The North Carolina Mason

July/August 2020

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Page 11 The North Carolina Mason July/August 2020 Lodges honored with 2020 Lodge of Excellence Award Twenty-six lodges have qualified as a 2020 Lion and Pillar Lodge of Excellence this year, including 17 that achieved Platinum status. The program, which began three years ago and was designed to honor lodges that actively promoted the Masonic tenets of brotherly love, relief and truth. Requirements were announced, then updated with more virtual-based require- ments, such as watching NCMF videos, checking out each charity's website, etc., in April when the coronavirus pandemic forced lodges to go dark for months. Here are Lion and Pillar lodge honorees for 2020: ❍Albemarle 703 ❍Ashlar 765 ❍Cleveland 202 ❍Granite 191 ❍Mingo 206 ❍Shallotte 727 ❍Statesville 27 ❍Stokes 32 ❍West Bend 434 PLATINUM ❍Bula 409 ❍Cannon Memorial 626 ❍Carthage 181 ❍Clemmons 755 ❍Hibriten 262 ❍William G. Hill 218 ❍Thomas M. Holt 492 ❍Kenly 257 ❍Kilwinning 64 ❍Lux Libertas 772 ❍Mount Holly 544 ❍Oxford 122 ❍Pilot 493 ❍Semper Fidelis 680 ❍Steele Creek 737 ❍Wilmington 319 ❍Zion 81 In the world we live in these days, nobody is really sure what will happen next week, much less next month. Which is why there are, at this writing, at least three plans of action to ensure this year's Annual Communication happens and that necessary work gets done. With the coronavirus surging in late July and Gov. Roy Cooper extending Phase II into early August, the final word on how Annual Communication will be held will come to brothers via their District Deputy Grand Master, email and Facebook. If the virus suddenly disappears and all restrictions are dropped, the event would run as usual. But it's probably a safe bet that things will not run as they usually do; in fact, most lodges already are seeking spaces in each district where brothers can meet to attend the meeting virtually. If restrictions on the number of people allowed to gather in one space continues, lodges may hear more about a plan to ask each lodge to designate one brother to attend, carrying proxies from the other two brothers. It may also be possible that not all of the code amendments will get a vote; organizers hope to carry out all business in one day – Friday, Sept. 25. In any case, the plan calls for votes to be held on Grand Line officers and the new budget, no matter what. Grand Master Shaun Bradshaw has said he considers election of the next Grand Master and officers to be important to the continuity of Masonry going forward. Virtual Annual Communication may be in the cards; amendments listed AMENDMENT GROUP 1 Allows election of Finance Committee Chairman to occur prior to installation of Grand Lodge Officers. AMENDMENT GROUP 2 Requires lodges to fully insure their property per NC law. AMENDMENT GROUP 3 Allows members who reside outside the state to serve on Boards, Commissions, and Committees. AMENDMENT GROUP 4 Establishes additional qualifications for Grand Lodge Officers. AMENDMENT GROUP 5 Allows lodges to vote on petitions collectively. AMENDMENT GROUP 6 Increase the size of the Committee on Special Activities to five members. AMENDMENT GROUP 7 Allows a lodge, if it wanted to, to open and conduct business on First Degree. AMENDMENT GROUP 8 Resolves conflict in the Code concerning motions to close debate in a subordinate lodge. AMENDMENT GROUP 9 Requires consolidating lodges to transfer real property before consolidation is complete. AMENDMENT GROUP 10 Refines and restructures endowed memberships. AMENDMENT GROUP 11 Creates recognition "Chaplain of Distinction." ñ Ò _ $ Ï & $ a P ? p By Rev. Mark M. Vickers Grand Chaplain The heat is mounting, the humidity is on the rise, and I knew if I waited long enough, baseball is on the horizon! So often, in times of crisis and uncer- tainty we look toward the familiar and the comfortable. Our lives have been turned upside down by COVID-19, social injustice, the delay of annual meetings and get togethers, lodge meetings have been on hold and we all suffer from what I call "brother loss" – that time we yearn for brotherly togetherness, conversation around the dining table, and the rich work of ritual. We are dealing with being different. As Masons, I want to suggest that we are always different! Different in the fact that we are all living lives that take us into different areas, different vocations, and different social circles. That is how we make a difference. So often we desire to be comfortable, unchanging, and with no riff. I would like to suggest that it is the "being different" that makes us good Masons. If we examine scripture, both Jewish and Christian, we see that those "selected" by the Almighty were once comfortable but when set to work, the discomfort set in, yet the work continued. The disciples, the Old Testament prophets, all were comfortable people at one time, but when selected to go to work, it became a bit uncomfortable. As Masons we are instructed to be "at work" all the time. Not just when we are comfortably sitting in a lodge room but when we are called on to help the widow, the distraught brother, the brother who may not see things exactly as we do, or the brother who doesn't even look like us. When the world cries out for help, will our work continue? PRAYER: Grand Architect, may we be changers in this world. Seeking to do right, seeking to reach out, and seeking to care for those around us. In all that we say, in all that we do. SMIB. AMEN. CHAPLAIN'S CORNER

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