Freemasons Lodge 363 – Trestle-board March Issue – 2020 – Vol 2.
While the month of March has been busy with the most historical and apocalyptic events in recent history that will not stop our lodge from producing a worthwhile and meaningful Trestleboard.
I would first like to echo what many of us have stated on Social media channels, that our Grand Lodge has done an excellent job of really getting infront of the COVID-19 issue early and executing communications efficiently. While the decisions from Grand Lodge and the appendant bodies might have left us without Masonic activities for the immediate future, I think we can all agree that it was the right thing to do.
With that said this Masonic Trestleboard is going to contain all our expected #363 content while also being packed full of incredibly simple and easy technology examples for us to stay connected during the COVID-19 turmoil.
So, have fun reading, be safe and stay positive.
Coffee Talk for March
by WM Damon Sanchez
With the COVID-19 Pandemic and the global response to self-quarantine one cannot help but feel the chilling effects of isolationism.
Evolution selected us to be hunters and gatherers banding together constantly searching for shinny things and social acceptance. Some of us have no problem keeping ourselves busy alone, maybe one has multiple hobbies, maybe one reads or writes, paints or draws, maybe one plays video games or exercises… But whether you’re a hunter or gatherer at some point we will reach out for human connections.
In previous centuries Masons like President Theodore Roosevelt were afforded nothing more than a paper letter handed to a series of men riding horses through harsh elements and yet accomplished Victories in War, founded some of the first National Parks, conducted Global Diplomacy and passed Health and Safety Laws. If there was ever a generation to look up too for overcoming what was almost impossible hurdles of communication through unwavering tenacity and perseverance it was Roosevelt’s era.
I question whether I would have the attention span or mental capacity to write a letter and wait 2 months for a response…
Luckily Masons of this generation have an unfathomable amount of technology at their fingertips.
Technology that allows us to connect with friends and family across the globe. While at first this technology may seem too complex with a few recommendations and examples we can be up and running in no time at all.
The first series of Tools we’ll cover are Social Media Apps, only because they are the most prevalent.
Freemasons Lodge 363 is on Instagram, Twitter and on Facebook with the intent that each one of theses social media channels has advantages and disadvantages. Let’s start with Instagram.
Instagram: If you’re an artist, photographer,
painter, designer or creative … Instagram might be the Social Media
Platform for you. The tool allows you to be selective of not only
who follows you but also who you can follow. Each request has to be
approved by the owner of the account. Instagram is has a visual
experience with large images and short descriptions.
it’s free Links to the App Stores:
Twitter: If you’re into current events, or you like to hear about things right as they happen then Twitter might be your Social Media Platform. While you have less control over who follows you, the control is in the ability to customize who you follow. So, the idea is that you only experience news that you want to see. In this context Twitter is one of my favorite platforms because it gives people a vehicle that was unheard of in previous generations. Think of the News surrounding the Arab Spring, or current events like the COVID-19 outbreak… If you’re tuned into Twitter the truth is, you’ll see News before NPR, Fox News or Channel 6 has a chance to report on it. it’s free Links to the App Stores:
Facebook & Instant Messenger: If you are on the go, or you have a large family and people that live outside your immediate surroundings, or you’re really into staying connected into social circles… Facebook might be your Social Media Platform of choice… In this day and age it’s hard to find someone who isn’t on Facebook, while it has been considered the most “word – vomit, hate ranting, soap boxed filled platform” of all time. There are hidden gems to be found or used in the Facebook eco-system. Like Facebook Messenger. In the context that the Messenger allows you to communicate with people that you choose to interact with instead of having to wade through the menusha of the entire Wall of Facebook. While I don’t use Facebook I use the heck out of the Facebook Messenger app, for connecting with other brothers or friends and family. Facebook is free Links to the App Stores:
Android Messenger is free
Links to the App Stores:
Social Media whether you like it or hate it, the application table above can help you stay connected.
So, if you feel isolated or alone during these times of social distancing… Don’t worry there are super easy ways that you can connect with what’s happening in the world, your friends, family and Freemasons Lodge #363.
We promised content, and we’re not done… The next series of Apps we’ll talk about are Video Conferencing Tools. While video conferencing sounds like something kids do, it’s not that complicated. If you have an iPhone and have ever face timed someone… You’re doing a video conference, technically its only between you another individual but the same concept applies to large groups of people video conferencing together.
The only requirement for using one of the video conferencing Applications below are that you need a computer, smart phone or tablet that has a built in or access to a camera. Currently, it’s almost harder to find a device that doesn’t have a camera built in.
Google Hangouts: Simple straight forward this app
works in the web browser, or as a standalone app on your computer or
you can use it from your iPhone or Android device. Google Hangouts
is free. Links to the App Stores:
Zoom Cloud Meetings: Simple and really easy to use, I
don’t have a ton of experience personally with Zoom, but I have
friends that use this video conferencing tool and they say it works
great. Zoom is also free. Links to the App Stores:
Skype: I like
Microsoft’s Skype a lot and have been using it for a long time. It’s
dependable and the video quality and voice over have never failed me.
I use this for playing Dungeons and Dragons with my brother in
Madison all the time. I have the app installed on my daughter’s
iphone, it’s installed in the smart TV in my living room and I have it
installed on my computer and on my Android phone and Amazon Fire
tablet… and it just works as I’d expect it too. Skype is free.
Links to the App Stores:
This Trestleboard was heavily about technology if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out ask for help with any of the applications we’ve talked about in this article.
Also, if you read through this article and feel you could help make a difference in Freemasons Lodge 363 from a technology or educational standpoint please join one of the new Committees, we’d love to have you on the team.
New Committees… Just in case we’ve forgotten from last month
- The Masters of the Book & Pen –
This Committee will be a group of Past Masters, that want to strive to pass on Masonic Knowledge through Education
- This group will be in charge of a quick 5min presentations during our stated meetings where they get to express Masonic: Rituals, Ideas, or fun facts. The intent of the 5min presentation is to spark conversation with the brethren and then to drive the conversation to a larger body of work which could be a PDF, an Article in the Trestleboard, a video or another longer lecture at dinner.
- The Watchers of the Square & Compasses –
This Committee will be a group of Master Masons, that want to capture #363 in a positive light so that we can use the content to promote Freemasons Lodge and all Masons.
- This group will be in charge of taking pictures of anything Masonic, but done so in a light and aesthetic that can be used in: Social Media, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn WordPress MailChimp, etc.
- This group will have access to a 363 DropBox or OneDrive account, along with the ability to instantly post images to Instagram which will simultaneously add the image to our web site Gallery.
- The Keepers of the Matrix –
This Committee will be a Group of Past Masters or Masonic Officers that can wield technology for the good of the Lodge, with the intent to help the Lodge Secretary and the Worshipful Master with technology and logistical sorcery.
- This group will be in charge of updating digital artifacts
- This group will have access to: Google, WordPress, Instagram, Twitter, IFTT and Facebook
That’s all for now, I’m looking forward to staying connected with everyone and seeing everyone when the light come back on.