By Tricia Hall
The Truth Reporter
Over 100 youth dressed in formal Masonic attire gathered at the University of Toledo’s Student Union to close out a weekend of activities. The Divine Service was held on Sunday, July 9 and concluded the Grand Session of both the young men’s group called Order of Pythagorans and young ladies group called Grand Girls Assembly.
“Thank you for being here with us this morning and we invite God to be here amongst us as we pray,” shared Zada Ward, Grand Royal Queen.
The Divine Service began with a procession led by the top two youth officers who were newly elected during the course of the weekend sessions. Joshua Cook, Most Valiant Grand Master Counselor and Ward, Grand Royal Queen. Cook also read the scripture reading and introduced the guest speaker, while Ward presented an invocation and benediction during the course of the service.
The audience sang various faith-based selections which were led by John Byrd, the director, and the Youth Mass Choir also sang a selection which was enjoyed by all in attendance.
Rev. O’Neil Heller was the speaker of the service. He was born in Warren, Ohio, the father of eight children and happily married. Rev. Heller is an Army combat veteran, retired firefighter Chief, Mason and serves on the leadership staff at New Jerusalem Fellowship.
“I’m honored to stand before you today, and I’m so proud of these young people,” opened Rev. Heller. The sermon was inspired by Biblical scripture Isaiah 40:28-31. He spoke with the youth and adults in attendance about why it’s important to wait on the Lord, that waiting is a verb, and waiting must be done by a collective and not just an individual.
“You can’t mount on wings if you haven’t waited on the Lord. If you implement what I will share with you, you will be successful. I’m not teaching you anything new or that you don’t know,” shared Heller.
Traditionally the Grand Session rotates the annual gathering by convening in different Ohio cities. The gathering also includes a weekend for all youth affiliated with Order of Pythagorans and Grand Girls Assembly.
The order was established over 75 years ago in the State of Ohio to emphasize programs for education, social, vocational and moral development. The session also includes youth fellowship, breakout sessions that focus on educational topics and the election of officers.