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  1. For the first time in over 20 years the Northern Ontario Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses was held in the Sault this weekend and a couple of special gift-givers were in attendance. Elijah Turcott from Lakewood prays with around 2300 other faith-followers during the Northern Ontario 2016 Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses held in Sault Ste. Marie. Photo by Jeff Klassen for SooToday Colleen Cyrenne says her 24 year-old son Jacques Vaillancourt has been able to accomplish amazing things thanks to being involved in the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The mother and son came up from Sheguiandah on Manitoulin Island this weekend to gather with around 2300 other religious followers at the Essar Centre for the 2016 Northern Ontario Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses. 36 congregations from as far west as Thunder Bay and as east as North Bay came to attend the regions biggest annual gathering of Jehovah's Witnesses. It was the first time in over twenty years the conference was held in Sault Ste. Marie. Cyrenne described her son as being severely autistic but that the structure of their religious faith - going to conventions, studying the bible, doing 70 hours of faith work a month, etc. - has allowed him to excel in many ways. Autism, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, is a mental illness with a set of symptoms that hurt the individual’s ability to function socially, at school or work, or other areas of life. How profoundly that individual is affected by those symptoms dictates how severe the disorder is in that individual. At the weekend convention, Vaillancourt handed out 225 cut-out, hand-drawn pictures of “good-example Bible figures” and his mother handed out hundreds of fabric and plastic flowers attached to clips, so many she lost count. The figures Vaillancourt drew are meant to help remind people of the many good teachings in the bible and Cyrenne's flowers are a loving gift. “I just make them until I can’t make them anymore,” said Cyrenne, who has been doing it for so many years she doesn’t know how long.The young man, who's disorder is obvious through conversation, goes door-to-door, often on his own, spreading the religion’s message and even conducts bible study groups with young children. Cyrenne said her son has the incredible gift of being able to remember and recite a large number of biblical information verbatim with incredible accuracy. Vaillancourt can recite large parts of a 2500 page, two-volume biblical encyclopedia called 'Insight on the Scriptures' and he’s completely memorized, word-for-word, every story in a 300-page, 116 story filled book called 'My Book of Bible Stories'. “If you ask him to recite any story he can do it without the book. Let me show you,” said his mother, demonstrating. “Jacques, what’s story number 89?” “89, Jesus cleans out the Temple,” replied Vaillancourt, correctly. “Now if I tell him the title, he’ll tell me the number of the story. And then if you want him to tell the story, he can do that. For example, Jacques, what’s the first sentence in that story?” “Jesus Cleans out the Temple. (The first sentence is) Jesus looks really angry doesn’t he?“ said Jacques, nailing it. Cyrenne said her son is less nervous than her when going door-to-door preaching the word of Jehovah. She said that actually many people don’t realize that he’s autistic unless they get into a deeper conversation with him. Cyrenne, in her 50s, has been involved in the Jehovah’s Witnesses her whole life and she said going to conventions with her parents over the years personally inspired her to be giving to others and considerate of the elderly. Her father used to donate vegetables to the convention kitchen while her mother struggled with general old-age health issues that mean she would struggle to sit through the long seminars. Cyrenne, teared-up discussing her and her son’s gift giving. “I wanted to give the brothers and sisters gifts because I don’t get to see them very much. Some of the brothers and sisters are crippled and they have to sit in a chair (throughout the long weekend convention) and I know for some of them it’s really hard,” she said. But the gift-giver wanted to emphasize that what she does is not special in the faith and that others spread love in their own way be it by giving out blankets, hugs, or just donating their time. The three-day event included 49 presentations structured around the theme of “remaining loyal to Jehovah”, delivered through a multimedia presentation that included live speakers, videos, a baptism, and ways that the audience could interact with the presentation on their tablet computers. The convention is open to the public and presentations continue at the Essar Centre all day Sunday. https://www.sootoday.com/local-news/2300-jehovahs-witnesses-and-one-with-an-incredible-gift-13-photos-333871
