Syria Shriners’ Covid-19 Response April 5 Update

At Syria Shriners, we are doing our best to continue keeping you informed as circumstances quickly change and events are canceled or rescheduled, while our Grand Lodge and Shriners International reach decisions and issue statements that affect all of us. While it has never been our intention to flood your inbox with email, we feel an absolute responsibility to maintain the flow of information.

You can view our previous updates and news at these links below:

Watch for additional communication, check our website at syriashriners.org, and follow our Facebook  page for ongoing information as developments unfold. We'll all get through this together, and if we take proper public health precautions, most of us will not become seriously ill.

Let's continue to pray for one another and support each other through safe social contact (i.e., phone, text, email, FaceTime, Skype, etc.), all the while practicing proper physical distancing to control the spread of the coronavirus. We must all do our part. Even if you think this situation is overblown, please exercise caution, as many of your friends and neighbors are counting on you not to increase their likelihood of exposure or illness.

We are repeating some information below, in the hope that more people will see it. More people are signing up for our emails, and our open rate is improving, but most who receive messages from us continue not to open them, so we apologize for the repetition, and hope you understand that redundancy is not a bad thing when the information is important. There's plenty of new content, though, so keep reading!

Meanwhile, stay well, and stay home. We look forward to being together again soon.


Holy Week and Passover

Our Jewish and Christian Shrine families celebrate important religious holidays this week and next. Today, of course, is Palm Sunday. Passover begins Wednesday night, and many will have a Seder both Wednesday and Thursday. For Christians, Thursday is Maundy (Holy) Thursday, followed by Good Friday, all leading into Easter, or Resurrection Sunday. Passover continues until April 16. With religious services moved from churches and synagogues to online settings, and families separated by stay at home orders, Services, Seders, Last Suppers, Stations, the Vigil, and Easter dinners will all be drastically different this year. We wish you blessings at this most holy time. May our current difficulties not prohibit you from experiencing meaningful holidays.

Chag Pesach Sameach!

R. W. Grand Master Suspends All Masonic Activity in Pennsylvania Until at Least June 1

Bro. Thomas Gamon IV, Right Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania, has suspended all Masonic Activity in Pennsylvania until further notice, at least through the end of May. Shriners International has directed to follow the Grand Master's lead as it applies to our schedule. Accordingly, by order of the Illustrious Potentate, Donald J. Taylor, there will be no Syria Shriners activities in April or May, other than Onion Sale pickups. For the Grand Master's statement, click the link to the right.

Pennsylvania Announces New Dates and Deadlines

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has recently rescheduled several important dates and deadlines, from Election Day, to drivers license renewals, the REAL ID deadline, and the state income tax return filing deadline. See the graphic on the right for the new dates and deadlines.

Apply to Vote by Mail

For the first time in Pennsylvania history, every registered voter may cast their vote by mail. During the pandemic, all voters are encouraged to use this method. You can exercise one of your foremost rights as a citizen without having to leave home, and thereby put yourself and others at risk. Click the image to the right to apply.

In Case You Missed It - Grand Ole Opry Livestream

With support from Shriners Hospitals for Children®, last night, for the 4,918th consecutive Saturday night, the show went on at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, featuring Ashley McBryde, Lauren Alaina, and Terri Clark keeping the music playing in Music City, once again without a live audience. Click the link to the left and advance 30 minutes to check out the show.

SHC has kept the music playing the last three Saturdays. See all the shows here..

Vidalia Onion Sale Fundraiser Ends Tomorrow

Our VIDALIA ONION SALE fundraiser is still on! The order deadline has been extended to TOMORROW. We will fulfill orders in May, when we hope to be reopened. Regardless, we will conduct distribution of the onions, dressings, and sauces outside in the pavilion, with all proper precautions for physical distancing, and without anywhere near the number of people you would encounter in a grocery store. This fundraiser is even more important to us in light of the other changes we're experiencing due to public health concerns and stay-at-home orders. Click the link above or the onion cartoon at the right for an order form. If you are ordering today, please contact John Koedel at jckoed (AT) verizon.net.

