As of right now, we still have about 300 of you that still haven't paid your Scottish Rite dues for 2018.
Now, before you remind me that it's only December 20, 2017, the Valley's fiscal year of 2018 began on August 1, 2017. This is why you were billed for dues back in June.
The Supreme Council's Constitution prohibits Valleys from suspending members for non-payment of dues for two years UNLESS the Valley has it in their by-laws to suspend for owing only one year's dues.
This past June at our Valley's Annual Meeting, we, YOU approved a new full code of by-laws which included an amendment that says the Valley of Philadelphia will now suspend members who owe one year's dues.
So far we've billed twice for our 2018 dues. Each time we do this the Supreme Council runs the billing statements and mails them and then charges the Valley for this service, plus postage. Which means if you received two billing statements we've paid twice to remind you to pay your dues.
On or about February 1, 2018 I will have the Supreme Council send our third and FINAL dues billing out. Anyone still owing dues when that notice is sent is hereby notified that if your dues are not paid by our May 18, 2018 Spring Rendezvous, you will be suspended.
We expected to have a large amount of Brethren at this point still owing dues as some have gotten 'comfortable' with the former two year grace period; not to mention, this is a new by-law requirement. But, we'd rather not see a large amount of suspensions because of that former level of comfort.
I fully realize that it's the holiday season and that money is going to gifts, etc. But I would ask everyone to please consider giving themselves a deadline to pay their dues to avoid being in the count for the February 1, 2018 Third Notice billing. This will save YOUR Valley money too.
If you want to, you can pay your dues with your credit card via the Supreme Council's web site (www.scottishritenmj.org), but please be advised, if you do that, they, the Supreme Council will take their $27 assessment (dues) and then the bank charges, sending us less than the $72 the Valley counts on to keep our budget and financial requirements in check.
We have 94 members who owe two years dues at this time making them eligible for suspension RIGHT NOW, but as this is still a new by-law requirement we are unwilling to suspend them without a prior notice and the opportunity to get caught up in their dues. I have notified each of them of this by letter and they have until February 1st to remit their dues or face suspension without the third notice.
If you've paid your dues, thank you for your continued interest in and support of Scottish Rite Masonry and YOUR Valley of Philadelphia. If you haven't please consider doing so soon. We don't want to lose you!