OF KNIGHTS TEMPLAR
Jeffrey N. Nelson,
Most Eminent Grand Master
3112 Tyler Parkway
Bismarck, North Dakota 58503
Lawrence Eugene Tucker,
Right Eminent Grand Recorder
5909 West Loop South, Suite 495
Bellaire, Texas 77401
GENERAL ORDER NO. 12
PROHIBITION OF IN-PERSON CONCLAVES OF GRAND,
SUBORDINATE, AND CONSTITUENT COMMANDERIES
May 4, 2020
To all Grand Commanderies and Subordinate Commanderies within the Jurisdiction of, and holding Allegiance to, the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar.
The number of persons infected with the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to increase in the United States and throughout the world, and the danger to vulnerable populations is unabated, especially among the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, many of whom are our Fratres. In the face of the crisis, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged persons to “avoid all nonessential travel” and take other appropriate measures to prevent community transmission of the virus, including avoiding large public gatherings, the wearing of facemasks in public, and working from home. While rates of infection appear to be leveling or declining in places and tentative steps have been taken by some governmental authorities to relax or rescind business and school closures and stay-at-home orders, the numbers of COVID-19 infections are expected to experience a resurgence in the fall and winter months
Accordingly, I, the Grand Master of the Grand Encampment of the United States of America, by the authority in me vested by Section 23 of the Constitution and Statutes of the Grand Encampment, do hereby waive the requirement of Section 36 (a) of the Constitution. It is ordered that all in-person Conclaves of Grand, Constituent, or Subordinate Commanderies be prohibited until further notice. Any such Conclave currently scheduled is hereby cancelled. This prohibition has no exceptions.
I authorize the Grand Commander or his designee to convene the Stated Conclave of his Grand Commandery by means of teleconference or webcast, provided that the necessary facilities are widely available to the members of the Grand Commandery and the Stated Conclave be conducted in full compliance with the requirements of Sections 37 through 39 of the Constitution.
In addition, I do hereby waive the requirement of Section 65 (a) of the Constitution, and authorize the Commander of a Constituent Commandery within each Grand Commandery to convene a Stated Conclave by means of teleconference or webcast, provided that the necessary facilities are widely available to the members of the Constituent Commandery and the Stated Conclave be conducted in full compliance with the requirements of Sections 65 and 66 of the Constitution. Commanders of Subordinate Commanderies enjoy the same discretion.
No ritual shall be performed and no Orders be conferred during any such telephonic or webcast Conclave.
The safety and well-being of our Sir Knights and their families being paramount, the provisions of Sections 48 (d), 59, 176, and 195 of the Constitution and Statutes of the Grand Encampment shall be inoperative while this General Order is in force.
This supersedes General Order No 11 of the tenth day of March, last, in its entirety.
Given under my hand and seal of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America at Bismarck, North Dakota, this fourth day of May 2020, A.O. 902.