Waco Scottish Rite

Ancient Ritual — Modern Brotherhood

Author: Ed Brown

An Update from the SGIG – Directive effective 19 May 2000

2020-05-19 COVID-19 Amended General Directives

The Supreme Council
MOTHER COUNCIL OF THE WORLD OF THE THIRTY-THIRD AND LAST DEGREE

Michael L. Wiggins, 33o Sovereign Grand Inspector General In Texas

ORIENT OF TEXAS

Emergency Directives For Distribution

UPDATED – 19 May 2020

As the Governor started the Open Texas program on May 1, much has changed regarding businesses that are allowed to operate and the types of activities that can be undertaken since COVID-19 restrictions began in March; however, social gatherings are highly discouraged or prohibited. In addition, health recommendations concerning COVID-19 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), directives from the State of Texas, various counties across the State, and the Grand Master of Masons in Texas have also been changing. In response, I am extending or modifying the current COVID-19 directives as follows.

Scottish Rite Stated Meetings: In an abundance of caution and in the best interest of our members’ health and safety, I am extending the directive to cancel all in-person Scottish Rite meetings of any kind through June 30, 2020. This directive applies to all Scottish Rite activities including Clubs, Degree Teams, Committees, Social Groups, etc. This information should be communicated to your membership immediately.

Reunions Postponed or Canceled: All Reunions and reunion-related activities to be held in the Orient of Texas are postponed or canceled through July 30, 2020. This includes group recruitment activities, degree practices, and degree conferral.

Scottish Rite Buildings: Our Scottish Rite Buildings may remain open subject to any local, county, state, or federal emergency declarations regarding COVID-19 public gatherings or activities related to Scottish Rite business; however, our buildings are to remain closed to the general public in response to recommendations of the CDC for public gatherings through June 30, 2020. Each Valley should closely monitor local directives from the State and County in which you operate as the governmental orders are varied with different expiration dates across the State.

• Masonic Related Organizations: Scottish Rite buildings may be opened for limited use by appendant bodies subject to proclamations or directives by the Grand Master or Presiding State Officer for that body AND governmental orders. All activities are limited to one general meeting/gathering area (lodge room for example) and restroom facilities. Catering or meal service is prohibited. Each visiting body is subject to governmental directives; is responsible for any citations or fines issued by a governmental authority; has the duty to see that all required and suggested health screening, sanitary, and social distancing measures are appropriately taken; and accepts all liability for the health and safety of its attendees.

• Third Parties: Actions by the Governor allow certain limited venue-type activities such as weddings and wedding receptions under various restrictions including facility limitations up to 25 percent of the meeting space occupancy. At this time, I am reluctant to allow this type of use prior to June 30, 2020; however, there may be certain situations where appropriate, subject to the Governor’s orders and the associated restrictions. Each Valley or building owner (through the Personal Representative and General Secretary) is allowed to determine if these activities are appropriate for their facility. If so, they may resume third-party events as of June 1, 2020 at their discretion. Each third-party event must satisfy all the health and safety guidance issued by the State and CDC and accept all liability for its event including any citations or fines issued by a governmental authority. Each building owner should closely monitor local directives from the State and County in which you operate as the governmental orders are varied with different expiration dates across the State.

Social Media – Virtual Meetings: While web-based platforms like Zoom, Skype, MS Teams, WebEx, and other such virtual meeting programs are useful for social gatherings, they are not appropriate for holding stated meetings, conducting business activities, or discussing esoteric topics due to the difficulty in providing internet security and preventing the rebroadcasting, recording, or posting of such meetings. Therefore, all “virtual” gatherings hosted by your Valley, committees, Clubs, or groups are prohibited except for social gatherings or educational programs where no esoteric work is used or discussed consistent with Grand Master’s Decision No. 2 that limits esoteric discussions. Further, educational meetings should be limited to verified active Texas Freemasons with participation through restricted access that must be monitored by a moderator with no recording of the proceedings. Such meetings, if held, must have the written permission of the Valley’s Personal Representative.

MLW 05-19-2020

SGIG COVID-19 Update April 24th

The following  Covid-19 directive is from the SGIG, Ill.: Michael Wiggins:


Brethren:

I trust each of you and your families are well and healthy as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. These are definitely trying times for our society in general and our Fraternity in particular. As our Nation and some States begin to consider options for “re-opening” activities, I thought it was important to update the COVID-19 directives that I issued on March 19 and revised on March 23. First, these directives are not being issued lightly and were based on recommendations by the CDC, our Governor, local governmental authorities, and our Grand Master. Next, I realize that each of our Valleys operate in different areas, has different practices, and are subject to different county and city authorities. I do not assume one shoe fits us all; however, I do believe that a unified approach to our Scottish Rite activities in Texas is best at this time. Finally, all my decisions in this matter are being driven by consideration for our membership, its demographic, and limiting the potential exposure and transmission of this virus through our membership and our local communities.

First, I have extended the cancellation/postponement of all reunion related activities through June 30, 2020. This essentially makes the Spring Reunion period mute for those Valleys who had not started or completed their Spring Reunions prior to my March 16th directives. I anticipate that we will complete the Spring Reunion cycle in conjunction with our Fall Reunions. However, with the strain of this unique period on our economy, I would not anticipate large reunion classes in the Fall but we might be surprised.

Second, I have extended the cancelation of all in-person Scottish Rite meetings through May 31, 2020. This is being done in an abundance of caution as I am sure our members will want to gather as soon as possible; however, I want to give plenty of time to be sure that our meetings are safe. All Valley business can be conducted with the consent of the Personal Representative, General Secretary, Treasurer, and Master of the Lodge of Perfection or presiding officer of any foundation, learning center, or library & museum, as appropriate.

