BROTHERS and SISTERS,
Recd word from Joyce Everett that Dennis has been stricken with COVID.
Though he is being medically treated, our prayers are needed for his recovery.
Dennis has been such an important influence to so many of us within the Junior Order from local, state and national levels.
Joyce also needs our prayers and support in these trying times.
My dearest Brothers and Sisters,
I sat here this uncommon Thanksgiving Day reflecting on all I have to be thankful for with a full belly but a heavy heart. An uncommon Thanksgiving that was unparalleled due to a pandemic that has rocked our world. A fullness of gratitude for the blessings God has bestowed upon my family and friends weathering the storm this past year as we look forward to the annihilation of the deadly Covid-19 virus. A heavy heart for all our fellow brothers and sisters who have not been so fortunate as myself and whose health conditions this past year have taken a toll so heavy to bear. Those like our esteemed Junior Past National Councilor, Charlie, as he prepares for dialysis. Another Past National Councilor, Ed Kiefer, recently placed under hospice care as he battles for his life from his prolonged sickness. Our Brother National delegate, Ray Arnie, as he continues his long journey to recovery from his unfortunate accident. So many more whose lives have been turned upside down by this insidious pandemic.
This holiday season I challenge each and every one of my Brothers and Sisters to take the time to reach out and embrace a member of our Order that we haven’t seen in a while or to someone you know who is alone or less fortunate than yourself. Pray for our soldiers overseas far away from family and friends, that they may feel they are not forgotten. May we soon return to normality in our meetings and resume our fraternal functions so that we may once again grow our ranks for generations to come. Let your light shine through to brighten someone’s day, if only for a moment. As Francis of Assisi avowed “For it is in giving that we receive”. Give of your heart to others, that you may receive blessings a hundred fold.
As we prepare for this holiday season to commemorate the wondrous birth of our Lord and celebrate a safeguarded Christmas with family and friends, I appeal to my Brothers and Sisters to take the necessary precautions that we may weather this storm. We must turn to our guiding principles of Virtue, Liberty and Patriotism as a beacon in the dark of night, for it is darkest before the dawn. My Christmas wish this season is that after the glow of the Christmas tree has faded and the gifts unwrapped that we all emerge triumphant in the dawn of a new year filled with the promise of hope and prosperity for all.
Fraternally Yours, in V.L.P.
As 2020 arrived, our normal became very different with the pandemic, masks, social distancing but our local Junior Order of United American Mechanics did not want to miss our annual recognition of our Junior of Year. Recognizing that individual who has gone above and beyond what is expected.
The member selected this year joined our Berkeley Springs Council #117 on December 29, 2017 following a family tradition. This Junior immediately became involved by helping with our fundraising events as well as volunteering to serve on several of our Committees. You may have seen her helping at our breakfasts, passing out candy at our annual Halloween Trick or Treat, or even in the Christmas parade. Her insight and ideas have been invaluable in our Council endeavors. A true Junior she attends the annual West Virginia State Sessions and has served on our West Virginia State Junior Order committees.
Our choice for this year is a teacher and if you speak to any of her students they will tell you that she truly cares about each of them. They feel she was one of those teachers that you always remember as helping you become what you are today. She has taught for 30 years and during that time has served on committees, worked with the student council and now serves as the English Department Chair. She began her career in Morgan County and currently teaches at Clear Spring Middle School.
Our choice also is active in her church and truly follows her beliefs. As a friend, you know you can always count on her to be there when needed. Over the years, she was always active in the local schools attending all the functions supporting her daughter and the other students.
We have only touched on her many attributes of this astounding lady who is truly an asset to our organization. It is with great pride that we honor Joan Myers as our 2020 Junior of the Year.
A tradition for our Junior Order United American Mechanics Council #117 has been to recognize the exemplary efforts of a member who has demonstrated by their volunteerism and working within our Council and more importantly their commitment to serving in the community to make it a better place to live.
Even though 2020 has had a new normal for all of us, we still wanted to acknowledge a member who we feel goes above and beyond in these efforts. Our honoree this year has served as an officer for years in our local Council, has been the Chair of Committees on the local and State level. Attendance at the annual State Session has been a must for this Junior who has held several State offices over the years. Joining the Berkeley Springs Council #117 on September 10, 2004 was definitely a blessing to the Junior Order.
They say if you want something done, asks a busy person and it will get done and this certainly applies to this lady. You will find her at our breakfasts, Halloween Trick or Treat, the Christmas parade and all our socials, banquets, and picnics as well as all our community projects such as Grandparents Day and serving meals at the Starting Points and Senior Center.
With all the efforts she puts into our activities, she still finds time to attend church where she loves to hear a “good Sermon” to quote her. Having the heart of a true volunteer, you can find her at the local mission store a minimum of three days a week where she is currently serving as President of the Morgan County Rescue Mission Auxiliary.
With all this she still has time to spend with family and friends. To some she is known as “Martha” with all her talents of cooking, sewing, or just making you feel welcome in her home at any time of the day.
