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