  2. Numbering 8.4 million worldwide, the Jehovah’s Witness faith is derived from a unique and, to some Christians, perhaps radical interpretation of both the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible. Members are devoutly Christian, yet do not venerate the cross or any other symbols, abstain from many mainstream seasonal celebrations and avoid politics so assiduously that devotees do not vote. Late last month, more than 4,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses gathered in Nampa for the first regional convention in Idaho in more than 20 years. About 180 followers of this tradition are active in the Wood River Valley, gathering at the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall at 2731 Shenandoah Drive in Hailey. “We have been in the Wood River Valley as a congregation since the 1960s,” said Kevin “Keb” Anderson, a “publisher,” or baptized member, of the congregation. “A publisher is a minister of the good news,” Anderson said. “Both men and women, they teach and preach about a real kingdom government described in the Bible that will bring true peace and security to the earth. Our hopes and plans are that others will learn what we are teaching from the Bible.” He said that after the Armageddon prophesied in the Bible, only 144,000 people will take places in the heavenly realm, but billions more faithful could enjoy perfect health for eternity on Earth. “Just as it was originally intended for Adam,” he said. The Jehovah’s Witnesses began as a Bible study group in 1870 in Pittsburgh, Pa., headed by Charles Taze Russell. According to Wikipedia, an apocalypse was expected by the faithful in 1914 and at several future dates, including 1975, neither of which transpired. Royce Porkert, of the media services department operating the Jehovah’s Witnesses Convention, said the group no longer espouses a particular date for Armageddon. “We don’t live by a date anymore,” Porkert said. “1914 was a significant year. So was 1975. But the Bible says we know neither the day nor the hour, so keep on the watch.” Porkert cites numerous biblical references in describing his creed. He said the Jehovah’s Witnesses follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ and honor him as their savior and as the son of God. He said the Kingdom of God is a real government in heaven, not a condition in the hearts of Christians. “It will replace human governments and accomplish God’s purpose for the earth. Jesus is the king of God’s Kingdom in heaven. He began ruling in 1914,” he said. According to Porkert, deliverance from sin and death is possible through the “ransom” sacrifice of Jesus that was ordained by Jehovah God to set right the sins that began in the Garden of Eden. “In a sense, Jesus stepped into Adam’s place in order to save us,” states the jw.org website, the official website of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. “By sacrificing, or giving up, his perfect life in flawless obedience to God, Jesus paid the price for Adam’s sin.” To benefit from this sacrifice, Jehovah’s Witnesses must not only exercise faith in Jesus but also change their course of life and get baptized. A person’s works prove that his faith is alive, Porkert said. “However, salvation cannot be earned—it comes through the undeserved kindness of God,” he said. According to the Jehovah’s Witness creed, people who do not reach salvation will die and pass out of existence. “They do not suffer in a fiery hell of torment,” Porkert said. “God will bring billions back from death by means of a resurrection. However, those who refuse to learn God’s ways after being raised to life will be destroyed forever with no hope of a resurrection.” Starting in September, the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses will be offering to the community a program titled “Where Can You Find Comfort?” In October, the group will start a special campaign to invite people to meetings on Sundays at 1 p.m. “Each Sunday in October, there will be a different talk subject that will appeal to the public,” Anderson said. “All of our meetings are open to the public and collections are never taken.” For more information, go to www.jw.org. http://www.mtexpress.com/news/state_regional/jehovah-s-witness-convention-returns-to-idaho/article_a761c296-6014-11e6-a46b-db5d000dc5f5.html
  3. Loyalty is the theme for this year’s Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses series in Duluth starting Friday. All ages can attend the free three-day program with the theme “Remain Loyal to Jehovah!,” according to a news release. The program will take place at the Infinite Energy Center at 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway from Aug. 12 to Aug. 14 and from Aug. 19 to Aug. 21. Sessions will start each day at 9:20 a.m. “Loyalty can be a challenge. … At work, in the family, in our personal lives and in our relationship with God,” Mike Funston, a convention spokesman, said in the release. “All too often, disloyalty is fracturing our lives and communities.” The convention will feature discussions and video clips about Jesus Christ and a full-length film on “on how a mighty King remained loyal while being besieged by his enemies,” he said. Funston said about 6,800 are expected to attend each day. For information, visit www.jw.org. http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/local/convention-of-jehovah-s-witnesses-in-duluth-to-focus-on/article_3e8b99bc-1c63-51ba-86b5-ecf7e14e9988.html
  4. 3000 in attendance Almost 40 publishers got baptized.
