Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Make your own miracle: The Almoner's Fund, Scottish Rite

Imagine getting together money to help someone …and helping that someone without letting them know! You may have done it yourself. Now imagine designating a person to take up the mission of looking for whom to help---and then as a body giving that designee carte blanche to help without your group ever knowing who you helped! That’s unattached giving. That’s unconditional love. That’s a practice of the Scottish Rite.

One of the Scottish Rite brothers gave me a pamphlet to check out; as his friend he wanted me to understand what the Rite is about and why it means so much to him, and because he knows I care what kind of man I turn out to be, and wonders what my life would be like surrounded by other people who grow, show leadership, and look out for those in true need.

As organized by its Grand Constitution in 1786, the Rite’s become a worldwide presence, governed by a Supreme Council, dividing in the U.S. into Northern and Southern Jurisdictions. The Supreme Council has been involved in childhood language disorders from its inception in Europe. Albert Pike, in the mid-19th century, reorganized the Southern Jurisdiction’s laws and degrees. Pike’s degrees are widely used throughout the world. They’re best known by the Scottish Rite Children’s Hospitals in Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia. They have 135 Childhood Language Disorder Clinics. By the turn of the millennium they had clinics in each state. They award a number of scholarships based on essays. There’s really much more on the local level.

I am deeply interested in the life principle, the altruism, in this Almoner’s Fund idea, so I’m going to quote it directly for you from Grand Commander John H. Cowles.
“When the fund is collected, it is given over to the Almoner, whose duty it is to distribute it for the relief of the poor, needy, and distressed, with no restrictions as to race, religion or creed. There are two restrictions, however: the receiver must not know whence it came, and the Lodge must not know to whom it goes. This I call true charity, and it is the local Scottish Rite Bodies’ contribution to the public welfare.”

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