Announcement


Grand Master's Edict No. 5 - 29 June 2020

posted Jul 1, 2020, 12:50 PM by Alan Power   [ updated Jul 1, 2020, 12:50 PM ]

DATE: June 29, 2020
TO: All Masons in Nevada
EDICT NO. 5 — COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Brethren,

In respect of the authority of our Masters to govern their Lodges and in anticipation of our Governor's steps to begin recovery from Covid-19 by moving to Phase 3 on July 1, 2020, I am issuing this Edict No. 5.

During Phase 3, expected to begin July 1, 2020, Lodge Masters continue to have the discretion to cancel any meeting of their Lodge for the safety of its members. Cancellations of Stated Meetings due to Edicts 2-5 will not be considered a recess under NMC 4.230.

Members, including Lodge Officers, may not be penalized for failing to attend Lodge or other Masonic events due to concerns over their health or the health of others. If you cannot perform a Lodge duty, please be sure to let your Brothers know so that others may take your place where appropriate. I assure all Brothers that neither I nor any Masonic leader will feel slighted should you decide not to attend Lodge or a Masonic event.

All Brethren attending Lodge or other Masonic events should act as if every member is contagious, including themselves. I hereby Order that all members must always follow current Nevada recommended guidelines including wearing a face mask. Brethren should avoid all unnecessary physical contact, including shaking hands as a greeting. Greetings can be a slight bow and Deacons can nod to a known qualified Brother instead of collecting the pass. Degrees should otherwise follow our approved work with members and candidates taking care not to touch their face and thoroughly washing their hands at the earliest opportunity. Lodge furnishings and items used in Degrees, including candidate uniforms must be sanitized before and during each Degree for the safety of our candidates and members. Lodges should be opened on the First Degree whenever possible, including Stated Meetings, Official Visits and Called Communications, as long as the work performed can be done on that Degree.

While we are all anxious to get back to our Masonic work and fellowship please note that many Lodge By-laws designate July and August as dark months when Lodges are not permitted to hold Stated Meetings. Please also consider that any votes taken while some members are not attending for their own safety or due to social distancing limits may result in future concerns from those Brothers so avoid controversial votes when possible.

Finally, should Governor Sisolak extend Phase 2 into July, my prior Edict No. 4 will remain in effect, including the mandate to wear masks at all times, with one alteration. It is permissible to hold ballots or conduct other work providing common objects are sanitized between uses.

Thank you all for keeping to our principles during these trying times.
Fraternally,

Louis J Castle II                     Attest: David O Martinez, PGM

Grand Master                        Grand Secretary

REGC - Cancellation of Grand Sessions - 2020

posted Jun 4, 2020, 2:29 PM by Alan Power   [ updated Jun 4, 2020, 2:33 PM ]

June 3, 2020
TO: All Constituent Commanderies and all concerned:

Sir Knights, 

The 102nd Annual Conclave of the Grand Commandery, Knights Templar of Nevada rescheduled to be held on August 24, 2020 at the Texas Station has been cancelled. 

In consultation with the Grand Master of the Grand Encampment, the Grand Commandery elected officers and approval of the Jurisprudence Committee, and in agreement with the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Mason in Nevada and the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of Nevada it was determined that this is the best course of action to take for the health and safety of everyone who would be involved in our Grand Sessions. 

It is decided that the current line of Grand Commandery officers will retain their positions until the 2021 Grand Sessions which are now scheduled for June 13, 14, 15, 2021 at the Texas Station. Committee assignments remain the same, unless otherwise notified. All resolutions are considered resubmitted for the 2021 Grand Sessions. The Finance Committee will review the Grand Treasurers report and approve an operating budget for 2020-2021 submitted by the Grand Recorder for approval. An Official Visit schedule will be forthcoming. 

We did not take this action without considerable discussion and all of us in your Grand York Rite arrived at this result reluctantly but with the best interest of every Sir Knight in the jurisdiction of Nevada. 

Courteously,

SK Kevin McCans
R.E. Grand Commander 

SK Michael E. Reinhardt, PGC 
Grand Recorder

MIGM - Cancellation of Grand Sessions

posted Jun 4, 2020, 2:10 PM by Alan Power   [ updated Jun 4, 2020, 2:34 PM ]

June 3, 2020

TO: Constituent Councils of Nevada an all concerned:

The 92nd Annual Assembly of the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of Nevada, rescheduled to August 24, 2020 at the Texas Station is cancelled.