  5. The annual convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses takes place July 22 at the PCU Centre in Portage la Prairie. A total of 47 Bible-based talks and more than 50 audio and video presentations will assist all in attendance to reflect on timeless and practical advice found in God’s word. Included among the video presentations are two feature-length video dramas that demonstrate examples of severe tests of loyalty faced by faithful worshippers of God. The full program schedule is available for download at jw.org. Sessions begin at 9:20 a.m. There is no charge for admission, and no collections will be taken. http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/life/faith/faith-briefs-387062881.html
  6. DEKALB – Jehovah’s Witnesses are stopping at homes to invite residents to this year’s Remain Loyal to Jehovah Regional Convention taking place July 29-31 at Northern Illinois University Convocation Center, 1525 W. Lincoln Highway. A Spanish-speaking convention will be Aug. 5-7 at the center. The public is welcome. Visit jw.org for a convention program, highlights, and trailers for two video presentations. http://www.saukvalley.com/2016/07/06/public-welcome-to-area-convention/aiv4qns/
  7. BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The protests and national attention have not kept tourists away from the Capital City. A regional convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses is in Baton Rouge for the first time since the early 80s. “Everybody's very hospitable. We've been enjoying the nice restaurants and the nice people here, so it's been real nice,” pastor Timothy Bealer said. Bealer is in town from Mississippi to help preach the convention’s theme of loyalty. He said organizers never considered moving the gathering because of recent events. “We do have good Bible-based messages that come across our platform here as well as in our congregation meetings, so in situations like that, comfort is what's needed the majority of the time,” Bealer explained. Around 15,000 witnesses will be in Baton Rouge over three weekends, and with them comes revenue. Organizers say around 7,000 hotel nights have been booked at 17 area hotels. “We have been pursuing Jehovah's Witnesses for many years and finally brought them in about a year ago to finalize plans for this year,” Visit Baton Rouge CEO Paul Arrigo said. The summer months are traditionally slow for Baton Rouge tourism, plus corporate business is down this year thanks to the declining oil industry, but Arrigo said no one has pulled out over protests. “We have had one or two calls of persons who had interest in knowing what was going on, and the determination was for the conference to continue to come to Baton Rouge, and they had a very good conference,” he said. It’s the same feeling at the River Center. The Witnesses will not only take home lessons in faith, but also impressions of a host city working to heal. The Jehovah’s Witness convention is broken up over three weekends (July 8-10, July 15-17, and July 29-31). The entire program is free and open to the public. Doors open to the River Center at 8:00 a.m. for seniors/disabled and 8:15 for all others. The program starts at 9:20 each day and ends at 4:50 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 3:45 p.m. on Sunday. Baton Rouge will also host the Tiger-Rock Martial Arts World Championships and Italian Heritage Fest in the coming weeks. http://www.ksla.com/story/32458309/15000-jehovahs-witnesses-descend-on-baton-rouge
  8. LeConte Hall signs during a convention for the hearing impaired at the Jehovah Witnesses Assembly Hall in Fairfield, Friday. The convention drew 1,300 people and attendees travelled from Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic) FAIRFIELD — Gloria and Gilbert Dante drove from Spokane, Washington. Jose and Marites Calma flew in from Hawaii. Both couples were among the 1,300 people in the Jehovah’s Witnesses assembly hall Friday for the first day of a three-day annual regional convention for the deaf, blind and those with impaired hearing. Some of them traveled from as far as Alaska. Gilbert Dante lost his hearing when he was 7 months old. “He couldn’t hear anything,” Gloria Dante, his wife of 43 years, said. He was sent to the Berkeley School for the Deaf, where he learned alongside John Tracy, the deaf son of actor Spencer Tracy. Gloria Dante learned sign language when she married him. He used to spell words backward in sign language just to tease her, she said. The couple became Jehovah’s Witnesses after their son died of Sudden Infant Death syndrome in 1972. They traveled for several years to Southern California to attend conferences that offered services for those with hearing impairments. “He is in his element (here),” said Gloria Dante. “He is hearing the Bible through his eyes.” Marites Calma grew up in a small Jehovah’s