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2015 Masters Messages

June Message

posted May 29, 2015, 1:03 PM by McKinley Lodge


 As I sit to write this article in mid-May for the June Temple Topics, I see several important issues to make you aware of. The first is our ongoing process of trying to balance our budget for the long-term stability of McKinley Lodge. You’ve seen some about this in previous months, and I want to report that the process got off to a good start with a brainstorming session a few weeks ago. Our next step is to whittle the ideas generated down to a small list of projects that will start us moving in the right direction. If you’d like to be part of the process, and I hope you all do, then please plan to attend our next meeting on Thursday, June 11th at 7:00 pm at the Lodge. We’ll be deciding what positive steps we can take over the next few months to move forward.

The second issue is the physical state of our aging building. You’ve heard over the last year about some roofing issues, and I’m sad to report that there’s more to deal with on that front. During the full roof inspection conducted recently we’ve found a section of roofing the needs repair. Also, we’ve discovered that we need significant work on our HVAC units to get them up and running. To this end, the Trustees have been working diligently to solicit bids for all the work that needs to be done. We are expecting some or all of it to exceed $5,000, so expect a there to be a need for a lodge vote on spending money for these necessary repairs. This should happen at our first stated meeting in June, Thursday, June 4th at 7:30 pm.

 Now, on to more uplifting news. As we approach summer, we also have our Annual Communication (AC) - Grand Lodge to most of us - to look forward to. Your three principal officers will be attending the AC and representing McKinley Lodge as voting members. So that we can most accurately represent the opinions of the lodge, I urge you to attend our meeting on Thursday, June 4th to hear the resolutions we’ll be voting on and to make your opinions known to us. We’ll carry that information with us to the AC and vote accordingly. However, remember you are all welcome and encouraged to attend the AC. Just because you’re not a principal officer doesn’t mean you’re not welcome - in fact you are. Any Master Mason can attend any part the AC, and some parts are open to family and friends. Please get in touch with me if you need details on schedules for the weekend or have any other questions. If you plan to attend remember to bring your current dues card and an apron. I encourage you all to attend and see how the Grand Lodge conducts our business, it’s a great experience.

 For McKinley Lodge in particular, June means Table Lodge. I hope you plan to attend our version of the Ceremony of the Seven Toasts, it’s always a great time with terrific food and warm fellowship. This year our newly elected Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master Donald Hensiak will be our featured speaker. His topic will be “Turning Challenges Into Opportunities.” This evening is open to all Masons, from EA on up, and is one of the highlights of our year. W.B. Ken Gorgen will again be heading up the kitchen crew that’s preparing the German style dinner we’ve come to love. Tickets are available from any lodge officer for $25. The evening kicks off at 5:30 pm on Friday, June 19th with appetizers and homemade beers. This year we’ll have a Belgian Dark Strong Ale and a Honey Wit for your enjoyment. Please plan to come and enjoy the evening with us.

 Lastly, a reminder about summer meetings this year. Instead of going completely dark during the summer as we have in the recent past, I’m going to plan something for the third Thursdays in July and August. If there’s business to attend to, this will give us the opportunity to do it in a timelyfashion with a short meeting and then fun and fellowship afterward. If we have degrees to do, we’ll be able to do them during the summer and not have to put the candidate off until fall. If there really isn’t much business to attend to, we’ll just have a nice evening of fellowship together and play some board or card games and visit. Please put the third Thursdays on your calendar for this summer.

 I hope to see all of you at one or more of our upcoming events. Remember also to get out and visit the other lodges nearby and to support our youth groups in all of their endeavors; they are our future after all.


Chris Goodwin

Worshipful Master

May Message

posted May 29, 2015, 12:57 PM by McKinley Lodge


It seems that this month we’re focusing on change…in the seasons and weather, in the Lodge, and in ourselves. In my brother officers’ articles you’ll read some of their ideas on the subject. Please take some time to read their words of wisdom and contemplate how to deal with the changes you face in your lives.

While not a change, but an ongoing tradition, we have one big event going on at the Lodge this month and I hope you’ll come be a part of it and show your support by attending and helping to make it a success. On Thursday the 7th we’ll be celebrating those brothers who have given 25, 50, or more years of service to the craft. Please come out and be part of congratulating and honoring them for their service. As has been our practice in recent years, we’ll have a dinner before the Stated Meeting where we’ll present the brothers with their certificates and pins and have a chance to learn from their experience and wisdom. We do this so family and friends can be there with us to celebrate these milestones. Again, please join us to congratulate and show support for our honored brethren.

Continuing on the theme of change, we’ll also be working on the important task of securing the financial future of the Lodge through the work of the Financial Committee. Dates for meetings in May have not been set as of this writing, but they’ll be announced in Lodge and by email as they are scheduled. If you have email and aren’t getting my email blasts, please contact me at so I can add you to the list. If you don’t have email and would like to be notified of these, or any other events, please let me know and I’ll make sure we contact you by your preferred method of communication.