It is with great pride that we recognize this amazing Junior who sets an example to all of a truly, caring Junior. Our Elder Statesman for 2020 is Patricia Mosco.
COVID-19 UPDATE FROM THE NATIONAL COUNCILOR
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
This year has been a challenge for everyone. The COVID-19 virus is still out there, still spreading. I am sure everyone is tired of hearing about it.....but, everyone is, or should be, doing their best to stay safe and keep others safe.
Our economy has suffered from the need to shut businesses and stay home. It was necessary. But now businesses are trying to open back up and many of our small businesses are having a very hard time. So, Please support your local owned small businesses, especially those owned by other Juniors.
With businesses opening back up, people are out and about again....and cases of Covid-19 are on the rise again in many states. So we need to be extra careful as our councils start holding meetings again.
As National Councilor I do not wish to make mandates for our members or our councils. I simply wish to remind everyone to follow the mandates of your own state and the CDC. Please continue to practice social distancing, wearing a mask and washing your hands or use hand sanitizer. If possible, it would be nice if every council could provide hand sanitizer at their council meetings.
I would also like to suggest that our councils hold off on any large gatherings, such as banquets; or fund raisers and membership drives where the public is invited. We will get back to those things, but for now lets do all we can to keep each other safe.
One suggestion for our states, if you need to hold a larger meeting, is to use an on line conference such as zoom which many schools are using.
We are making plans for the 2021 National Session with the hope that we will get to meet together.
As we all pray for an end to this pandemic, please stay safe and lets do all we can to keep our loved ones and every member of our councils safe from the spread of this virus.
It will not last forever and I look forward to the day when we can meet together again in person.
May 30, 2020 State Councilor David Kindig hosted a special Teleconference meeting to discuss the progress on the West Virginia State Session scheduled for July of 2020.
During the meeting a number of concerns were addressed.. The State executive committee along with the District 1 State Session Committee concluded the best decision would be to cancel the meeting.
Considerations were given to continued COVID 19 health potential, West Virginia State imposed restrictions as well as the restrictions and modifications of the host hotel.
Considered were, low attendance, the accommodation reductions and changes and action of other States in relation to their State Sessions.
Having all things considered it was declared by Council Kindid, by unanimous vote, the West Virginia State Session for 2020 would be cancelled. In addition, it was determined that District 1 would host the 2021 State Session planned for July 15, 16 and 17, 2021 at Flatwoods, West Virginia.
As many have seen, our National Council, Richard Beppler has issued a statement regarding the resuming of Jr.O.U.A.M. activities with limitations and precautions, within guidelines of each State as we begun returning to normal lifestyles.
West Virginia State Councilor David Kendig has asked that all West Virginia Councils set the target date of May 22, 2020 to start reopening and holding Council meetings. Guidelines for social distancing and face masks will need to be followed.
Here are some recommendations from Medical and EMS sources to consider for resuming activities.
1) Continue the established COVID-19 precautions:
Wear gloves and mask when out in public, maintain 6 feet social distance, disinfect areas of possible cross-contamination with household disinfectants (preferable one with Bleach), wash hands frequently and certainly before touching your face or foods, when washing is not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol.
2) Remember that COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate symptoms.
Common symptoms: fever, tiredness, dry cough.
Seek medical attention if you have a fever, a cough, and difficulty breathing. Call ahead.
On average it takes 5–6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however it can take up to 14 days.
People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should self-isolate.
As we near the possible end to the stay sheltered at home order, I pray all members will come back to gather in our lodge halls and fellowship with our brothers and sisters. During this time at home, my hope is that our members across the state do not find it easier to stay at home rather than attending meetings. It is so important to the future and the growth of the Jr. Order for all of us to stay active.
As we begin to gather again it is important to remember that COVID-19 is still present and we still need to take necessary precautions so we stay well and disease free. COVID-19 is a pandemic the likes of which most of us have not seen before. However, as I heard from a TV minister this morning, Smallpox has been eliminated by the grace of God. With God's help COVID-19 will be brought under control and hopefully eliminated.
Our Supreme Councilor is still in charge of our World and we must continue to put our trust and faith in him. Together we will get though COVID-19 and hopefully come out better and stronger on the other side.
I pray all of you stay well, but if the unthinkable happens, remember to trust the God we worship to take care of you and hold you in the hollow of his hand. Amen.
Yours in V, L, & P
David A Kendig, State Councilor WV
The ladies of Council 123 and 187 gathered (with proper social distancing) at the Mountain Lodge to make masks for medical support. THANK YOU LADIES!
Gary Vance, State Secretary
2019-2020 WV State Officers
Past Councilor John Mason
Councilor Jennifer Dailey
Secretary Gary Vance
Treasure Joyce Everett
Chaplain Dan Collis
Conductor Dick Myers
Warden Jeanne Dolin
Inside Sentinel David Bailey
Outside Sent. Brenda Petro
GO FORTH AND SPREAD THE NEWS OF OUR BELOVED ORDER'S PRINCIPLES. OUR NATION NEEDS US DURING THESE TROUBLED TIMES.