My Brothers all:
I start by sharing my concern and hope that each one of you and your families are doing well and have avoided the Coronavirus (COVID-19). If anyone reading this article was infected, our prayers are with you until you are on your feet and living life to the fullest. We have all been experiencing interesting times in the United States and around the world. Although the Coronavirus has menaced us for the last several months, I really believe that we are coming through it better than anticipated. I also believe that we will not, in many ways, go back to the pre-COVID norm, but rather establish new norms based upon what we have learned as we followed the “Stay at Home and Be Safe” guidelines. Washing our hands multiple times each day, and practicing social distancing, have created habits that will be around for a while. We were asked to work at home and limit the time we spent even in small groups. We followed the guidelines of our Masonic Leaders by way of Directive #3 and now Directive #4. In small ways we are restarting our economy State by State, and returning to the freedoms enjoyed by all of us as US citizens, allowing us the flexibility to live our lives as this country has afforded us for hundreds of years.
I have participated in and moderated several ZOOM, Teams or Skype video conferences, and find them to be very efficient and effective. In many cases they are respectful of travel time that would have been realized by attendees. An hour meeting was truly one hour as there was no travel. Not all meetings can be conducted as a video conference, but this technology affords us options that will allow us to be more efficient and effective in managing our fraternity. Several functions such as meetings and training, utilizing this technology, are a good thing coming from COVID-19.
Our Executive Committee will meet each month utilizing ZOOM, allowing us to conduct the business that comes before us in a timely and efficient manner. Masonic Education and training are other functions that can be accomplished with this technology. Careful and guarded use of this technology will allow it to be an enhancement and not a detractor. I have been known to say change is my friend, and in this case, much of the change will present itself as opportunity to embrace it to move forward.
Unless things change, our first meeting after Corona virus is scheduled for June 26th, which will be an open meeting and our Deputy’s official visit. Our July 24th meeting will also be an open meeting to honor our flag and all that it represents. The National Sojourners and the American Sirens are invited to provide a patriotic program. For our August 28th meeting, Illustrious Edward M. Sexton, 33⁰ and his team will conduct the Ceremony of Remembrance and Renewal, typically scheduled for March. On September 25th, we will celebrate the Feast of Tishri, and October 10th and 11th will be our Fall Reunion. As a reminder, now is the time to get with those Brothers you have been talking with about the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, to submit their petitions and join those from what would have been our Spring class in becoming a 32° Master of the Royal Secret.
Until next time, remember the many things for which you are thankful! Be safe in your travels; “whisper wise counsel in the ear of an erring brother;” and respect the dignity of all, as it makes you and our fraternity stronger one action at a time. We want to ensure that what we are enjoying today will be strong for those who will follow. Simply stated – “We lead the way today, so those who follow us can lead the way tomorrow!” Thanks for your continued support and participation; and may the “Spirit of Fraternity” reign supreme within our “Valley of Orlando!”
Ill. Chester A. “Chet” King, 33°
“People forget what you say, and forget what you do, but forever remember how you make them feel!”