In March, 2008, several members of the Grand Orient of the United States of America traveled to Washington, D.C., for a historic meeting with officials of the Grand Orient de France and other Masonic bodies.
GOUSA's Grand Master Bro. Aaron Peavy, Grand Treasurer Bro. Brian Roper, Grand Orator Bro. Chris Michalek, and Grand Junior Warden Bro. Jeff Peace had several meetings in Washington, DC, with GOdF Grand Secretary of External Affairs Bro. Avelino Valle and Assistant Grand Secretary of External Affairs Bro. Patrice Billaud, along with George Washington Union's Grand Master Bro. Jean-Louis Petit and GOdF's Guarantor of Amity and Worshipful Master of GOdF Lafayette Lodge No. 89 Bro. Jean-Francois Mefort. The officers from the Grand Orient de France presented the GOUSA with a medallion and letter congratulating GOUSA on its formation on behalf of the Grand Master of GOdF, Bro. Jean-Michel Quillardet.
The visiting French and American brethren then sat in a tyled lodge meeting at Lafayette Lodge with members, visitors and visiting officers from the Grand Lodge of Luxembourg, the Feminine Grand Lodge of Belgium, and Le Droit Humain. Afterwards, a pleasant festive board was enjoyed. Later that month the GOUSA's petition to the GOdF was received and accepted unanimously by its Council of the Order.
On June 27, Bro. John Slifko, the new Grand Master of GOUSA, Grand Orator Bro. Chris Michalek, and Bro. Joel Michalek, past master of Halycon Lodge in Ohio, traveled to Paris, France, to meet with GOdF officials. There they were presented with a patent from the Grand Orient de France granting GOUSA permission for use of the Scottish Rite and Modern Rite degrees, along with other lesser known degrees.
While in France, GOUSA representatives also met with officers of the Feminine Grand Lodge of France, the Grand Lodge of France (not to be confused with the Grand Orient of France), the Grand Orient of Spain, and French members of the George Washington Union. Another very festive festive board followed the meeting.
At the meeting, GOdF previewed an article slated for publication in their upcoming official magazine, not only about the new bonds between GOdF and GOUSA, but about how France and the United States have traditionally helped each, such as during world wars as well as during the American Revolution.
On July 4, 2008, the Grand Orient of the United States of America officially announced their new patent and treaty of amity with the Grand Orient de France.
GOUSA has or will soon have lodges in New York City; Washington, DC; Savannah, Georgia; Cleveland, Ohio; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Los Angeles; Phoenix; Atlanta; Mobile, Alabama; Patras, Greece; and Paris, France. Treaties of amity with several grand orients across the globe are pending, and will be announced on the GOUSA website as they are finalized.
GOUSA sees Freemasonry as a secular fraternity dedicated to the brotherhood/sisterhood of all humanity. By secular they do not mean non-spiritual, but rather non-religious, as opposed to "mainstream" American Freemasonry, which has over the years taken on a distinctly sectarian religious character in many parts of the United States.
GOUSA and its constituent lodges have chosen to support through financial donations and personal involvement organizations that are involved in human rights and the pursuit of science and knowledge. These groups include Amnesty International, NOVA, the Nature Conservancy, Free Speech TV, and BOINC, a computer time-sharing system used in many scientific endeavors.
The Grand Lodge of the United States of America's website is at http://grandorientusa.org. The English version of the Grand Orient de France's website is at http://www.godf.org/foreign/uk/index_uk.html.
— By The Widow's Son based on information provided by Bro. Jeff Peace, August 13, 2008
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