Thursday, December 14, 2017

GO Spread PA DeMolay's message

The following blog post is from Jacob Beers, State Master Councilor of Pennsylvania DeMolay.

Last week, I gave a speech about DeMolay at the Grand Holy Royal Arch Chapter of Pennsylvania’s Annual Grand Banquet. With this, I earned my GO Spread shirt for having completed four of the eight ways for all members of Pennsylvania DeMolay to help “GO Spread” DeMolay’s message. In addition to the speech, I also have written articles for the Keystone Crusader as well as posts for the PA DeMolay blog (like this one). Also, I attended York Bethel No. 1’s Installation of Officers on December 3rd. These are the four ways I earned my shirt - writing an article for the Keystone Crusader, writing a post for the PA DeMolay blog, attending an open meeting of another Masonic Youth Group, and attending an open meeting of a Masonic body - but there are four other things you can do to earn your GO Spread t-shirt.

First, you can write a letter for your Chapter’s newsletter, if it has one. This can be about anything you choose, whether that be an upcoming event, report of a past event, or anything you think would add substance to your Chapter’s newsletter. Second, you can write a letter to one of your Chapter’s sponsoring bodies. Without the support of your Chapter’s sponsoring bodies, your Chapter would be hard-pressed to do much of anything, so write them a letter thanking them for all the help they’ve given to you and your Brothers. Third, you can attend two Masonic service events. These can be any two events where your Chapter helps another Masonic body in any way possible. Fourth, you can attend two community service events. Use this as an opportunity to show your community all of the good that DeMolay can do and its deep interest in your community’s success.

Once you’ve completed any four of these eight things, submit an explanation of your doings to the PA DeMolay office, along with a signature from your Chapter Advisor, and you will receive a GO Spread shirt. Use this as an opportunity to show off your hard work as a spokesman for Pennsylvania DeMolay and wear your shirt proudly to show you’ve helped to GO Spread DeMolay.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

DeMolay is the Best Thing that Happened to Me.

The following blog post is from Brother Christopher Black, State Chaplain for Pennsylvania DeMolay and Master Councilor of George Washington Chapter. 

Before I joined DeMolay, I was a shy kid not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I liked helping people and hoped that I could find something to allow me to help others. I tried the Cub Scouts, but I didn’t like it too much.

I was helping out at the Zembo Shrine Circus one day and saw a group of boys wearing shirts that said Carlisle DeMolay. I asked the Potentate at the time who these boys were and what DeMolay was. He gave my dad the contact information for the Chapter Advisor at the time. Knowing that I lived further away than their Chapter was located, they connected my dad to the Chapter Advisor of George Washington Chapter, which would eventually become my home Chapter. They agreed to come to my house for an interview.

A week later, I was going to my first DeMolay event. After joining the Chapter, I was asked to take an office, so I chose the office of Chaplain, with the intent to show everybody that I am ready for DeMolay. After one term as Chaplain, my Chapter had a major shake up in leadership, for which I offered a helping hand by taking the role of Senior Councilor. When Brother Jake Beers became State Master Councilor, he was looking for State Officers and I signed up hoping to become the State Chaplain. I received that office and now I am the Master Councilor for  George Washington Chapter. None of this would have been possible if I didn't ask about DeMolay.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Unmask Your Unknown Potential

The following blog post is from Brother Mitchell Holmes, State Senior Deacon for Pennsylvania DeMolay and PMC for Templar Chapter. 

Have you ever been scared to do something? Whether it would be entering a haunted house or a scary movie? If you said no, I'm sorry to say that I don't believe you. Sometime in your life, you have been scared to do something. On October 17, 2014, I made one of the best decisions in my life; joining DeMolay. Before I joined, I remember that I was worried about joining because I knew it would change me. At the time, I was a video gamer and I was worried about it interrupting my game time. I also knew that I had to commit to going to the meetings and events that our Chapter was holding. So, my personality kicked in and I said, “Yes, I would like to join.” I was always willing to try it out, and if I didn't like it, I just wouldn't come back. I went to the next meeting and filled out the necessary paperwork. At the time I had joined, there were only five members. Most of them older guys between the ages 16-18. Being thirteen at the time, I was very quiet. A year goes by, and what was five of us, became three members. A year after that, there were only two members, Bro. Chris Johnston and myself. At the time, I was considering quitting or switching chapters because throughout the time I was there, my Chapter did nothing. 

One day, my Chapter Advisor came to me and said, “Mitch, we need you to be Master Councilor.” When he told me that, I became scared. Mainly because I never had taken a major leadership role before in the Chapter. He then told me to prepare a term plan for the next meeting. That July, I had gotten installed as Master Councilor. I implemented several things, such as a Chapter website, membership incentives, and a newsletter. I was able to bring in three members to my Chapter. Along with that, the members I brought in, brought in members. What became two of us, became eight within eight months. I was able to take a struggling Chapter, and make it active again. While I was doing it, I never knew that I was a natural leader. I discovered things about myself that I would have never been able to figure out if it weren't for DeMolay. Being part of DeMolay has made me communicate, lead, and develop myself for success in life. I had unmasked my unknown traits through DeMolay.

The primary message for this story is to discover yourself. DeMolay is great for that because it touches on all the skills we need in life. Whether it be Robotics Club or Spanish Club, get involved because you can only discover yourself if you're involved with something. You can discover different traits besides leadership. You might find out that you are a good artist, writer, public speaker, treasurer, singer, etc. I want you to UNMASK YOUR UNKNOWN by being involved! 

