March 23, 2020
To: All NH Master Masons
Updated Guidance on Meetings and Events
Further to the guidance I have previously provided while we deal with the COVID-19 virus, please be aware of the following updates.
On Monday, March 23, 2020, the Governor of the State of New Hampshire ordered a prohibition on scheduled gatherings of 10 or more attendees. Given this order, until further notice:
- You SHALL limit attendance at in-person
Masonic events in this Grand Jurisdiction to 10 or fewer attendees. Any in-person
meetings you conduct should only be for items that are deemed “essentially necessary”
for the Lodge to operate (i.e. necessary building maintenance, authorizing the
Secretary and Treasurer to pay bills, etc.).
- Regarding Masonic Funerals, do not ignore a request for a Masonic Memorial Service. Contact the family and provide the Lodge condolences as well as those of your own. Explain the restrictions we are bound by (10 or fewer members) and note that the funeral home may have further restrictions. If your Lodge can participate, abide by attendance restrictions and make your departed Brother proud. Consider offering the family an opportunity to come to a future Lodge meeting or more private event where you can properly honor your Brother when conditions improve.
Prior guidance was given to Worshipful Masters allowing them to cancel a Stated Communication of their Lodge and to postpone upcoming events. I encourage Worshipful Masters to exercise their authority in this regard for the foreseeable future.
I have received several inquiries from Lodges looking to hold electronic meetings/calls throughout this trying period. Here is my guidance for those meetings:
- Stated and Special Communications can only be held in a face-to-face meeting and are limited as noted above.
- Except for Tiled Lodge functions, Lodges can meet in an informal electronic setting (WebEx, conference call) to continue Masonic dialogue. No Masonic ritual is to be performed on the call/electronic meeting. Rather they are to be used for general Masonic discussion and education.
My Brethren, I encourage you to look for ways to stay in touch. Now more than ever is a great time to make a call and reach out to your Masonic members and your Special Ladies. If they need assistance, see what you or the Lodge can do to help. While many may be doing just fine, the simple act of a phone call helps demonstrate to them just how important they are to us.
Communication is one of the four pillars of my term as Grand Master and now more than ever it’s critical we show who we are as Freemasons. My brethren, I leave you with this important lesson from our Masonic ritual – Let the World Know How Masons Love One Another!