North Hills Home Brew Fest Rescheduled for August 29

The 4th Annual North Hills Home Brew Fest has been rescheduled for Saturday,August 29, from 5pm to 9pm at The Pittsburgh Shrine Center Pavilion. The Battle of the Homebrews returns to the Pittsburgh Shrine Center! The best local homebrewers are set to showcase their best brews. Taste beer and vote on your favorites, win-win!!

VIP blind tasting and judging is 5-6pm - Public tasting and judging is 6-9pm.

We'll have a Brewers Challenge - A 50-50 Raffle - A Live Podcast recorded with HOP NATION - Many amazing Chinese Auction Items to win! The winning beer at V.I.P. tasting event will be brewed & served at PENN BREWERY!

Tickets and information available here.

Ladies Luncheon Rescheduled for August 8

The Annual Syria Shrine Ladies Luncheon, honoring First Lady Eleanor Taylor, has been rescheduled from May 30 to Saturday, August 8. The event begins at noon, with luncheon served at 12:30pm, and entertainment following lunch. Ladies, mark your calendar now for the new date for this fun afternoon Girls' Day Out!

Pittsburgh Shrine Center Closure

The Pittsburgh Shrine Center remains closed until further notice. Please keep our office and facilities staff, and our entire Syria Shriners family in your prayers. We all need to remember each other during this trying period. Call your fellow Shriners, and look after their well-being. Run errands to the grocery or drug store if your situation allows, and theirs does not.

Forward this email to your friends who don't receive it directly, and encourage them to sign up for our email list.

Rescheduled Events

The Potentate's Stag Testimonial Dinner, originally scheduled for March 21, has been rescheduled for Saturday, November 21. Rocky Bleier will join us that day. Hospitality Suite reservations have been shifted to November, and all tickets issued will be honored in November.

The Potentate's Ball, originally scheduled for April 18, has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 24. The same menu, entertainment, and other festivities will be offered in the fall. All reservations have been shifted to the new date.

If you need a refund for either event, contact the Shrine Center office, after we reopen.

The Sportsmen's Bash Early Bird Drawing has been rescheduled for Friday, May 15. Get your ticket stubs in before that date for inclusion in the drawing. The bash remains scheduled for Saturday, June 20. More information here.

The Legion of Honor meetings scheduled for Monday, May 4, have been rescheduled for Monday, June 8.

Canceled & Postponed Events not yet rescheduled

The Quarterly Meeting, and First Ceremonial, scheduled for April 6, has been postponed to a date to be determined. Shriners International bylaws require Temples to meet at least once a quarter, and we will reschedule when we can safely do so. We have a goal date in mind, but it would be premature to announce that at this time.

The Caravan 14 Seafood Stag, scheduled for April 17, has been postponed. The new date has yet to be determined.

The Swing Time dance, featuring the Syria Stage Band, scheduled for April 24, has been canceled. The dances are scheduled to resume on the third Friday in May, and continue on the third Friday of every month through November.

The Directors Staff Spaghetti Dinner, scheduled for April 26 has been canceled. No further information is available at this time.

The 55th Annual Syria Shriners Horse Patrol Open Horse Show, scheduled for Sunday, April 26, at South Park, has been canceled. Watch for other Horse Patrol events at other venues later this year.

The 5th Annual First Choice Wine Festival, scheduled for Saturday, May 16, has been postponed. We are working to reschedule the event as soon as possible.

Sewickley and Coraopolis have each announced they are canceling their Memorial Day parades this year. Several of our units have become accustomed to playing a doubleheader on both sides of the Ohio River in these neighboring towns, but this year, there will be no parade in either community.

At this time, we are scheduled to resume activities in June. We will keep you informed as developments unfold.

