199th Grand Lodge Annual Communication Special Announcement FAQ

Click HERE for the full PDF

Because of limitations imposed upon us by local health department regulations we do not believe that it will be possible for everyone to attend the 199th Annual Communication. We also do not wish to require attendance during this pandemic for those who would prefer not to attend. Therefore, lodges will be exempt from all requirements to have a representative in attendance at the 199th Annual Communication.

Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of the State of Missouri
199th Annual Communication
Monday, September 21, 2020, at 10 a.m.
Holiday Inn Executive Center – Columbia, Missouri

Invitation to Submit an Attendance Request

The 199th Annual Communication will be held on a single day to allow attendees the ability to attend and return home in the same day. The Annual Communication will include the presentation of, and voting on, the Grand Master’s Address; election of officers; election of the Masonic Home Board, and legislation. No awards will not be presented at the Annual Communication this year. They will be presented at upcoming Area Meetings or other appropriate venues.

In order to attend the 199th Annual Communication, you must log on to the Grand Lodge portal and complete the Attendance Request. (Instructions are below.) We will use the Attendance Requests that are submitted to compile a list of those Brethren desiring to attend and a selection of attendees will be made from this list. The selection of attendees will be prioritized to include a randomized selection of sitting Masters of lodges from all regions of the state, and then proxies and other representatives of lodges so that as many lodges are represented as possible.

PLEASE NOTE: The Attendance Request is NOT a registration. Filling out the form does not automatically guarantee you a spot at the Annual Communication. Attendance Requests can only be made through the portal and Brethren are urged to assist individuals who might not have access to the portal.

It is expected that applicants will be notified regarding the results of the selection process on or before September 13, 2020. Notification will be via email and will include further details and seating assignments.

Attendance records and seating assignments are critical in maintaining health department regulations. Consequently, no one will be allowed to attend the 199th Annual Communication who has not submitted an Attendance Request through the portal and was selected to attend. Individual requests to not use the portal cannot be supported.

Attendance is limited to voting members of Grand Lodge, i.e. Masters, Wardens, and Past Masters of Missouri lodges. There will be no room for guests from other jurisdictions, nor for non-voting Master Mason. There are no extraneous activities planned for wives or ladies for this year, and there will not be a hospitality room. Dues cards, vendors, and the Grand Lodge office staff will not be present and the Masonic Complex will be closed.

Keep in mind that, if you are selected to attend, you will be expected to abide by all of the social distancing rules mandated at that time, including, but not limited to, the wearing of face masks and maintaining a physical distance from each other. If you are unwilling to do so, you will be asked to leave. Also, by submitting a request, you agree to hold the Grand Lodge of Missouri harmless should you be exposed to, or contract COVID-19 or any other condition, if you attend the Annual Communication. If you feel you cannot abide by such rules, please do not request attendance so that others may attend.

Though Annual Communication will look different than it has in the past, we hope to greet as many of you as we can. One thing is for sure, it will be an Annual Communication that no one will forget.

MWB Stanton T. Brown, II
Grand Master 2019-2020

Request to Attend Instructions

1) Go to the Grand Lodge website.

2) Log on via the button, “Member Portal”.

3) Click “My Portal” at the top of the screen.

4) Click on last tile, “Request to Attend 2020 Annual Communication”.

5) Read the document, scroll down, and click the button at the bottom.

6) The screen will change back to the portal, and a pale green bar will appear with “Request Submitted”. You have now submitted your request to attend.

FAQ

1)        Q: Will the Grand Lodge Annual Communication be live streamed?

           A: No. Missouri does not allow a tiled meeting to be live-streamed,
           and the Grand Lodge is no exception. The installation will not be
           tiled, so plans are currently moving ahead to have the installation
           live-streamed.

2)        Q: If a Lodge has an installation between now and the Grand Lodge
            Annual Communication, which officers should submit a make a
            Request to Attend?

