Twins Win Homestead Opener as Braden Watches

    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!



    Braden Honors New Citizenship of Member

    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.


    Braden Lodge Participates in Twin Cities Pride Parade

    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:

    "Dear Brothers,

    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!

    Fraternally yours,

    (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!


    Braden Joins Arcana in Celebrating Nordeast

    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.


    Braden Decides to Hold Dues Steady

    Last night Braden Lodge had it's annual finance meeting to determine dues for the upcoming year.  Treasurer David Allison presented the numbers from last year as well as projections for the current year and two years going forward.  These projections will be made available in the Member's section of the website.

    Though we had been in the black last year, a variety of factors changed this year that resulted in a projected budget deficit going forward. The biggest factor was that our investments had been centered around oil pipelines which were generating significant dividend income. However, with the fall of oil prices, and the resulting curbing of domestic oil production, the need for new pipelines has correspondingly diminished.   With the stock value falling, and no turn around in sight, the trustees opted to divest from that stock and seek other investments.  It's still early and consequently difficult to predict the ultimate fruitfulness of the new investments, but based on the first four months of this year, it looks like our dividend income will be down somewhat from the previous levels.

    Additionally, some expenses have gone up.  We raised the Secretary's gift this year and started paying the Cooks as well.  The rent that we pay Arcana is also going to be going up a bit (it had been extremely low).  All this resulted in possible deficits of $1,000 to $3,000/year going forward depending on a variety of variable factors (performance of investments, how many new members join, how many donations are received, etc.)

    For the most part the brothers had three options to choose from.  A) Raising dues  B) Raising money via other means C) Channeling more of our investment money into expenses and away from reinvestment.  It was generally agreed upon that the third option was not a good long term strategy.  Regarding dues, to cover the expenses going forward, they would have to go up by at least $10/year and potentially up to an additional $25/year.  However, in the past, a large rise in the dues did not bring about additional revenue as fewer brothers were able to keep up with the increase.  So ultimately it was resolved that we would use the next year to attempt some fundraising activities.  

    Last year Braden put on a Halloween event called "A Bump in the Night" that was part haunted dinner party and part puzzle room.  It was done as a fundraiser for Arcana's building fund and raised $1,150.  Building upon that success and spreading it out over two weekends, instead of just one, we have the potential to raise roughly $4,000 in that one fuindraiser alone.  There has also been talk of reviving the Como Roast Beef Dinner which could probably be expected to raise $500 to $1,000.   We also are considering a program to reward brothers who opt to voluntarily pay above the required $74 dues amount  (Did you know that 100 years ago, the typical standard for dues was considered to be one week's wages?)

    We are optimistic that with the help of all the brothers in working and promoting these fundraisers, we can not only cover our shortfalls, but also raise additional money for our scholarship and Brother's Relief Fund, while keeping membership affordable for all of our brothers.