GMMelanson

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ARTHUR HARRIS MELANSON 1918-1994

ArthurMelanson1980.jpg

  • MM 1953, Montgomery
  • Affiliated 1955, WM 1971, Wellesley
  • Grand Chaplain 1970, 1971, 1973-1977
  • Deputy Grand Master, 1972
  • Grand Master, 1978-1980

TERM

1978 1979 1980

BIOGRAPHY

FROM TROWEL, 1984

From TROWEL, February 1984, Page 21:

Most Worshipful Arthur H. Melanson has been appointed Director of Education in our Grand Lodge. He succeeds Right Worshipful Wyman S. Randall, who retired in May.

The new director automatically becomes a member of the Education Committee. He presided in the East of Grand Lodge, 1978-80, and has been a member of the Wellesley, Mass., school system.

A retired minister, the native of Lynn, Mass., is a graduate of Gordon College where he received both his BA. and Master of Divinity Degrees. He holds a Master of Religious Education Degree from Andover Newton Theological School and the Doctor of Divinity (Honorary) from Calvin Coolidge College.

Raised in Montgomery Lodge, Milford, Mass., in 1953, he became affiliated with Wellesley Lodge in 1955. He was the Worshipful Master in 1970-71.

Appointed Grand Chaplain in 1970, he held that office in 1971 and from 1973 to 1977. He served as a Deputy Grand Master in 1972.

In Capitular Masonry, Most Worshipful Brother Melanson was exalted in Triad Chapter, Newtonville, in 1976, greeted in Cryptic Council, Royal and Select Masters, of Newtonville in 1976 and knighted in Saint Bernard Commandery No. 12, K.T., of Boston, in 1973.

He received the Scottish Rite degrees in the Valley of Boston in 1958 and served Massachusetts Consistory as Prior for several years. He also holds membership in Bay State Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine, and Aleppo Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S.

Brother Melanson has served his Church and community as Secretary-Treasurer, Director's Section, Division of Christian Education, National Council of Churches; a member of the corporation of Babson College; Clerk, Board of Trustees, Wellesley Human Relations Service, Inc.; active in Wellesley service clubs and District 12, United States Power Squadron.

MEMORIAL

FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1994

From Proceedings, Page 1994-99:

Born in Lynn, Massachusetts, on August 31, 1918
Died in Natick, Massachusetts, on April 14, 1994

April 14, 1994 marked the passing of one of the most forward thinking Grand Masters of Masons in Massachusetts in modern times: Most Worshipful Arthur Harris Melanson, Past Grand Master of the Most worshipful Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts.

Brother Melanson was born in Lynn, Massachusetts on August 31, 1918, the only son of Arthur J. and Belle Melanson' He was educated in the Lynn Public Schools with continuing education at Gordon College where he received a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Divinity Degree. He was further educated at Andover Newton Theological School and the Boston University, School of Theology, receiving his Master of Divinity Degree. He received an honorary Doctor of Diyinity from Calvin Coolidge College. He was ordained in 1945 and served the Ministry in the Elm Street Baptist Church, Everett; the Pine Street Baptist Church, Milford and the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church, Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts. After leaving the Hills Church he served as a guidance counselor in the Wellesley Public Schools for 11 years. The Reverend Doctor and Brother Melanson held positions as Secretary of the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Congregational Churches National Director's Association and Chaplain of the New York State Maritime College. He also served his community as a member of the Corporation of Babson College, Wellesley Human Relations Service, United States Power Squadrons and as Fresident of the Wellesley Kiwanis Club.

His Masonic record is impressive. He was raised in Montgomery Lodge, Milford June 10, 1953, and affiliated with Wellesley Lodge December 13, 1955, which lodge he served as Worshipful Master in 1971. He was appointed Deputy Grand Master by M.W. Donald W. Vose and served in that office in 1972, prior and subsequent to which he served as a Grand Chaplain of our Grand Lodge. He was elected to the office of Grand Master in 1977 and served during the years 1978, 1979 and 1980. His foresight was responsible for removing the ancient penalties from the obligation, which proved to be an effective response to our critics. The Mother Grand Lodge in England has since seen fit to take similar action. He realized the need for direct communication with our membership and thus introduced a Grand Lodge News letter which was the forerunner of our present day Trowel. His inauguration of the Grand Master's Day at the Masonic Home in June of each year grew into what is now the Grand Master's Country Fair and is now in its 17th year. He served Grand Lodge as a Member of the Board of Directors, and as Grand Representative from Vermont, Belgium and Maine at various times. He also served as a Director and Secretary of the Masonic Home Inc. until his passing. He served as Director of the Masonic Education Department of our Grand Lodge from 1984 to 1987. He was a Charter Member and Chaplain of the The Masters Lodge, Newtonville.

