Facing the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak as Scottish Rite Masons
A Message from Sovereign Grand Commander James D. Cole, 33°
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,
Image: Tyler's Chair outside of the Temple Room, inscribed with the phrase, "KNOW THYSELF"