MMRS August Festive Board on Zoom!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MMRS annual festive board (banquet) is canceled. In place of the festive board, there will be a zoom meeting where a panel will discuss “Freemasonry During a Pandemic and the use of VR Meetings.” It is set for Sunday, Aug. 2 at 3:00 p.m. This will be a first of its kind open discussion focusing on what is currently being done to maintain activity while actual in lodge meetings are canceled. Even though many lodges had become silent, there have been both open and tiled Masonic meetings within the lodges, the DC Scottish Rite, and several of the other appendant bodies of Masonry.
The focus of the panel will be on what has been done. What is positive about these innovations in Masonry. Possibly what the future may hold, both during the current crisis. Possible future meetings beyond the era of social distancing. We may be seeing an expansion of Masonry into realms previously never thought of. For example, when was the last time you attended a regular meeting of over 170 members present? The bet is very few of you (Grand Convocations would likely be the exceptions). Yet in the DC Scottish Rite, one of their virtual reality “Zoom” meetings had in attendance that many members and more. Likewise, there was a special Masonic body in England which had over 70 members in attendance on FIVE DIFFERENT CONTINENTS!
The MMRS distinguished panel includes:
Samantha Finstad is the current W.M. of Emounah Lodge in D.C. of the Women’s Grand Lodge of Belgium. She is particularly interested in the esoteric aspects of freemasonry. Professionally Samantha is an immunologist and is a senior advisor at the National Institutes of Health. In addition to her masonic work, she is passionate about dance, wine, and dinosaurs.
Charles Stuppard, Ph.D., is a member of Naval Lodge #4. Dr. Stuppard is a retired Navy captain (ship driver) and now works as the CEO and founder of CLS Consulting and Leadership Services, LLC. His doctoral dissertation focused on the effect of technology on leadership: “The impact of new technology on President Abraham Lincoln’s military leadership during the Civil War.” He is interested in the esoteric side of Masonry and when in the DC area a regular attendee of the Master Craftsman pre-meeting classes in the DC Scottish Rite.
Jason Richards – W.Bro. Jason Richards is a Past Master of Acacia Lodge No. 16 in Clifton VA and a member of The Colonial Lodge No. 1821 in Washington, DC. Bro. Jason is a founding member of The Masonic Roundtable podcast and has written articles for and edited publications including the Midnight Freemasons Blog, The Fraternal Review, The Voice of Freemasonry in the District of Columbia, and It’s Business Time: Adapting a Corporate Path for Freemasonry.
In addition to this meeting, there will be an unofficial meeting sponsored by the MMRS on Aug. 1st at 11:30 a.m. when a talk “The Blue Lodge, the Kabbalah and The Tree of Life” will be presented. Please contact Sharonlee (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you wish to join this unofficial meeting and for the meeting announced above.
Remember if you are outside the EDT time zone to adjust your calendar accordingly. Hope many of you will find time to attend both these virtual meetings.
Walter P. Benesch, President