Hello, My Brothers all:
Please see the letter from our Sovereign Grand Commander James D. Cole 33°, which is included in this edition of the eNews. I offer my thanks as did our Grand Commander for your continued support of the Valley Membership Achievement Project (VMAP) in 2020. In 2021 this has been enhanced program since its beginning in 2017, now focusing on three categories of membership – Retention and Engagement; Restoration and Reinstatement; and Recruitment. In addition, it also focuses on Community Involvement and The Reunion Experience.
These three primary categories of membership allow us to obtain and retain members, work with our senior members in maintaining their membership in the Rite, and welcome back those members who might have wandered away from the flock and would like to re-engage.
The Reunion Experience is something we have been focused on for many years and are always looking for additional participants in the degrees. The category of Community Involvement speaks for itself and allows us to take our message out to those who are not members and recognize the contribution of non-members in their community.
A special note…. This is the 500th edition of the eNews and special thanks goes to all those who have contributed over this period, but particularly Ill. Ron Blaisdell, our editor, who diligently ensures the eNews, including the several special editions he prepares, comes to you on the 1st and 15th of every month and is filled with information which keeps you updated on what is taking place in the Valley or Orlando.
As previously indicated, we are planning for a spring and fall reunion. This past weekend we held a planning meeting with Degree Masters and support committees to ensure we are ready to welcome new Master Masons into the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, in the Valley of Orlando on the 10th and 11th of April. I would request that each Degree Master of degrees conferred at our Spring Reunion, continue preparing. We want to ensure we are raising the bar and delivering a quality experience to those Master Masons who have chosen to join us.
Our March stated meeting was our “Ceremony of Remembrance and Renewal” and allowed us to honor those Brothers who have served our fraternity, especially the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and who were called to the Celestial Lodge above during the 2020 year. Thanks to the team who conducted this special program, and our Organist Ill. Brother Jim Hamilton… thank you all!
Mark your calendars, the April 23rd mtg meeting will be an open meeting with updated Double Eagle award presentations. The May 28th meeting will be tyled with the Council of Kadosh conducting the meeting. To cap off the first six months of the year, our June 25th meeting will be open and feature “The Ring Ceremony” and the official visit of our Deputy Ill. Rick Hoover, 33°. Our Valley Trustee will have a detailed article in a future edition of the eNews concerning events for the June 25th visit from our Deputy.
We continue taking advantage of technology and the regular utilization of the Zoom video conference for Executive Committee meetings and will also utilize Zoom for the Master Craftsman study group that is starting up. Please do not wait, if you are interested in participating in this monthly study group, please contact Ill. Keith at the Valley office via GenSecOrl@gmail.com or 407-657-4550. He will ensure you are added to the mailing list and will receive all invites. Participating in a study group will not only enhance the Master Craftsman experience for each individual, but will also start the building of a fraternal friendship between those brothers who participate.
A quick reminder – Ill. James D. Cole, Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction, extended the courtesy of providing your dues card with your dues notice, fully expecting that you would make your dues payment without additional notice. This is just a reminder that if you have not paid your 2021 dues, please do so. It would be greatly appreciated as this is the largest source of income for our Valley.
Before I close, I again encourage you to read the Scottish Rite Journal when received. The Grand Commanders article always contains a message and call to action. Several improvements have been made such as “Bible Study for Freemasons,” a story of a historic figure from the past, “Chips from the Quarry,” and other articles and stories I hope you will find informative and educational. Check it out in the March/April edition and those that will follow.
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 reliable 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!”