Monday, June 1, 2020

UPDATE!


The Grand Master has extended the date referenced below.  Instead of expiring on May 31st, the date has been extended through June 12, 2020.  

Please adjust your calendars accordingly.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020


ALL Lodge Activities CANCELLED through May 31, 2020


This is an update to our previous post.

On May 5, 2020, The Grand Master extended his previous order ceasing operation of Masonic Lodges through May 31, 2020.  The Grand Master also provided a letter detailing some of the concerns and issues that resulted in this decision.

The extension was not entirely unexpected, as the decision was based on the “Stay Safe Ohio” plan.  What is unknown is when we will actually return to Labor.

With the current Edict, we will not be having meetings during the month of May.  In addition, we’d like to share a word about our anticipated meeting schedule. 

We adhere to the thought that Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer, and Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer.  No, we aren’t seaside shop owners courting tourists, although that doesn’t sound so bad.  Instead, we are a community closely tied to agricultural pursuits.  One of the byproducts of that reality is a membership unlikely to attend meetings during this period. 

Masonic Lodges are not permitted to cancel meetings.  This is similar in thought to the unofficial Post Office motto: 

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds

The exception in our case is that we don’t have appointed rounds, only appointed days and times.  When conditions make travel or attendance unsafe, uncomfortable, or inconvenient, we advise members to attend to their necessary vocations and welfare.  “What does this mean to me?”  It means that if you arrive for a Lodge meeting before September 2nd, you will most likely be alone – unless you brought a friend.


Usually there are many items on the calendar.  Due to the extended restrictions related to the pandemic, that is not the case for this post:
- The Grand Master’s One Day Class has been cancelled
- Ohio Masonic Home Day activities have been cancelled
- Ohio Special Olympics has been cancelled
- There has not been any public discussion of Deputy Grand Master Rollout Programs, which usually occur during July and August. 

In short, if you were planning on attending a Masonic function in Ohio in the next few weeks, you may want to recheck to see if it is still on. 

We expect concern and questions, as we have many ourselves.  Some that we can answer are below:

What does that mean for me?

There will be no activities at the Lodge, or related to the Lodge, until September 2nd.

When will our next meeting be?

Tentatively, Wednesday, September 2, 2020.

Are you sure about that date?

No.  The Grand Master is on record as updating his directive as changes develop.  That could mean both ending or extending the restriction.

Is Ohio the only Grand Jurisdiction taking this action?

No.  Michigan and Indiana have also done this, plus others in the United States.  We have also been informed that Grand Jurisdictions in other countries have taken similar action.  These include Scotland and England, the latter of which suspended all activities for a period of 4 months.

What should I do until then?

1 - Follow the restrictions placed into effect to address possible exposure to and treatment of the Corona virus.
2 - Follow the great tenets of Freemasonry:  Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.
3 - Check on your Brothers and neighbors, especially those who may be in the higher risk groups.  Resist the urge to just "stop by".  Instead, consider calling, texting, or video chats.  

We will post additional information as it is made known to us.  In the mean time, take care of yourself and your loved ones.







Tuesday, March 17, 2020

ALL Lodge Activities CANCELLED through May 10, 2020


To say this has been an experience like no other doesn't come close to what we have seen and heard in the past month.  Prior to this few if any of us have seen limits on gatherings, businesses ordered to close, or elections postponed.  Just hearing those topics discussed in the media is an odd feeling.

We now have another "first" to add to our unlikely list - temporary shuttering of Lodges.  Joining several other jurisdictions, the Grand Master of Masons in Ohio, F&AM, issued a directive that ALL Masonic events and activities be suspended through May 10, 2020.  Copied below is the "meat" of the directive:

"This applies to all masonic lodges, their craft clubs, committees, Temple Companies, social events, and district associations.  These guidelines and directives apply to all Ohio Masons including appendant Ohio Masonic orders."

We expect concern and questions, as we have many ourselves.  Some that we can answer are below:

What does that mean for me?
There will be no activities at the Lodge, or related to the Lodge, until at least May 11th.

When will our next meeting be?
Tentatively, Wednesday, May 20, 2020.