I did a TED talk last year about my story in DeMolay. The video they had originally shot, had audio issues. So they had to record it again. Here is the link:

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thankful for DeMolay

The following blog post was written by Brother Tyler Moyer, Deputy State Master Councilor for Pennsylvania DeMolay and PMC of Pilgrim Chapter. 

Last Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving, a day where we reflect on what we’re thankful for. We often take what we have for granted; whether it be the roof over our heads, the food on our plates, or the clothes on our back. One of the biggest things that we take for granted are the opportunities presented to us in our daily lives. We live in a time and place that gives us the opportunity to get an education, be who we want to be, and most especially, grow ourselves to be able to succeed in the world. How many of us take advantage of these opportunities? 

DeMolay affords so many opportunities to each of us; such as a place to find ourselves, develop lasting friendships, try new experiences, all while giving us a welcoming and safe place to hone a variety of skills. Sometimes, instead of recognizing this gift presented to us, we may complain or not participate. I see it all too often. We do our ritual to teach ourselves more about those valuable life lessons that are at the foundation of DeMolay and to improve our public speaking skills. We forget that planning our events, is teaching us about time management, communication and foresight planning. We forget that being a Councilor in our Chapter, develops and strengthens our leadership skills. We forget that bringing in new members, is about sharing the gifts that DeMolay gives each of us with our friends and future brothers. 
Don’t just sit back and let DeMolay go by you. Seize the opportunities and share this awesome experience with others. DeMolay is OUR organization and the success of it ten years down the line is dependent upon our efforts today. As has been said in the Ceremony of Light, "each of us holds within our hearts a flame." Has that flame gone out in some of us? If so, then why? And furthermore, what can WE do to get it back?

I hope you are thankful for your time in DeMolay and that you see that there are many opportunities still for you with DeMolay. I hope this motivates you to want to share your experience of DeMolay with others and invite them to a Chapter meeting or event. Show them the opportunities that await them. We've all heard the saying, “You get out of DeMolay what you put into it.” My final question to you is; “What will you do to get the most out of DeMolay?”

Monday, November 27, 2017

Frank S Land: Father of DeMolay

The following blog post was written by Brother Blake Anderson, State Junior Deacon and PMC of Elizabethtown Chapter.

Frank Sherman Land was the Director of the Masonic Relief and Employment Bureau of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. He was very well known for his work in Freemasonry, even serving as Imperial Potentate of the Shrine in 1954-55. What was his view behind the Order of DeMolay?

Land was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and gained a reputation as the "Boy Preacher” at his Sunday school at Fountain Park Congregational Church Sunday School. He became a member of Ivanhoe Lodge #446 on June 29, 1912 in Kansas City. He was honored with the Knight Commander of the Court of Honor of the Scottish Rite and created a 33° in 1925. He received the first International Gold Service Medal of the General Grand Chapter of York Rite Masons in 1951 for work in Humanities. He received the Grand Cross of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Supreme Council of Scottish Rite 33° in 1955. He was the president of the Kansas City School Board, a Director of the Columbia National Bank, and a trustee of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum at the time of his death.

It was the end of World War 2, when he came across a fatherless young man named Louis Gordon Lower. Soon after, Land suggested Lower to create a young men group, an organization to encourage and give direction to young men. Weeks later, the unofficial meeting of the Order of DeMolay took place at the Scottish Rite Temple in Kansas City. Lower would become the first DeMolay of Mother Chapter, located in Kansas City. The original members of DeMolay were 9 young men and Land. The organization started as a baseball team and eventually evolved into the community minded organization it is today. Land originally set a limit of membership for the Mother Chapter to a total of 75 young men. By the end 1920 there were over 300 DeMolay members.

How did DeMolay actually get it’s name? Soon after the organization took off, Land ordered the young men to create a name for the group. After going through books that Land had, they came across a heroic figure, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, known for his heroic fidelity to his brethren, Jacques DeMolay. He was born in Molay, Haute Saone, France in the year 1244. At the age of 21, DeMolay joined the Order of Knights Templar. The Knights Templar was an organization sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church in 1128 to guard the road between Jerusalem and Acre, an important port city on the Mediterranean Sea. The Order of Knights Templar participated in the Crusades and earned a name for valor and heroism.

Since its founding in 1919, DeMolay has grown to over 1,000 chapters worldwide and over 3 million members. Notable figures from sports, entertainment, politics, the news media and the military, including Walt Disney, President William Clinton, Walter Cronkite, Fran Tarkenton and astronaut Edgar Mitchell. joined DeMolay, making it one of the most well known organizations known around the world. Frank S. Land never imagined that DeMolay would spread as fast as it did. In March of 1922, DeMolay had been established in 39 of 48 states (at the time), as well as in the District of Columbia. As DeMolay grew, so did Dad Land's commitment, he became fully involved in his once little club which was sweeping across the nation by the thousands. Five years after DeMolay started, there were 1,171 active chapters with 114,798 members. Dad Land was committed to DeMolay until the end of his days. Dad Land called to his wife one night feeling nauseous after 3 months of sickness and on November 8, 1959 spoke his final words "It is the beginning. My work must go on; DeMolay must go on.”