Witness congregation with no services for the deaf. She would go to meetings but not understand what was being said. “It’s hard to connect with God if you don’t know him,” LeConte Hall, a Vacaville resident who spoke Friday afternoon on the topic “When Tired,” said. Marites Calma said through her husband of 20 years that the American Sign Language conference is “in my language” and gives her the opportunity to meet with other deaf Jehovah’s Witnesses. Bryce Henry of Santa Rosa learned sign language and speech. He’s more comfortable signing, he said. The American Sign Language conventions draw him closer to God, he said, because the Scriptures are brought to life rather than just reading them on paper. He has many passages of Scripture, in American Sign Language, on his phone. This year’s convention has more audio than in the past, Hall said. Most of the deaf people attending are accompanied by speaking family and/or friends. “For each deaf person here, there’s probably another two or three people with them,” Hall said. Nearly 50 videos will be shown over the course of the convention. About 90 percent will have audio as well as American Sign Language. Speaking people at the convention are asked to use sign language out of respect to those with hearing impairments. A bevy of monitors are spread throughout the huge room so all can see. According to JW.org, the first sign language service was held in Korea 40 years ago. Today, there are more than 4,000 sign languages services in Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Fairfield Kingdom Hall offers American Sign Language services at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and 10 a.m. Saturdays at 2010 E. Tabor Ave. Hall is part of the services. He learned American Sign Language from the deaf mother of a friend. He began working as interpreter while in his teens. The Jehovah’s Witnesses website has translated its material in 28 different sign languages. The free convention is open to the public and begins at 9:20 a.m. It’s in the Assembly Hall at 2020 Walters Road, behind the Kingdom Hall. For more information, visit https://www.jw.org/ase/jehovahs-witnesses/conventions http://www.dailyrepublic.com/news/fairfield/fairfield-conference-offers-american-sign-language-program/
  9. The first of five Jehovah's Witnesses conventions will be held Friday through next Sunday at the Santander Arena, 700 Penn St. Other conventions will be held July 29-31; August 5-7 (in Spanish); August 12-14 and August 19-21. The conventions will draw a combined total of 25,000 Jehovah's Witnesses from 225 congregations in Pennsylvania and Maryland.The theme for the conventions will be "Remain Loyal to Jehovah!" Visitors are welcome; there is no admission fee and no collection taken. http://www.readingeagle.com/life/article/local-religion-digest-jehovahs-witnesses-conventions-to-get-under-way-in-reading
  10. Robert Fleming comes from a long line of Sault Jehovah's Witnesses Robert Fleming travels the deserts, jungles, savannahs, and waters of West Africa hoping people will see what he sees in the Bible. Fleming is a Sault born-and-raised fourth generation Jehovah’s Witness who left the area when he was 24 and came back for the first time in 20 years last week to visit family and attend a regional annual conference of Jehovah’s Witnesses. In an interview with SooToday Fleming talked a bit about his family’s history and about his life preaching in West Africa. Fleming’s great grandfather John Fleming came from Scotland to the Sault in the early 1900s and when the Spanish flu hit the area he got a job at the cemetery on Fourth Line. One day he was literally standing body-deep in a grave he’d just dug out when a Jehovah’s Witness approached him and commented, “you know, that’s hell you’re standing in." John Fleming was puzzled and, after through conversation learned about how Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t believe in an afterlife in the same way other Christians might imagine it and other interpretations the group has of the Bible. This meeting led to a full-blown conversion and three generations later John Fleming’s descendants are still practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses. “My earliest memories are me going door to door as a kingdom preacher,” said Robert Fleming who after his father, grandfather, and great grandfather is continuing the tradition. “Third Line, Carpin Beach Road, Leighs Bay Road. I don’t know if the old-timers are still there or if I’d even remember them. I was very young,” said Robert Fleming. Fleming left the Sault in 1985 to preach in Quebec and in 1995 he went to the Jehovah’s Witnesses Missionary School in Paterson, NY. After five months of training there Fleming flew to West Africa where for the last 20 years he’s been preaching for Jehovah out of Douala, Cameroon, which at 3 million people is the