A Witness to the Craft

Posted on Aug 26, 2011 | Comments Off

A Witness to the Craft

The Federal Lodge No. 1 blog is intended to be many things, but certainly it is a witness to the craft of Freemasonry.  We are an extremely active group within our fraternity, as well as in the wider communities in which we live. Or stories should be told.

The blog looks to provide readers short, relevant, and information-rich postings about issues, activities, events in our fraternal community for an audience of Masons and non-Masons.  Contributions are widely sought by the web site committee, in fact, and a team of regular writers will hopefully provide readers a view of the best our labors have to offer.

“Freemasonry is not a secret society, but a society with secrets” is a phrase that can be heard among us now and again.  In an age of voracious electronic social media, the efforts to communicate to members and non-members the group’s emphasis on self and community development, not on self alone, can often become difficult to make plain. The organization’s culture of secrecy has costs and benefits, sometimes simultaneously.  At times the drive to be understated supporters and contributors to positive and constructive community efforts leads some to think there’s a worry about what is not getting emphasized.  Our witness, as the creators of the blog hope will be clear, offers readers a chance to explore as equals the topics the blog presents.

Digital age rhetoric and communication among Freemasons presents heady challenges for those who are most comfortable with the fixity and established control of a (relatively) stable media like paper.  Federal Lodge No. 1, on the other hand, has been a leader in some ways in the use of web pages, exploring the idea in the mid- to early 1990s ahead of many other lodges.  Federal Lodge’s own Brother Steven Orr has led not only Federal’s online presence back in the early days, but has recently spurred other Masonic organizations to consider and invest in their own.  Br. Orr’s contribution to the online version of Almas’ Alibi  ( PDF pg. 8 ) is testimony to his work.

In the years since the 1990s, we have had several editions of the group’s web page, and our latest will likely be only one in long line of attempts to live and practice the best of the teachings of Freemasonry.  We have much to do and learn.  The opportunities offered by low-cost content management systems or frameworks like WordPress and Drupal differ drastically from the early days of HTML, the mark-up language used to present information in a web browser.

One notable part of those different and more modern, if you will, opportunities is the increased complexity of the relationship between the text and graphics of a given message.  Recently the DC Scottish Rite has begun to release video messages from SGIG Len Proden, for example.  We are working to follow the example of our brother lodges and partner organizations to paint an ever increasingly clear picture of who we are and what we do.

The Federal Lodge No. 1 blog will hopefully have a long and productive life.  Your readership and contributions will help craft a meaningful message worthy of consideration.

By Bro. Kevin Fries