Prince Hall Think Tank

Greetings,

On Wednesday May 6, 2020, our Most Worshipful Grand Master, MW Bro. Chester C. Christie will appear on a special episode of the Prince Hall Think Tank that will discuss the current COVID-19 pandemic and what various jurisdictions are doing to address the issue. The episode will begin at 8:30pm and will air here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5ul8Zki1sw

 

 

 

The Prince Hall Think Tank is a monthly conversation of Prince Hall Freemasons about various topics concerning the Craft.

 

Fraternally,

 

Bro. Caffey, PM

Coronavirus related Event Cancellations

April 28, 20202

To the Worshipful Masters, Wardens, Past Masters and Brothers of the Subordinate Lodges of the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio

 

Greetings!

I pray that you are staying safe and healthy and that, as much as possible, you are remaining at home and out of direct exposure to the COVID19 Coronavirus. Let me commend and thank all who are first responders, front line medical practitioners, and other essential employees and service providers for the sacrifices you make on a daily basis that enable us to remain safe and healthy during this pandemic. Additionally, I want to thank the Worshipful Masters and Officers of our respective Lodges for your leadership, your dedication and commitment to the ongoing success of your Lodges and to serving the needs of the community in the midst of this pandemic. You have done an awesome job and I thank you for being steadfast.

I wanted to wait until after Governor DeWine’s update this afternoon to send this out this communication. The Governor announced today that Manufacturing, Distribution and Construction Businesses will reopen on May 4, 2020. Consumer Retail and Service entities will reopen May 12, 2020. Stay at home orders will otherwise remain in place and the existing ban on gatherings of more than 10 people will remain in place. In light of this, Lodges are hereby directed to continue to meet virtually until further notice. Stated meetings for the Month of May will begin later this week. I have had the privilege of participating in 20 Virtual meetings to date. They have been tremendous. I look forward to participating in many more during the month of May. Please continue to stay connected, handle the business of the Lodge to the best of your ability and reach out to our most vulnerable members and our Widows.

We continue to plan for the 171st Annual Communication of the MWPHGL of Ohio August 7-11 unless and until directions from Federal, State and Local officials and Health Professionals dictate otherwise. The official Proclamation of the Annual Communication will be issued on or before May 1, 2020. As additional direction is provided, and decisions are made, you will be updated.

We continue to work with the RW Director of Youth Activities,  the Grand Council for the MVGC Order of Pythagorans, and their Convention Director regarding the planning of this year’s Grand Session. More specific information will be provided as additional decisions are made.

Tomorrow ( April 28, 2020) is the final date for voting in the Ohio Primary Election. Absentee Ballots cast by mail must be postmarked by today April 27, 2020. Anyone who has not voted by absentee ballot because the ballot was requested but not received on time may cast a provisional ballot in person tomorrow at your County Board of Elections. Kudos to the Voter Education and Awareness committee for the Awesome work they have done.

Please continue to push the Scholarship Foundation Raffle Tickets. The deadline for submission of ticket stubs and money has been extended to May 31, 2020. The drawing will be held on Saturday, June 20, 2020, at the Scholarship selection Committee meeting in Columbus. The families of our recipients need our assistance now more than ever. Scholarship applications are available and are due on June 1, 2020.

 

Let’s continue to take advantage of opportunities to let our light shine in our communities, whenever it can be done safely and within the established social distancing guidelines. Most importantly, let's continue to stay in touch with each other, keep each other and our families lifted up, and continue to keep the Bonds of Brotherly Love strong and unbreakable. May God’s hand of protection cover you and your families and may his love, grace, and mercy guide us safely through this pandemic.  God Bless you and stay safe and well.

 

Respectfully and Fraternally,

 

Chester C. Christie
MW Grand Master

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

To the Officers and Members of The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Ohio, Greetings.