This decision was made in consultation with the Grand Officers, with the approval of the Jurisprudence Committee, and in cooperation with the Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter and the Grand Commander of Knights Templar in Nevada. This cancellation is due to the ongoing, and uncertain conditions that may exist come August. The Texas Station is not scheduled to open until September. In careful consideration for the health and safety of all our members this the best action.

The Grand Officer line will continue through to the next scheduled Grand Assembly on June 14, 2021 to be held at the Texas Station. Committee assignments remain the same, unless otherwise notified. An Official Visit schedule is yet to be determined.

The elected Grand Officers will approve the Finance Committees report on the fiscal year of April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020 and a budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

It is our hope that in the near future our Chapters, Councils and Commanderies will again be functioning together and we will return to normal soon. In the meantime, continue to follow all the safety recommendations and stay healthy.

Craig A. Phillips          Attested: Michael E. Reinhardt, PIGM
Grand Master              Grand Recorder

GHP - Cancellation of Grand Sessions

posted Jun 4, 2020, 2:04 PM by Alan Power   [ updated Jun 4, 2020, 2:34 PM ]

June 3, 2020

TO: Constituent Chapters of Nevada and all concerned:

The 145 Annual Convocation of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Nevada, rescheduled for August 25, 2020 at the Texas Station is cancelled.

In consultations with your Grand Elected officers, with the approval of this action by the Jurisprudence Committee, and in total cooperation with the Illustrious Grand Master of Cryptic Masons in Nevada and the Grand Commander of Knights Templar in Nevada we are all in agreement that this action is in the best interest for the health and safety of all Companions in Nevada.

The current line of Grand Chapter officers will retain their positions until the Grand Royal Arch Convocation now scheduled for June 15, 2021 at the Texas Station. Committee assignments remain the same, unless notified otherwise, and an Official Visitation schedule will be forthcoming.

It was not easy to arrive at this decision, but after much consultation and in an abundance of caution, I truly feel this is the best course of action for our Grand Chapter and the members of our Constituent Chapters.

James D. Phelps                                                           Attested: Michael E. Reinhardt

Grand High Priest                                                                        Grand Secretary

Grand Master's Edict No. 4 - 29 May 2020

posted Jun 1, 2020, 10:46 AM by Alan Power   [ updated Jun 1, 2020, 10:47 AM ]

DATE: May 29, 2020

TO: All Masons in Nevada

EDICT NO. 4 — COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Brethren,

Pursuant to my Edict No. 3 that no Masons may meet in defiance of our Governor's Directive or recommendations, I am strongly advising to have no Masonic meetings while we are in Phase Two of our Governor's Nevada United: Road map to Recovery expected to end June 30. Please schedule your meetings for later in the year. We still average well over a hundred new cases daily in Nevada, a number that may even go up as more business begin to open.

I realize there has been much publicity about Section 10 prohibiting gatherings of 50 people or more. That is only one specific prohibition and does not imply recommendation of meetings with 49 or less are in anyway safe or advised. Our standards as Masons require us to be good examples and follow the civil law and my order was specific to follow all recommendations, not just the legal requirements. A wise man once told me that just being a "law abiding citizen" is a pretty low standard.

Governor Sisolak's Phase 2 actual Directive has been released online and can be found here: https://nvhealthresponse.nv.goviwp-content/uploads/2020/05/Directive-021-Phase-Two-Reopening-Plan.pdf

Specifically, Sections 5, 6, 7 and 8 (attached) apply to our gentle Craft and at this time believe the wording clearly indicates our Governor would not want us meeting and certainly advise against it. Masonry is a glorious institution, but we have no hard requirement to meet and doing so puts our Brethren and their loved one's safety at risk.

As a reminder, my Edict No. 3 expressly removes the penalties for all Lodges who remain closed while Governor Sisolak's Directives and my Edicts prevents our regular meetings. My previous communication extends the removal of those penalties for the month of June. want to add that I prohibit any Master of their Lodge to punish any officer that prefers not to meet at this time.