country’s largest city. “I was nervous to go, boy oh boy. I was there one week and I was checking out the price of airplane tickets to go back. Is that too honest?” Fleming said that Cameroon is not only immensely diverse geographically — it's often called “Africa in miniature” — but also culturally as the country has roughly 200 tribes and dialects and a range of religions that include indigenous beliefs and assorted versions of Christianity and Islam. “There’s a hundred times more religions than Canada. Every neighbourhood has its own church because they want to worship God how they think God should be worshipped,” he said. Fleming said Cameroonians are incredibly religious people and that the Christians among them will often carry a Bible around on their phones and regularly consult it. Fleming said the more traditional African religions that he’s encountered don’t talk about “God” or “gods” so much as they talk about “forces of nature” but that these forces seem to be roughly equivalent to the idea of “gods”. Most Africans, regardless of their professed religion he said, continue to follow a tradition of ancestry worship, where they believe that their dead relatives are still influencing the world and helping or harming their living descendants based on how pleased they feel. “They’ll put out salt or palm oil, things like that, to appease, say, their dead grandfather and if something bad happens in the family they might say it’s their grandfather that has done it to them. The Bamelike Tribe in the west of Cameroon, after the grandfather has been dead for a year, will actually dig up the skull and they’ll have a small alter in the home and when they have to make big decisions they’ll consulate with him.” In his time there, Fleming has travelled by canoe and bush-bike to get to remote tribes in the jungle, like a tribe of pygmies living in grass huts, or to secluded islands off the coast of the continent, but he never goes more than a days journey. Fleming said Jehovah’s Witnesses have been in Cameroon since the late 1930s and even though they were banned from 1970 until 1993, largely for not participating in local government because it is against their faith, even tribes like the pygmies are quite familiar with his group when they arrive. As a preacher, Fleming said he follows the standard Jehovah’s witness preaching technique of basically asking people what they think about a topic, then introducing what the Bible teaches about that topic, and then hopefully getting a person out to a bible study group where they can learn more and potentially feel compelled to join the faith. But unlike other Christian religions, he said, to be a Jehovah’s Witness a person cannot partially follow their old faith, and in the case of Cameroon, that means locals have to leave their ancestry worship behind — something which can be difficult for many when, like Christmas here, it's not just a religious practice but also a social one. “When we do preach to them and they read the Bible and realize ‘Hey my grandfather is just sleeping’ that means they have to leave these traditions that obviously contradict what the scriptures say, to serve Jehovah.” Fleming said that when he arrived in 1996 there were about 20,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in the country and that now there are about 40,000. He said many people in Cameroon see the positives of the faith, the health benefits it tends to lead to like stopping smoking or reducing AIDS, and actually approach his group to set up Jehovah’s Witnesses centres, or ‘kingdom halls’, in their community. “Many people in Cameroon make the change. I wouldn’t have stayed there for 20 years if we weren’t having wonderful success,” he said. https://www.sootoday.com/local-news/after-20-years-away-a-religious-missionary-returns-home-from-west-africa-6-photos-338082
  11. As part of a series of three-day conventions across the country, Jehovah's Witnesses are offering community programming this weekend in Rochester. With a theme of "Remain Loyal to Jehovah," the convention features more than 40 different presentations, and runs from 9:20 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and from 9:20 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Sunday. All of the events will be held at the Blue Cross Arena at the Community War Memorial, 100 Exchange Blvd., and will feature music, videos and films exploring loyalty. The event is free and open to the public. More information can be found at www.jw.org. http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2016/07/15/jehovahs-witnesses-convention-goes-through-weekend/87120142/
  12. A convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going on this weekend at Blue Cross Arena. In case you come downtown and wonder why you see so many people and the parking garages are full. http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/nletter/roc60/2016/07/15/roc60-s-some-serious-money/87144384/