            A: All Missouri Master Masons are eligible to submit a Request to
            Attend.

Priority will be given to sitting Worshipful Masters, as of the date of the Annual Communication, on September 21, 2020.

For further questions and support, please email: requests@momason.org

199th Grand Lodge Annual Communication Special Announcement

Click here to download the PDF

Because of limitations imposed upon us by local health department regulations we do not believe that it will be possible for everyone to attend the 199th Annual Communication. We also do not wish to require attendance during this pandemic for those who would prefer not to attend. Therefore, lodges will be exempt from all requirements to have a representative in attendance at the 199th Annual Communication.

Grand Lodge of A.F. & A.M. of the State of Missouri
199th Annual Communication
Monday, September 21, 2020, at 10 a.m.

Invitation to Submit an Attendance Request

The 199th Annual Communication will be held on a single day to allow attendees the ability to attend and return home in the same day. The Annual Communication will include the presentation of, and voting on, the Grand Master’s Address; election of officers; election of the Masonic Home Board, and legislation. No awards will not be presented at the Annual Communication this year. They will be presented at upcoming Area Meetings or other appropriate venues.

In order to attend the 199th Annual Communication, you must log on to the Grand Lodge portal (momason.org) and complete the Attendance Request. (Instructions are below.) We will use the Attendance Requests that are submitted to compile a list of those Brethren desiring to attend and a selection of attendees will be made from this list. The selection of attendees will be prioritized to include a randomized selection of sitting Masters of lodges from all regions of the state, and then proxies and other representatives of lodges so that as many lodges are represented as possible.

PLEASE NOTE: The Attendance Request is NOT a registration. Filling out the form does not automatically guarantee you a spot at the Annual Communication. Attendance Requests can only be made through the portal and Brethren are urged to assist individuals who might not have access to the portal.

It is expected that applicants will be notified regarding the results of the selection process on or before September 13, 2020. Notification will be via email and will include further details and seating assignments.

Attendance records and seating assignments are critical in maintaining health department regulations. Consequently, no one will be allowed to attend the 199th Annual Communication who has not submitted an Attendance Request through the portal and was selected to attend. Individual requests to not use the portal cannot be supported.

Attendance is limited to voting members of Grand Lodge, i.e. Masters, Wardens, and Past Masters of Missouri lodges. There will be no room for guests from other jurisdictions, nor for non-voting Master Mason. There are no extraneous activities planned for wives or ladies for this year, and there will not be a hospitality room. Dues cards, vendors, and the Grand Lodge office staff will not be present and the Masonic Complex will be closed.

Keep in mind that, if you are selected to attend, you will be expected to abide by all of the social distancing rules mandated at that time, including, but not limited to, the wearing of face masks and maintaining a physical distance from each other. If you are unwilling to do so, you will be asked to leave. Also, by submitting a request, you agree to hold the Grand Lodge of Missouri harmless should you be exposed to, or contract COVID-19 or any other condition, if you attend the Annual Communication. If you feel you cannot abide by such rules, please do not request attendance so that others may attend.

Though Annual Communication will look different than it has in the past, we hope to greet as many of you as we can. One thing is for sure, it will be an Annual Communication that no one will forget.

Barry V. Cundiff

Request to Attend Instructions

1) Go to the Grand Lodge website: momason.org

2) Log on via the button, “Member Portal”.

3) Click “My Portal” at the top of the screen.

4) Click on last tile, “Request to Attend 2020 Annual Communication”.

5) Read the document, scroll down, and click the button at the bottom.

6) The screen will change back to the portal, and a pale green bar will appear with “Request Submitted”. You have now submitted your request to attend.

For questions and support, please email: requests@momason.org

Indefinite Extension of Closure Edict – 8/27/2020

Read full PDF here

To all Missouri Freemasons

I am including herewith an extension of my edict which was set to expire on September 1, 2020 with regard to restrictions intended to ensure the safety and health of our membership.  I am issuing this edict maintaining the current restrictions, however, without an expiration date which will allow us to rescind it at any time as circumstances may dictate.  I am also including allowances for the requirement for lodge representation at our annual communication and allowing an extension of time for completion of the degrees since none can be conferred until further notice.

