Friday, July 20, 2007

The Archer joins the Elk Lodge

Back in the spring when I learned that I was going to be back in Lincoln, I decided to join a civic organization. I thought it was a good way to get plugged back into the community and is good publicity for the church. I queried several groups and finally ended up settling on the Elk Lodge, or the official title Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

I was officially inducted into the lodge on Wednesday night. I would tell about it, but its a secret. I guess that means that people think that Elks, like the Masons, are planning to take over the world and start worshipping Man's Enlightened Reason and {insert other ridiculous paranoia here}. By "ridiculous paranoia," I am hoping for something along the lines of Roswell Aliens being produced by an illicit union of Mary Magdalene and Elvis which is a secret protected by the Knights Templar, Dick Cheney, and Leonardo da Vinci via a conspiracy involving Big Tobacco, Walmart, and foods with high levels of Trans Fat.

Actually, da Vinci code conspiracies aside, I am quite impressed by what the Elks do in terms of charity work. They sponsor little league sports and activities, give more money in scholarships than any group in the USA except the Federal Government, and do a lot of social justice stuff for Veterans. They also have a restaurant/bar area (which my girlfriend's boss who works up the street refers to as a "'1920's style Speak Easy") which is open every day for lunch with regular cookouts and other social events like bowling leagues, etc., which members can plug into. How cool is that?
They were quite thrilled to have a full fledged ordained minister join the lodge. Apparently, they have no such member other than a deacon who serves as the lodge chaplain from the Disciples of Christ church around the corner from where I live. I was already asked if I would consider doing a Memorial Day service for the Elks from the Lodge who passed on during the year. I said I would consider it. I am going to have to see what they want before I commit. If they want a flag worshipping service, I may decline, not that I have any disrespect for the American flag or the military in general like some clergy I know. I am as patriotic as they come in the Episcopal church, but I do have my ethical limits. In fact, I think I may accept the offer so there can be a via media Christian presence. If that doesn't do it, for no other reason than to thumb my nose at the elitist "We're so much more enlightened because we aren't nationalistic slobs" crowd.

Interestingly enough, I ran into several Episcopalians at the Lodge during my induction. One from my sending parish and one from St. Mark's. They were also thrilled to have a clergy presence there. We Anglicans are always good about being connected to social circles and civic groups. Or at least places that have Speak Easy's. Perhaps 815 needs a new slogan. Episcopal Church USA: Teetotalers we ain't.

So, who'd have thought...The Archer is an Elk.
Could be worse...I could be a Moose, and you don't even want to know what sort of conspiracy theories they come up with about Moose(s?) (Meese?)The Moose (its even worse than Roswell Aliens' Trans-fat).

2 comments:

Stephen Newell said...

Dude, couldn't you have done something more praiseworthy and less sinister, such as joining the Boy Scouts as a volunteer Scoutmaster? Everyone knows you've just made the Bilderbergers proud. Or is it the Rockefellers?

Next thing we know, you'll be telling us Nicolae Carpathia is the only hope for a New World Order. ;-)

mike jones said...

God bless you for joining the Elks. As an avid Elks history buff, early Elkdom (1900's to the 30's) did there best to try and include men of character from all walks of life ~ including the clergy.

To see a bit of my collection go to www.elkshistory.org

As for Memorial services check out the one listed in the Oklahoma section. It is quite a sermon that he delivered. You'll be impressed.

Good luck to you Brother Elk as you hopefully become an active member of your lodge. You can make a tremendous difference not only in your lodge but also within your State Association.

Fraternally and respectfully

Mike Jones, PER
Salisbury NC 699