we offer? If so, this may explain our retention issues. With young men coming to the door of Masonry in search of that very value proposition we seem to have lost, should we ask ourselves are we members or Masons