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July 3, 2020
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
To say this year has had its challenges would be an understatement. The outbreak of the Coronavirus around our world has posed significant problems. How we respond to challenges determines our strength and our perseverance.
I have been discussing the future of Missouri Eastern Star with our elected officers and our Chairman of Jurisprudence. We are concerned with the health and well being of each of our members, as we continue to watch how the effects of this pandemic are affecting each of us. According to our By-Laws Chapter A, Article I, Section 2, Change of Time or Place of Annual Session, we have unanimously agreed to postpone this year’s Grand Chapter Session scheduled for October 12-14, 2020 until October 11-13, 2021. Additionally, we expect to move our Session location to the University Plaza Hotel in Springfield, MO.
All of the 2020 Grand Officers and Committee Chairmen we have appointed will remain in office until October 2021. I would hope that each of our District Deputy Grand Matrons (DDGMs) would join us on this extended journey. We have all missed the past four months and are yearning to return to Chapter meetings and activities, as well as our schools and visits across the state. We must remain vigilant and continue to wear masks, social distance and stay home whenever possible. Perhaps by September, when we would normally resume our meetings, things will be better and the world will be safer.
I would also hope, that each corps of officers in each local Chapter will continue to serve our beautiful order. We will not have elections in September nor any Installations this fall. Let us all take a step back and realize what we have missed. If a Chapter has an officer who does not wish to continue in office, the procedure to fill that vacancy is spelled out in our By-Laws Chapter B, Article IV, Section 8, Vacancy, How Filled. To our Grand Officers, first time DDGMs and first time Worthy Matrons, I feel your pain. Brother Mike and I have experienced many wonderful events over the past eight years as we have followed each of our spouses on their journeys. But you, our Officers, DDGMs and WMs, have been cheated out of the wonderful meetings of fellowship and fun that we have experienced in the past.
When looking at our Fraternal Correspondence planned for this session, our Grand Conductress was in a dilemma. With only ONE Grand Chapter being held in 2020, and that in a virtual session, there would have been nothing to report during our session. Our Grand Family has not been able to travel this year to other jurisdictions; this is one of the perks I always have looked forward to and truly wanted to share our “kids” with members in other states. My heart goes out to our Most Worthy Grand Matron, Sister Marianne Shennefelt, whose second year of her three-year term has been placed on hold as well. All of her visits this year were cancelled. I can only imagine the heartbreak she and her General Grand Family have experienced this year. To this end, we will request extensions of all of the Grand Representatives appointed in 2019 and 2020 for one year. They too need to have the experience of traveling to and meeting members from the jurisdictions they represent.
We missed out on our annual WGM/WGP Trip, had planned to host the Multistate Friendship Exchange in St. Louis, and were anxious to share a weekend with our Sisters and Brothers in Iowa at the Five-State Friendship Exchange. We missed out supporting two of our youth organizations, attending the Amaranth Grand Court session and will be unable to visit with our Brothers at their Grand Lodge session in September. It has been a truly frustrating time.
I apologize for all the changes to our itinerary this year and am sorry to say that all official visits, schools and receptions are postponed until further notice. I applaud each member who has taken the time to make things as good as they could be considering these unfamiliar circumstances. Our hope is to resume our “Anchor Your Dreams with Music” Itinerary beginning in early 2021.
We will survive this trying time, with the help, love and support of each member of this jurisdiction. Continue to keep a song in your heart and help us to make music throughout 2021!
Worthy Grand Matron