From the Ill. Kenneth Nagel 33̊ (February, 2013)

posted May 26, 2015, 6:59 PM by San Jose Scottish Rite   [ updated May 26, 2015, 7:12 PM ]
Well, another year has ended, a new corps of officers has been installed, and it is time to look ahead to another wonderful year in the Valley of San Jose.
Let me first start this article by congratulating Most Worshipful and Illustrious Frank Loui on his appointment to “Deputy of the Supreme Council in California”, and look forward to later in the year, his being elevated to SGIG for California. Frank, the Valley of San Jose pledges our support for your success as you take the helm. Congratulations!
As I stated earlier, our Installation was held last month and I thank and congratulate all the officers for taking leadership roles within our Valley. I was disappointed though on how few of our members were in attendance. I say disappointed, but not discouraged. Over the last couple of years, our Valley has taken steps to grow in membership and in holding events that are meaningful for the Valley and its members. If you have not been to a Scottish Rite meeting for a while, I ask that you come see what is taking place. I think you will be pleased.
I am pleased on what has already been scheduled for this year and I look forward to new suggestions from our leadership team. This year for example, we will hold our 3rd Annual Grand Master recognition “Festive Board” where we will honor our Grand Master, his lady and his special project. We look forward to having Most Worshipful John Lowe and Lady Becky join with us for a great evening. We will again hold two “Nights of Instruction” banquets chaired by Bro. Chuck Cowden. Bro. Richard Fisher is again chairing our Scholarship Committee, as we will honor another graduating senior on their way to college. Later in the year, we will again honor the Masters of our lodges as they complete their term sitting in the East of their particular lodge. We exist only because our Craft Lodges are strong and we wish to honor the men who have held our lodges together.
We will continue some traditional events like our Maundy Thursday Celebration, Sweethearts Night, as well as 25 year and 50 year membership celebrations. And naturally, we will hold our Semi-Annual Reunions for new members this Spring and Fall. I am particularly pleased on our progression of adding new degree teams for our Reunions. Besides the five mandatory degrees, we have added five additional degrees and this year we are adding two more. There are 25 lodges that make up our Valley’s geographic area, and I have asked a few of the local lodges to create a degree team from the membership within their lodge. I have been extremely pleased to see my challenge taken and lodges in the Monterey and Santa Cruz areas have developed a team. Liberty Lodge developed a team last Fall and our newest lodge, South Valley Lodge, is completing their work to have a new team in place by the Spring Reunion. I was recently informed that Willow Glen Fraternity lodge has started to develop a team that they will have in place by this Fall. I would like to again make the challenge to all our membership. Determine who in your lodge is a member of our Valley and try to gain support to take on one of our degrees. It is fun learning new work and our Valley will be the better due to your efforts.
The Masters of our four bodies are also putting together a few social events to be sprinkled throughout the year. So watch for the latest edition of “The Rite Word”. Find something that intrigues you and come out and see what is happening in YOUR Valley.
Our Foundation is still very strong, but we can always use a new contribution here or there to continue our work. Our clinic continues to do amazing things with our kids and I am very proud of what is being accomplished. For the past couple of years we have also made sizable contributions to the Grand Master’s project, Masons 4 Mitts, recognition of our DeMolay leadership at their Annual Conclave as well as our Scholarship program which I have previously spoken to.
The last item I would like to speak to is communication. I can only know if we are heading in the right direction if I hear from you. As I stated earlier, I was disappointed in the attendance at our Installation. I would think it would naturally be one of the larger events of the year. Please give me your thoughts about where we are headed. What are we not providing that you would like to see regarding our Valley? What would excite you to return to an active role? Our Valley is here to support you, but I need to know your thoughts and desires. Please contact me when you think we are failing, but most importantly communicate. You are a valued member and we value your input. The Valley is only successful if you think we have done right. Let us know!
I look forward to seeing each of you over this coming year. Come on out and help make a difference!

Ken Nagel - Personal Rep