2022 Annual Communication

The 147th Annual Communication will be held June 16, 17, and 18, 2022, at the Ramkota Hotel & Conference Center, Pierre, SD.

 

From: MWB Jeffery P. VanCuren, Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota

To: All Masonic Lodges and all Freemasons under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota

In light of the events over the past two years, I have noticed a trend that smaller rural lodges have been unable to meet due to COVID-19. This has made it incredibly hard to maintain positive growth in membership and has put some Lodges in jeopardy of permanently closing. Although this is by no means the only solution, I think we need to get creative and look for opportunities to meet together. Remember Psalms 133: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.
I therefor encourage Lodges to seek opportunities to hold and conduct joint Lodges, A format that was proven successful was that One Lodge provide the Principle Officers to open the Lodge, conduct any business that needs to be done, call the Lodge to recess, switch Principle Officers to the second Lodge, conduct any business that needs to be done, and then close the Lodge with the second Lodge's Officers.
This format does not need to be limited to two Lodges. However, if business is needed to be done, it will require either the visiting Lodge to have a dispensation from their District Master to change the time and place of their stated meeting. If no business is required, then a Masters may call special meetings at a location convenient to the Lodges.

 

What Has the Grand Master Been Up To? (September - December)

Brethren, this fall has once again been a very busy time but, I wish more Lodges and organizations were inviting me to events. Although, I have had a couple of conflicts, I will try and make any event that I am invited to as long as I have enough lead time and I do not have anything scheduled. If you do have an event or meeting you would like me to attend, please send me an e-mail to gm@mygrandlodge.org or call me at (605)646-8899. These are some of the events that I attended this Fall:
 September 7th, Hot Springs Installation of Officers
 September 10th, Inaugural South Dakota Masonic Charities Golf Tournament, Pierre, SD
 September 13th, The Hospital DADS (Drivers Are Dedicated Shriners) appreciation Dinner, Rapid City, SD
 September 16-18th, Grand Lodge of Iowa Annual Communication
 September 28th, Belle Fourche Lodge, Open Air Lodge, Kissack Ranch
 October 7th, OES Installation and Public Opening
 October 10th, Masonic Funeral for MWB Kenneth Ireland, Phillip, SD
 October 22nd - 23rd, Wall, SD Grand Lodge Ritualistic Festival
 October 27th, Hot Springs, SD Masonic Funeral
 October 30th, Rapid City Special Olympics Polar Plunge
 October 31st, Naja Shrine Trunk or Treat, Rapid City, SD
 November 2nd, Initial Meeting of the South Dakota Masonic Membership Council (Grand Lodge, Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shrine) (Zoom)
 November 3rd, District 17 Meeting, Olive Branch Lodge, Sturgis, SD
 November 4th, District 14 Meeting, Pasque Lodge, Bison, SD
 November 8th, Deadwood Valley Scottish Rite visit and Tour of Life Scape, Rapid City Location
 November 11th, Sturgis Veterans Day program, All Vets Club (Toast to the Flag)
 November 11th, Initial Encampment of the Jimmy Doolittle Camp of Heroes of ’76
 November 18th, Fellow Craft Degree, Pierre Lodge, Pierre, SD
 November 27th, Parade of Lights Masonic Family Float, Rapid City, SD
 December 1st, Lemmon Lodge Meeting, Lemmon, SD
 December 8th, Naja Shrine Quarterly Meeting and Election of Officers, Deadwood, SD
 December 12th, Schrader Commandery Knights Templar Christmas Observance, Rapid City, SD
 December 18th, Naja Shrine Christmas Party, Deadwood, SD
 December 21st, Rapid City #25 and Custer City Lodge #66 Joint Meeting

Joint Lodges: Imagine the Possibilities

- Jeffery P. VanCuren, Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota

What a cool evening. I was able to visit a Joint Lodge held by Rapid City Lodge #25 and Custer City Lodge #66. #25 opened the Lodge, conducted business, switched officers with #66 and they then conducted business and closed the Lodge.

This could absolutely be a model for Lodges to visit each other while at the same time meeting their obligations to hold a monthly stated. Think of the possibilities for two small Lodges near each other to grow together and still maintain their Lodge Identity. If your Lodge would like to try the same, contact the Grand Master and find out how to get permission.

 

GRAND MASTER’S PROCLAMATION REGARDING QUORUM REQUIREMENT FOR LODGES TO CONDUCT BUSINESS 1/11/2022

From: MWB Jeffery P. VanCuren, Grand Master of Masons in South Dakota
To: All Masonic Lodges and all Freemasons under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of South Dakota

Our Constitution and Bylaws specifically state in Section 4.18 subparagraph 5 that “At any Stated Communication seven members of a particular Lodge shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business,” I believe this to be an arbitrary number and detrimental to the good of Masonry in South Dakota.
Whereas the Hierarchy of rules in a "Regular and Well Governed" institution dictates that Landmarks takes precedence over our Constitution and Bylaws.
And Whereas Landmark 9 states “The Necessity for Masons to congregate in Lodges”
And Whereas Landmark 10 states that “The government of ever Lodge by a Master and two wardens.”
And Whereas in the ritual teachings and lectures of the three degrees in Masonry teach us that it only takes three Master Masons to constitute a Master Mason Lodge.
And Whereas only Master Masons of a Particular Lodge May vote in Lodge business to include balloting on degrees, petitions for membership or the election of Officers.
And Whereas a Stated Meeting is a communication held at a specific time and place according to the bylaws and cannot be changed without special dispensation from the District Master or Grand Master.
And Whereas all Master Masons Sign the bylaws of their particular Lodge and know the exact time and location of every stated meeting.
And Whereas no Lodge business may be conducted at a Special Meeting unless special Dispensation is given by the Grand Master and that only the specific business stated on the Special Dispensation may be entertained at that Special Meeting.
And Whereas, seven members of the Lodge range from 2 percent of the Lodge Membership to 70 percent of the Lodge membership.
And Whereas, that percentage of membership is causing the smaller lodges of South Dakota to be deprived of their right under Landmark 9 of “The Necessity for Masons to Congregate in Lodges”
Therefore, I believe that since every Mason of a particular Lodge is notified of meetings by the bylaws and is duty bound to be at those meetings, if within the length of their cable tow.
And, I believe that the arbitrary requirement for having seven Master Masons present at a stated meeting to conduct business is detrimental to South Dakota Masonry
And, I believe that the elected officers of a Lodge are entrusted by the members of their Lodge by virtue of their election to that position.
Therefore, I hereby proclaim the minimum requirements for number members of a Lodge present to conduct business at a Stated Meeting for the 2020-2021 Masonic year is three, which will include at least the Master of the Lodge or an elected Warden of the Lodge.

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