In Capitular Masonry he was exalted in Triad Chapter Newtonville in 1972 and became an Honorary Member and Chaplain of Saint Andrew's Chapter. He received the Paul Revere Medal of the Grand Royal Arch chapter of Massachusetts in 1980, and served Grand Chapter as a Grand Chaplain. He was greeted in Cryptic Council, Royal and Select Masters, in Newtonville, in 1976, and later served Grand Council as Grand Chaplain and was awarded the Abraham A. Dame Medal in 1991.

He was knighted in St. Bernard Commandery No. 12 Knights Templar in 1973 and served as its Commander in 1983-1984. He was appointed Grand Prelate in 1989 -1990 and was Associate Grand Prelate at the time of his passing. He also was a member of the Necrology Committee and the Easter Sunrise Committee of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

He received the Scottish Rite Degrees in the Valley of Boston in 1958 and was Prior of Massachusetts Consistory for many years. He was created a Sovereign Grand lnspector GEneral, 33rd degree, on September 26, 1979 at Chicago, Illinois.

Brother Melanson crossed the Hot Sands into Aleppo Temple, A.A.O.N.M.S. November 25,1958 and served as Chaplain for several years. He also held membership in the following appendant bodies: Massachusetts College, Societas Rosicruciana In Civitatibus Foederatis, serving as the Suffragan, and Bay State Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine. He was a Senior DeMolay from Veritas Chapter, Lynn and was an Active Legionnaire in the DeMolay Legion of Honor. As a youth he was a very active Boy Scout earning many merit badges and attaining the highest honor, being that of Eagle Scout. As an adult he was involved with many Scout Troops and the Scout Master of a Sea Scout Troop.

Our Brother spent his summers at his waterfront home in Waldoboro, Maine, which he loved so much. He would refer to the summer as a time of re-creation rather than that of recreation.

In January of this year he delivered a sermon at the First Congregational Church in Natick, Massachusetts using himself as the topic of the sermon, the first time in almost 50 years of ordination that he used his life as the central issue. The focal point of this sennon was his faith in God and the continuing question, *What now Lord?". Ironically this was to be his last sermon, a copy of which is attached.

Dr. Melanson is survived by his wife of 51 years, Dorothy, and his children; two sons, Captain Arthur S. of Washington, Maine, Terry of Waldoboro, Maine, and two daughters, Janet Daniel of Shelby Township, Michigan and Beth Morrill of Durham, Maine. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and a sister Dorothea Theriault along with her husband George, who was Arthur's constant companion at St. Bernard Commandery.

Masonic Services were held in the J.S. Waterman & Sons Funeral Home, Wellesley, April 18, 1994. The remains of our dear departed brother were safely laid to rest on a hillside in the Waterside Cemetery Marblehead, overlooking the water which he loved so much.

His service to his fellow man, to his Brethren in the Craft, his church, his country, his family and his God have earned him a place in the hearts of those whose life he has touched and leaves a void in each that can never be completely filled.

Farewell Brother; thank you for your friendship and the challenge of "What now Lord?". May you ever be in the keeping of Him you loved and trusted so much.

M.W. Whitfield W. Johnson
M.W. Laurence E. Eaton
M.W. Donald W. Vose
M.W. Stanley F. Maxwell
M.W. J. Philip Berquist
M.W. David B. Richardson
M.W. Edgar W. Darling
M.W. Albert T. Ames, Chairman

FROM TROWEL, 1994

From TROWEL, Summer 1994, Page 9:

Funeral services were held for our Past Grand Master at the Wellesley Village Congregational Church on Tuesday. April 19. 1994. with the Reverend Richard Giragosian of the First Congregational Church of Natick officiating. His eldest granddaughter. Jennifer, read a very moving poem which typified her grandfather. Ushers were Past Commanders of St. Bernard Commandery No. 12. Knights Templar of Boston.

