Virtual Stated Meetings

Since the pandemic began, the one thing we have heard more than anything else is:

“Our Lodge wants to hold its Stated Meetings.”

We've heard that again and again, it is clear that the Masons of Washington want to go back to Stated Meetings.

Recently, our Grand Master has authorized Stated Meetings to take place on virtual platforms. In fact, he has required those meetings to either take place, or the Lodge to seek his permission to not hold them.

Frankly, I am very surprised and deeply saddened by the number of requests for permission to not hold Stated Meetings he has received.

Far too many Lodges in Washington have not taken advantage of the opportunity to handle vital business via virtual platforms. Far too many have not created virtual platform based programs of Masonic education.

The move to virtual platforms has undoubtedly been difficult and traumatic for Freemasonry. Equally true however is the fact that we have seen how Freemasonry can be improved through the embrace of these modern tools.

Providing high quality masonic education has never been easier. Checking in with our Brothers who have moved across the country or around the world has never been easier. Even business discussions have been made easier.

If our Lodges are to thrive into the future, they will do so through our ancient practices, enhanced with the use of technology.

For the brother stuck in the hospital, or nursing home, or Florida, how great would it be to be able to join his Lodge meetings via Zoom, since it is impossible for him to be there in person?

For a Temple Board facing an emergency repair, how much easier to pull everyone together via Zoom, then trying to get them all down to the Lodge some evening?

Every Lodge in this Jurisdiction should be regularly meeting, right now, on Zoom. (Or the virtual platform of your choice.)

Some of these regular meetings should be to take care of business. Some of them should be to provide high quality Masonic education. All of them should include candidates and prospective candidates.

This absolutely should be happening now. It should have been happening long before now. There is no excuse not to be doing it.

Lodges that are not doing it, and are continuing to refuse to do it, will not find a bright future.

Frankly, I've heard a lot of excuses that just don't hold water. “Our members don't have computers.” “Our members live where there isn't internet available.” On and on.


A Chromebook is a great tool for using Zoom. They can be purchased for 150 dollars. The purchaser can take it out of the box, plug it into the wall, open it up, chose a nickname and a password and that is all it takes to be able to join a Zoom meeting.

If a fellow has a cell phone, well, then he has high speed internet perfectly capable of Zooming right through that phone. Heck he can Zoom directly on the phone if desired.

If all else fails, internet hot spots have been created all over Washington State in order to facilitate online education for our students in elementary and high schools. These can be utilized.

Using Zoom on a Chromebook, or any other computer for that matter is little more than clicking on a single link.

Another excuse often heard, not about this, but about Grandview and many other things is: “My Lodge doesn't have a computer.”

Well, all I can say is, buy one.

Again, Chromebooks can be had for 150 dollars. Life Membership checks are being sent to our Lodges right now. Take some of that money, buy a computer for the Lodge Secretary to use, another for the Master or Treasurer. Better yet get 5 so that all the elected officers can be online.

The pandemic has forced the future on all of us, including on our Fraternity. Our Lodges will either chose to utilize the tools of the future and thrive, or they will reject progress and pass into history.

I hope that your Lodge chooses the former.

Surely it is a choice.

The fact that our Legislators have been meeting virtually for a year now, from the largest Western Washington Cities, to the most rural of Eastern Washington farms proves that everyone can do it. No matter where they happen to live.



Cameron M. Bailey Past Grand Master The MW Grand Lodge F&AM of Washington

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