Important Announcement from the MWGM


March 31, 2020

My Sisters and Brothers,

With the President's announcement  of the extension of the guidelines that include social distancing until April 30, 2020, I strongly urge you to continue to observe these guidelines for the safety and well-being of our membership.   It is our responsibility as loving Star members to do so and it is our duty to do what is right to help stop the spread of the virus.

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how proud I am of the leadership of each Jurisdiction for their role in making some very difficult decisions in these unprecedented times.  Thank you for putting the health and safety of your membership  FIRST and understanding this is what must happen in these uncertain times.  There is nothing we do that is worth putting any member's health and life at risk-no meeting, no gathering, no function.  I am aware the present situation puts a great deal of uncertainty on upcoming Grand Chapters, as well as Subordinate Chapter meetings, etc.   I note there have been some innovative ways of staying connected together.  However, I do want to caution you about using Skype or Zoom.  The use of Skype or Zoom CANNOT be used for any CLOSED MEETING at any time, NOW OR IN THE FUTURE, because doing so would be unacceptable  and ILLEGAL We will have time in the future, in the near future I hope, to "right the ship" and get back to our regular routines.

These are indeed stressful times, but I anticipate that in the sense of true Eastern Star
we will not only survive, but will come out of this with more connection and support for each other.  I recently read this great African proverb: "If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together."  We can go far, my Sisters and Brothers.

Please take care.  Stay healthy, stay safe and stay in!
Marianne R. Shenefelt
Most Worthy Grand Matron


Dear Sisters and Brothers,

What are we going to do about the upcoming elections and installations of Subordinate Chapter Officers?

Article ill, Election, section 2, of our Code and Digest (page 39) states in part:
"Election shall be held at the first stated meeting in April."
"----Failure to elect at the prescribed time will require a special dispensation from the Worthy Grand Matron."

Article IV, Installation, section 4, of our Code and Digest (page 39) states:
"Officers shall be installed within thirty-five (35) days after election and shall hold office until their respective successors are installed.  A Chapter failing to install the elective officers within the prescribed period must obtain a special dispensation from the Worthy Grand Matron."

These are trying times. We are in the throes of the COVID19 pandemic. The Most Worthy Grand Matron, Marianne Shenefelt, has encouraged each Grand Chapter to take necessary and prudent actions to ensure the health and safety of its members.  The Most Worshipful Grand Master ofldaho, Steven L. Hall, has issued an edict that all Masonic meetings and gatherings be suspended. I have suspended all OES meetings and activities. The WHO and CDC has recommended limiting gatherings to ten or less. Most of our membership is in the high-risk category, and exposure to this virus could have a devastating effect on us all.  At this time,I  have no idea when we will be able to hold a Chapter meeting. Therefore, I am issuing this executive order:

If a Chapter is unable to elect Officers at their first stated meeting in April, due to their inability to hold a meeting because of the suspension order, or they do not have a quorum, because of members being unable to attend due to health concerns. Elections will be held at the next stated meeting, where there is a quorum present. A special dispensation is not required.  This is to be considered a blanket dispensation to all Idaho OES Chapters to elect out oftime.

Installation of elected Officers will still need to be held within thirty-five (35) days after election.  If a Chapter installs out of time, a special dispensation will be required.

This is a challenging and stressful time.  We need to reach out to each other and make sure that our sisters and brothers are doing okay.  We need to be flexible, kind, loving and supportive.  We are resilient and we will get through this.I appreciate your love and support.

Star Love,

Jeanne Jennings, WGM


Dear Sisters and Brothers.

On March 17, 2020, MW Grand Master Steven L. Hall issued an edict that all Masons in the Jurisdiction of Idaho suspend attendance at all Masonic meetings or gatherings.  This edict affects our Order of the Eastern Star meetings and functions as well.  No Mason can attend an OES function and we cannot hold a meeting or event in a Masonic Hall.  Therefore, all OES meetings and activities will be suspended until the edict from the MWGM is rescinded.
We are in contact with the MWGM who has informed us that he will be revisiting the situation every two weeks.  We will keep you updated and let you know when he rescinds his edict.
Star Love,
Jeanne Jennings, WGM
Todd Paille, WGP


Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Upon reviewing the current information on the corona virus pandemic and believing that it is our responsibility to keep our members healthy and safe, we have made the following decision.  All Idaho OES meetings and functions are to be suspended until March 31, 2020.  This is an unprecedented situation and we are erring on the side of caution.  We have taken into consideration the best interests of our membership by making this difficult decision.  We are basing this suspension of all activities on the suggestion from Marianne Shenefelt, MWGM and the actions which have already be taken by our neighboring Jurisdictions.  We will continue to keep an eye on the developing recommendations and updates from the WHO, CDC and state and local mandates.
Star Love,
Jeanne Jennings, WGM
Todd Paille, WGP


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