Most Wor. Arthur Harris Melanson was bom in Lynn on August 31, 1918. the son of Arthur J. and Belle Melanson. His early education was in the public schools of Lynn followed by his receipt of a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Divinity Degree from Gordon College. He held a Master of Religious Education Degree from Andover Newton Theological School and an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Calvin Coolidge College. He was ordained in 1945 and served the Ministry in the Elm Street Baptist Church. Everett: the Pine Street Baptist Church, Milford and the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church. Wellesley. He was an active clergyman and served as a guidance counselor in the Wellesley Public Schools for several years.

His Masonic record is as varied as it is impressive. He was Raised in Montgomery Lodge. Milford, in 1953, and affiliated with Wellesley Lodge in 1955 in which he served as Worshipful Master in 1971. He was appointed Deputy Grand Master by M. W. Donald W. Vose and served in that office in 1972, prior and subsequent to which he served as a Grand Chaplain. He was elected to the office of Grand Master in 1977 and served during the years 1978. 1979 and 1980. His foresight was responsible loving the penalties from the obligations which proved to be an effective response to our critics. He realized the need for direct communication with our membership in the advent of a Grand Lodge Newsletter. His inauguration of Grand Masters Day at the Masonic Home in June of each year resulted in what is now the al Grand Master's Country Fair.

He served Grand Lodge as a Member of the Board of Directors, as Grand Representative from Vermont, Belgium and Maine at various times and as a Director and Secretary of the Masonic Home. He served as Director of Masonic Education from 1984 to 1987. He was a Charter Member and Chaplain of The Masters Lodge, Newtonville.

In Capitular Masonry he was exalted in Triad Chapter, Newtonville, in 1972 and became an Honorary Member and Chaplain of Saint Andrew's Chapter. He received the Paul Revere Medal of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts in 1980, and served as a Grand Chaplain. He was greeted in Cryptic Council, Newtonville, in 1976, served as Grand Chaplain and received the Abraham A. Dame Medal in 1991.

He was knighted in St. Bernard Commandery No. 12. K. T. in 1973. and served as its Commander in 1983-84.

He was appointed Grand Prelate in 1989-90 and was Associate Grand Prelate at the time of his death. He also was a member of the Necrology Committee and the Easter Sunrise Committee of the Grand Commandery of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

He received the Scottish Rite Degrees in the Valley of Boston in 1958 and was Prior of Massachusetts Consistory for many years. He was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, 33°, Honorary Member of the Supreme Council on September 26. 1979. at Chicago, Illinois.

Brother Melanson was a Senior DeMolay from Veritas Chapter, Lynn, and was an Active Legionnaire of Honor. He served as Chaplain of Aleppo Temple. A. A. O. N. M. S. He was Suffragan of Massachusetts College. Societas Rosicruciana In Civitatibus Foederatis: and a member of Bay State Conclave, Red Cross of Constantine.

He had served in many capacities in the National Council of Churches, as a member of the Corporation of Babson College. Wellesley Human Relations Service. United States Power Squadrons and as President of the Wellesley Kiwanis Club.

His love of Maine and its coast was enhanced each summer in Waldoboro where he spent many pleasant days with his family boating, fishing and puttering. His property there was a very real delight to him and to his family and the source of many fond memories to all who visited with him.

He leaves his dear wife of 51 years. Dorothy; two sons. Captain Arthur S. and Terry both of Maine and two daughters. Janet Daniel of Michigan and Beth Morrill of Maine: eight grandchildren and a sister. Dorothea Theriault of Natick.

Masonic Services were held in the J. S. Waterman & Sons Funeral Home, Wellesley, on Monday. April 18th conducted by Wellesley Lodge. Interment followed the Funeral Service at Waterside Cemetery. Marblehead.

