The Rt. Rev. Robert W. McKewin, D.D., 32
Marble Falls, Texas

The family is structured after the best Old and New Testament concepts and is the cornerstone of a good society.

What is a family? The traditional one is what I have experienced. That is, two married parents, with each of them having two married parents, and each of them having two married parents. In the traditional family, the older generation loves, cares for, and sacrifices for the younger generation.

The Rt. Rev. Robert W. McKewin, D.D., 32, and wife, Pat

In it brothers and sisters love each other and share with each other. In it, parents teach their children the concepts of filial piety and fraternal affection. This teaching should be by example, not admonition. Younger children learn as they experience the honor and respect between their parents and the protec- tion and care of their siblings.

The family is structured after the best Old and New Testament concepts and is the cornerstone of a good society. This concept of family does well to include the practice of recognizing the living and loving presence of a Heavenly Father, Almighty God, Grand Architect of the Universe.

He is a loving, generous, and benevolent God, the Father Who has given us life and provided us with His example of loving forgiveness. As His children, it is our hope to practice the same with those about us.

The Law that Jesus quoted out of the Hebrew Torah, “Thou Shalt Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself!” provides a perpendicular measure on which we can check our success or failure as builders of family and society. Organizations, such as our beloved Fraternity, expand the concept of brotherhood beyond the denominational boundaries of church, mosque, or synagogue. Within my Lodge I sit regularly with a Moslem Brother, and I rejoice that a Jewish man is a Blue Lodge and Scottish Rite Brother of mine.

When we contribute to the human family, God grants us joy, peace, and a sense of personal self-worth.

These Brothers know I believe things about God that they don’t. And I know each of them believes things that I don’t. Yet each of us knows that we believe in the One God and Father of us all. And that makes us Brothers!

Of course, those who are not members of churches or other worshiping communities, are equally our brothers and sisters. They are all a part of God’s family and mine, yet there is no way I can help my entire family--all the hungry and distressed people of the world. But I can help my neighbors.

I sometimes think of the distressed people of the world as shipwrecked and drowning in a storm-tossed sea. I am one of the fortunate, standing safely on the shore. In my hand is a long rope. Some call it a cable tow. And I can toss that rope out to one desperate person at a time. Once they have hold of that rope, with me gripping the other end, we are connected.

I provide help. My brother or sister receives help. But I find the help goes both ways. For it is God who is the rope itself. He grants me joy and peace, a sense of personal self-worth, a knowledge of contributing to the human family.

As we love family, friends, neighbors, Brothers in the Lodge, or Sisters in Eastern Star--and love them selflessly--we see the face of God on each other, and we come to know we are truly created in His image.

Together, my wife Pat and I have had a glorious ministry of caring for children. We have written a book about that experience. It is titled Our Generic Family, or 245 and Counting. Married in 1944, during World War II, we had our first child (stillborn) 10 months later on my 21st birthday. After a successful pregnancy in 1946, we and our daughter, Molly, looked forward to the birth of our third child. He was born lacking sufficient parts and energy to live more than 11 hours.

It was then we chose to adopt children or find other ways to care for them. In the decades that followed, we had another daughter, Barbara, by the usual process, and adopted five more, four boys and a girl.

Our family has suffered the usual blows that occur to others in this life. One daughter’s husband died of a heart attack. Another daughter endured a scathing divorce. Two of our adopted sons have been incarcerated in state prisons. One of them is still in custody. Both of these sons have been divorced by their former wives. I include these facts to assure readers that we have had our share of trauma. Yet, thank God, our family has remained loving, strong, and blessed with hope.

Bro. Robert W. McKewin, 32, and his wife, Pat, have cared for hundreds of foster children. He poses here with one of them, Briana, in front of his Lodge, historic Henry Thomas No. 278, Marble Falls, Texas.

We have worked for county welfare departments and private agencies almost continuously since 1948. We have loved and cared for brilliant children of both sexes and every skin shade worn by humankind. We have cared for crippled children, almost blind children, deaf children, and children who are mentally challenged. We have always found something of the presence and beauty of our Father and theirs in each and every one of them. Molly and Barbara, the children who carry our genetic stamp, know that they are ours by blood. But they know what it means to be sisters of all the others also.

We continue to “throw out the lifeline” to those we can reach. We believe we are helping to rebuild or repair a loving, responsible society. We have hope, and we continue to share that hope with the family members of mankind that we can reach.

Perhaps, if we work at building love long enough, others may see the face of God when they look at us.