Accordingly, should any Master of their Lodge decide to disregard my advice and still call a meeting I have some guidance to offer. You cannot vary your standard work beyond dispensing with the pass for Brothers the Deacons know are of the required degree. This is only to enhance safety and strictly limits any Lodge activity to reading of petitions, hand votes and proficiencies, only if the candidate describes rather than acts on any points of contact. Again, this is to enhance safety. You must all wear masks and avoid contact. You may not hold any Degrees, conduct any ballots or any other work that requires personal contact or repeated contact with a common object.

will offer guidance as new directives, recommendations and guidelines are published.

Above all, please be extra cautious in all your actions for our members and for their families. Remember this virus often has no symptoms so it is best to presume everyone, including yourself is contagious.

May God bless you all and keep you safe.

Fraternally,

Louis J Castle II            Attest: David O Martinez, PGM

 Grand Master                Grand Secretary


SECTION 4: Businesses performing non-retail services, including without limitation, legal services, accounting services, or real estate services, are encouraged to conduct business telephonically or virtually to the greatest extent practicable. These businesses are encouraged to permit employees to work from home to the greatest extent practicable.

SECTION 5: For the purposes of this Directive, "vulnerable persons" are defined as those who are at heightened risk of complications from COVID-19 disease, and include:

(1)           Individuals who are 65 years of age and older;

(2)           Individuals with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma;

(3)           Individuals who have serious heart conditions;

(4)           Individuals who are immunocompromised;

(5)           Pregnant women; or

(6)           Individuals determined to be high risk by a licensed healthcare provider.

SECTION 6: All vulnerable persons are strongly encouraged to stay at home to the greatest extent possible, except when necessary to provide, support, perform, or operate necessary activities, minimum basic operations, critical government functions, necessary travel, or essential businesses.

SECTION 7: The phrase "social distancing" references guidance promulgated by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including without limitation, maintaining at least six feet of physical distancing from other individuals. The phrase "sanitation requirements," "sanitation measures," and "sanitation guidelines" includes without limitation, washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible, using hand sanitize; coveting coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands.

SECTION 8: All Nevadans are strongly encouraged to stay in their residences to the greatest extent possible. Recognizing that COVED-19 is still present in Nevada and highly contagious, Nevadans are advised that they are safer at home and should avoid interpersonal contact with persons not residing in their households to the extent practicable. Nevadans are urged to avoid travel to the greatest extent practicable. To reduce the spread of COVID-19 via respiratory transmission, the Nevada public should utilize face coverings in public spaces.

SECTION 9: Pursuant to NRS 441A.180, persons testing positive for COVID-19 shall stay at home and "self-quarantine" for a minimum of two weeks, except as necessary to care for themselves or seek medical care. Persons determined to be in contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 must quarantine and stay at home for two weeks, or until a negative test result has been received.

SECTION 10: Section 1 of Directive 007 is hereby further amended to provide that effective 12:01 am on May 29, 2020, the Nevada general public shall not gather in groups of more than fifty in any indoor or outdoor area subject to the limitations of this section, whether publicly owned or privately owned where the public has access by right or invitation, express or implied, whether by payment of money or not. Section 3 of Directive 007 shall remain in force.

SECTION 11: Communities of worship and faith-based organizations, including without limitation, churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples, are strongly encouraged to offer online and drive-up services to the greatest extent possible. Effective 12:01 am on May 29, 2020, consistent with other

Directive from the Grand High Priest of Nevada

posted May 28, 2020, 10:27 AM by Alan Power   [ updated May 28, 2020, 10:27 AM ]

May 27, 2020

DIRECTIVE OF CANCELLATION DUE TO COVID-19

Pursuant to the Edict of the Most Worshipful Louis J. Castle, II, Grand Master of Masons in Nevada, and by the power vested in me as Grand High Priest of Royal Arch Masons of Nevada, I declare all Royal Arch meetings and activities cancelled until further notice. This is for the safety of all our Companions and their families. This is in compliance with the MWGM’s Edict No. 3 in continuance of his message dated May 19, 2020 regarding the Coronavirus.