His service to his fellowman and to his Brethren has been immeasurable and his passing leaves a void which can never be completely filled. The following is from Mrs. Arthur H. Melanson:

Dear Friends, I can 't thank you all enough for your expressions of love and caring which gave me strength for Arthur's services.
Bless you, Dorothy Melanson

NOTES

SPEECHES

MORAL LESSON, 1970

From the March, 1970 Quarterly Communication: Moral Lesson, as Grand Chaplain:

"Brethren, I don't know how you react to current events, but I am about ready to give up reading my daily paper. It is full of one hopeless situation after another; even the comic page is no longer comical, the funnies no longer funny. A pall of gloom seems to touch almost everything. Another college president resigned last weekl Dr. Margaret Merry of Wheelock College became the 10th presideat in New England to resign since last fall. She resigned to make room for a successor, and I quote, 'with youth and vigor equal to the demands of the office.' I would not make a good college president. I am not ready to surrender the administration od the academic pursuit to those who are supposed to be pursuing the academic. There are other situations that concern me, too. Global unrest, war and seemingly imminent war. Global poverty, with the horsemen of hunger and disease still ranging over much of the world. The breakdown of morality as I know it. There are those who would throw the word responsibility out of our vocabulary. Persons need no longer be responsible to other persons or to society, they intimate. Brethren, I refuse to sell my integrity, my value standards, for a mess of pottage. I am increasingly concerned, also, about the drug scene.

"In the midst of this hopelessness there is yet a testimony of hope. Asked to say something about HOPE, Elizabeth Thomas wrote: 'I muse over the thin white scars on the inside of my wrists. My own testament to hopelessness. To a feeling of isolation utter and complete. To a feeling there was no one there but me, and I could no longer support myself out of my own strength. But they are scars. Why choose to live? HOPE is what I call it now.' As Masons we have a two.fold answer to the situation: The first is friendship and brotherly love. We are not alone. We belong to a Fraternity. We belong to each other. The second is found in the familiar words of the Master's lecture in the third degree. And this is a big 'But' - when we lookJorward the sprig of acacia found blooming. This is our symbol of Hope. From the very beginning of our Masonic journey, each of us affirmed our trust in God.

"In the play Man of La Mancha Aldonza asked Don Quixote why he does such ridiculous things. In answer, the following conversation ensues: Don Quixote replies, 'I hope to add some measure of grace to the world.' To which Aldonza says, 'The world's a dung-heap and we are maggots that crawl upon it.' 'My lady knows better in her heart.' 'What's in my heart will get me half way to Hell. And you, Señor Don Quixote - you are going to take such a beating.' 'Whether I win or lose does not matter.' 'What does?' 'only that I follow the quest.' Aldonza asks him what he means by that, and Don Quixote replies by singing the well-known theme song - THE QUEST:

To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow,
To run where the brave dare not go.
To right the unrightable wrong,
To love, pure and chaste, from afar,
To try, when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star!
This is my Quest, to {ollow that star,
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far,
To fight for the right without question or pause,
To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause !
And I know, if I'll only be true to this glorious quest,
That my heart will be peaceful and calm when I'm laid to my rest.
And the world will be better for this,
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach the unreachable stars!

May God help each of us to be that man!

FEAST OF ST. JOHN, DECEMBER 1971

From Proceedings, Page 1971-581:

Most Worshipful Grand Master, Distinguished Masons, and Brethren:

I should begin by saying, accustomed as I am to public speaking — but this is different. It has been one thing to contemplate the honor which was bestowed upon me this day; it is quite another to experience it.

Most Worshipful Sir, I will seek, as will your other appointed Officers, to discharge the duties of my office to the best of my ability. We pledge to you, and our Grand Lodge, our allegiance and our support as together we endeavor to strengthen the cause and bonds of Masonry in the Commonwealth.

Brethren, I would share with you something that has been on my mind for some time; and which I briefly touched upon in the Moral Lesson at our last Quarterly Communication — the necessity of being a just and upright Mason, and more so, walking and acting as such.

You have probably been amazed at and rejoiced in the feats of our astronauts as I have. However, launchings have become so almost routine, that the general public has become blase. This is what happens to so many things in life. We become indifferent to them.

While the astronauts have orbited the earth and the moon, you have orbited your own little world. Sometimes you have gone in meaningless circles, but your mission as a Mason is to strike out in the direction of the fulfillment of the tenets of your profession — brotherly love, relief, and truth.