  13. The regional Jehovah’s Witnesses convention for Sparks will continue through Aug. 14 in Sacramento. Specifics can be found at jw.org. As in years past, the Witnesses will distribute a special invitation to the public welcoming them to attend the program. This campaign began in Sparks on July 8 and will extend to Aug. 4. Congregations in Sparks will be attending the convention to be held July 29-31 and also August 4-6. The program begins at 9:20 am each morning. http://sparkstrib.com/2016/07/15/jehovah-witness-convention-continues/
  14. Today through Sunday, July 15-17, at New Mexico State University Pan American Center for the Spanish speaking delegates. The music presentation begins at 9:20 a.m. each morning and program concludes by 5 p.m. each evening. Jehovah’s Witnesses are inviting the public to attend the 2016 “Remain Loyal to Jehovah!” regional conventions. The three-day program will feature 49 presentations, each exploring the theme “loyalty.” Additionally, the Witnesses have prepared 35 video segments specifically for the program plus two short films that will be shown on Saturday and Sunday. Each day, the morning and afternoon sessions will be introduced by music videos recorded for the convention. Everyone is welcome. Info: Juan Cavazos, 915-855-8404, jw.org. http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/life/sunlife/2016/07/15/religion-briefs-july-15/86954924/
  15. Jehovah’s Witnesses from Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill, together with those from the rest of Sussex, parts of South London and Surrey, and the Kent and Hampshire borders will be gathering at the Amex Stadium together with members of the public for a convention between Friday July 15 and Sunday July 17. Everyone is welcome throughout the three day convention - there is no charge and no collections are ever taken. The theme of the convention is ‘Remain Loyal To Jehovah’ and an attendance of around 10,000 is expected. Visit www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/conventions/ http://www.midsussextimes.co.uk/news/your-news/convention-for-jehovah-s-witnesses-1-7478239
  16. A man takes notes during a session of a Jehovah’s Witness convention at the Toyota Center in Kennewick. File Tri-City Herald Two regional Jehovah’s Witness conventions are planned at the Toyota Center in Kennewick this month, each expected to draw more than 5,000 people. The first is July 15-17. That program will be in English. The second is in Spanish and runs July 22-24. Jehovah’s Witnesses from the Tri-Cities and throughout the Mid-Columbia will attend. Church members also have been out in the community, extending personal invitations to check out the sessions. This year’s theme is “Remain Loyal to Jehovah.” The program will include 49 presentations exploring the theme of loyalty, with nearly three-dozen videos set to be shown, along with two short films and music videos, a news release said. “We’re hoping that with the program designed as it is, folks with leave with a better appreciation of how important loyalty is in our lives,” said Robert Tomchuk, an elder in the north Richland congregation. Sessions start at 9:20 a.m. each day. Admission is free, and no collection is taken. All are welcome. http://www.tri-cityherald.com/living/religion/article89698932.html
  17. Jehovah's Witnesses from across central Ontario will be converging on the Barrie Molson Centre beginning Friday. Regional conventions are held worldwide every year, but this is the first one of its kind to be held in Barrie, according Jehovah's spokesman Steven Brown, adding area residents are welcome to attend the free event. "The theme this year is Remain Loyal to Jehovah," Brown said. "Loyalty is a crucial part of any healthy relationship. This convention focuses on content that will help all attendees to develop stronger bonds with friends, family members and, above all, God." Numerous video segments and two feature films will be shown on large screens to enhance the learning experience, he said. "The water baptism on Saturday is a highlight that many people find particularly joyful," Brown added. Local congregations will be distributing a special invitation to the public and welcoming them to attend, Brown said. "The best way residents of Barrie can be involved in this event is simply by accepting our invitation to attend the convention," he said. "Everyone is welcome. It is absolutely free: no admission charge, no collection. Come for a day, come for an hour, drop by over your lunch break. "We eagerly invite all friends of peace to attend. Although we are renowned for our enthusiasm about our Bible-based hope, we are not contagious. Visitors will find the mood to be joyful, dignified and very welcoming." He said a convention of this size also brings benefits to the