Are you sure about that date?
No.  The Grand Master is on record as updating his directive as changes develop.  That could mean both ending or extending the restriction.

Is Ohio the only Grand Jurisdiction taking this action?
No.  Michigan and Indiana have also done this, plus others in the United States.  We have also been informed that Grand Jurisdictions in other countries have taken similar action.  These include Scotland and England, the latter of which suspended all activities for a period of 4 months.

What should I do until then?
1 - Follow the restrictions placed into effect to address possible exposure to and treatment of the Corona virus.
2 - Follow the great tenets of Freemasonry:  Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.
3 - Check on your Brothers and neighbors, especially those who may be in the higher risk groups.  Resist the urge to just "stop by".  Instead, consider calling, texting, or video chats.  

We will post additional information as it is made known to us.  In the mean time, take care of yourself and your loved ones.





Thursday, March 12, 2020

Corona Virus Awareness

If you have paid attention to any of the many forms of media available (newspaper, TV, radio, internet, neighborhood gossip, etc.) you have probably heard of the Corona virus, or COVID-19.  Only months ago few had heard of it.  As of the time of this writing that has changed, and its impact has been far-reaching.  Sporting events are being held without fans, sports leagues are suspending their seasons, colleges are conducting “online only” classes, and some neighborhood schools have closed for short periods for cleaning and disinfecting.  Without a crystal ball, we don’t know how long this will impact our communities, but we know it has, and that is expected to continue.

As a result of the above, we feel responsible for addressing the many questions raised regarding our meetings and activities.  We are not medically trained, so no medical advice will be attempted.  Instead, we will borrow from a recent communication sent to Lodge Secretaries by MWB C. Michael Watson, Grand Secretary. Which is reproduced below.

***   ***   ***

Brethren,

With the outbreak of the Corona Virus and media attention, we are receiving questions regarding a Grand Lodge position or statement.

Yesterday, restrictions were placed on the three Ohio Masonic Home Communities. These restrictions applied to visitation by non-residents and are a result of directives issued by the CDC and recommendations by the Governor of Ohio. If similar restrictions were placed in your communities, the Grand Lodge would expect Ohio Masons to observe them and not violate a public safety directive.

Meetings and Inspections are not being cancelled.

Rather, individual personal judgement should be used to determine whether or not you attend the event. If you don’t feel well or are concerned about exposure, do not attend. Our Masonic Code does not provide for the cancelation of Stated Meetings. If you don’t have at least eight members of your Lodge present to open Lodge and conduct business, you simply do not hold a meeting.

For more information on how to protect yourself against common cold, flu and seasonal illness visit the Grand Lodge web site blog: https://www.freemason.com/blog/.
We will continue to follow this closely and will communicate any updates.

Fraternally,

C. Michael Watson, Secretary
Grand Lodge of Ohio F&AM

***   ***   ***
As you will note, Lodges are not permitted to cancel meetings, so we won’t.  However, the same standard we expect to be used during inclement conditions can be a guide in your personal decisions.  The following is copied from an earlier post on our web site:

***   ***   ***

Masonic Lodges are not permitted to cancel meetings.  This is similar in thought to the unofficial Post Office motto: 

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds

The exception in our case is that we don’t have appointed rounds, only appointed days and times.  When conditions make travel or attendance unsafe, uncomfortable, or inconvenient, we advise members to attend to their necessary vocations and welfare. 

***   ***   ***

We hope this sufficiently explains the situation.  If not, and you have non-medical questions or concerns, please contact us.

Fraternally,

John Mathew, Secretary



Thursday, January 23, 2020

It's Winter Time!




Is it:

Cold? Rainy? Snowy? Warm? Sunny? All of these?

Yes, that means it is winter in Ohio. This is the time of year when weather prognosticators make their real $. Snow overnight? Check. Torrential rains in the afternoon? Check. Anyone can predict spring rain, summer warmth, and bright colors in the fall. Real experts can handle whatever Ohio has in store during January and February.