A quick note on the other date on our calendar: Officers, please remember we have our second Officers’ Meeting for the year scheduled on the evening of Thursday the 28th. It’s important for you to be there to help determine the direction of the lodge for the summer, the remainder of the year, and the future.

Finally, a couple of thoughts on change from those wiser than myself:

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”   ― Mahatma Gandhi

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is

the only thing that ever has.”   ― Margaret Mead


Chris Goodwin

Worshipful Master

April Message

posted May 29, 2015, 12:54 PM by McKinley Lodge


I sit writing this on the warmest day of the year so far. I sincerely hope that by the time you’re reading this it will be warmer and nicer still. This coming month of April we have two events for you and your family to enjoy with us. The first is our 2nd Annual McKinley Lodge Spaghetti Dinner. Come for fellowship with brethren and friends and enjoy Bro. Ken Gorgen’s spaghetti and garlic bread. The cost is only $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $5 for kids 10 and under.  Join us for our all-you-can-eat spaghetti feast.

The second event for the month is our second Family and Fellowship Brunch of the year. We’ll be sharing a meal on Sunday, April 26th at noon. We had a good time at our first brunch with several families in attendance, and hope to have even more join is this time around. Details will follow in the next Temple Topics, but if you want your name on the list now please contact Bro. Dan Richardson at or 414-699-5469 to make your reservation.

I also wanted to put in a plug for the McKinley Masonic Center. As you all know we have a beautiful facility that has been significantly spruced up over the last year. It’s a great place for just about any kind of event. We are actively looking to rent our building for weddings, receptions, birthday parties, meetings, socials, etc. - anything for which you need room for many people. Our facility is handicap accessible, all on one floor, and has well-appointed kitchen facilities. Please keep us in mind for your next event, we offer discounted rates for those with connections to any of our Masonic and appendant bodies. Contact Dan Richardson at or 414-699-5469 to arrange a showing or set up a reservation.

I hope to see you all at a Stated Meeting or an event in the near future.


Chris Goodwin

Worshipful Master


A Mason’s Wife

From active Masons, resolute,

Our wives and fam’lies we salute;

We surely know the price you pay,

Who sit alone while we’re away;

No high degrees on you conferred,

In Lodge, your name is seldom heard;

You serve our cause though out of sight,

While sitting home alone tonight;

Masonic papers list our names,

Awards are given, fit to frame;

But yours is absent…you who strive,

To keep fortitude alive;

You’re part of every helpful deed,

On your encouragement we feed;

Without your blessings, how could we,

Continue acts of charity?

And so, this poem, we dedicate,

To every Master Mason’s mate;

And offer our undying love,

Rewards await in Heaven above.

March Message

posted May 29, 2015, 12:46 PM by McKinley Lodge   [ updated May 29, 2015, 12:50 PM ]


The month of March finds us approaching the Lenten season on the church calendar, and that means it’s time for our “WORLD FAMOUS (at least in our own minds) FISH FRY.” This semi-annual event will take place on Friday, March 20th, from 5 to 7pm. As always, we’ll be serving all-you-can-eat battered cod, French fries, German potato salad, cole slaw, rye bread, and homemade desserts. The cost is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors, and $7.00 for children. As in the recent past, we’ll be donating some of the proceeds to the Waukesha County food pantry. You may donate any number of nonperishable foods items and receive $1 off the price of the meal, or pay full price and we’ll donate that dollar on your behalf. Take out will be available as well. Please plan to attend for good food, fellowship, and to support the food pantry.

The other event this month is our Area 2 School of Instruction. It is being hosted by Myron Reed Lodge, so we don’t have far to travel, it will be in our own building. The school takes place on Monday, March 30th at 7 pm. This is a great opportunity for all Master Masons, not just the officers, to learn more about our ritual. I hope we get a good turnout from the brethren of McKinley. Let’s support our brother DDGM Mike Gorgen, District Lecturer Bill Hahnfeldt, and all the work they do on our behalf - and gain further light in Masonry while doing so.

Looking ahead to the month of April we have two events for the entire family to enjoy together. On Saturday, April 18th we’ll have our 2nd Annual Spaghetti Dinner from 5-7pm.  Then on Sunday the 26th we’ll have our second Family and Fellowship Brunch of the year (please note the change of date from the calendar I originally published, I mistakenly put this brunch on Easter Sunday). More details for both of these events will be in the next Temple Topics, but please put the dates on your calendar now.

Brethren, the year rolls on with unrelenting speed. I’m always surprised at how time seems to go faster and faster the older I get. My parents and grandparents warned of this phenomenon when I was young, but in the bloom of my youth it was hard to believe or understand. Now I realize, as with most things they said, how true these words are. We must make the most of the time we have, for there is much to do and less and less time to do it. Let’s not let any opportunity to better ourselves, our families, our communities, or our society overall, pass us by. Please make plans to join us for our Stated Meetings and other events. Call me or any of the officers of you need help with transportation - we don’t ever want that to be a reason for missing something at lodge - we’ll find a way to get you there.


