Regional York Rite Conferences
General Grand Principal Conductor of the Work
Traditions and the Way Forward as True Partners
As I made my way “up” the Grand Council advancing line in Missouri, I regularly attended the annual South Central Regional York Rite Conference. Comprised of six States: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, this Conference has an established tradition of the hosting duties moving annually from State to State. With those hosting duties, the “host State” generally engaged its York Rite leadership in not only selecting a conference hotel and planning of meals. However, the South Central also expects the host State to plan the “program” for the Grand Chapter and Grand Council portions of the Conference.
While the General Grand Chapter Regional Deputy Grand High Priest and General Grand Council Regional Deputy Grand Master are often involved in the planning and execution of the program, it remains a tradition of some pride for the South Central that the member States serving as the host State means that the host calls the shots. Traditionally, the General Grand Chapter and General Grand Council are usually provided with time to make comments but the vast majority of the program is generated by the member States or the host State with some input from the Regional officers. This has worked well for many years even though only 5 of the 6 States are members of the General Grand Chapter and General Grand Council.
Several Regional conferences follow this pattern while others have a tradition that the General Grand Chapter and General Grand Council leadership are expected to provide the direction and the bulk of the substantive programs for any Regional conferences. The General Grand Chapter has developed many fine presentations that it can use at any Regional conference or Grand Chapter session. In like manner, the General Grand Council has also developed presentations that can used at Regional conferences and Grand Council sessions.
All General Grand presentations include information on our charities. However, the General Grand leaders need to know in advance of your Regional conference if you want to include those presentations. In turn, we need your planning committees to have the appropriate technology available for these presentations. Your General Grand Council leadership is exploring the possibility of coordinating support for quality Masonic education and leadership speakers for the Regional conferences. We will be identifying experts on topics such as ways to increase and retain membership, restoring our known history and filling in the gaps in Masonic history, using ritualistic themes in reaching our millennial-plus generations, as well as other topics on the proper management of our non-profit entities and charities.
We want each Region and every Grand Council to be able to benefit from this program as it is developed but it is imperative that each Region and every Grand Council recognize that we are your partners in the path to success. We want to be and need to be true partners who communicate our plans and goals so we can act together as intended by the symbolism of Nine Arches. As we are all Royal Arch Masons, we share many values. As Cryptic Masons, we share also the Royal and Select concept of Masonic excellence and the preservation of all of Ancient Craft Masonry. As you plan your Regional conferences and Grand York sessions, please feel free to contact the General Grand Council and know that we welcome your requests for assistance or participation at your conference or your Grand Assembly. As General Grand PCW, I have a lot of time to listen before I reach the General Grand Ninth Arch. And, I can assure you that the top leadership of the General Grand Council and the General Grand Chapter are united in providing you with quality resources and enhancing your Masonic experience in every way possible.