 This is a follow up to my recent communications regarding the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. On yesterday, Governor DeWine issued a ban on all mass indoor gatherings of 100 persons or more for an indefinite duration in an effort to contain the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus in Ohio. As a result, in addition to the Grand Lodge Mid-Year Workshop this weekend, the MVGMC Pythagorans Statewide Workshop, Girls Assembly Debutante Ball, Pythagorans Day and Hattie B. Alexander Day activities the weekend of March 28th and 29thhave also been cancelled.

 

In further compliance with the indoor gathering restrictions put in place by the Governor, District meetings scheduled Beginning April 11th  through the end of May ( Districts 4, 7 and 1) will also be canceled. Although these events may not reach the specific threshold established by the Governor’s ban, the cancelation is ordered out of an abundance of precaution and in the best interest of the wellbeing of our members. This is especially true where we are in a single room in very close confines. We will continue to monitor developments and further directions issued by Federal, State and Local Health Officials. If there are changes that impact this decision you will be informed immediately. Decisions will be made regarding the remaining District meetings as we get closer to those dates.

 

Barring other developments, Lodge meetings may be conducted at the discretion of each Lodge. If any members are sick, they must remain at home. Senior members and those with compromised immune systems are also advised to exercise caution and avoid attending if they are in any way concerned about exposure. In light of this Health Emergency, Lodges that decide to cancel their meetings, need not request a dispensation. However, you must inform your Deputy before the cancelation.

 

Finally, I intentionally waited until receiving further information regarding the Midwest Conference of Grand Masters before sending this communication. I just received information from the Grand Master of Illinois that the conference scheduled for March 19th through the 22nd has been canceled. A formal communication from the Conference President should be issued later today.

 

As previously stated, please review the March 8th email from Dr. Richard Gordon and the links from the Center for Disease Control attached to that email for specific preventative measures and practices we can all continue to employ. Let’s all continue to remain steadfast in our efforts to help each other and our families remain healthy. God Bless you and keep you and your families covered with his shield of protection.

Respectfully and Fraternally,

 

Chester C. Christie

Most Worshipful Grand Master

Cancellation of all Meetings

 

Good Evening Brothers and Sisters. We continue to receive guidance and direction from Federal, State, and Local Health Officials regarding measures to be taken to reduce the spread of the  Coronavirus ( COVID-19). Based on the most recent updates from Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and from the CDC, issued earlier today, ALL Lodge meetings in this Jurisdiction are canceled until further notice. Similarly, all Pythagorans Chapter meetings are canceled until further notice. This is ordered out of an abundance of caution, and in an effort to comply with the protocols most recently established by Health Care professionals to protect our health and safety to the best of their abilities.

 

Let’s continue to follow previously referenced CDC recommendations for hand washing and social distancing. For our members in the most vulnerable populations, it is highly recommended that you remain at home. Brothers and Sisters let’s continue to pray for one another and periodically check in on one another ( preferably by phone). May God continue to keep his shield of protection around our Prince Hall Phamily.

 

Respectfully and Fraternally,

Chester C. Christie

Most Worshipful Grand Master

Masonic/OES Funerals

 

Good Evening Brothers and Sisters. As the Nation continues to establish rules and behavior protocols to address the spread of the Coronavirus, the Center for Disease Control has provided guidelines on Funerals. They have urged the National Funeral Directors Association and Funeral Homes across the Country to limit funerals to a small number of mourners present (preferably only immediate family members) and have recommended streaming the service online for everyone else. This advice and direction have been provided to enable everyone to comply with social distancing mandates and the restrictions on mass gatherings established by Federal, State, and Local Officials while allowing families to honor their deceased loved ones. This is particularly crucial for events where many guests are considered vulnerable, either because they are seniors, or have underlying health conditions.

 

In light of these considerations, and after consultation with Funeral Directors and Clergy within our Order, I hereby direct that the appropriate Lodge and Chapter Officers inform families of deceased Brothers or Sisters that desire to have Masonic or OES services, that currently existing guidelines and restrictions will preclude us from doing so at this time. As a practical matter, Churches and Funeral Homes are unlikely to honor such requests in light of the restrictions and the growing concerns for everyone’s health and safety.

Respectfully and Fraternally,

Chester C. Christie

Most Worshipful Grand Master

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