I have had many requests to allow a resumption of conferrals of degrees however, I cannot in good conscience allow that to happen yet.  The average age of the Master Masons in the State of Missouri is 64.04 years.  Each of you has a choice to make regarding your own personal safety.  That is up to you and is your right.  I will not however, allow your right to exercise your personal choices to put at risk the lives of other members.  I have the weight of approximately 30,000 men whose welfare I need to try to protect.  I cannot sanction activities that may compromise another Mason’s health if it can be mitigated by practicing safe and prudent measures.  I have been in constant contact with the Grand Lecturer in trying to find ways that will allow us to safely resume degree conferrals and to continue to comply with all the different requirements throughout the State.  He has worked diligently trying to find a way to allow it to happen but he has not developed a plan that can continue to emphasize the lessons those degrees are intended to convey and still comply with safe practices and mandated rules.  While I understand there are locations within the State that have had no deaths and few infections, there are no counties in this State that have not had at least one case.  As much as I would like to accommodate various regions, I must have consistent rules throughout the State regarding ritual and compliance with my edicts.

I pray for your continued support and understanding during these difficult times. 

May God bless and keep us all safe.
Stanton T. Brown II
Grand Master 2019-2020

EDICT: August 26, 2020

TO: All Missouri Masons under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Missouri

WHEREAS, on March 11, 2020, I, as Grand Master, issued an Edict authorizing subordinate lodges to cancel or postpone stated or special communications for the purpose of preventing or limiting the exposure of officers and members to infectious diseases, and

WHEREAS, on March 25, 2020, I, as Grand Master, issued an Edict suspending all lodge meetings, masonic community events and degree work through April 24, 2020; and

WHEREAS, on April 24, 2020, that Edict was modified to authorize subordinate lodges to hold communications under certain restrictions, including restricting attendance at such communications to resident members; and

WHEREAS, on June 26, 2020, that Edict was modified to allow attendance by non-resident members and extended through September 1, 2020; and

WHEREAS, it has become necessary to extend these Edicts past the date of the Annual Communication of this Grand Lodge; and

WHEREAS, equity requires the alleviation of certain requirements otherwise imposed on subordinate lodges with respect to attendance at the Annual Communication of this Grand Lodge; and

WHEREAS, equity further requires the tolling of requirements for the presentation of candidates for the degrees and advancement;

Under the authority of Section 2.010(k) of the By-Laws of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Missouri as Grand Master, I hereby issue the following Edict:

  • A. The Edict issued on June 26, 2020 and all restrictions therein, including prohibitions regarding degree conferral, with the exception of performing ceremonies and social events, shall remain in full force and effect until and unless modified or rescinded by Order of a this or any future Grand Master.
  • B. Any lodge having previously received dispensation to cancel stated communications pursuant to the Edict issued March 11, 2020 may, at the discretion of the Master, extend such cancellations without further dispensation until modification or rescission of this Edict.
  • C. Any subordinate lodge which is not represented at the 199th Annual Communication and whose functions would be suspended pursuant to Section 7.230(c) of the Grand Lodge By-Laws for failure to attend two consecutive annual communications is hereby granted a “good cause” waiver of representation pursuant to Section 7.230(d).
  • D. All requirements for presentation for initiation or advancement pursuant to Sections 15.150 and 15.160 are hereby declared tolled effective March 11, 2020 and shall remain so tolled until the modification or recission of this Edict and such tolling period shall not count towards such one and five year presentation requirements.

