The Washington, D.C., VA Medical Center All Faiths Chapel was full of the Holiday Season, thanks to the donation of poinsettias from brethren, their families, and the Scottish Rite Foundation, Southern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., Inc. The flowers decorated the chapel and were later used as gifts for the nursing stations and patient’s room. Earlier that week photographs were taken at the House of the Temple with the flowers for the annual Temple calendar. Then, with the nod of Ill. William G. Sizemore, 33°, Grand Cross, and Secretary of the Scottish Rite Foundation, the flowers were transported to the VA to bring hope and make the season brighter for hospitalized veterans.
The altar of the All Faiths Chapel was overflowing with poinsettias. The chairs and pews were full within, and at the door stood men and women who could not fit inside. They all listened attentively to the message of love from pulpit, but you didn’t need to hear the message of love, you could see it. You could see the love, not only that of the Grand Architect, but also of the brothers. The brotherly love was exemplified in the beauty and glory of the poinsettias and other contributions from the Masonic and Eastern Star Home Charities, the D.C. Scottish Rite, and the Grand Lodge of the District of Columbia.
On the arrival of the poinsettias, Chaplain Carol Ramsey-Lucas, Chief of Chaplain services, was ecstatic about the beauty that would be added to the chapel. Sister Carol, 25 years in the Order of the Eastern Star, leads a service almost every Sunday. Her sermons are mainly about the message and less about the specifics. She invites anyone looking for a safe space to be alone to come by the Chapel. That is one of its purposes—to offer refuge to those in need.
Bro. Peter Ahearn, 32°, was on hand as the flowers were delivered. Peter’s belief is that since many of the brethren have been in service to our country, the All Faiths Chapel is a special place for them. Peter, a longtime VA volunteer summarized this most eloquently by saying, “Relief is not just writing a check. Relief is additionally providing the priceless gift of love and time.”
—Submitted by Robert Heffelfinger, 32°