Taking care of ourselves and each other

Let's make sure we look out for each other as we navigate our way through the "new normal." While we practice physical distancing, let's be sure no one goes without vital social contact. Reach out to your fellow Nobles, Lodge Brothers, friends, family and neighbors. If your situation allows, run an errand to the grocery store, pharmacy or other essential business for someone who can't, or really shouldn't, be leaving their home right now. And while you're at it, be sure to take proper precautions like those below.

Stay Home!

The absolute best thing you can to protect yourself from infection with the novel coronavirus is to stay home. Period. Stay home. You protect yourself -- and others if you happen to be an asymptomatic carrier -- by simply staying home. Take the other precautions below, both at home and when you must go out to acquire essentials. Click the image to the left to read the USA op-ed from a panel of 16 distinguished health care, epidemiology, medical ethics and public health policy experts

Wash Your Hands!

Dr. Sanjay Gupta demonstrates proper handwashing techniques to safeguard yourself and your loved ones against the spread of the novel coronavirus. Public health authorities continue to tell us that this is the most effective thing we can do to protect ourselves against the spread of infectious diseases of any variety.. Click this video link to see how it's done!
Beat Way to Wash Your Hands- Dr Gupta

Stay Informed!

There is so much misinformation being shared on social media and by email. Do yourself, and all of us a favor, and go right to a trusted source for your information. Please don't pass along things your seen posted or things you've been sent unless they have come directly from a legitimate public health or government authority. Click on the image to the left to visit the federal government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FEMA and the White House at coronavirus.gov.

Wear a Mask!

Last Friday, Governor Tom Wolf asked all Pennsylvanians to wear cloth masks when leaving home for essential trips to pick up food, medicine and essential supplies. The CDC has now also made a strong recommendation to all Americans to do the same. Since you can't buy a mask, you might Click on the video link to the right for instructions on how to make a mask at home. You can also download instructions here.

If sewing isn't your thing, or is beyond your skill set, you lcan make a face mask with a piece of cloth and a couple of rubber bands. Check out this video for a demonstration from U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams.

Syria Shriners’ COVID-19 Response Update March 29

You can view our previous updates and news at these links below:

Syria Noble and Lady Hospitalized due to COVID-19

We learned yesterday morning of the second and third cases of the novel coronavirus to enter into our Syria Shriners family. One of our faithful friends and Brother Nobles, and his Lady, have been admitted to a hospital in Butler County due to illness from COVID-19. Please keep them-- and all of us -- in your prayers, and ask the Great Architect of the Universe to lay his healing hands upon them, that their infections may resolve and they can return to good health soon.

Please do not contact me to ask whether you might have been exposed. First of all, Syria Shriners, its Units, Caravans and Clubs, and all of Freemasonry in Pennsylvania have not been meeting for more than 14 days. If you have shown no symptoms, you are almost certainly not at risk from exposure to these cases. Second, I can tell you with certainty that these folks were not present at our Night at the Races fundraiser of March 14. Third, I am currently receiving a very large volume of emails and phone calls on a daily basis during this uncertain time, and I will not be able to respond to your inquiries in a timely fashion. Finally, if you have had a likely exposure, you would have been notified by now, as public health authorities conduct contact tracing. If you feel ill, contact your primary care physician for advice.

Don't panic. Simply be informed and send your prayers and good thoughts our Brother's way.

At Syria Shriners, we are doing our best to continue keeping you informed as circumstances quickly change and events are canceled or rescheduled, while our Grand Lodge and Shriners International reach decisions and issue statements that affect all of us. While it has never been our intention to flood your inbox with email, we feel an absolute responsibility to maintain the flow of information.

Watch for additional communication, check our website at syriashriners.org, and follow our Facebook page for ongoing information as developments unfold. We'll all get through this together, and if we take proper public health precautions, most of us will not become seriously ill.

Let's continue to pray for one another and support each other through safe social contact (i.e., phone, text, email, FaceTime, Skype, etc.), all the while practicing proper physical distancing to control the spread of the Coronavirus. We must all do our part. Even if you think this situation is overblown, please exercise caution, as many of your friends and neighbors are counting on you not to increase their likelihood of exposure or illness.

