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               With an early Sunday phone call from Chev. Carl Heft, KTJ, alerting Prior Bill Kogerman, KCTJ, that the Grand Prior of Germany was in the area and expected to visit his family in Laguna Hills that afternoon, the Kogermans quickly worked the phones to invite local Templars to a reception at their home and a dinner to follow immediately after.
               The result was 17 Templars and companions (plus six children) ready with a champagne toast to greet Her Excellency the Grand Prioress of Germany Elke Bruns, GCTJ, and her escort, His Excellency Richard Keagy, GCTJ, NATO GP. ( H.E. Elke had made the acquaintance of Heft on his recent trip to Germany and facilitated his visit to German sites associated with the Knights Templar.)
                After further toasts and much spirited conversation, the group moved to a local restaurant for a festive meal.  (Earlier that day the Kogermans had already set up a prixe fix dinner at a fine local restaurant.) The party was seated at the prestigious middle table running the length of the restaurant and enjoyed dancing to live music between courses. Even the well-behaved young children, who have become fast friends, had a joyous time.  
               Bonds of friendship were firmly established. The lively conversations, elegant dinner, and spontaneity of the event charmed the lovely H.E. Elke, who declared that she would attempt to attend the Priory of Our Savior’s C&I in June.  
               Templars who dropped previous plans to enjoy this impromptu event were Past Prior and Grand Treasurer H.E. Jay Richardson and Chvse. Miyuki, with their children; Current Prior “Col.” Bill Kogerman and the Honorable Chvse Barbara; Chev. Michael Lawler and wife Barbara; Chev. John Bosch and wife Cecilia; Chev. Carl Heft and the Honorable Janine Heft and their children; the Honorable Chev. Col. Greg Raths and his wife Luci; Chev. Don McNamara and his wife Dr. Maureen Rhyne. 
              
 Front Row-Prior Bill Kogerman, KCTJ; Honorable Dame Barbara Kogerman, KCTJ; Prioress of Germany Elke Bruns, GCTJ;  His Excellency Richard Keagy, GCTJ, NATO GP. Rear Row-Barbara Lawler and Michael Lawler KTJ
 
The restaurant that provided the elegant accommodations on sudden notice was Villa Roma of Laguna Hills. 
 
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Dame Barbara Kogerman Tells the Templar Story to Rotary
 
            As an active Rotarian, Barbara Kogerman, DCTJ, has noted the convergence between Rotary’s “Service Before Self” mantra and the values of our Order.  With this potential synergy in mind, she was eager to share the Knights Templar story with her Mission Viejo Rotary Club.  
            At their Feb. 8 meeting, ably assisted by Don McNamara, KTJ, Kogerman presented a power-point presentation to her fellow Rotarians.  Mindful of the various faith traditions held by other Rotarians, Kogerman emphasized the ecumenical nature of Knights Templar and the faith-based reconciliation work in the Middle East by Cannon Andrew White  (Foundation for Faith-Based Reconciliation and Relief) and Priory of Our Savior’s Chaplain, Cannon  Brian Cox, KCTJ, of the Faith-Based Reconciliation Foundation. She showed portions of a video and notes from Cannon Cox’s latest report on his foundation’s successful December 2016 workshop and other efforts the foundation has planned for the near future.
            She also noted a project currently in the works to bring humanitarian relief to Chaldean and other Christian refugees seeking protection on the Plains of Nineveh.  Representatives of the Priory of Our Savior are working with Templars from the Priory of the Christian Soldiers, with seed money provided by the generosity of Our Savior’s Past Prior The Right Reverend Lou Carlson, KCTJ,  and Karen Carlson, DCTJ.  
           
 Honorable Barbara Kogerman KCTJ; Mission Viejo Rotary President Dr. David BugayDon McNamara KTJ;  Honorable Col. Greg Raths, KTJ (Ret.)
 
Kogerman has since followed up with interested Rotarians by scheduling personal meetings to include Prior Bill Kogerman, KCTJ, with those who expressed a strong interest.  She is hopeful that some will become candidates for investiture at the June 17 C&I.  
 
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With the monstrosities that the self proclaimed Islamic State (IS) is wreaking havoc with, many Templars of SMOTJ ask, "What is the Order doing about it?" While extremist hordes seem to conjure images of the quintessential enemy of the original Templars, we must understand the world we live in and the role we play. Diplomacy and advocacy are our sword and tactics now. On the individual level each member should understand that their Oblations are not simply yearly dues but rather the means by which the Order can wage it's new fight. Consider the following letter from Dr. Sarah Ahmed of The Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East (FRRME). The Doctor along with the well known "Vicar of Baghdad", Canon Chev. Andrew White are on the ground tirelessly assisting those displaced by the IS. Know that you and your timely Oblations ARE indeed in the fight.      
As promised, right in time for the Summer Party here is the 3rd & final part of Sir Michael Lawler's experience in Nepal. Com eby the Summer Party today so that you can speak with Sir Michael about it!
Here is the much anticipated second part of three of Sir Michael Lawler's adventure at Mount Everest! 
When disaster struck in Nepal, Sir Michael Lawler, KTJ sprung into action. Sir Lawler chronicled his entire experience and published his writings through The Daily Pilot. Following is Part 1 of 3 used with permission from Sir Lawler.   
 
Templar News

From: Chris Seiple

To: Friends of The Cradle Fund (TCF)

Subject: "You Can Cut Our Throats but Our God is Stronger than the Sword:"

Trip Report, Northern Iraq, 7-11 February 2015

"And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God."—Revelation 4:20

Backdrop: "You Can Cut Our Throats but Our God is Stronger than the Sword." These words were uttered to ISIS by one Christian father on behalf of his family, whom we met in Diyana (in Northeast Iraqi Kurdistan, near the Iranian border). Incredibly, ISIS let this family go.

The same unswerving belief was true of the 21 Christians martyred this weekend in Libya. But ISIS chose to kill them; because they were "people of the Cross." I wonder if I could ever be so brave. Sadness saturates the soul.

As you consider the below summary & actions items, please consider how they might relate to the whole. Please consider how what is being revealed through The Cradle Fund might further reveal the strategy, structure, and staffing needed by Christians to take on this global threat—loving God, neighbor, and enemy as they do—while working with others of good will.

Summary: We are making a difference, serving the most marginalized, especially Christians and other minorities, and Muslims as well, who are not in the UN camps. To date, through our Christian partners,1 we have served 57,000 people—providing such things as food, blankets, clothing, kerosene, heaters, and winter-proofing materials for abandoned buildings (e.g., glassless windows)—expecting, we estimate, to serve at least another 31,000.

1 TCF’s public partners include: Assyrian Aid, the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena, Mosul’s Archbishop Mouche, the Preemptive Love Coalition, and the International Orthodox Christian Charities serving in Iraq; Canon Andrew White’s Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East serving in Iraq and Jordan; and, Heart for Lebanon serving in Lebanon.

As spring approaches, The Cradle Fund is preparing to move beyond the "Recue" phase of our strategy to the "Restore" and "Return" phases, building on the trust that has been developed during the "Rescue" phase.

The bottom line: The situation remains complexly dire: from life as a persecuted refugee with no hope, to the continuing threat of ISIS, to the geo-politics, to the general absence of leadership on all fronts. The best solution—to which all agree—is to return the persecuted to their homes. It will take a global citizenry mobilized, beginning with the global Church.

Until then, we provide hope in the context of history, through help that is trusted, and tangible.

 
 
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