News From The Ninth Arch

South Central Region Happenings – February 17, 2021

South Central Region Happenings – February 17, 2021
Submitted by Steve Balke, General Grand Recorder, Cryptic Masons International

John L. Logan
South Central Regional Deputy General Grand Master


On February 17, a regional conference call was held with the South Central Region South Grand Recorders. These calls will be mentioned in the Decryption as a way to notify every Companion of what is happening with each Region. The Jurisdictional Highlights of the call are below. Other Regional Calls will be covered in the upcoming weeks.

In Attendance: Michele Balke, Tim Israel, Wayne Fryer, Jon Greene, Allan Bean, Kevin Sample, Dick Browning, Allan Jackson, John Logan, John Miller, Stephen Balke, Tom Taylor, William Snyder, and Monty Glover

Invocation: Allan Bean


  • March 13, 2021 – 8AM CST – Virtual – Awards Done.
    • Joint Session
    • Chapter – Council – Commandery – Installation (12PM?)
  • Weather is on deck.
  • Zoom meeting – Current officers and Incoming officers planning meeting.
  • Grand Lodge February 1, 2021 – MWB 
  • Can meet under Grand Lodge, Grand York Rite – Suspended until after Grand Sessions.
  • Governor – removing pre-planning restrictions – social distancing, limit 10 people.
  • Beginning York Rite Meetings in April – No dinner, no ritual work.
  • Encouraged working with the membership to limit suspensions and dues issues.
    • 7% losses after working actively on retention.
    • Finances – bills still there, fundraisers down, dues lower with retention.


  • Current MWGM – Limited to opening on 1st Degree – no degree work.
  • York Rite Bodies – Meeting virtually – if in-person – Council – 
  • Canceled May in-person in Topeka, three individual sessions
    • Council – Iola KS – July 17 –
    • Chapter – Kansas City, KS – July 10
    • Commandery – Baldwyn City, KS – July 24
    •  0900 CST Public Opening, Lunch with Awards, Installation After Lunch.
    • All welcome to attend.
    • Registration forthcoming.
  • Most local bodies forgave suspensions NPD
    • 6% with retention programs.
    • Finances – bills still there, fundraisers down, dues lower with retention.


  • The weather has shut everything down.
  • Were planning in person, then MWGM said no Grand Meetings.
    • No Dining
    • Local meetings are ok.
    • Social distancing is required.
  • Sessions – Virtual – All three bodies
    • February 27, 2021
      • 9:00 AM Chapter
      • 10:30 AM Council
      • 12:00 PM Commandery
    • Google Balloting
    • Officers ascending – no fill on the bottom.
    • Announcing Elections, no resolutions, allocutions/addresses, installations, 
    • Awards will be distributed by MIPGM, en route.
  • Chapters, Councils, Commanderies are meeting
    • Leadership enforces social distancing.
    • All degree and order work except for OT
    • Grand High Priest Edict – Open with 5 for Business (Council and Commandery already a part of the bylaws) – on Dais Officer
  • Normalizing data and contacting folks with memberships 
    • Using MMS to drive the requirements for voting.
    • Numbers are normalizing with members that should have been dropped.


  • Grand Lodge – not doing much in person – utilizing virtual meetings.
  • Jefferson City, Plaza Hotel – In-Person Tentative
    • June 9-12, 2021, Chapter 9, Council 10, Commandery 11.
    • 12th for Drill, etc.
    • Still planning – March is decision time. May have to be limited/hybrid/etc.
      • Working with the hotel to find out social distancing requirements and restrictions.
      • Commandery – Grand Commandry officers, Regional/Department, the limit of 3 Past Grand Commanders – looking at as template.
        • Also looking at hybrid.
      • Virtual Session possibilities.
  • Meetings in person for Chapter and Council
    • Option in-person/virtual
    • Social distancing required
    • Grand Lodge Plan – working on it on County by County basis.
  • Member retention program
    • Work in progress
    • Survey for better information.
    • 10% – 1 Conferral
  • Membership
    • New cards with membership numbers and URL for making changes.
    • Have CMMRF penny per day watermark to encourage donations.
    • Elite Reporting – Life Membership, 25/50 Year, can be printed by Recorder
    • Names must be updated by Recorder.
    • March is CMMRF Month in Missouri.
    • ADDED to Constitution & Bylaws – 
      • Dues notices WILL have a voluntary contribution line.


  • Weather is affecting everything.
  • The lodge is social distancing up to 25 people.
  • Chapter and Council Festivals canceled (weather)
  • Grand Master’s Field Day.
    • Saturday, September 11, 2021
    • Honors MWGM Robert Davis
  • April 24, 2021 – One day in person
    • Voting delegates
    • GGC/GGC/GEKT Representatives
    • $10.00 Registration Fee
    • India Shrine Center, Oklahoma City, OK
  • May 22, 2021 – OKC Chapter and Council Festival
    • Maybe Red Cross, Med Pass/Malta

South Central

  • Recorders communicating well with updates and registrations for South Central.


  • State Chairmen Program
    • Coordination and Communication directive and initiative.
    • What works and doesn’t share among the Chairmen in each Region.
  • Board Meeting Tomorrow night.
  • Challenge Gift – $50,000 matching available through April 1, 2021..
  • We are striving to reach $500,000 in donations for a purpose – a local STEM processing lab at UI to mitigate transport and time costs during trials and studies or other like programs that are not currently funded. Referencing his track record, accomplishing this goal might result in $3.5 MM – using CMMRF money, he can usually multiply funds by seven (7).
  • March 6, 2021, is CMMRF Day – Please encourage donations. Goal: $8000.00

General Grand Council

  • GGC Office working to get caught up – financial reports and processes in transition.
  • Focus on Brazil and Italy – where there are issues with the Grand Chapter taking the “lead” for all of York Rite in the Jurisdiction. We are working with both to return to the status of being a Grand Council.
    • Close to Chartering the first of more than one Grand Council in Brazil.
    • In process of reinstating the Grand Council Charter for Italy. (with conditions and goals)
  • Brazil Grand Chapter – allowing irregular Masons to be a part of the organizations, centralizing control of money and organization. Grand Chapter chartered by the General Grand Chapter has lost the authorization to work by several of the Grand Lodges in Brazil. A new Grand Chapter has been instantiated which is now recognized by both the General Grand Council and the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar. The General Grand Council has withdrawn recognition with the Grand Chapter originally chartered by the General Grand Chapter.
  • Dates for the 1st Triennial Meeting
    • August 13-14, 2021 – Minneapolis, MN
    • First Day – Education, Training, CMMRF, etc.
    • GG Assembly – Constitution & Bylaws Changes, Grand and Subordinate Charters
    • GEKT has been the epitome of York Rite Cooperation. Essentially hosting us.
      • Registrations will be one – the GEKT will have a registration, ours will be a part of it.
      • Registrations should be available in early March.
      • Education speaker for GEKT on Sunday.
  • Mid-Term Session – August of 2022 – Budget – Virtual.
  • August/September 2023 – General Grand Assembly
    • Sept 16 Rosh Hashanah 25 Yom Kippur
    • (Tentatively) Branson, MO
    • Kevin Sample, Chair.
    • Awaiting books being closed for 2020 Triennial from General Grand Chapter.
  • Fireside Chats – 4th Sunday of every month at 5:00 PM EST.
    • Next on February 28, 2021
    • MWGM Robert Davis will be the presenter for the introduction to the Fireside Chat.

Benediction: Jon Greene

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