News From The Ninth Arch

Triennial Highlights, Tech, and the GGR Office



Since 2018, there have been close to 200 articles submitted to the General Grand Council. THANK YOU to all who have contributed – your work is appreciated.

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Stephen A. Balke
General Grand Recorder, Cryptic Masons International


Stephen A. Balke, General Grand Recorder
Cryptic Masons International  

Greetings, Companions, AND, Welcome to the 48th Triennium!

Thank you for your confidence in electing me to this office for the 48th Triennium of the General Grand Council! I am excited to be working with an outstanding team to continue and expand the work done over the past two years.

Our Triennial Assembly was a success! The experience was not without learning opportunities, and those will be reported after the “Committee on Credentials” (which became SO much more) meets this coming Sunday. For now, we offer some of the requested and useful items for your review and information. Please click the header of each to see the page/document referenced.

  • Highlights of the Triennial Assembly – A synopsis of the events of the virtual meeting held on Saturday, September 26, 2020, including the decisions impacting the General Grand Council, the elected and appointed officers, and the activities during our gathering.
  • Adopted Budget and Presentation– The budget was presented by our Most Puissant General Grand Master (then Deputy) with an explanation of the process and care taken in its creation.
  • CMMRF Update 2020– A presentation by Dr. Michael Murphy, Chair of the Indiana Center for Vascular Biology and Medicine outlining the current work and accomplishments that CMMRF has facilitated.

Further, the office and technology teams are growing to provide timelier and more expedient fulfillment of our charges and projects. Continuing their hard work over the past three years, we are grateful and excited to announce that three of our new fulcrums have extended their service into this Triennium.

  • Illustrious Companion Will Highsmith has agreed to continue his outstanding work and leadership in continuing the organization, compilation, and distribution of the Decryption email newsletter.
  • Right Puissant Companion John Bridegroom has agreed to continue working steadily behind the scenes evolving the branding of the General Grand Council to better and more effectively reach our Companions and beyond.
  • And, Lady Michele has agreed to stay on as the General Grand Clerk working to implement and document processes and standards for orders and the work of this office.

We are thankful for their dedication to our organization and the consistent effort required to continue these efforts to fruition! We are also happy to welcome these new members to our teams:

  • Right Illustrious Companion John R. Miller has been Appointed the Assistant General Grand Recorder. In addition to being a part of the overall activities of this office, his particular focus will be to enhance the service, organization, and better communication with our over 100 (and growing) Subordinate (report directly to General Grand Council) Councils.
  • Right Illustrious Companion Roderick Wagoner is continuing on the Committee on Technology but has agreed to take on the mantle of Chair of this Committee to continue implementing technology that will help us achieve better communication and transparency (through) innovation.
  • Right Puissant Companion James McNeely has recently joined the team as a facilitator of virtual/video conference meetings and has agreed to take the lead for management of this General Grand Council program. As our “Zoom Tzar” he will be building a team that supports our internal and public-facing communication efforts as well as those of organizations who use our program.
  • Your Name Here will come onto this team and ensure that our calendar is regularly updated and has the information to become an interactive part of the events and activities of our Craft world-wide. This Companion should be team-oriented, somewhat tech-savvy, and detail-oriented.
  • Your 1000 Mile Best Friend’s Name Here will join us in bringing the vision of our online marketplace to life: a resource for Cryptic Masonry and more to make available the tools and materials that will enhance the journey for our friends, Brothers, and Companions.

Your support in bringing all of these programs and initiatives is earnestly solicited! If you have talents, ideas, and a drive to improve our ability to serve the Craft, we want to hear from you! If your cable-tow doesn’t allow for more, PLEASE UTILIZE these tools and spread the word and work offered by others to make our organization stronger – work in your Community, Lodge, Council, Grand Lodge and Grand Council will strengthen the impact of the Masonic Family!

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