As DeMolays, we are the Knights of today. Though we wear suits and sometimes cloak ourselves in our respectable robes, I feel as though we are to wait in the shadows and bring light to another's life to make our pathway more visible. We work towards awards and are prideful and deserving of said awards, but we know in our hearts that the truest award is serving others and always being there when our friends, family, even strangers are in need of assistance.
We have obligated ourselves to a life of service, as the Knights of the Temple once vowed themselves to. Our namesake is a glorious example of the lives that should be lived by all. Even the ignorance of the world is not enough to shield the light which DeMolay has illuminated throughout the decades. Almost a hundred years have passed since our founder granted 9 young men the chance to be and do great things in their life.
I, along with 8 other young men have been given the honor to serve you, Missouri DeMolay for this year. We all have our own Chapters we call home, but we are a part of every Chapter in Missouri - as are you. We get so caught up in thinking that our Chapter is the best at this, or that Chapter is the best at that. Brotherly competition is a virtue we practice, but ignorance towards others is not.
We have to stand together, helping each other to live the most virtuous lives. Together, we can live humbling lives that are beneficial to everyone instead of just ourselves, but we must remain loyal to our obligations, to our purposes, but most especially to our brethren of the Order. A humble loyalty can lead to a virtuous success.
As everyone has seen in numerous communications in the past months, we had a fundraiser for Missouri RiteCare that ran from October 1st lasting until December 31st. I hope that all of the Chapters in Missouri were able to participate in supporting such a great program. Missouri RiteCare has several clinics devoted to teaching children who are between the ages of two and six years, who have speech and language disorders the communication skills necessary to succeed in school and throughout their lives. The thing about the clinics is that they provide these services for free.
I believe this is a great purpose to raise funds for, to help pay back the ones who are always giving. It is astonishing to me to think about what these clinics do for all of the children who go there for aid. I also know that as DeMolays, it is our job to assist those who help others. I thank each and every Chapter who has helped us in our efforts to give back to the Missouri RiteCare Program.
New Years Eve Eve Ball
On Tuesday, December 30th, St. Charles Chapter hosted a New Years Eve Eve Ball at the Moolah Shrine Center. This was the first year for the formal event and all masonic youth were invited. The ball was well attended and all danced and enjoyed music by Dad Fred Veinfurt. Following the ball, all of the DeMolays were invited to stay for a lock-in where video games and other activities were held in the Shrine gym. It is always nice to realize how much I enjoy going to other Chapter events to see the friends I have made through the years.
There was a time when I wasn't certain about why I would go to an event at another Chapter because I wouldn't know anyone when I got there. I finally took the step and learned going to events was a great way to get to know other DeMolays, Rainbow Girls and Job’s Daughters and build friendships. I want to encourage each Chapter to do two things. First, plan an event that you and your Chapter would enjoy, then invite other Masonic Youth to come and attend the event. Open your chapter for all to come and have fun and work on building relations with other Masonic Youth.
Planning your own Chapter events and attending other Chapter’s events is very important and beneficial. It’s good for Chapters to get out and visit and support each other.
Goals & Visions
Everyone has goals, and whether it’s getting a new car or climbing Mount Everest, we need a plan to get these goals done. Planning can be daunting task. What should I do, when should I do it, and every other detail you can imagine. Planning can be easy as long as you have a simple process to organize all of it.
Your vision is your ultimate goal. Your vision is something large like climbing Mount Everest or increasing membership by a significant amount in your chapter. Your vision is the whole point of doing any work in the first place. Don’t be afraid to dream big with your vision. Visions aren't supposed to be completed in a weekend. Visions take time and effort and have a great impact.
Goals are the the smaller steps you take to get to this vision. It is important that your goals be small enough to be finished in a short amount of time but large enough that you aren't spending too much time on small, meaningless steps.
Goals need to be SMART. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Specific as in you should know exactly what to do. Plan to hold a fundraiser at your local lodge at 1:00 PM by selling pancakes instead of just saying that you will do a fundraiser. Measurable as in you should know when you’re done. You know when you’re finished once you have raised a certain amount of money or you have bought a certain number of things. Attainable as in it’s not too difficult. Don’t plan to make 3 million dollars at a pancake breakfast. Relevant means that the goal will help you attain your vision. If you’re vision is to get more members, then holding a members only event might not be too helpful. Timely simply means that you have a set start and end time such as from 5-8 PM on Wednesday.
Use this system as planning to improve not just your chapter, but Demolay and your personal life as well. Successful planning and organization is the best way to keep things constantly improving. Creating a vision and making goals to move towards your vision will help you immensely in the future.
The Representative DeMolay
One of the main goals that we as DeMolays strive to do is to improve ourselves; we strive to be better young men and to better ourselves for when we are older. These efforts are emphasized in our Ritual and Chapter activities. However, before you can begin to improve your character, you have to know where to start. Fortunately, DeMolay has an excellent checklist for self-improvement called the Representative DeMolay Award, referred to as the RD. The RD is the highest self-achievement award Demolay International has to offer.
The award was created by Dad Land in 1924. Originally, it was a competition between DeMolays. Eventually, it was identified that young men needed guidance when improving themselves, so the award evolved into a self-evaluation program.
The key is honesty - pretending to be perfect isn't going to get you this award; it also defeats the purpose of the award as you will have had no idea what you’re supposed to do to improve yourself. Upon acceptance, you will be presented with the regalia at one of your Chapter’s events. At this point you’re not done as a RD - more than ever you’re representing the Order with every action. You have an obligation to help another DeMolay each year to get his RD.