It is these virtues that your community needs to see demonstrated—needs to see become enfleshed. It is easy to confine yourself to your own little circle. It is much more difficult to take those steps which lead to larger circles; circles that include unfamiliar people — people of another background or another race.

You need to foster continuing insight into yourself, and the dimensions of these tenets. You need to explore in depth some of their meanings and implications. What do they mean in relationship to the problems you face at work, in your home, to the problems of our nation, or to the problems of your community?

You as a Mason should be a part of the answer, and not a part of the problem. The world must of necessity be a better place because you, as a Mason, passed this way.

I would close with these few lines written by Anonymous: "You are writing each day a letter to men; Take care that the writing is true; 'Tis the only gospel that some men will read That gospel according to you." Make a New Years resolution with me to be a better informed, practicing Mason in 1972.

May God be with us to this end, in the year that is yet to be. Thank you!

HALL DEDICATION, 1980

At the dedication of Juniper Hall, June 22, 1980, as Grand Master:

"Four score and nine years ago, our fathers brought forth on this hill a Masonic Home, conceived in the desire to care for their Brother Masons in their twilight years, their wives and widows, and dedicated to the proposition that Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth must prevail in this Jurisdiction.

"Now we are engaged in a program of expanding and refurbishing that Masonic Home, to assure that any Home so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are now met on the site of that Masonic Home. We can come to rededicate a portion of that Home, as a continuing haven of peace and rest for those who have been an ongoing part of our Fraternity over the years, enabling it to be strong to this day. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

"But in a larger sense, we cannot rededicate - we cannot consecrate - we cannot hallow - this ground. Those brothers, living and dead, who brought this Masonic Home into being and have sustained it year by year, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The Fraternity will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what those Brothers have done here. It is for the living, rather, to be here rededicated to the unfinished work, which they who brought this Masonic Home into being have thus so far nobly advanced. It is for us to be here rededicated to the great task remaining before us - that from those who have given their talent and treasure we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these Brothers shall not have given and striven in vain, and that our Fraternity and this Masonic Home, under God, shall have a new birth of faith, concern, and caring, and that Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth shall not perish from the earth.

"So mote it be."

Note: this is, of course, a sort of caricature of The Gettysburg Address.

QUARTERLY ADDRESS, 1980

From Proceedings, Page 1980-167, in his final Quarterly Address as Grand Master, December 10, 1980:

"As I come to the end of my term as Grand Master, I emerge with the following convictions concerning Masonry in the next decade.

"Almost every Grand Jurisdiction is struggling to find a way to stem a diminishing membership. THere is no question that the number of members suspended for non-payment of dues is larger than it ought to be. This needs to be seriously and continually addressed by every Lodge as well as the Grand Lodge.

"I believe more than ever, however, that the future of the Fraternity lies in Particular Procurement. Though the process may seem strange and unusual to us, we need to ask those good men who are our friends and colleagues, Have you ever thought about becoming a Mason? You may be surprised at the number of men who were waiting for someone to raise the question with them. We can no longer afford not to confront Particular men with the aformentioned question. I hasten to say that we are neither recruiting members nor establishing membership quotas.

"I believe that we will see more consolidation in the future. Not only because some Lodges are having difficulty in securing officers, and others are facing a decreasing membership, but more so because many Lodges will no longer be able to afford to operate their Temples by themselves. Symbolic Lodges and Collateral Bodies will have to join hands to meet the rising costs of energy and maintenance and thus preserve the Temple.

"I believe the the Lodge will have to become more family centered. That wives will go to the Temple with their husbands and enjoy their own program while the husbands attend to their Lodge work. The evening would end with some kind of combined involvement. What better place for a candidate to bring his wife while he takes his degrees? It is a splendid opportunity for her to meet and get acquainted with the wives of the members, as well as the members themselves. She will hear the story of Masonry from a woman's point of view, and perhaps get some of her unasked questions answered. She is becoming a part of the Lodge family at the same time that her husband is. On many occasions affairs will be planned to include children of all ages. The DeMolay Chapter and Rainbow Assembly will make progress because parents will want it to be so.

"I believe that more time must, not should, but must, be spent in making our candidates more Masonically literate, and our members better prepared and interested in becoming officers. We must be increasingly concerned about raising Masons and not candidates. The Grand Lodge Department of Education must design and implement programs for officer education that will prepare a member to be an officer and aid him while he is in office. This needs to be beyond what is now being done.

