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.