James D. Phelps                   Attested: Michael E. Reinhardt
Grand High Priest                Grand Secretary

Grand Encampment General Order No.12

posted May 5, 2020, 12:45 PM by Alan Power   [ updated May 5, 2020, 12:45 PM ]

GRAND ENCAMPMENT OF KNIGHTS TEMPLAR

Jeffrey N. Nelson, Most Eminent Grand Master

3112 Tyler Parkway

Bismarck, North Dakota 58503

Lawrence Eugene Tucker, Right Eminent Grand Recorder
5909 West Loop South, Suite 495 Bellaire, Texas 77401

GENERAL ORDER NO. 12

PROHIBITION OF IN-PERSON CONCLAVES OF GRAND, SUBORDINATE,
AND CONSTITUENT COMMANDERIES

May 4, 2020


To all Grand Commanderies and Subordinate Commanderies within the Jurisdiction of, and holding Allegiance to, the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar.

GREETINGS:
The number of persons infected with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to increase in the United States and throughout the world, and the danger to vulnerable populations is unabated, especially among the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, many of whom are our Fratres. In the face of the crisis, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged persons to “avoid all nonessential travel” and take other appropriate measures to prevent community transmission of the virus, including avoiding large public gatherings, the wearing of facemasks in public, and working from home. While rates of infection appear to be leveling or declining in places and tentative steps have been taken by some governmental authorities to relax or rescind business and school closures and stay-at-home orders, the numbers of COVID-19 infections are expected to experience a resurgence in the fall and winter months

Accordingly, I, the Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of the United States of America, by the authority in me vested by Section 23 of the Constitution and Statutes of the Grand Encampment, do hereby waive the requirement of Section 36 (a) of the Constitution. It is ordered that all in-person Conclaves of Grand, Constituent, or Subordinate Commanderies be prohibited until further notice. Any such Conclave currently scheduled is hereby cancelled. This prohibition has no exceptions.

I authorize the Grand Commander or his designee to convene the Stated Conclave of his Grand Commandery by means of teleconference or webcast, provided that the necessary facilities are widely available to the members of the Grand Commandery and the Stated Conclave be conducted in full compliance with the requirements of Sections 37 through 39 of the Constitution.

In addition, I do hereby waive the requirement of Section 65 (a) of the Constitution, and authorize the Commander of a Constituent Commandery within each Grand Commandery to convene a Stated Conclave by means of teleconference or webcast, provided that the necessary facilities are widely available to the members of the Constituent Commandery and the Stated Conclave be conducted in full compliance with the requirements of Sections 65 and 66 of the Constitution. Commanders of Subordinate Commanderies enjoy the same discretion.

No ritual shall be performed and no Orders be conferred during any such telephonic or webcast Conclave.

The safety and well-being of our Sir Knights and their families being paramount, the provisions of Sections 48 (d), 59, 176, and 195 of the Constitution and Statutes of the Grand Encampment shall be inoperative while this General Order is in force.

This supersedes General Order No 11 of the tenth day of March, last, in its entirety.

Given under my hand and seal of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America at Bismarck, North Dakota, this fourth day of May 2020, A.O. 902.

Courteously,

Jeffrey N. Nelson.
Grand Master

Attest:
Lawrence Eugene Tucker
Grand Recorder

Dispensation for Monthly Meetings from the MIGM

posted Apr 28, 2020, 12:40 PM by Alan Power   [ updated Apr 28, 2020, 12:41 PM ]

Dispensation for Monthly Meetings 
April 27, 2020

Companions,

As we continue to follow the governor’s directive, our Councils have not been able to meet regularly the past two months.

Section 4.120(1) of the Grand Council Constitution states:

1. Each Council shall have a stated assembly at least once each month, provided that any Council may recess for not more than three stated assemblies during the calendar year, for the transaction of regular business.

Furthermore, sub-section 5 states:
5. (a) In any three month period, a Council’s stated assembly must be opened in ritualistic form at least once…

I am waiving Section 4.120, sub-sections 1 and 5 of the Grand Council Constitution requiring monthly stated Assemblies until such time as appropriate.

I encourage each Council to have additional online social meetings just to keep in touch with each other. Thank you all for helping to keep York Rite alive during this situation.

Craig Phillips
Most Illustrious Grand Master

Dispensation for Delayed Elections from the MIGM

posted Apr 28, 2020, 12:36 PM by Alan Power   [ updated Apr 28, 2020, 12:36 PM ]

Dispensation for Delayed Elections 
April 27, 2020

Companions,
Even as we continue to practice social distancing and keeping ourselves safe, we must continue to be York Rite Masons.

