The North Carolina Mason

March/April 2020

North Carolina Mason

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COVID-19 from page 2 March/April 2020 The North Carolina Mason Page 3 the market ups and downs. "Smart investing, prudent deci- sions and hands-on monitoring are keeping the endowment that helps fund our two beloved charities, scholarships, special Masonic funds and your lodge investments safe and secure," wrote board President Brother Mike Faulkenbury. "More- over, we are working closely with the board and staff of our homes – the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford and WhiteStone: A Masonic and Eastern Star Commu- nity – to assist as needed." While NCMF funding to both homes will continue as always, brethren are reminded that when this isolation ends, our homes will need help making up funds lost to fundraisers lodges hold every year. Donations will be welcome. North Carolina Masons weren't the only brethren canceling fund- raisers, closing lodges and heading home. At least 40 jurisdictions issued a similar order. Brother Chris Hodapp's blog outlines some of those orders, and links to a list that shows many juris- dictions worldwide have canceled Masonic activities for a finite period of a month or two, while others are indefinite. Check the list out at https:// BROTHERLY LOVE I ask that the officers of each lodge immediately work together to develop a communication and outreach program to check in with the brethren of their lodges. I would suggest dividing the membership roster of the lodge, as well as your widows list, amongst the officers so each officer can contact them on a weekly or bi-weekly basis and provide any assistance during this time of need. I would go further and encourage all of our members to check in with your neighbors, particularly if you are aware of anyone in your community who may be at higher risk if exposed to the virus. With the Governor's decision to close all K-12 schools, some of our neighbors (and members) with young children may need help as well. As individual Masons, let them know you are here to help by offering to go to the grocery store for them or volunteering to help with local food distribution groups like Backpack Beginnings or other volunteer programs. RELIEF Since the Governor issued Executive Order No. 117, which prohibits mass gatherings of 100 persons, many of our planned charitable fundraisers must be cancelled and postponed; however, the important work done by our charities must be sustained. As such, I would ask that each of my brethren consider making a donation to each of the charities equal to or greater than the amount they would spend at a lodge fundraiser or typically give through the fraternal box of assistance. (Eds. Note: You can donate to any of our charities online via TRUTH Although we aren't meeting together in our lodges, the need to contemplate Truth and Masonic Philosophy should not be diminished. Consider, at this time, what Freemasonry means to you and take the time you would have spent at lodge to learn a lecture or a new part in your Masonic ritual. Or perhaps read a book on a Masonic topic – one of my favorites is The Way of the Craftsman by Bro. Kirk MacNulty. Not sure how to continue being Masonic while stuck in isolation? Grand Master Shaun Bradshaw offers some suggestions for now and in the future Photo by Michael Harding

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