Updated Edict 6/26/2020

Brethren, an updated edict from MWB Stanton T. Brown II, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Missouri:

Read the full PDF here

EDICT: June 26, 2020

TO: All Missouri Masons under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Missouri

WHEREAS, on March 25, 2020, I, as Grand Master, issued an Edict suspending all lodge meetings, masonic community events and degree work through April 24, 2020; and

WHEREAS, on April 24, 2020, that Edict was modified to authorize subordinate lodges to hold communications under certain restrictions, including restricting attendance at such communications to resident members; and

WHEREAS, circumstances are such that the restriction on attendance to resident members may be lifted;

THEREFORE, under the authority of Section 2.010(k) of the By-Laws of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Missouri as Grand Master, the Edict issued on April 24, 2020 is hereby modified and superseded as follows:

A. All lodges desirous of meeting may only do so to the extent the same is otherwise allowed by the laws, ordinances and regulations of the city, county or other political subdivision in which the lodge hall is located;

B. All meetings so held shall be conducted in a manner which complies with all laws, regulations, requirements and guidelines of the State of Missouri and any city, county or other political subdivision in which the lodge hall is located;

C. All meetings so held shall further be conducted in a manner which complies with all recommendations of the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with respect to physical distancing and sanitation practices;

D. All meetings so held shall be considered open to all members of the lodge, members of other subordinate lodges of this jurisdiction, and members of any lodge in another Grand Jurisdiction which is in fraternal relationship with this Grand Lodge so long as the total attendance at the meeting shall comply with the remainder of this Edict in respect to physical distancing and local regulations;

E. The Master of the lodge may, his discretion, direct that all in attendance at such meetings wear facial coverings as recommended by the CDC, provided, however, that no one in attendance may be prohibited from wearing a facial covering at his election;

F. Notwithstanding Section 7.060 of the Grand Lodge By-Laws, all meetings shall be conducted in the First Degree of Freemasonry so as to comply with all social distancing guidelines in the practice of Masonic Ritual;

G. No degree conferral, ceremony, education or other business that cannot be conducted in a manner that complies with the above requirements may be conducted by the lodge. Any lodge in violation of this portion of the Edict shall be subject to Masonic Discipline, including but not limited to suspension of its functions;

Notwithstanding the above, the Edict issued March 11, 2020 allowing subordinate lodges to cancel or postpone stated communications at the discretion of the Master when the purpose of said cancelation or postponement is to prevent or limit the exposure of officers and members of the subordinate lodge to coronavirus or some other such infectious or contagious disease of a similar nature remains in full force and effect through September 1, 2020 and all dispensations issued pursuant to that Edict remain in full force and effect.

This Edict shall remain in full force and effect until otherwise modified by further Order of the Grand Master.

Joint Unity Statement From The Grand Lodges of Missouri

Click HERE for the full PDF

The State of Missouri is suffering as are many states in our country. Unfortunately, it is not the first time there has been strife due to the inequitable application of human rights and varying treatments of various groups within our state and country. Those inequities are profoundly contrary to the principles of our Order.

Our State has experienced social unrest in major cities on multiple occasions over the years and we are saddened that the issues that precipitated the unrest have not yet been fully resolved. Inequitable treatment and racial tensions are not just limited to the urban areas of our State and we must recognize the inequities where they exist and attempt to eliminate them through legal means as quickly as possible. While we recognize that there must be changes made to our legal system, the true path to restoration, equality, and healing starts with individual mindsets and proper actions.

We all know that the principles of our Masonic Fraternity can go a long way towards assuring equality and fostering the respect that is due every person of the human family when properly applied. Through exercising and practicing the masonic principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth and acknowledging that we are all created by God and therefore equal in his eyes, we cannot waiver from these principles and be considered true Freemasons. Freemasonry unites men of every race, country, sect, and opinion and conciliates true friendship among those who might have otherwise remained at a perpetual distance. It is our duty as a fraternity to influence those within our ranks to make decisions that help contribute to the repairing of the various broken systems that plague our communities.