The Grand Master has issued EDICT NO. 3 – COVID-19 that while the Governor’s Directive is in place, all Masonic meetings or gatherings remain suspended. As the Governor’s directive currently ends on April 30, it is possible that we could have meetings in May. If the Governor extends his directive, then we must follow his directive. The Grand Master’s edict strongly advises all Masters to cancel all Masonic meetings in the month of May.

Section 5.010 of the Grand Council Constitution states:
1. “The Illustrious Master, Deputy Master, Principal Conductor of the Work, Treasurer and Recorder of each Council shall be elected annually at the Stated Assembly in the month of May.”
2. A Trustee shall also be elected at the same time and in a like manner to serve for a period of three years, provided that:
    a. The By-Laws of the Council provide for the election of trustees.
3. A majority of the votes of the members present is necessary to elect.

With the probability that there will be no meetings in May, the reality of not being able to hold elections in May is a real possibility.

Section 5.020 allows for a dispensation to be granted to hold elections out of time, but requires an application from each Council, voted on at a stated Assembly and the elections would have to be at a subsequent Assembly after the dispensation is granted.

To simplify this process, I am waiving Section 5.010, sub-section 1 where elections must be held in the month of May. Furthermore, I am granting dispensation to each of the local Councils, authorizing delayed elections, and to hold them when appropriate.

I encourage each Council to have additional online social meetings just to keep in touch with each other. Thank you all for helping to keep York Rite alive during this situation.

Craig Phillips
Most Illustrious Grand Master

Grand Master Edict No. 3

posted Apr 22, 2020, 11:39 AM by Alan Power   [ updated Apr 22, 2020, 11:41 AM ]

DATE: April 20, 2020
TO: All Masons in Nevada
EDICT NO. 3 — COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
Brethren,
Nevada Brothers, officers and family members are now battling Covid-19. I ask that you keep them in your prayers.
Pursuant to my EDICT No. 2, while Governor Sisolak's Directive 010 is in place, all Masonic meetings or gatherings remain suspended. Masons must follow Government guidelines after the order is lifted or reduced.
Furthermore, given our demographics, and with respect to the authority of a Master to govern their Lodge, I strongly advise all Masters to cancel all Masonic meetings in the Month of May. As many as 60% of Covid-19 contagious people show no symptoms. I'm certain none of us would want to be responsible for infecting a vulnerable Brother.
Cancellations of Stated Meetings due to this Edict will not be considered a recess under NMC 4.230. Lodges are hereby relieved of the requirements in 2020 Proclamations No. 2 and No. 3. Silver State Lodge Award requirement No. 6, are waived. Although the Silver State Masonic Youth Groups (50 pts) and Public Schools (75 pts) are impractical, the 250 points of Additional Qualifying Activities (300 if missing a mandatory act) are still required. Scholarship applications that cannot make the May 15 deadline should be held for a future award.
I thank our Lodges that have continued to have fellowship over video conferencing. I've attended quite a few already and it is great to see our Brethren practicing Masonry. These events can be used for the Silver State Lodge Award Fellowship I Fun / Public Service Activities providing they meet the other listed requirements.
Usual or budgeted bills in May such as rent, taxes, utilities and services may be paid when ordered by the Worshipful Master. Extraordinary but necessary expenses may be paid with the consent of the Master, Wardens, Secretary and Treasurer. Phone, video conferences and email are acceptable forms of communication to determine consent and must be recorded by the Secretary noting that the regular meeting was suspended per the Grand Master. Funeral services may be conducted if within current State requirements; however, I encourage postponing Masonic Services until a time where full Masonic rites can be conferred.
Should any Master choose to conduct Lodge, which I strongly advise against, I hereby order that all members must follow current Nevada recommended guidelines and at a minimum, wear face masks and avoid all unnecessary physical contact, including shaking hands as a greeting. Greetings can be a slight bow and Deacons can simply nod to a known qualified Brother instead of collecting the pass. Degrees should otherwise follow our approved work with members and candidates taking care not to touch their face and thoroughly washing their hands at the earliest opportunity. Lodge furnishings and items used in Degrees, including candidate uniforms must be cleaned before each Degree for the safety of our candidates and members.
Thank you all for keeping our principles during these trying times.
Fraternally,

Louis J. Castle II
Grand Master

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