Ephrata Lodge No. 665
Free & Accepted Masons
What is Freemasonry?
Greetings and welcome to Ephrata Lodge No. 665's website. For those seeking to know more about who the Freemasons are, we are the oldest, largest, and most widely recognized fraternal organization in the world, of which Ephrata Lodge is the local lodge and presence in the Ephrata Pennsylvania community. Freemasonry was founded in London, England in 1717, its current worldwide membership totals around 3.6 million members, 1.6 million of which are in North America.
Freemasonry is not a religion or social club, but is a “moral science” taught by degrees, and by using the symbolic tools of the stonemason builders, we learn to build our spiritual temples and become better men.
As a fraternal organization, Freemasonry unites men of good character who may have different religious, ethnic, or social backgrounds, who can share a common belief in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of mankind.
In the three hundred plus years of its history – it began on June 24th 1717, the day on which five Masonic lodges in London amalgamated to form one Grand Lodge – it has not changed direction, but for all of them the purpose is the same: the enoblement of men, from the rough to the refined stone, to become part of the temple of universal love of mankind. The process is fulfilled in degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason.
The traditions of Freemasonry are founded upon the building of King Solomon's Temple, and its fraternal ceremonies use the working tools of the stonemasons to symbolize moral lessons and truths. For example, Masons are reminded at Lodge to "meet upon the level of equality" and to "square our actions by the square of virtue."
Like most organizations, one will get out of Freemasonry what he is able to put into it. However, membership in Freemasonry is not meant in any way to interfere with an individual's commitment to his faith, family, or occupation. Freemasonry is not and never can be a replacement for these important institutions, but rather it is a positive environment that reminds every Mason of his duty to God, his community, his family, and himself.
Ephrata Lodge is known for never repeating a Worshipful Master (presiding officer) since its constitution was warranted in 1910, and from the looks of it the lodge will be continuing this tradition for several years to come. The lodge is also known for some of the best ritualists in the district and any member should be honored to be part of a lodge that embraces the ritual with such pride. The beauty in the ritual reminds us of the morals and lessons to truly live our lives by. They are beautiful and impressive, and it's urged that any Mason see all three degrees at least once a year to remind himself of the power contained within them. It also serves as a great refresher to the steps, grips and passwords, especially if one plans to travel to another lodge in or out of the state. As Masons, supporting new brethren who are receiving these degrees is one of the best actions performed to welcome and support a Brother into the fraternity. As the Holy Bible says, "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell together in unity!"
From the East
Fraternal Greetings Brethren!
I hope every one of you had a wonderful summer. Now that summer is over, we have a full schedule lined up for the month of September. For September's stated meeting, our meeting will be a little different than normal. We will be having a brief meeting at our normal time, but for our program, we will be conferring the Master Mason degree on Brother John Mertz Sr. This will be a great event, with Brother John Mertz Jr., P.M. guiding him for this. Our education for the evening will be presented by Brother Sean Dorosz, and will be on the Star and Garter, the Golden Fleece, and the Roman Eagle mentioned in the first degree.
The Cave Degree is coming right around the corner on Saturday September 24th at the Indian Echo Caverns. For those of you who may not know, this year it will be presented by the Oklahoma Indian Degree team. The Oklahoma Indian Team presenta a unique third degree that is exclusive to them and is recognized by the Grand Lodge of Oklahoma. This will be a large event, that you will not want to miss. Tickets are on sale for $50, which includes the meal and a Masonic commemorative coin. Tickets can be purchased on EventBrite, or you may purchase a physical ticket from me if you prefer.
We will also be conferring the first degree this month on Joseph Padilla on September 20th. As always, it will be great to see the sidelines filled or least populated for this degree. Wouldn't you want the same if it was your degree? I hope to see you there!
Please remember to check the calendar for all dates, times, and addresses as events approach. If there is anything that you would like to see placed onto the calendar, please let myself or one of the other officers know. You may also use the contact us section on the website for any inquires if not listed on the calendar.
Matthew V. Engel
From the West
Brethren, the "Help for our Heroes" program, has surpassed the 1.2 million milestone simply from your pocket change donations. Please continue to be generous with your spare change that goes to this great cause. The basket to make any donations will always be on the table right outside the lodge room near the Tyler station as you enter.
For those that are not aware, we now have a food pantry in the basement behind the dining hall. It is available to any brother that needs it, no questions asked. We would like however for brethren who can, to bring a non perishable item whenever they come to a meeting to help keep it stocked.
We continue to receive petitions and therefore will be busy with degree work...always a good thing. We could use some help for guides with the numerous petitions coming in though. Please see me or contact the lodge if you would like to help in this manner. Helping as a guide is a great way to experience the ritual with little memorization required. Serving as a brother's guide is an experience he will remember for the rest of his life. For the officers and anyone interested in learning the ritual, please note the monthly ritual practice is on the Thursday prior to our stated meetings unless otherwise noted in the Trestleboard. I invite all our members and any visiting brethren to come out to support the officers and see the excellent degree work we enjoy delivering. It is also a great feeling for our new brethren to have a full sideline of supporters. If you haven't seen a degree in a while, I highly encourage you to come out as Ephrata Lodge delivers some of the best ritual around. The ritual has such wonderful meanings behind it and if taken to heart will truly change how you live your lives. You can't hear the messages the ritual conveys enough, plus it's fun. Come and enjoy the brotherhood. See you at the next event.