Hello, My Brothers all:
Let me start by offering my thanks to all the brothers who participated in the Valley of Orlando spring reunion this past weekend. 15 Master Mason arrived on Saturday morning, most likely a bit uncertain on what the weekend had to offer. After receiving the appropriate degrees, they left late Sunday afternoon as 32° Masters of the Royal Secret. I congratulate those fifteen brothers who took the time and spent the weekend with us to gain a deeper understanding of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. I enjoyed meeting and talking with each of you and wish you an exciting and fulfilling journey through your participation in the A.A.S.R.. I am hope you will continue participating as time permits.
As I shared on Sunday, the “Ring Ceremony,” will take place on the 25th of June. I encourage each of you to join us with your Lady, for dinner and the official presentation of your patent and other items from your reunion weekend experience. Thanks, and welcome to the Valley of Orlando.
The group of new members from our Fall of ’20 Reunion Class, did a splendid job conferring the 8th degree. The assistance they were provided by Brother Mike Catello, a seasoned degree participant, who participates in several of the degrees got them started. Their confidence and desire to succeed created the success they enjoyed. Brother Kenneth M. Meier who assumed the role of King Solomon, and Brothers Becerra, Dolinski, Klienbach and Pehowie who participated in the degree, are on their way to participating and enjoying the reunion weekend. Thank you all for a job well done!
Please see the letter from our Sovereign Grand Commander James D. Cole 33°, which is included in this edition of the eNews. He offers up his thanks for our participating in the Valley Membership Achievement Program (VMAP) for the 2021 year. The program has been enhanced a bit from the original program that started in 2017 and now focuses 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. We will be making some adjustments and will make every effort to experience another successful year. 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… on April 1st, 2021 we shared the 500th edition of the eNews and special thanks goes to all those who have contributed over this period, but particularly Ill. Ron Blaisdell, 33° 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. This is how we communicate and keep you updated on what is taking place in the Valley or Orlando. However, Ill. Ron has become involved with many other responsibilities and is looking to transition the eNews to a new editor. If you would be interested in assuming this role and the associated responsibilities, please let Ill. Keith our General Secretary know by calling him at the Valley office 407-657-4550 or via eMail GenSecOrl@gmail.com. Your participation as the editor of this widely circulated newsletter would be greatly appreciated.
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.
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!”