This is a tradition long forgotten, as there are not many Active DeMolays that have their RD. The reason may be because it's not something that you can accomplish in an afternoon. It’s a process that makes you take a long hard look at your life choices and actions. It’s the highest self-achievement award that DeMolay International can offer for good reason, as it's effects transcend your activities in Demolay. Even though it is a long process, it is a rewarding one, and a process that is more than worth partaking in.
Dad Land said it was his dream that every DeMolay become a Representative DeMolay - let us make his dream a reality.
An Essence of DeMolay
A key factor in DeMolay is the Chivalric Knights of the of the Holy Order of the Fellow Soldiers of Jacques DeMolay, also known as Knighthood. Knighthood is for older DeMolays between the ages of 17 through 21. Knights are to assist Chapters within their area whether it would pertain to Ritual or even helping plan a major event for the Chapters. Many people do not know there are two major active Priories in the great state of Missouri - James H. Cockerham Priory in St. Louis and Walt Disney Priory in Kansas City.
The Knights are a KEY ingredient for DeMolay because it is a place where a group of older DeMolays can all be together from different chapters and all work together as one team. Many of the activities pertain to our older brothers such as paintball, going to movies, and having special etiquette dinner nights. The Ritual of Knighthood is very beautiful and brings us truly back to the meaning of the ideals of a DeMolay Knight. It is as if it were a rededication ceremony to the seven cardinal virtues in a very different manner. It is very beautiful for those that love Ritual work and brings the light of the seven candles back into our hearts to burn even brighter.
There is true chivalry within all of the fellow Knights and shows a true dedication to DeMolay. With each day we always will have the respect for our parents, reverence of our faithful things, courtesy to all people, comradery to all of our brothers, being loyal to all of our causes, cleanness to keep ourselves safe from today's evils, and patriotism for our love of our country.
Honoring our State Sweetheart
On January 17, 2015 I had the wonderful opportunity to visit St. Louis to see my good friend, and our State Sweetheart - Lydie Drake, get installed as the Worthy Advisor of her Assembly. When I arrived, the members of Kirkwood, St. Charles, and Crestwood Chapter, along with other Jurisdictional Officers were prepared to perform an Honor Guard for Lydie after she was installed. This was a great honor for us, and from my view, a very impressive presentation. Afterwards, we stayed and watched the procession. I, never having been to any kind of Rainbow Girls ceremony, was very intrigued to see how it differed from, and resembled, a Jobie or DeMolay Installation.
I enjoyed the gift giving portion of the ceremony, especially when Quentin Cockerham decided to present Lydie with, not only the title of Honorary State Master Councilor, but also his collar! Lydie put it very well when she said in astonishment, “they never let you touch the collar!”. Not that this is true, but it was an amusing comment. Afterwards, Lydie delivered a beautiful and moving speech about her dedication. It is a very noble cause. After the ceremony, there was a very nice dance, full of music, joy and friendship, both new and old.
Following the dance, Mom Drake whipped up some delicious breakfast food to satisfy our growing appetites! All in all it was a great time, and a wonderful first Rainbow experience for me.
Being a DeMolay & an Individual
To be a Demolay means more than just the awards and Ritual work. It means to be a trustworthy brother, a good citizen, and a friend. First, by being a Demolay you have a responsibility to being a trustworthy brother by being there for your brother. Not just if he needs something but when he needs it most and you have to make the sacrifice for him but you do it knowing that it is right and he would do the same for you.
Next, to be a good citizen doesn't mean to pick up trash after yourself or show up at community events, it means picking up someone else’s trash that they left or being apart of that event. Be a supporter in your community’s events and be aware of what’s going on. It’s your own responsibility to be a voice and to be the change you want to see. Lastly, the word friendship has many different meanings to every person but it always come down to if you’re willing to make sacrifices for those you love. Anybody can say that they will be there for you but it’s when the going gets tough that you will you realize who your true friends are.
I believe that every DeMolay, whether they are new or have been in for years, that they are a trustworthy brother by being there when their brothers needs them the most; a good citizen by being involved and being active in their community; and a great friend by making the sacrifices for those they love.
Membership through our Ritual
As we look back on the past year and see the challenges we have overcome to make our Order greater, we are presented with a new year and new obstacles ahead, but we can not stop here; we need to continue in the steps of greatness through membership. As some may know, the Joining Ceremonies have presented us with opportunities to achieve such a great spike in membership. If we, as a Jurisdiction want to continue to achieve greatness, then this needs to be implemented into the Chapters - making it available to young men so that they may have this great opportunity.
Our ceremonies are sometimes difficult to understand but we do not want to degrade the way one understands or learns. When a Chapter plans to do a Joining Ceremony, or full Initiation, we need to make it possible to keep the minds of the young men focused and not lost simply because they do not fully understand the message at first. We know that it may be difficult when trying to understand the Ritual as a new member, but Chapters need to make it a standard to perform with such profoundness that a new member can best understand the teachings. We lose the opportunity to have new young men join if Chapters wait until Conclave to bring in their friends.
We need to give the responsibility back to the Chapters to keep growing as a whole. If a friend wants to join tomorrow, you say yes and gather everyone you can to help - but do not restrict the chance a young man may have if a Chapter cannot perform a full Initiation on its own. Accept them into the Order on a short form basis, and make sure they receive the full Degrees in due form. Our life is a “pawn” and you hold the key to ensure that this Order will grow and strive to continue for greatness.
We welcome all Job's Daughters, DeMolay, and Rainbow members and advisors to join us for a day of learning and bonding while we cover the utmost basic of needs for our Bethels, Chapters, and Assemblies.
The day will start promptly at 1:00 p.m. - with a dinner provided - and a casual dance to end the day.
This enhancement will be held on February 21st, 2015.
Taking place at the St. Louis Scottish Rite.
Dress is Masonic Youth casual.