We are repeating some information below, in the hope that more people will see it. More people are signing up for our emails, but most who receive them continue not to open them, so we apologize for the repetition, and hope you understand that redundancy is not a bad thing when the information is important. There's plenty of new content, though, so keep reading!

Meanwhile, stay well, and stay home. We look forward to being together again soon.

If you have been forwarded this email by a friend, and don't regularly receive out communications, click the link below, and scroll down on our home page to sign up for our email list. Visit our Website

In Case You Missed It

Grand Ole Opry Livestreams

On Saturday, March 21, Shriners Hospitals for Children® partnered with Circle and the Grand Ole Opry to produce WSM radio's regular weekly broadcast, featuring Noble Brad Paisley, Vince Gill and Marty Stuart, which was livestreamed on Facebook and Circle. Click the video link to the left to see the show.

Shows continue every Saturday night. Last night, for the 4,917th consecutive Saturday night, again with support from Shriners Hospitals for Children®, the show went on at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, with Vince Gill, Amy Grant, and their daughters, Jennie Gill and Corrina Grant Gill, keeping the music playing in Music City, once again without a live audience. Click the link to the left and advance 30 minutes to check out the show.

U.S. Surgeon General Visits Scottish Rite

Last Thursday evening, Dr. Jerome Adams, Surgeon General of the United States, and Ill. Bro. Dr. Oscar Alleyne, 33°, a public health expert working in Washington, D.C. presented a livestream for the Scottish Rite, NMJ, titled "Un-Panic the Pandemic," and Sovereign Grand Commander David Glattly, 33° addressed Scottish Rite Masons on current public health concerns. Click this link to view that content.

Horse Patrol Open Horse Show

The 55th Annual Syria Shriners Horse Patrol Open Horse Show is cancelled! More information available here.

Vidalia Onion Sale Fundraiser

Our VIDALIA ONION SALE fundraiser is still on! The order deadline has been extended to Monday, April 6. We will fulfill orders in May, when we hope to be reopened. Regardless, we will conduct distribution of the onions, dressings, and sauces outside in the pavilion, with all proper precautions for physical distancing, and without anywhere near the number of people you would encounter in a grocery store. This fundraiser is even more important to us in light of the other changes we're experiencing due to public health concerns and stay-at-home orders. Click the link above or the onion cartoon at the right for an order form.

Pittsburgh Shrine Center Closure

The Pittsburgh Shrine Center remains closed until further notice. Please keep our office and facilities staff, and our entire Syria Shriners family in your prayers. We all need to remember each other during this trying period. Call your fellow Shriners, and look after their well-being. Run errands to the grocery or drug store if your situation allows, and theirs does not.

Forward this email to your friends who don't receive it directly, and encourage them to sign up for our email list.

Rescheduled Events

The Potentate's Stag Testimonial Dinner, originally scheduled for March 21, has been rescheduled for Saturday, November 21. Rocky Bleier will join us that day. Hospitality Suite reservations have been shifted to November, and all tickets issued will be honored in November.

The Potentate's Ball, originally scheduled for April 18, has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 24. The same menu, entertainment, and other festivities will be offered in the fall. All reservations have been shifted to the new date.

If you need a refund for either event, contact the Shrine Center office, after we reopen.

Canceled & Postponed Events not yet rescheduled

The Bunny Bash, scheduled for April 4, has been canceled. we will try to schedule another party for our kids sometime this spring.

The Quarterly Meeting,and First Ceremonial, scheduled for April 6, has been postponed to a date to be determined. Shriners International bylaws require Temples to meet at least once a quarter, and we will reschedule when we can safely do so.

The Caravan 14 Seafood Stag, scheduled for April 17, has been postponed. The new date has yet to be determined.

The Swing Time dance, featuring the Syria Stage Band, scheduled for April 24, has been canceled. The dances are scheduled to resume on the third Friday in May, and continue on the third Friday of every month through November.

The Directors Staff Spaghetti Dinner, scheduled for April 26 has been canceled. No further information is available at this time.

