Words from the Grand Prior
CAPT Chev. Clay Kemmerer, USN (ret), GCTJ, GMTJ
Grand Prior XXI, GPUSA

Fellow Knights and Dames:

As these last snowflakes of the winter fall here in eastern Tennessee, I am thinking of all that so many are doing for our Order and of the myriad ways that our fellow Templars contribute to the vitality of SMOTJ/GPUSA. Ranging from dedicated, stalwart members throughout our ranks, to those who are actively engaged in our work each and every day, you are all invaluable to the Order. For all that each of you do, Thank You.

We recently held our winter Grand EXCOM meetings in Nevada, and there is much going on and to report about as we march deeper into this year. Some highlights:

  • We are expecting four members from our Permanent Preceptory in the Holy Land (PPHL) to be joining us for our Grand Convent in May! They are:

    • Preceptor Chev. Tony Kashram
    • Founding PPHL Preceptor Fr. Peter Vasko
    • Chev. Rami Salfiti, who many of you know from your Pilgrimages with him as Guide
    • Chvse. Shahinda Nassar, our Scholarship Coordinator at Bethlehem University

  • Our SMOTJ/GPUSA Annual Report to Members (ARTM), which we first published and distributed at our Grand Convent last year, will again be produced. The 2019 ARTM is in work and will be mailed to all members before the Grand Convent in Texas
  • We ended 2019 with 1,562 members in an active status, a slight increase over 2018, and invested 120 new members last year (20 more than the previous year!)
  • Not including local Priory work, in 2019 we delivered $435,545 in charitable grants and scholarships. That, my friends, is an increase of $72,895 – over 20% more than in 2018. When we finish compiling your 2019 Priory Report data, I expect we will no longer be telling others that our small Order contributes nearly $500K a year in aid – we will replace “nearly” with “over”, for we shall have surpassed it!
  • Our 2019 Jerusalem Mite drive collected $107,725, a healthy start to what we will deliver in grants this year via the Raymond Davis Foundation
The Priory of St. Matthew is outdoing itself to host yet another truly superb Grand Convent this year – it’s not one you want to miss! In addition to the activities and festivities, and the formalities and honors and camaraderie, we are also working on some new things – new and improved tools and processes - for which we plan to hold some vital training for Priory Officers. The norm is for all Priors and Commanders to be at our GC&I each year, and Priory Officers should be trying to do the same – that is why we have breakout sessions for them!! (Templar Trivia – did you know that we used to have two Grand Convents each year? Someone got wise – done right, one is enough!) My brothers and sisters, they say that everything is bigger in Texas, so let’s make our Grand Convent measure up! Texas or Bust!

As the coming spring warms and revitalizes the world around us, I hope and pray that it does the same for each of you individually, for your families, and for our Order. We are only as strong as each of you. Blessings, and I hope to be seeing many of you at C&Is this spring, and at our Grand Convent in May!

Keep Chargin’ SMOTJ!

nnDnn

 

February 2020
Regular publication of SMOTJ GPUSA

In This Issue

  Words from the Grand Prior

  Ecumenical

  Doc's Corner

  The Church

  The Chuckwagon Dinner

  FRRME

  Security Training

  Member Networking

  Priory News

  GPUSA Calendar




Publisher

CAPT Chev. Clay Kemmerer, USN (ret), GCTJ, GMTJ, Grand Prior XXI

Templar Times Editor
Chvse. Analee V. Evans, GOTJ

Photographers
Chvse. Michael Ann Robinson DCTJ
Chev. Robert Orin Holmes, Sr., GCTJ, CMTJ

Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis, Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam ®

   
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