"I believe that if this Fraternity is to grow in the next decade, we must engender a new sense of pride in what we belong to and what it is we do. In short, I believe we will have to live like Masons in every sense of the word. This may not always be easy, but do it we must."

VISION REMARKS, 1980

From Proceedings, Page 1980-167, 12/10/1980:

"As I come to the end of my term as Grand Master, I emerge with the following convictions concerning Masonry in the next decade.

"Almost every Grand Jurisdiction is struggling to find a way to stem a diminishing membership. There is no question that the number of members suspended for non-payment of dues is larger than it ought to be. This needs to be seriously and continually addressed by every Lodge as well as the Grand Lodge.

"I believe more than ever, however, that the future of the Fraternity lies in Particular Procurement. Though the process may seem strange and unusual to us, we need to ask those good men who are our friends and colleagues, Have you ever thought about becoming a Mason? You may be surprised at the number of men who were waiting for someone to raise the question with them. We can no longer afford not to confront Particular men with the aformentioned question. Our survival depends upon it: time will pass us by. I hasten to say that we are neither recruiting members nor establishing membership quotas.

"I believe that we will see more consolidations in the future. Not only because some Lodges are having difficulty in security officers, and others are facing a decreasing membership, but more so because many Lodges will no longer be able to afford to operate their Temples by themselves. Symbolic Lodges and Collateral Bodies will have to join hands to meet the rising costs of energy and maintenance and thus preserve the Temple.

"I believe the Lodge will have to become more family centered. That wives will go to the Temple with their husbands and enjoy their own program while the husbands attend to their Lodge work. The evening would end with some kind of combined involvement. What better place for a candidate to bring his wife while he takes his degrees? It is a splendid opportunity for her to meet and get acquainted with the wives of the members, as well as the members themselves. She will hear the story of Masonry from a woman's point of view, and perhaps get some of her unasked questions answered. She is becoming a part of the Lodge family at the same time that her husband is. On many occasions affairs will be planned to include children of all ages. The DeMolay Chapter and Rainbow Assembly will make progress because parents will want it to be so.

"I believe that more time must, not should but must, be spent in making our candidates more Masonically literate, and our members better candidates more Masonically literate, and our members better prepared and interested in becoming officers. We must be increasingly concerned about raising Masons and not candidates. The Grand Lodge Department of Education must design and implement programs for officer education that will prepare a member to be an officer and aid him while he is in office. This needs to be beyond what is now being done.

"I believe that if this Fraternity is to grow in the next decade, we must engender a new sense of pride in what we belong to and what it is we do. In short, I believe we will have to live like Masons in every sense of the word. This may not always be easy, but do it we must."

SERMON, 1994

From Proceedings, 1994-103, included as part of the Memorial:

My Journey of Faith
Sermon by Dr. Reverend Arthur H. Melanson January 2, 1994
Scripture Lesson: Acts 16:6-10, Hebrews 11:8-10

We've just crossed the threshold into a new year. Each of us continues into this new year on our journey of faith. Where will that journey take you? Our scripture told of two who were on their journey. Paul wanted to preach in Asia. The spirit of Jesus did not allow him to. The spirit of Jesus closed the door into Asia, and sent him down to Troas. where he had a vision, and thus Paul crossed over into Europe, and sowed the seeds which became a Christian ministry and founded Christian churches. Abraham also had a call. And we read he left his own country without knowing where he was going. If you are not familiar with the story of Abraham, I suggest, along with your Sunday newspaper, you read the 12th chapter of the book of Genesis, and discover what happened to this individual who went out not knowing where he was going.

Dot's often been asked if I practice my sermons on her. Let me assure you that I don't and she has to hear them for the first time with the congregation, so she has no idea what I'm going to say this morning.

In June of 1995, I will celebrate my 50th year of ordination. In all that time, I have never done what I am going to do this morning. I'm going to talk about the journey of faith I know best, mine. In order to do this, I run the risk of seeming egotistical, for I cannot describe this journey without using the pronoun "I". If, however, at some point, you feel that if you hear I once more you will scream, go ahead and scream, and I will consider it a primal scream. You know, that's the one that releases tension and stress.

