There are some that believe that technology may be the doom of all mankind. So many people in today’s society are constantly attached to their cell phones; aimlessly searching for information to make them feel connected to the world. Often times, the content we seek is irrelevant and tediously time consuming in a world where time is not a readily available commodity. When time and technology come together under the right circumstances, though, they can prove to be a powerful tool.
There is no doubt that we are living in unprecedented times. A few weeks ago, Freemasons all around the world were planning out their next Degrees and scheduling activities in and out of our Lodges for the rest of the 2020 Masonic year. Within a matter of days, Grand Lodge jurisdictions around the world and around the U.S. issued orders to suspend all Masonic activities until further notice, as we hunker down to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic that is currently consuming the globe. Just like that life as we knew it changed and will continue to change for the foreseeable future.
Without an opportunity to meet in person and sit in Lodge to do what we as Freemasons enjoy doing so much, the Craft has been left with few options about how to continue our labors. In comes that opportune moment when technology can be a tremendous asset to help our Brothers.
In recent weeks, Masons from around the globe have turned to virtual meeting platforms like ‘ZOOM’, ‘WebEx’ and ‘Windows Meeting Space’ to meet with one another and exchange brotherly love while ensuring that Brothers and their families are safe. While these meetings are (and most definitely should be) non-tiled gatherings, they do give Masons a chance to not only have some fun, but to also continue the business of their Lodges so far as that business can be conducted within the confines of the rules and regulations set forth by each particular Grand Lodge jurisdiction. By all accounts, planning future events, conducting education that can be opened to the public and simply talking about housekeeping regarding each particular Lodge, are all topics that can and should be discussed in these virtual meetings without violating commonplace Masonic laws.
At Hialeah-Opa-Locka Lodge No. 391, our Brothers have embraced the opportunity to meet virtually and our Worshipful Master, Joshua Smithwong has worked diligently to not only keep each meeting short but to provide timely and relevant programming, with initial discussions revolving around how to deal with the pandemic and how to stay positive during this time of change.
Worshipful Smithwong said, “During these times it is important to keep your distance to slow/stop the spread of our version of a plague. However, I want every brother to know that we are still here. Mental Health is as important as your hygiene, and physical health.”
Brothers from across the 27th Masonic District of Florida, have also taken to virtual meetings to continue the work their Lodges have been doing. Many of our Brothers throughout the state are taking this time at home to learn how to utilize this new technology and improve the ways their Lodges communicate.
The world is changing, and we as Freemasons need to change with it. While we take the time that most of us now have at home to tackle projects around the house and spend more time with our loved ones, take some time to learn about ways to keep the communication alive within your Lodges. While we don’t know how long we will need to quarantine at home, there is no reason to stay apart from our Brothers during this time. We have a grand opportunity, and we should all seriously grab hold of this opportunity to keep our Lodges thriving.
We encourage any and all Brothers who are reading this blog to reach out and contact us via the contact page on our website or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like to know more about some of these digital platforms or if you have any questions about getting started. We are more than willing and able to help our Brethren to this end so that we can keep strengthening our beloved fraternity. Now it’s time to pull out those phones, and start downloading your virtual meeting app of choice. We will get through this and we will be stronger than ever when this pandemic is over.
God bless every every person reading this and be safe Brothers.