The goal of Freemasonry is to make good men wiser, better, and consequently happier. Our traditions combine a commitment to individual growth and community building, ceremony and festivity, family and friendship. Far from what some folks imagine, Freemasons are very open to the world. We are hardly a secret society, but more a society with secrets. We are discreet about our rituals so that the moral lessons they contain can have the best effect on our members, but we make no secret of our love for our Brothers, their families, and our community.
We provide support to those who survive our members when they pass away, and take pains to foster the good of society in numerous ways. Programs like Bikes for Books, Kindles for Books, and the Masonic Model Student Assistance Program were engineered by Freemasons to support education and development for everyone. Lodges in Oregon care for our elderly members and extended families through the Masonic and Eastern Star Home (MESHCare) program, and have built the Jennings McCall Retirement Community to provide further aid. We bind ourselves to be generous with one another and regard each Brother’s family as an extension of our own.
The Masonic Fraternity as we know it today was born in a fateful meeting in the summer of 1717, above the Goose and Gridiron public house in London. These first Masons carried with them numerous symbols and ritual lessons from their operative ancestors, and have to this day held fast to the most vital principles of those traditions – brotherly love for one another and all mankind, relief to those in distress, and truth to all.
Since then, Freemasonry has grown into the biggest fraternity in the world, and has helped to inspire countless other organizations to form. Masons have created a family of organizations to provide opportunities for members’ wives to have a shared space in the Order of the Eastern Star. Freemasons created the Order of DeMolay, Job’s Daughters, and the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls to help parents teach their children to become articulate, poised, and thoughtful men and women.