Oriental Consistory S.P.R.S.
2022-2023 Annual Report
Illustrious Active, Illustrious Deputy, Illustrious Deputy Representative, my fellow Presiding Officers, and Brethren,
In our first full year after reopening from the pandemic, the Valley of Chicago has returned with a stronger drive to uplift our members from the first curtain raise to the last toast. The decisions made by the Executive Committee are only possible through the guidance and expertise of our amazing staff, committees, and officer lines. This gathering of passion and talent from every walk of life is what makes our Valley into an icon of Freemasonry throughout the Midwest. Sadly, this year also ends the term of presiding officers Reuben Owens and David Truax, who have built permanent contributions to our fraternity, and our Executive Secretary Dave Koss who has been our right-hand and good counsel.
The last two Reunions have been designed from the ground-up to break habits and revive traditions to give our Brothers the best experience possible whether they’re an initiate or a fifty year member. Our Wild West and Treasure Hunting themes highlighted the impact of Masonry throughout history, with immersive exhibits and speakers to bring the stories of our fraternity to life. Our stated meetings now feature educational presentations on the symbolism and reflections of our degrees, including a revival of Robert Burns Night celebrating the life of Brother Burns and paying tribute to Scottish culture.
Most importantly, our degrees on the stage have become an opportunity for every director, actor, and committee member to push the limits and do what we’ve never done before. The Scottish Rite has always valued innovation and evolution of storytelling, which has been epitomized by the cleverly themed updates to the 4th degree presented at both Reunions. We are boldly experimenting with degree staging, special effects, scene direction, and even received dispensation to recreate a version of the 32nd degree that had not been seen in decades. Whether we’re painting new chapters that can spark Masonic inspiration or navigating the original scripts played by our ancestors, the stories of the Valley of Chicago are a legacy all their own.
To each volunteer and member who chose to be a part of our story…Thank you.
Brandon A. Zears