Greetings Sir Knight! I hope this post finds you and your family well. I wanted to extend an invitation for you to attend our May Stated Conclave. As I mentioned in my first email, the meeting on May 26that 7:30pm will be a potential hybrid meeting which means you can choose to attend in person at the lodge or virtually via a Zoom meeting. In order to better plan the meeting, I am asking that you respond and let me know if you have plans to attend in person or if you plan to attend virtually.
There have been some major changes in the last two weeks based on recommendations from the CDC around COVID and most states have been adjusting their guidelines around things like in-person meetings, mask usage, and other safety precautions. In PA the mask usage has been removed for those who are vaccinated and at the end of the month (after our meeting of course) the restrictions around capacities for in person gathers is also set to be lifted.
However, we still need to take into consideration the decisions of Grand Lodge and Grand Commandery, which is where things get confusing. Grand Lodge is currently allowing lodge COVID safety plans to be lifted including the completion of waivers upon entering lodge and mask usage for those who are vaccinated. Grand Commandery, as of writing this, has not issued additional guidance, and based on previous General Orders it looks like we still need to wear masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines, as well as certain changes to ritual such as opening and closing the Commandery. Further considerations are required when doing anything virtually, which includes the proposed hybrid meeting.
As I mentioned at the April meeting, I thoroughly enjoy music and wanted to share a song for you to listen to that you may not have heard before. This month I am recommending the song “Stay Strong” by Newsboys, which can be found on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvl1ts4oQP0
It appears that the major influence for the song comes from Hebrews 12:1-2 which says “ 1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (NIV)
For me, this song is a source of inspiration in times of trouble, helps me focus on what is important, and find a positive outlook when my mind wants to take me down a different route. I think it’s only appropriate to also reference 2 Timothy 4:7-8 “ 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
We often hear in the Bible about “the race” that is mentioned in the song. In the spirit of that idea, the program for the evening will be how “the race” affects our lives and how it affected the lives of the first Knights Templars.
Lastly, for those who are interested, we will be meeting at Chambers at 6:00pm for dinner prior to the meeting like we have in the past. I ask that you let me know if you are planning on joining us for dinner so I can let Matt from Chambers know to allow him time to save us our usual spot in the back room.