The Web site has a new, important feature. The Civility Project now has its own page, which can be found by selecting “Programs,” and then “Civility Project” from the pull-down menu.
The Civility Project has never been needed more than today’s tumultous times. For a glimpse, please read the letter from WB Dave Meltz, the Civility Ambassador to the Grand Lodge of South Dakota, which is excerpted here:
During these trying times of the global pandemic, aggravated by political and social unrest; I implore you to reaffirm and solidify the CHARGE (entrusted with duty and responsibility) each of us received and agreed to abide by as newly initiated Entered Apprentices: “To your neighbor, in acting upon the SQUARE, and doing unto him as you wish he should do unto you”, “In the state you are to be a quiet and peaceful subject, true to your government and just to your country. You are NOT to countenance disloyalty or rebellion, but patiently submit to legal authority and conform with cheerfulness to the government of the country in which you live.”
Grand Master’s Edict Regarding Covid-19 (Updated Sept. 30)
From: MWB Jason D. Swindler, Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota
To: All Masonic Lodges and all Freemasons under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota
The original edict that was issued on July 13, 2020, will expire September 30, 2020. I have decided to allow further decisions on COVID-19 guidelines to be made by each individual Lodge under the direct guidance of the Master of that Lodge. I believe that each Lodge can decide what is best practice for conducting meetings and degree work. We are all aware of the guidelines and recommendations the CDC has provided. I believe it is worth repeating that it is everyone’s responsibility to use our best judgement to keep the the Brothers and families of Masons protected from the spread of COVID-19 in our Jurisiction.
The following are the recommendations for Lodges that are comfortable with opening and holding a Stated meeting or conducting Degree work. If your Lodge is located in a part of the State where there are increased cases of COVID-19 please use good Masonic common sense and judgment. If you are experiencing symptoms (i.e. fever, cough, shortness of breath, dizziness, etc.) please STAY HOME! Masons in the high-risk category are the sole decision makers whether or not to attend Lodge.
BEGINNING OCTOBER 1, 2020, THE RECOMMENDATIONS FOR REGULAR STATED MEETINGS AND CONDUCTING DEGREE WORK ARE AS FOLLOWS:
1. Regular Stated Lodge meetings will be allowed:
- Contact your District Master and inform him of intention to hold regular stated meetings. (REQUIRED).
- Lodges may open in any Degree
- A “social” (physical) distance of 6 feet must be maintained.
- Any Brother required to be closer than 6 feet from another Brother is highly encouraged to wear a mask. Lodges are encouraged to provide masks or encourage Members to bring their own
- Hand sanitizer must be available in numerous places in the Lodge building including entrances and exits of the building and of the Lodge room(s)
- All restrooms must contain liquid hand soap
2. Conducting Degree work will be allowed with the following stipulations:
- Contact your District Master and inform him of intention to conduct degree work. (REQUIRED)
- All Candidates, Conductors (including the SD & JD) must wear masks for protection and use hand sanitizer before and after putting the mask on or taking it off
- Any Brother required to be closer than 6 feet from another Brother or Candidate must follow the same requirements
- Hand sanitizer must be used before and after each Section
- A “social” physical distance of 6 feet must be maintained by ALL others
As Grand Master I reserve the right to update this edict at any time if the need arises. I will continue to constantly monitor the COVID-19 situation in South Dakota.
Continue to search out Light, be the Light and shine your Light my Brothers.
Jason D. Swindler
Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota