State Convention Cancellation Message from State Deputy Marc Peters, See Below.
Information posted from State Deputy Marc Peters as of March 25th, 2020 at 6:30pm.
Worthy Grand Knights of Minnesota,
With the new order to STAY IN PLACE from our governor, I want to just give you some suggestions on how to continue to have a council that can help your parish and community.
There are many ways to continue council operations without face to face contact. Here are some suggestions:
• Conduct meetings by conference call, Skype, Google Groups or other methods.
• Use a webinar service for large meetings like monthly business meetings.
• Allow member votes by email or text to approve bills and candidate admissions.
• Use the email feature of Officers Online for member communications.
• Set up a call tree to contact members and ascertain their wellbeing.
• Conduct degree ceremonies in homes using the combined Exemplification of Charity, Unity and Fraternity video or the First Degree video.
Lets use common sense. Again; use common sense!
Your council will still need to pay everyday bills; any state and Supreme per capita, Supreme materials that have been ordered, newsletters. The grand knight should approve the expense, send to the FS to enter into member management for payment, the treasurer should write the check and send to the grand knight for his second signature and mail off. If it’s everyday expenses, your council doesn’t need a quorum.
Any large or unusual bill should have the approval of the trustees. I would hold off any large expenditures if at all possible to conserve cash.
Look at the needs of your community. Does your food shelf need money and manpower. We should be able to provide both. I just caution the council not to give one large amount of money at one time. Take that $500 donation and make it 3 $200 donations, one each month. Spread it out; it’s going to be a long haul! If members volunteer, they need to be healthy and not considered to be in a class of vulnerable to the virus. Wear the KC shirt so they know Knights are out there.
Have you, as the Grand Knight, checked in with your parish? Does communion need to be distributed to the homebound? Have we checked in with our older or disabled members if they need assistance?
You should be communicating with your council at least bi-weekly using email. Let them know what their council is doing.
I will try and communicate as much as I can with the DD’s and staff weekly. I will send out a letter like this monthly to all FS and GK’s. Please check the website for any updates. (Example: the state bowling tournament, to be held in April, has been cancelled.)
Our field force of agents are still out there contacting members and checking up on them. Your council should be doing the same.
I encourage you to watch the webinar on Thursday night.
As the governor said; ONE MINNESOTA
Marc Peters, state deputy
Information posted as of March 18th, 2020 at 3:15 pm.
We have all received the letter from the Supreme Knight about the situation on hand. He strongly suggests we not meet at council, district, and state level for the foreseeable future. This could be 30 days; it also could be 90 days plus. If we put an ending date on this, then we own that date and the day after all we would be doing is answering inquiries about why we aren’t holding this event or that program. With this in mind:
• Free Throw state competition has been postponed. Conrad is looking at alternate dates but again we don’t know when this will blow over. We do have an alternate plan using the score sheets at council, district, and regional levels to determine a winner. We will keep you informed as we finalize it.
• Campaign for Intellectual Disabilities AKA Tootsie Roll drive. Has been put on pause. Dan was able to stop the candy from being shipped. We will reassess in 30 days. Drives can be done any time in summer or fall. Dan will check with the councils before releasing shipments. The state does have 15 cases now if a council needs some product.
• State Convention will NOT be held physically at Breezy Point this May.( It will be held there in 2022) We will hold a convention; it will be on line or virtual. This is something new to all of us. We still need to conduct the business of the state; resolutions, election of state officers, election of delegates to Supreme Convention in Washington D.C. If you made reservations with the lodge, you will be getting a refund back. If you made food reservations, you will be getting your money back. Give the committee sometime to get this completed. DO NOT CALL THE RESORT FOR A REFUND.
• Until further notice most of your council meetings will be cancelled. Officers should meet from time to time. You need to pay bills and fill out some reports. Please keep working on your year end reports; You will have until April 15th to get them completed and mailed in to Joe George.
