The Damascus/Collingwood Lodge No. 643, F&AM on Tuesday will give non-Masons a rare opportunity to learn about what the Freemasons do. The fraternity will hold its fourth annual open house at the West Toledo Masonic Complex, 5025 Secor Rd. in Toledo.
Members will offer guided tours from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., and men, women, and children are welcome to visit.
Jason Shamy, the lodge’s education officer, said the Damascus/Collingwood Lodge includes Christian, Jewish, and Muslim members. “Belief in a supreme being is a prerequisite for membership,” he said, but “Freemasonry is not a religion. While we do acknowledge God within our lodge, religious debate has no place in our works.”
The business in the lodge “revolves around three equally important goals [of] brotherly love, relief, and truth,” Mr. Shamy said. Freemasons also do charitable work, and the Damascus/Collingwood Lodge will hold a pancake breakfast March 2 to raise funds for Special Olympics.
The open house shows the community some of what Masons do, but it is also a way to recruit members. A person interested in becoming a Mason typically must ask about the fraternity. “The term ‘2b1ask1’ is an important first step in Masonry,” Mr. Shamy said, “as it is of the utmost importance that a new member seek out the teachings and truth of Freemasonry on his own free will and accord.”