Our respective Grand Lodges have a long and rich history in the State of Missouri which we need to share with each other and the world. Nearly 20 years ago, our Grand Lodges acknowledged, by resolution, that we are both respected and valid Grand Lodges inhabiting the same geographical area and we have worked diligently on expanding our joint activities and relationships. Our members and our respective Grand Lodges are so much more enriched because of our love and the respect we share for one another.

The death of George Floyd is a tragedy. Our members are free to make their own decisions as to what should be considered justice in this situation and while we acknowledge that we live in an imperfect world, we stand united in our strong belief that the foundations of our moral system can and must bridge the chasm that divides our state and country right now. Each member of our order is free to vote and express himself without interference from our Grand Lodge and we pray that how you choose to express yourself will be tempered with compassion and understanding for the entire human race.

We call upon all peoples of our state to not fall victim to racism, hatred or contribute to destructive expressions for the lack of progress. And to our members, be ever mindful that we are one Brotherhood and we should always be our brother’s keeper. United we will stand. Now, henceforth, and forever.

It is our ardent desire that we bond together as brothers to make our world a more just and honorable place.

May the God of Love and Peace delight to dwell with and bless you.

DAY OF REMEMBRANCE

DAY OF REMEMBRANCE

In May, 1868, after several years of various parts of our country taking time to honor and remember the veterans of the civil war by spreading flowers over the graves of casualties of that war, a national movement took hold and the first national day of remembrance was held. At the time it was called Decoration day but over time has been dubbed Memorial Day. It became a National holiday effective in 1971 and was designated as being celebrated on the last Monday in May. May was originally chosen because May of each year is the most prolific for blooming flowers.

As the Memorial Day holiday approaches and we try to find time during this national pandemic to gather together as best we can and as has become our tradition, let us pause and reflect on the purpose of this holiday. A portion of the ceremony that was developed to honor our masonic brothers who chose to serve our country in the military, mentions several things that are moving and should be remembered during this holiday.

“WHILE THIS SERVICE MAY HAVE BEEN IN A TIME OF WAR OR A TIME OF PEACE, IT HAS BEEN THROUGH THEIR LOVE, LOYALTY AND ZEALOUS SENSE OF DUTY THAT WE MAY CONTINUE TO LIVE TOGETHER FREELY AND HONORABLY.

NO MATTER WHICH BRANCH THEY SERVED IN, WHATEVER THEIR JOB PATH, OR HOW MANY YEARS THEY SERVED, RAISING THEIR HAND AND COMMITTING THEMSELVES TO SERVICE IN THE MILITARY WAS A BRAVE AND SELFLESS ACT.

NOW, AS WE PAY TRIBUTE TO THOSE BROTHER WHO SO GALLANTLY SERVED OUR COUNTRY, LET US NEVER FORGET THE SACRIFICES HE AND HIS FAMILY MADE TO PRESERVE THE FREEDOMS OF THIS GREAT NATION.

HELP US TO REMEMBER THAT THE FREEDOMS WE ENJOY IN THIS GREAT COUNTRY DID NOT COME WITHOUT COST, THAT OUR BROTHERS AND THE MEN AND WOMEN LIKE THEM PAID FOR THEM WITH THEIR BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS.”

During your holiday activities, take time to close your eyes, take several deep breaths and contemplate, reflect and concentrate on exactly what this date means and the sacrifices made on our behalf. Then say a prayer for the families and loved ones who still suffer the loss of a loved one and REMEMBER.

May God bless and protect each of you and our great nation.

Fraternally

Stanton T. Brown, II
Grand Master

EDICT 4.24.20 from MWB Stanton T. Brown, II Grand Master

Brethren,

Please refer to the attached EDICT (4.24.20) from MWB Stanton T. Brown, II, Grand Master.

This message is sent by widest dissemination by the Grand Lodge of Missouri to all Members due to the critical nature of the situation.

This is to be shared as practicle to include Social Media outlets and to be read and posted at the Lodge at the next stated communication.