Taking care of ourselves and each other

Let's make sure we look out for each other as we navigate our way through the "new normal." While we practice physical distancing, let's be sure no one goes without vital social contact. Reach out to your fellow Nobles, Lodge Brothers, friends, family and neighbors. If your situation allows, run an errand to the grocery store, pharmacy or other essential business for someone who can't, or really shouldn't, be leaving their home right now. And while you're at it, be sure to take proper precautions like those below.

President Trump's Guidelines

You have probably received this postcard outlining President Trump's Coronavirus Guidelines for America. Click on the photo to the left to visit the federal government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at coronavirus.gov.

Wash Your Hands!

Dr. Sanjay Gupta demonstrates proper hand washing techniques to safeguard yourself and your loved ones against the spread of the novel Coronavirus. Public health authorities continue to tell us that this is the most effective thing we can do to protect ourselves against the spread of infectious diseases of any variety.. Click the video link to the right to see how it's done!

           

Pittsburgh Shrine Center to Remain Closed Through at Least June 1st -R.W. Grand Master

Thomas Gamon, IV, R.W. Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania has issued the following order today. He is extending the cessation of Masonic activities at all Pennsylvania Masonic facilities - including the Pittsburgh Shrine Center - in response to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

April 2, 2020

Dear Brethren,

While I know our brethren look forward to returning to their respective lodges and fellowship, I have seen first-hand the severity of this virus, and as it continues to spread, my concern for the health of our brethren and their families remains paramount. Therefore, I have made the difficult decision to extend the suspension of all Masonic events across the state until June 1, 2020.

Believe me, I’m just as disappointed as everyone else. However, as challenging as this time is, it is also an opportunity to shine our Masonic light by looking out for our fellow brethren, their families and widows, while taking all precautions for safety. Remember, many people are isolated and lonely, so please reach out via phone, text, social media, video chat or other means to simply let them know you’re thinking about them. Please remember to share your acts of kindness with Tina Lutter at tlutter@masonicvillages.org   so she can promote them to inspire others.

Some lodges have found creative ways to hold informal meetings and schools by using Zoom. I encourage you to share this as one of many options for providing education, information and meaningful connections while we cannot meet in person.

There are incredible things happening during this national healthcare crisis. For example, Brother David Stein, owner of Hidden Still Spirits in Lebanon, has converted his operations to making hand sanitizer and spray – and he’s donating all the product he is able to make to first responders. I was just able to pick up 10 gallons of sanitizer for my fire department from this dedicated and caring Brother! If you know of other brethren contributing efforts to fight COVID-19, we would love to hear about it.

Our Masonic Villages continue to exemplify our Masonic principles of love and benevolence. Employees from all parts of our operation are pitching in to help care for our residents by delivering meals to residents’ accommodations to promote safety and social distancing. Staff are finding creative ways to help residents stay in touch with their families and enjoy modified recreational and spiritual opportunities. To recognize their hard work, sacrifice and commitment, the Grand Lodge officers and I made emergency relief funds available to provide resources to benefit our front-line caregivers, as well as to supplement other resources to procure elevated levels of personal protective equipment. If you, your lodge or your family would like to brighten our residents’ days, please visit https://masonicvillages.org/sending-smiles/  to learn the best ways to do so.

I can’t express how proud I am of being the Grand Master of such an awesome organization. It’s about the people serving in trenches day-to-day who make us so important in this world. I thank the Lord every day that He has allowed me to play a small part in what we do!

Sincerely and Fraternally,
Thomas Gamon, IV
R.W. Grand Master
TG/sls

March 22nd Update on Syria Temple’s COVID 19 (Coronavirus) Response

At Syria Shriners, we are doing our best to keep you informed as circumstances quickly change, events are canceled, rescheduled, and our Grand Lodge and Shriners International reach decisions and issue statements that affect all of us.

We feel an absolute responsibility to maintain the flow of information. Watch for additional communication, check our website at syriashriners.org, and follow our Facebook page for ongoing information as developments unfold.