local economy. "Convention delegates from central Ontario have travelled to Kitchener in past years. Clearly, Barrie is a much more convenient location for people in our area," Brown said. "Additionally, the Molson Centre is an ideal venue for our event. It is large enough for the expected 3,700 delegates, easily accessed and plenty of parking. "Your city's hotels, restaurants, services and general facilities all add up to an ideal location for our regional convention this year." Kathleen Trainor, executive director of Tourism Barrie, said a convention of this size has obvious benefits to local businesses, adding there are more more than 1,300 rooms available in the city, including the 260 rooms at Georgian Suites at Georgian College that are available during the summer. "Almost all the hotel rooms are sold out. There are very few rooms left. Based on what the hotels have told me, a little less than half (of the 3,700) are staying overnight. They're not filling up all the rooms, but there is certainly an economic impact of new money coming into the city," she said, adding that can include shopping, eating, buying gas and even the use of public transit. "We can also make the assumption that people who come here for a convention have probably tacked on some day trips or stayed somewhere in the region along the way," Trainor said. "Certainly, people coming into your area to visit is very important because it can also attract them to come and stay permanently." To learn more about this weekend's convention, visit www.jw.org. http://www.thebarrieexaminer.com/2016/07/14/city-hosting-jehovahs-witness-convention
  18. Jehovah’s Witnesses will be hosting their 2016 “Remain Loyal to Jehovah” Regional Convention from July 15-17 at the Leonora National Track and Field Centre, West Coast of Demerara. The three-day programme will feature 49 presentations, each exploring the theme “loyalty.” Additionally, the Witnesses have prepared 35 video segments specifically for the programme, plus two short films that will be shown on Saturday and Sunday. Each day, the morning and afternoon sessions will be introduced by music videos recorded for the convention. As they have done in years past, the Witnesses have been distributing special invitations to the public welcoming them to attend. Additionally, the trailers for the two short films can be viewed on the Witnesses’ official website, jw.org. Bony De Andrade, a spokesman for the convention states: “We strongly believe that loyalty is an essential part of any healthy relationship. Our convention this year features content that will help people develop stronger bonds with friends, family members and, above all, with God. We are confident that all who attend will enjoy this programme.” There is no admission fee and no collection will be taken. Conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses are supported entirely by voluntary donations. The programme will begin each day at 9:20 a.m. Worldwide, there are over 8,000,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in more than 118,000 congregations. http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2016/07/14/jehovahs-witnesses-set-for-3-day-convention/
  19. ehovah's Witnesses clean folding chairs on the floor of The Dow Event Center in downtown Saginaw on Thursday, July 14, 2016. They are preparing for a regional convention of Jehovah's Witnesses that is taking place Friday, July 15, and Sunday, July 17, with doors opening at 8:15 a.m. each day. The program's theme is "Remain Loyal to Jehovah." Admission is free and the public is welcome. Witness volunteers from across the state cleaned the event center in preparation for the event which is expected to draw 3,500-4,000 attendees. http://photos.mlive.com/saginawnews/2016/07/jehovahs_witnesses_clean_dow_e_5.html
  20. • Jehovah’s Witnesses: The public is invited to attend our weekend convention, Remain Loyal to Jehovah. Join us today, tomorrow and Sunday at the Ruth Seaton James Auditorium in Devonshire. The convention features content to help people develop stronger bonds with friends, family members and, above all, God. Sessions begin at 9.20am on all three days. Admission is free. http://www.royalgazette.com/religion/article/20160709/service-to-touch-on-courageousness
  21. Carnaxide (Lisbon)—Jehovah’s Witnesses are inviting the public to attend their 2016 “Remain Loyal to Jehovah!” Regional Convention. Beginning Friday, July 29, 10:20 the Witnesses will be hosting these free events throughout Portugal and around the world. This three-day program will feature 49 presentations, each exploring the theme “loyalty.” including 35 video segments and two short films. All are welcome: Salão de Assembleias Av. do Forte. No. 11, 2790-074 CARNAXIDE. No entrance fee - No collection. 7/29/16 at 10:20 AM - 7/31/16 at 4:00 PM Where Portugal Lisbon Carnaxide Map Host Jehovah's Witnesses Led by AlanBevan Source: http://community.expatica.com/event/9339