Sincerely and Fraternally,
Jeffrey S. Pennington
Grand Secretary

Read the Full PDF Here

EDICT April 24, 2020

TO: All Missouri Masons under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Missouri

Whereas, on March 25, 2020, I, as Grand Master, issued an Edict suspending all lodge meetings, masonic community events and degree work through April 24, 2020; and

Whereas, the State of Missouri has issued a “Stay At Home” Order through May 3, 2020; and

Whereas, other governmental jurisdictions have issued “Stay At Home” regulations extending through later dates; and Whereas, public health authorities have issued recommendations relating to the conduct of meetings held following the expiration of said orders and regulations,

THEREFORE, under the authority of Section 2.010(k) of the By-Laws of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Missouri as Grand Master, I hereby issue the following additional Edict, effective immediately:

A. The Edict issued March 25, 2020 is hereby extended in full until May 3, 2020:
B. All lodges desirous of meeting may only do so to the extent the same is otherwise allowed by the laws, ordinances and regulations of the city, county or other political subdivision in which the lodge hall is located;
C. All meetings so held shall be conducted in a manner which complies with all laws, regulations, requirements and guidelines of the State of Missouri and any city, county or other political subdivision in which the lodge hall is located;
D. All meetings so held shall further be conducted in a manner which complies with all recommendations of the United States Centers for Disease Control with respect to face coverings, hand sanitation, and disease mitigation protocols;
E. Notwithstanding Section 7.060 of the Grand Lodge By-Laws, all meetings shall be conducted in the First Degree of Freemasonry so as to comply with all social distancing guidelines in the practice of Masonic Ritual;
F. No degree conferral, ceremony, education or other business that cannot be conducted in a manner that complies with the above requirements may be conducted by the lodge.

It is further recommended that attendance at all meetings be limited to resident members of the lodge so as to comply with social distancing and public gathering size recommendations.

Notwithstanding the above, the Edict issued March 11, 2020 allowing subordinate lodges to cancel or postpone stated communications at the discretion of the Master when the purpose of said cancelation or postponement is to prevent or limit the exposure of officers and members of the subordinate lodge to coronavirus or some other such infectious or contagious disease of a similar nature remains in full force and effect through September 1, 2020 and all dispensations issued pursuant to that Edict remain in full force and effect.

This Edict shall remain in full force and effect until otherwise modified by further Order of the Grand Master.

Stanton T. Brown, II
Grand Master

Grand Lodge Office To Be Closed To All Visitors

In the last 2 weeks since my Edict was issued and my subsequent announcements concerning the issues arising from the outbreak and spreading of the COVID-19 coronavirus, it seems that we know very little more concerning the long-term ramifications of this disease or how long we will have to deal with it.

What is apparent is that it is continuing to spread and still no true explanation of how communicable it is and by what method it is transmitted.

In view of the recommendations of the CDC, WHO, city, county, and State governments as well as multiple health experts and in consideration of the inherent risks involved with close contact with the general public, I am ordering that effective immediately, the Grand Lodge Office be closed to all visitors until further notice.  When there are clear and verifiable indications that the risk of infection has been controlled and abated, we will reassess the need for limiting access to the Grand Lodge office location.

The Grand Lodge staff and all personnel will continue to function and conduct all business as prescribed by our by-laws and by our obligation and commitment to serving the craft members and lodges.  Instead of face to face interactions during this time, all business will be conducted by telephone, emails or other forms of electronic communications.

It is at times like this that allow us to refocus on what is truly important and to remember the welfare of our brothers and their families.  Take this opportunity to reflect on our obligations to each other and check on ones you haven’t heard from for a while, especially our elderly members and widows.

I believe that this action is consistent with our commitment to each other and is in the best interest of all concerned.  Your patience and understanding during this trying time is requested and is greatly appreciated.

Fraternally Yours,
Stanton T. Brown II
Grand Master 2019-2020