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.