Third, most of our Scottish Rite buildings will remain closed but they may open for limited Scottish Rite business subject to social distancing measures and the restrictions imposed by local authorities. Our buildings will remain closed to the public through May 31, 2020.

Fourth, I am providing initial directives on hosting virtual meetings in our Valleys. During this last week, I have been provided information related to three different Masonic-related virtual meetings that were recorded and then posted on public websites like u-tube, Facebook, etc. These meetings included esoteric work and/or very detailed discussions of our Masonic and Scottish Rite esoteric work. One of these virtual meetings occurred in Texas. Effective immediately, I am prohibiting all virtual Scottish Rite meetings except for social gatherings and limited educational meetings subject to the restrictions that are included in the attached directives. I realize that these instructions may be lacking but I have made my best effort to capture the need to maintain our “privacy” in these meetings.

I ask that you post the attached directives on your website and distribute them to your membership in an appropriate format. I appreciate your continued service to the Scottish Rite. If you have any questions regarding these updated directives or any matter, feel free to contact me.

Thanks.

Mike

Michael L. Wiggins, Ph.D., P.E.

2020-04-24 COVID-19 Amended General Directives

A Message from the Sovereign Grand Commander

During these times I ponder the phrase, “in this our dilemma, what shall we do?”

As Scottish Rite Masons, I encourage us all to be true to our obligations, living in the light of our personal faiths and remaining engaged in our communities.

While COVID-19 has brought Masonic activities and so much of our daily routine to an abrupt halt, or at a minimum severely changed our daily routines, we must calmly continue to help, aid, and assist. We must remain true to ourselves.

Perhaps not all of us can be physically out there on the front lines, but we can remain an anchor in our communities, a brotherhood of good men who continue to care and reach out in the methods available to us.

Please consider the following ideas, some of which I borrowed from the Grand Master of Virginia, Most Worshipful Douglas V. Jones, 33° as outlined in a recent letter to his membership:

  • Thank and encourage anyone you know who works on the “front line”: a healthcare worker, a first responder, or the truck driver who keeps the shelves stocked. Remember, our supply chain, from farmer to stock boy, is important. Send a card, an email, or perhaps have a restaurant deliver some food to them.
  • Shop for groceries or pick up prescriptions for Brothers, widows, or neighbors who cannot leave their home due to health considerations. You can simply get what they need and leave it on their doorstep.
  • Assist neighbors with needed yard work or other chores where exposure is limited.
  • Stay in touch by emails, telephone calls, cards, and letters and offer encouragement to your Brethren and those in your community who may not even know about Freemasonry.
  • Valleys may want to consider setting up a phone tree or using an existing one to communicate encouragement to our members.
  • Contact local officials to see if there is anything Scottish Rite Masons can do to help.
  • If your Valley has a message board in front of the building or a Facebook page, post something encouraging and uplifting for the community.

We are not only the oldest Fraternity in the world; we are also the one which has had the greatest impact on humanity.  We have made the world better because of who we are … a Brotherhood of men who have expressed a belief in the Supreme Being, by whatever name we may call Him, and what we do … live up to our promises to help, aid, and assist.

However dark the hour may become, let us share the light of our care, kindness, and compassion with others. We will make a difference. We can improve lives.

Listen to and support health and government officials, stay safe, and be as Masonic as possible. The world needs us.

Sincerely and fraternally,

Jim

SGIG Covid-19 Direcective

The following is from Ill. Michael Wiggins, SGIG for Texas:

Please read the directive linked above as an amendment to the directives that we issued last Monday. I have made the decision to cancel all Scottish Rite meetings of any kind through April 30 including clubs and other social gatherings. I did not make this decision lightly but with the best interests of our membership in mind. Also, be mindful of any orders or declarations made by your local governments. Plus, keep checking for guidance from the CDC regarding your activities. For example, Dallas County has issued a “shelter in place” order that is effective this evening subject to certain exemptions. As a result, we will be closing the Dallas Scottish Rite Cathedral as we are not an essential service. Your city or county may make these special orders and we should adhere to those orders. I will continue to review changes and recommendations by the CDC and follow instructions issued by our governmental authorities. If conditions change in the near future, I will make adjustments as appropriate. I trust that each of you and your family are healthy and taking appropriate action to maintain your health. I appreciate your understanding of these decisions and I look forward to things returning to normal in the near future. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

Thanks.

Michael L. Wiggins, Ph.D., P.E.

SGIG for Texas

Scottish Rite Reunion March 14, 2020

For additional information, contact Ill Rick Trogdon at 325-668-4724

Holly Tucker Concert

Due to the Covid-19 virus, this event has been slipped to May 29th, 2020

Holly Tucker is coming to Lee Lockwood March 28th. Questions? Contact Brenda Light at 254-754-3942 or email Brenda.Light@LeeLockwood.org

Be A Freemason Video

The Sovereign Grand Commander  Illustrious Brother James D. Cole, 33° has sent a message to all Scottish Rite Members asking them to help publicize a new website — http://www.beafreemason.org

If you have not received his email, here it is:

CLICK LINK FOR THE GRAND COMMANDER’S MESSAGE
https://vimeo.com/393968775/db87ee8209

As I mention in the video (link above), I need your help in spreading the word about BeAFreemason.org by sharing it on all your social media pages and mentioning the site to your friends and acquaintances who may be interested in becoming Masons. 

The new website will serve as a guide for men who are interested in becoming Masons and act as a referral service matching interested men with the Grand Lodge in their area.

Below you will find a link to BeAFreemason.org which I encourage you explore.  I would consider it a personal favor if you’d take a moment right now and mention that page on your own social media pages to help me spread the word about BeAFreemason.org.

Thanks for all you do for the Scottish Rite, and for the Craft. 

Fraternally,

© 2020 Waco Scottish Rite

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