You can view our earlier COVID 19 (Coronavirus) Response communications below:

We'll all get through this together, and if we take proper public health precautions, most of us will not become seriously ill.

Meanwhile, stay well, and stay home. We look forward to being together again soon.

If you don't regularly receive our communications,
 click the "JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST" link at our home page here,
to sign up for our email list.


Pittsburgh Shrine Center Closure

The Pittsburgh Shrine Center remains closed until further notice. Please keep our office and facilities staff, and our entire Syria Shriners family in your prayers. We all need to remember each other during this trying period. Call your fellow Shriners, and look after their well-being. Run errands to the grocery or drug store if your situation allows, and theirs does not.

Forward this article to your friends who don't receive it directly, and encourage them to sign up for our email list on our home page here.

Rescheduled Events

The Potentate's Stag Testimonial Dinner, originally scheduled for March 21, has been rescheduled for Saturday, November 21. Rocky Bleier will join us that day. Hospitality Suite reservations have been shifted to November, and all tickets issued will be honored in November.

The Potentate's Ball, originally scheduled for April 18, has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 24. The same menu, entertainment, and other festivities will be offered in the fall. All reservations have been shifted to the new date.

If you need a refund for either event, contact the Shrine Center office, 724-274-7000, after we reopen.

Canceled & Postponed Events not yet rescheduled

The Bunny Bash, scheduled for April 4, has been canceled. we will try to schedule another party for our kids sometime this spring.

The Quarterly Meeting,and First Ceremonial, scheduled for April 6, has been postponed to a date to be determined. Shriners International bylaws require Temples to meet at least once a quarter, and we will reschedule when we can safely do so.

The Caravan 14 Seafood Stag, scheduled for April 17, has been postponed. The new date has yet to be determined.

The Swing Time dance, featuring the Syria Stage Band, scheduled for April 24, has been canceled. The dances are scheduled to resume on the third Friday in May, and continue on the third Friday of every month through November.

The Directors Staff Spaghetti Dinner, scheduled for April 26 has been canceled. No further information is available at this time.

At this time (mid March), we are scheduled to resume activities in May.
We will keep you informed as developments unfold.


As we learn to cope with the "new normal," and hope that is only a temporary state of normalcy for us all, this hymn, penned by Jeremiah Eames Rankin in 1880, and set to a tune by Ralph Vaughn Williams, brings to mind my sincere hopes and prayers for all of the Syria Shriners family.

View the video below to hear the tune, and see the lyrics below.

May the Great Architect of the Universe continue to be the tracer of designs upon your trestle board, and keep you in his loving arms until we are able to come together once again as Brother Nobles.

God Be With You Till We Meet Again

God be with you till we meet again,
By his counsels guide, uphold you,
With his sheep securely fold you,
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again,
’Neath his wings protecting hide you,
Daily manna still provide you,
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again,
When life’s perils thick confound you,
Put his arms unfailing round you,
God be with you till we meet again

God be with you till we meet again,
Keep love’s banner floating o’er you,
Smite death’s threatening wave before you,
God be with you till we meet again..

Imperial Potentate Defers to Grand Masters on Temple Activities

Nobles -  Please click here to see the March 18 memorandum from Noble John C. Piland, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Shriners International, regarding decisions of Grand Masters of Masons in jurisdictions where Shriners International subordinate Temples operate.

The Imperial Potentate is essentially deferring to Grand Masters in terms of Temple activities, under the umbrella of Masonic activities, placing his trust in local authorities to do what is right in and for their respective areas.

You can view the letter of March 12 from the R.W. Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania by clicking here.

If you had activity scheduled of which we were unaware, you should immediately take action to cancel or postpone. If you need help communicating that information, send it to me at syriarecorder@gmail.com, and I will disseminate it for you.

I apologize for the volume of emails we are sending you. We are simply doing our best to keep you informed, and that is requiring frequent communication at the moment on behalf of our various constituencies.

Yours in the faith,

Bob

Robert T. Addleman, Jr., P.P.
Recorder

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