Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I was in the middle of trying to come up with something to post on this blog for the holiday. As if someone knew what I was looking for, I received this email from "Dad" Mark Rauschenberger, Executive Officer of Illinois DeMolay. "Dad" Rauschenberger is also an Advisor for Lorraine Chapter here in PA and a relation of our State Master Councilor, Alex Rauschenberger. As you can see, he is quite thankful...

Greetings from the Land of Lincoln,

At our FallFest Ritual Tournament this past weekend, my message to the Jurisdiction was all about being thankful for what we have and what I have as a member of DeMolay International.

God knows, this has been a rough year for me personally by getting nailed with health issue after issue along with the health struggles of a few of my close family members.  Through the grace of God, I am thankful for completing another year of my journey in this world and the opportunity to continue my service to DeMolay.

The most concerning for me this year was the progressive loss of my eye sight.  There are no words to describe the feeling of losing one of the most critical senses we have.  Thankfully, the condition was reversible, restoring my sight to an improvement over what I have lived with most of my life.  In masonry we talk about being brought from darkness into light and this year I literally experienced just that.

After the two surgeries it was amazing how much one misses when things change slowly over time.  Today, I have a new clarity of focus and a new appreciation of what is before me. 

Sometimes in DeMolay, we look through a fogged vision of what stands before us and what is important.  I am personally thankful for each and every young man we serve and the Sweethearts who give of themselves to make our program better.  I am thankful to each of our Advisors and staff members who give of their time and efforts to deliver quality to the youth we serve.  I am thankful to our State Officers, young men and our State Sweetheart, with a heart for our Order always looking to make DeMolay even better.

I am thankful for the new friends I have made.  This past year I have had the opportunity to attend the Installation of Officers for George Washington Chapter in San Dimas California where the Chapter was impacted with the passing of a key Advisor.  I was proud to be invited to attend the installation of Glendale Chapter in Glendale Arizona where we saw a “full” installation of officers and spend time with some outstanding young men.  These visits remind me that we are part of a worldwide brotherhood and the caliber of young man participating in DeMolay is unrivaled.

Tomorrow, as each of you share the day with friends and family, I encourage you to take a moment and think of what you are most thankful.  I hope you find that clarity of vision to see what is before you and appreciate those things even more.

God bless each and every one of you and may you and your families have a joyous holiday season!

Mark L. Rauschenberger
Executive Officer - Illinois DeMolay

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