Since our last post we have resumed our regular meeting schedule. Along with that, we have continued the pre-meeting dinner schedule which has become so popular. Menus are varied, frequently determined that morning. If you have a favorite food you'd like to see included, say so!  Not every meeting has to be preceded by prime rib and baked potato.

Our last post noted our 2020 Inspection requirement was completed in December. The popular phrase is “It's all over but the shouting”. In our case, it's all over but the paperwork. When the final report hits, it will be official. In the mean time, Inspection season continues. A link to the 15th District web site will reveal the entire schedule, so it won't be duplicated here.

We have some dates below as a reminder. As additional details are available they will be posted.

 
May 9, 2020                Grand Master’s Class.
GM Keith Newton has announced his plan to hold a Grand Master’s Class in each District in Ohio on May 9th.  Details to follow.

June 7, 2020                Ohio Masonic Home Day, Springfield, Ohio.

June 26, 2020                Ohio Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies.

August 29, 2020                Grand Master’s Motorcycle Ride for Charity,

September 18-20, 2020         GLO Fellowship, Fun, and Family Retreat.
GM Keith Newton has announced his plan to hold a family retreat at a state park.  More information to follow. 


This seems to cover our calendar as we know it.  For the remainder of your winter, remember to take time to sit back, relax, and stay warm.


See you in Lodge!





Friday, November 29, 2019

Welcome to the Holidays!



Yes, that is the time of year when diets are suspended, every day seems to have a party scheduled, and “good cheer” isn’t just a phrase in a book.  To say it is our favorite time of year would be pretty accurate.

Since our last post many things have happened.  Most notable is the scheduling of our 2020 Inspection.  It will be in the MM degree, but on December 21, 2019, not in 2020.  The reasons for this are many, and it has been the subject of much discussion within the 15th District.  Curiously, it is one week LATER than Marion 70’s Inspection last year, which raised no concern at all.  As the calendar below indicates, Lodge will open at 5:30pm, dinner at 6:30pm, and Lodge will resume approximately 7:30pm.  It should be an interesting evening.

On November 6th, at our Annual Meeting, a full slate of officers was elected, selected, appointed, etc.  (The full list can be found under the “Officers” tab on the left.)  A Closed installation was held on November 20th, with RWB Matt Pollock presiding. 

November 20th was also the occasion of RWB Pollock’s official Pre-Inspection Visit.  For those who have not gone through this process, this is the evening the Inspecting Deputy goes through the books, including financial statements, inventory and minutes, reviews the activities of the Lodge, and reviews reports submitted by the Worshipful Master, Treasurer, Secretary, and Audit Committee.  We are pleased to say our operation and related paperwork was found to be in good order.

Our calendar below has many listings.  For additional events we recommend consulting the 15th District web site, which maintains a list of activities for the entire District.


December 4, 2019                Regular Stated Meeting.
       Practice in the MM degree


December 7, 2019                15th District Past Masters Convocation
                                                           Held at Mt. Carmel #303, starting at 9am.

December 11, 2019                Special Meeting.
                                                Practice in the MM degree.

December 18, 2019               Regular Stated Meeting.
       Practice in the MM degree

December 21, 2019              MM Inspection for La Rue Lodge!
Yes, this is “early”, at least compared to previous years.  Based on the precedent of Marion #70 last year, we discovered earlier dates were permitted, so we are taking advantage of the opportunity. 
Lodge will open at 5:30pm, dinner at 6:30pm, and Lodge will resume approximately 7:30pm.  
 
May 9, 2020                Grand Master’s Class.
GM Keith Newton has announced his plan to hold a Grand Master’s Class in each District in Ohio on May 9th.  Details to follow.

June 7, 2020                Ohio Masonic Home Day, Springfield, Ohio.

June 26, 2020                Ohio Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies.

August 29, 2020                Grand Master’s Motorcycle Ride for Charity,

September 18-20, 2020         GLO Fellowship, Fun, and Family Retreat.
GM Keith Newton has announced his plan to hold a family retreat at a state park.  More information to follow. 


This seems to cover our calendar as we know it.  For the remainder of your summer, remember to take time to sit back, relax, and savor the warm weather we so desperately longed for all winter.


See you in Lodge!