In-Person meetings are BACK!

From the Deputy...

My Brethren:

If I should be so fortunate as to live to meet my Great Grandchildren, I’m not sure I will be able to explain the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic to them. Or
maybe I won’t have to – it may be the new reality? My Grandkids are having less difficulty with the current restrictions than I am for sure, but they aren’t involved with a fraternity or sorority at their young age. They get to go to school and see their friends all day while I sit at home missing my Lodge hand shakes and bear hugs, content in seeing a few of you occasionally via our videoconferencing that
some Lodges and Districts have invited me to attend or address. 

One thing I am sure of though is that how fortunate we are to have elected a medical doctor as our current Grand Master during this medical pandemic.
The Grand Secretary has received many letters from frustrated Masons who want to assume responsibility for themselves and get back to Lodge.
But M.W. Bro. David Cameron has been able to use his many years of medical training to steer the whole membership safely through the many challenges
that have arisen during this medical pandemic.

The support for our Grand Master’s decisions comes not only from within Grand Lodge. I want to share with you a message of unsolicited support for our Grand Master from one of our Lodge Secretaries in the current Lodge Summons:

“I believe that:

• we are fortunate to have a physician as our Grand Master. He brings to the table a medical background and understanding that many organizations do not have in their leadership during these difficult and confusing times.
• at our core, we are a social organization! We meet during the time of the year where indoor gatherings are the norm. Our meeting rooms are often small and poorly equipped with air quality monitoring and management. On many occasions, these gatherings are crowded and “cozy”.
• we are a group that greets and interacts through enthusiastic contact during our social and ritual settings. The “shaking of hands” is synonymous with Masonry!
• our demographic is generally one of a more mature nature where medical challenges are the norm rather than the exception.

In short, through our normal practices we offer the ideal conditions for the effective nurturing and spread of a viral entity like this strain of coronavirus.
If precautions had not been taken and maintained, the Masonic order may have been responsible for much pain and suffering within and outside our ranks. I strongly believe the cautious actions taken by our Grand Master and Grand Lodge should be commended and supported with gratitude for our own and our families’ wellbeing. 

I believe challenges such as these stimulate growth and strength within organizations that recognize and appreciate the full scope of the situation and its
importance. Masonry will be stronger because of COVID and our actions and resolve through COVID will foster growth and revitalization. Be patient and
remain resolved.” (Thanks Rob!)

To assist the Lodges in keeping in contact with their membership, your Grand Lodge has created a GoToMeeting account for each District. The access
information has been sent to each District Deputy Grand Master who was charged with providing this to each of the Lodges in their respective District to
share. It was suggested that a District schedule be created such that every Lodge can host a monthly meeting on their regular meeting night to
communicate with their membership, cover any business that is permissible, provide some Masonic Education and generally to take an account of the
health of their membership and Lodge.

We are also continuing to publish a monthly Resource Digest – from which you probably received this Communiqué. We need your help in the distribution of these tools. It was reported at our Virtual Board of General Purposes Chairmen’s
September meeting that of the 680 copies distributed via email to the Grand Lodge Officers and Lodge Secretaries, 216 weren’t even opened! Hard to say they are being distributed via Lodge email contact lists if a third of them weren’t even opened.

Please help us keep in touch with our membership by forwarding all the communication from Grand Lodge to as many members as possible. It will be
appreciated by the creator and the receiver and ease the transition when we go back to our Work.

Stay well until then!

Thomas W. Hogeboom
Deputy Grand Master

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