It's a journey which has had its ups and downs. It's not a joumey without marks and blemishes. It is a journey in which Jesus Christ has been "The Wind Beneath My Wings", (and thank you very much, I appreciate that song), (to the choir), for without that wind supporting, that individual walking with me, such a journey becomes impossible.

My journey started without my being aware of it. I was in the third grade. Periodically, I took my red cart to the corner drug store, where they put into it all the broken bottles and glass that they had accumulated since I had been there last, and I took it to the local dump that was only about 2 or 3 blocks away. This particular day, I can't imagine why, but I was dragging this cart in the street, and it got caught in the car tracks. (now some of you will remember car tracks), and the cart tipped over. In picking up the glass and putting it back into the wagon, I picked up a gallon jug, whose top was broken off, and put it in the wagon. Later, in putting more in, I put my arm on top of that jagged. bottle and cut it. As I stood there, literally bleed ing to death, a woman standing, waiting for the street car, (some of you remember street cars), said "My", and I don't remember many details, but I remember this woman saying "My, you have a terrible cut." It just so happens that the lady who lived downstairs in our two tenement house, who was never late for work, and she had to pass where I was to go to work, was late that day. She took one look at me, put a tourniquet on my arm, took me to the laundry where she worked, whose boss took me to our family doctor. And he sewed nerves, muscles, whatever, back together on his kitchen table. I have no recollection of how he did it. I have no recollection of any anesthesia. His wife was a nurse and assisted him in whatever he did. But thank God I've had the use of that arm all my life. I don't account for it except that that's the way it was.

During my high school days, one of my very close friend's mother wanted him desperately to go into the ministry. I desperately wanted to go to Annapolis. And somehow that became known to our high school principal, and he called me into his office one day and said "Young man I hate to discourage you, but not only will you never go to Annapolis, you'll never go to college." He might be surprised to know that I have a Bachelor and 2 Master's degrees. But the interesting thing about this is that my friend, whose mother wanted him to go into the ministry, went to Annapolis. And I ended up in the ministry. My Annapolis door closed, and I went out not knowing where I was going.

At a summer youth conference later, I took Jesus Christ as my partner in life. I enlisted as a disciple, a learner. I fell to the call of the ministry when I worked in the GE Company. I took the exam for the General Electric apprentice school and I didn't make it. The door to my career as a machinist closed. And I went out not knowing where I was going.

In September, 1938, as we were cleaning up after the hurricane, I entered Gordon College. Our class was known as the class of the big wind. I continued working the 3:00 to midnight shift, which I was doing at the General Electric Company at the time, and drove to school for 8:00 classes on Monday, through the week. And when it came time to begin my Sophomore year, I said to myself and in prayer, "Lord this is too much. If it is your will that I enter Christian work, you will have to provide the way for me to make ends meet." I moved into the dormitory with $45 in my pocket.

I graduated 4 years later, free of debt, having been a busboy at the Museum of Fine Arts Restaurant in Boston, to working in a machine shop, and a lot of other things in between. And as graduation approached there were many students who were concerned about what their church employment was going to be. It was no concern of mine. For I said. "Lord, you've brought me this far, what now?" And being an Eagle Scout and active in boy scouting, I considered professional scouting. And that door closed. I became the assistant minister of the Elm Street Baptist Church in Everett. It was an interesting situation. The minister was a medical doctor and had a clinic in Sullivan Square. The only time I saw him was when he came on Communion Sunday to serve Communion. The rest of the week the burden was mine.

The church always had broken windows. It also had a nice gym in the basement, and I decided that we needed to do something about the broken windows, so I opened the church basement, the gym, to the young men of the community. We never had another broken window. While in this particular church, I finished Gordon Divinity School. I also became a preacher for the Massachusetts Christian Endeavor Union, on the air. Every Sunday morning for a year and a half, at 7:30, I was at WHDH in Boston. I had 3 minutes to say what I was going to say, because we broadcast from 8:00 to 8:15. And I soon learned that the value of a sermon is not in its length.

It was fun to go out and meet the people who had listened to that broadcast. Often they would say to me "I didn't know you looked like that." Apparently my voice conveyed an image different from what I appeared like. But I accepted it and we had a great time as we traveled with the Christian Endeavor Union around our state.

