While I have stated this in the past; indulge me to state my gratitude once again. I find the 2020 term a unique privilege to serve the lodge, but I wish this formal update could be under happier circumstances.
Until the public authorities remove the state of emergency, the Temple will be closed. As such, this means that activities or meetings (Communications) will be postponed or canceled, as the case may be, for the foreseeable future. As W.M., I will explore what non-tiled meetings can
occur under our governing Masonic legal code: Article No. 16 of the Constitution of the Freemasons of Maryland, not to mention the by-laws of Mt. Moriah. That stated, certain work of the lodge, such as committee meetings, will occur virtually. To be clear, the Temple will be
closed until the public authorities remove the state of emergency.
As Masons and the families of Masons, it is important for us to be aware and to be prepared, but not to be alarmed. On or about March 3, 2020, the brothers and officers of Mt. Moriah Lodge No. 116 held a discussion of COVID-19 virus during the forum proportion of the regularly stated Communication. (This will be a regular segment of every Communication during my tenure in which any brother can express an idea, express a concern, or indeed, disputatiously express a point of view.) On or about March 6, 2020, The Maryland Governor declared a state of emergency, which enables State government to request additional resources and mutual assistance. Both the Governor and local authorities have encouraged or have issued follow-up restrictions on public schools and on public activities, such as prohibiting mass gatherings.
Recently, State and local government have temporarily ceased certain operations. As a result, the Maryland General Assembly will adjourn this forthcoming Wednesday; evidently convening in
late May, 2020. The Immediate Office of the President of the U.S. recently declared a national state of emergency. On March 15, 2020, the Holding Company, which includes me as a non-
voting member, met via telephone call; deciding that the Temple will be closed, until public authorities remove the state of emergency. In the best interest of the health and safety of members, considering that these are challenging times in which Americans live, the President declared Sunday, March 15, 2020, a National Day of Prayer.
As W.M., I can state that the hand of providence has been abundantly present in my life, including, during dark days or difficult days. In a non-sectarian sense, please join me in beseeching the hand of providence to protect all of the members, but more so, those who are ill
or those who may be particularly vulnerable because of age or because of compromised health status. I draw your attention to Philippians 4:6-7 that indicates in pertinent part, “not [to] be anxious about anything.” Specifically, this passage admonishes arguably the reader to avail
prayer and petition as sharp implements or sharp tools during dark times. In a secular sense, data increasingly shows prayer has a health benefit beyond any religious or spiritual value it may
hold. I request you to keep the team in your thoughts and prayers, such that the team may best serve you.
So, please join me in showing our larger civilian public what it means to be of fraternal spirit, of charitable spirit, and of a spirit of truth during this public health crisis. Our best days are still ahead. Please do not hesitate to telephone, if I may be of service.