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Braden Lodge #168
Ancient Free & Accepted Masons of Minnesota
5149 Bloomington Ave S
Minneapolis MN 55417
After a couple of yeard of watching our nice picnic weather give way to an unexpected cold front or unforeseen rain, we met this year at Crosby Park where we had the benefit of both a shelter and a fire ring. As it turned out, the weather was perfect this time as the brothers and guests of Braden Lodge met at the St. Paul park for a Sunday night barbecue. Hamburgers, chicken breasts, and hot dogs were in plentiful supply as were a variety of potluck items. After dinner we got a nice fire going and hung out until after dark.
It was a beautiful summer night, warm with a breeze and little humidity. A great night to be out at the Twins game which is just what several brothers from Braden did. After meeting at El Taco Riendo for some great tacos, we carpooled to the stadium where we had seats in the front row of the left field bleachers near the foul pole. You can see what our view was like in this picture with the moon hanging in the sky above. It was a quick game with not a lot of scoring, but the Twins did manage one exciting inning where we scored 3 while giving up only one run to the Astros the entire game. So great food, great weather, great company, and a Twins win to boot!
Last year we had the honor of welcoming brother Miguel Viarra to our craft. Brother Miguel is originally from Portugal and when we found out he had just received his American citizenship, we decided it was a cause for celebration. So unbeknownst to him, our "Open Fellowship" night of August 4th was transformed into a surprise party. The ding room was decked out in American flags and various red, white, and blue decorations. We also invited Miguel's family, again, without his knowledge. Junior Deacon and resident chef Brother David Potter prepared a meal featuring both classic American and traditional Portugese dishes. The surpirse was almost ruined when Brother Miguel, remembering that it was a meal night, decided to come by early to help with dinner, but a few last minute "urgent" errands kept him busy until everyone had arrived and the party could start.
by WB Erick Crail
Secretary, Braden Lodge
A big THANK YOU to the Brothers of Braden Lodge who marched in the 2016 Pride Parade on Sunday, June 26th in downtown Minneapolis! We had a nice contingent of 13 Brothers who participated in the Parade.
To our knowledge, this is the first time a Masonic Lodge has participated in the Twin Cities Pride Parade. While the original idea may have been prompted in part by the negative actions of some Lodges in other states to exclude gay men from membership, Braden Lodge took a more positive approach, using the occasion to showcase the diversity and acceptance that we embrace and cherish at Braden and throughout Minnesota.
How meaningful was our presence in the Pride Parade? Let me share a letter received from a Brother Mason from another Minnesota lodge who attended the Parade:
I wanted to send you a quick note to say “Thanks” for taking the time and effort to participate in the Twin Cities Pride parade. Your actions mean more to me than you can ever imagine. Shocked does not begin to describe my feelings when I saw your sign, flag and brothers walking in aprons, I had tears in my eyes.
It has been hard reading the posts of brothers in other states where their lodge decided to not allow gay people and kicked our fellow brothers out of the lodge because they are gay. It makes me so happy to know that the Grand Lodge of Minnesota granted you a dispensation to have on the aprons, and your lodge is accepting. I hope you are in the parade next year and/or have a booth in the park and I hope I can stand with you. There are so many men in our community that would serve our craft well. The many steps you took in the parade was one giant leap in showing the community who we are.
Thank you for taking a stand. Thank you for your inclusion. Thank you for your openness. Thank you for helping our Craft move forward. Thank you for understanding who a Mason is. Thank you for being Brothers!
(name withheld by request)"
Special thanks to WB Tim Grube for his leadership, to Br Travis Thorpe for use of his vehicle and designing the new Braden Lodge flags, to Br David Coleman for designing the new Lodge Banner, to Br Brian Silverain for picking up supplies and driving in the Parade, to Br Erik Fairchild for printing the Open House stickers for the business cards, to Br Matt Gallagher for spreading the word when our line-up location was changed at the last minute, and to all who contributed in any other way to making for a fun, exciting, and meaningful presence in the Pride Parade!
Brothers of Braden, you have made us all proud to be Masons by your willingness to take a stand in favor of diversity, equality, and acceptance. By breaking down barriers that separate us, we make our Lodge more open and accepting, we make our Community and our Fraternity more welcoming and inclusive, and -- most importantly -- WE MAKE GOOD MEN BETTER!
Well done, Brothers!
On Tuesday, June 21st, Braden joined Arcana Lodge in participating in the 87th Annual Celebrate Northeast Parade. Worshipful Master Tim Grube joined Arcana's Worshipful Master Justin Thompson as well as Most Worshipful Past Grandmaster Don Severson in the parade itself. They went cruising down the parade route in style in this classic car:
Meanwhile Brother David Potter and Worshipful Brother David Allison assisted a quartet of Arcana brothers in selling hot dogs to parade goers. Close to 200 hot dogs were given out in exchange for donations resulting in a small fundraiser for Arcana.
The Parade had thousands of people attend and both lodges helped make our presence felt in the community.