As our family began to grow we accepted a call to move out of our 2 bedroom apartment, into a house. And I became minister of the Pine Street Baptist Church in Milford. You see I was still in the woods; I moved from Elm to Pine. But here I became frustrated trying to do the Pastor work that I wanted to do, and what I considered to be a good Christian Education Program. I talked to the Deacons of the church about this, and finally they agreed that I could take time each week to attend Andover Newton to work on my Master's in Religious Education. While engaged in that, and after four and a half years in Milford, I accepted a call to become the Minister of Christian Education of the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church. I eventually became the Associate Minister with responsibilities in Christian Education, a longer title, but it also brought more money. But those were the hay days of Christian Education. Of the 21 churches and associations of which I have been associated, 16 had full time Directors. the church at Wellesley Falls had two worship services every Sunday morning and three on Easter, with 2,000 people in the congregation on that day, with 2 church school sessions every Sunday and 750 pupils in the church school, a staff of 125 teachers, and it was during this period that this church built Bacon Street. Things were really humming; whoever thought that they would change? But they did.

While at Wellesley Hills, my journey took me to become Secretary of the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches, and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Congregational Churches National Director's Association, and Chaplain of the New York State Maritime College for their summer cruise. And after 18 years together Dr. Wallace retired to Martha's Vineyard, and I said, "Lord, where do we go from here?'

The Superintendent of Schools of the Wellesley School Department, who I knew quite well asked me to consider a position as a guidance counselor in the Junior High School. I was interviewed and hired. I went there temporarily for 11 years. While there, my journey took me to be elected as Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts, with an understanding principal and department head, I served my 3 year term without any difficulty. I simply say this is a prestigious position, for he who occupies this office is the third ranking Mason in the World, behind the Grand Master of England and of Ireland. While in the school one day, I realized I was not enjoying getting up in the morning and going to school every day. And I said, "What now, Lord?" And I retired. In due time, I accepted a call to be Interim Minister of the Evangelical Congregational Church in Grafton. And each clay I ask "What now, Lord?"

There is one part of the journey I have not mentioned, and perhaps this is the most important part. For one day my journey intersected with the journey of a certain Dorothy Holden, the most lovely young lady I had ever met. And we have been married for some 50 years and some of you helped us celebrate that anniversary this year, oh, last year, '93. A man and particularly a minister, could never find a better helpmate, so I say, "Thank you, Dorothy."

As we enter a new year, why do I share my journey of faith with you? Certainly not to burden you with it. But first to assure you, if you have enlisted as a disciple, you are indeed on a journey of faith. If you have not enlisted as a disciple, you are just on a journey. If you have not enlisted, now is the time to take Jesus Christ as your partner in life and start your journey of faith in 1994. Second, in your journey of faith you must maintain constant communication with the author and finisher of that faith. Remember, Jesus Christ is your partner in life, and for life.

Third, I share this with you to encourage you to review your own journey of faith and to ask occasionally, *What now, Lord?"

I have a lawyer friend who was invited to become a senior partner in the firm, a young man in his mid-forties. He said to me, "One day as I was working in the library with one of the other senior partners, I suddenly said to myself, 'Do I want to be like him when I'm his age?"' He decided he did not, and he asked "What now, Lord?" He kept looking from one thing to another, thinking that maybe the best thing was just around the comer. And one day he said to me, two years later, "I don't think I'm ever going to find the corner to go round to find the thing I want." And we said "What now, Lord?" He went into a position helping people become people.

Fourth, I leave you with these words from Paul's letter to the church at Ephesus, it is found in the third chapter, beginning with the 14th verse. "For this reason then, I fall on my knees before the Father from who every family in heaven and on earth received its true name. I ask God from the wealth of his glory to give you power through his spirit to be strong in your inner selves, and that Christ will make his home in your hearts through faith. I pray that you may have your roots and foundations in love, and that you, together with all God's people may have the power to understand how broad and long and high and deep is Christ's love. Yes, may you come to know his love, although it can never be fully known, and so be completely filled with a perfect fullness of God."

CHARTERS GRANTED

None.

RULINGS



Grand Masters