• We want the councils to be the “goto” group for your parish. Look at doing a food drive. Does your council have some funds to donate to the local food shelf? How about the older members of the council. Check in on them. Blood is always needed. We want the Knights to be the shining example to the rest of the world.
Finally, you are the leadership of your council, your district, or your event. Let’s communicate in a positive way; no gloom or doom. There’re are allot of questions out there but few answers and they will change daily as the situation demands. The state officers will communicate information as we digest it and come up with a plan. This is not a one man show; I lean on the state officers and team for guidance. I suggest the same for you as well.
Information posted as of March 16th, 2020 6:00pm.
Based on the information by Governor Walz, please stop the fish frys and breakfasts for the time being. Encourage take out service.
KC halls should close and not offer bingo. Contact groups and parties that might have contracted with you. They will need to make other arrangements.
Membership meeting should be put on pause but council officers should meet regularly and meet with the parish. Offer food drives, possible blood drives, make sure the elderly have food which means you may have to shop for them.
As we receive more information, it will be passed on.
The state convention is on pause right now. We will send more information later this week.
Please be patient. Stay calm and be the Knights that we are to the public.
Knights of Columbus
Minnesota State Deputy
A message from the Supreme Knight March 16, 2020
Dear Brother Knight,
As the world confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you the actions and responses taken by the Knights of Columbus.
The coronavirus disease is not the first pandemic the Knights of Columbus has faced. In the late nineteenth century, and again in 1918, the Knights remained strong and active despite such situations. And together, we will do so again this time.
We know that this period will be difficult in various ways for everyone, and we want to assure you that the Knights of Columbus is fully committed to you and your family, and has taken the steps necessary to continue our important work on your behalf – from protecting the faith and financial stability of members’ families, to helping members put their faith into action by providing important charitable service within their communities.
Although to our knowledge, no staff at the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council or Museum in New Haven or at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C., have tested positive for COVID-19, we have implemented remote operations for most staff, allowing our business processes, customer service and fraternal support to continue their important work uninterrupted, while simultaneously protecting the health of our employees and reducing the risk of community spread of this illness, which is often facilitated by having large groups of people in close proximity to one another.
Furthermore, our sustainable investment strategy means that our exposure to current stock market volatility is limited, and we remain extremely strong financially. With that strength, and the strength that comes from committed employees, we remain positioned and ready to serve our brother Knights. Of course, our agents and our customer service team also remain available to help you with any insurance or related financial needs that you may have. As we implement new systems to serve you and respond to a higher volume of inquiries than usual during this period, it is possible that wait and turnaround times may increase.
In addition to what we are doing at the Supreme Council headquarters, many brother Knights have asked how they can help in their own communities. We suggest the following:
Pray. During this period, we urge every member and his family to pray the Supreme Council’s novena based on the prayer of Pope Francis (printable or video prayer), as well as a prayer being promoted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Help keep yourself, your families and your communities safe by cancelling all “in person” Knights of Columbus meetings and activities at the local or state level until otherwise indicated. This disease spreads when groups of people gather, so it is important that we avoid activities that could spread this illness. Councils should pursue online and/or teleconferencing options for meetings, fundraising, etc. until the danger has passed. The Supreme Council will be providing additional information on such options shortly.
Leave no Knight – or neighbor – behind. If members of your council – or community – are elderly or have underlying medical conditions, please ensure that they have enough food. If you or others in your council have food to spare, offer to drop something off on their doorstep or to shop online for them.
Give blood. Many communities are facing blood shortages. Those not being recommended to isolate themselves due to illness, age or underlying conditions should consider giving blood. National blood drives were pioneered by the Knights of Columbus in the 1930s, and this lifesaving activity remains an important aspect of our charitable work today.
As we move through this pandemic together, you can rest assured that the Knights of Columbus will be there for you. We will provide regular updates in the days ahead, and we will remain joined with you in prayer and in service to our neighbors in need.
May God bless you, and keep you and your loved ones healthy and safe.