Chris Goodwin

Worshipful Master

February Message

posted Feb 11, 2015, 6:14 PM by McKinley Lodge

Brethren and friends,

As you receive and are reading this, we’ll just be finishing one of our busiest months of the year. We had a fun night of games on Jan. 1st and a nice brunch with four lodge families on the 11th as we watched the Packers win their first playoff game. On the 15th I had the privilege of presiding over the FC Degree for Bro. Thomas Kelley, and we hosted the first Grand Lodge Masonic College in our area on the 31st. I hope you were able to join us for one or more of these events. If not, please plan to get out and join us in February, we’ve missed you!

In addition to our stated meetings on Feb. 5th and 19th, we’ll be hosting our 2nd Annual Bunco night on Sat., the 21st at 7:00pm. Bunco is easy to learn, fast paced and fun for young and old.  This will be an event for the adults, so bring your significant other and/or friends for a night of fun, including prizes, beer & wine, snacks, and a decadent dessert.

Looking ahead to March we’ll be hosting the semi-annual McKinley Lodge World Famous Fish Fry from 5 to 7pm on Friday, March 20th. As usual, we’ll be serving all you can eat fish, french fries, German potato salad, cole slaw, bread and desserts. Make plans to join us for a great meal.

On to more serious matters…Brethren, unless something changes, we're headed down a financial path where we're losing substantial amounts of money each year. Ultimately this is not sustainable, and has the potential for serious consequences in the not-too-distant future. This is something we’ve been hearing some about for several years, but I’m not sure that the membership is really aware of the true state of affairs with our current finances. That being the case, I believe it is my responsibility, at an absolute minimum, to get everyone on the same page and help develop a shared understanding of where things stand.

To that end, I have asked W.:B.: Ryan Mayrand, in his capacity as Trustee, to head a serious effort this year to identify our challenges, brainstorm possible solutions, and start pursuing the most promising ideas. We will need all of your help with this. To get us started, we’ll be having an informational discussion during our 2nd Stated Meeting in Feb. on the 19th. This will be a chance for the Trustees to outline our current situation and for the lodge as a whole to start to come together on this issue. I expect that coming out of this discussion we will probably set up a special meeting for discussing the situation more fully, brainstorming solutions, and forming a group to pursue the ideas more fully.  Brethren, this is very important. I don’t believe that I’m overstating it to say that without some hard work on our part, and some changes to the way we do things, we won’t be able to stay in our building for many more years. We have some hard decisions to make. Please, make plans to be at the meeting on the 19th and to be part of the team looking at how to solve these problems.


Chris Goodwin

Worshipful Master

January Message

posted Dec 19, 2014, 5:47 PM by McKinley Lodge   [ updated Feb 11, 2015, 6:09 PM ]

Brethren and friends,

In my first message as Master I want to focus mostly on our upcoming events. We’ll be busy at McKinley Lodge in January and February, so I hope you are able to join us on one or more occasion.  Since our first stated meeting in January falls on the New Year holiday on the 1st, I’ve chosen to postpone the business meeting and just get together for a night of fellowship and games.  Come out to the lodge at 7:00pm. Bring your favorite games and a snack to share, the lodge will provide beverages. This is a family friendly event and a great night to bring a prospect, so feel free to bring the kids, prospective members, and friends - the more the merrier!

Our next event is also for the whole family. We’ll have brunch at the Athens Family Restaurant in Milwaukee on Sunday, Jan. 11th at noon. The restaurant is located at 5547 N. Lovers Lane Rd. - just north of Silver Spring at Hwy 45. They have both a brunch buffet and their full menu available, so come hungry. Please get reservations to WM Chris Goodwin by January 8th at 262-470-7591 or

Jan. 22nd will be our first Officer Meeting of the year. Officers please plan to attend and invite your ladies as they’ll have items to discuss while we do our best to get the year off to a good start.

On Jan. 31st McKinley Lodge will host the first annual WI Masonic College in our area. This is open to any Mason and the lodge will cover the cost.  See the separate article below for more information.

The last event to mention for now is our main event in February, our 2nd Annual Bunco Night. It will be on the evening of Saturday the 21st. This event is targeted at the adults and open to all masons and their friends. Bring your significant other and friends for a night of good food, wine and fun as we enjoy getting to know one another better over the Bunco game tables. No experience is necessary, the game is easy to learn, fast-paced and fun. More details to follow in our next Temple Topics.

Finally, I want to say another thank you to all those who have made it possible for me to be in the position to write this article and to lead the lodge over the coming year. To my brothers, thank you for your years of encouragement and instruction and your vote of confidence in me. To my family, especially my wife Sherri, for supporting me thus far and being willing keep doing so in this year of greater responsibility and more duties. And to all the Brothers who have gone before and kept the fraternity strong and vibrant, I’ll do my best to continue your traditions, improve the lodge, and strengthen the craft.



Chris Goodwin

Worshipful Master

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