  22. They got here to the BB&T Middle on Thursday dressed to wash, armed with their very own mops, buckets and brooms. For 4 hours, dozens of Jehovah’s Witness volunteers descended on the world with one factor in thoughts: Giving the place a superb scouring in preparation for an annual three-day conference that begins Friday. “Cleanliness is subsequent to godliness,” stated Mario Beltrami, a Witness from Plantation who was serving to oversee the prep work on the house of the Florida Panthers hockey workforce. “We’re not discovering a variety of filth. We identical to to provide it a sprucing up. We need to make sure that it is clear for us and our visitors.” Greater than 20,000 Witnesses went door to door through the previous few weeks inviting the general public to the conference. The occasion is free and no assortment might be taken. This weekend’s occasion, anticipated to attract 18,000 individuals a day from Fort Lauderdale to Key West, will probably be in English. Two extra, set for July 15-17 and Aug. 26-28, will probably be in Spanish. Witnesses make it a apply to all the time clear the host website of their conventions, Baltrami stated. Jasmine Salter, 21, of Lauderhill, stated she has been a part of the cleansing brigade for the previous 5 years. “We obtained right here at eight a.m. and we’ll depart when every part’s finished,” she stated whereas sweeping a whole part of steps. Sweeping and mopping will not be glamorous work, however there was not a frown within the bunch. “We benefit from the encouragement,” stated Salter, broom in hand. “We get to affiliate with one another and make new buddies.” Days in the past, she knocked on round one hundred doorways, serving to unfold the phrase concerning the upcoming occasion. Tony Wynter, forty six, of Pembroke Pines, was amongst 25 volunteers on a staff of security specialists overseeing the development of a video wall. All advised, the volunteers helped save the spiritual group no less than $one hundred fifty,000, Beltrami stated. Through the conference, 550 ushers – all volunteers – will direct individuals to their seats and take a head rely. Audio system will give attention to educating find out how to develop stronger bonds with family and friends together with the significance of loyalty in forming wholesome relationships. “Loyalty and love go hand in hand,” Beltrami stated. “And that is what is going on to conquer hatred. We might have variations, however we’re all one human household.” Source: http://newsbuss.com/jehovahs-witnesses-take-faith-and-mops-to-bbt-center/
  23. (Charlie Pinkerton/Special to The Sault Star) Dean Florsbloom speaks during the first day of the 2016 Jehovah's Witness convention at the Essar Centre. The Essar Centre welcomed over 2,000 for the 2016 Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses on Friday. The convention runs through the weekend, finishing late Sunday afternoon. Nearly 3,000 Witnesses from 36 northern Ontario congregations are expected this weekend, according to the Jehovah's Witnesses office of public information. The three-day program features 49 presentations, 35 video segments and two short films exploring the theme of loyalty. There is no admission fee to the convention and Jehovah's Witnesses have invited those outside of the religion to join as well. Source: http://www.saultstar.com/2016/07/08/essar-centre-hosts-witness-convention
  24. Jonathan McLellan, his wife, Claire, and two daughters, Olivia and Sophie, are seen at the 2014 Jehovah's Witness regional convention at the Mullins Center in Amherst. The McLellans have been Jehovah's Witnesses for five generations, and Sophie was baptized at the convention. (submitted photo) Loyalty is the theme of the upcoming Regional Conventions of Jehovah's Witnesses from throughout New England as they gather this weekend at the Mullins Center on the campus of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst "We will be learning how Jesus Christ, Job and Israel's King Hezekiah stayed loyal to Jehovah despite severe trials. We'll also learn how we can demonstrate that same loyalty in our modern times," said David L. Ryan of Easthampton, the convention's media services coordinator. "Loyalty plays an important role in our families and marriages," he added. The event will take place Friday through Sunday. The theme will be "Remain Loyal to Jehovah." "We strongly believe that loyalty is an essential part of any healthy relationship," said David A. Semonian, a spokesman for Jehovah's Witnesses at their world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. "Our convention this year features content that will help people develop stronger bonds with friends, family members and, above all, with God." Jehovah's Witnesses are Christians who seek to honor Jehovah, the God of the Bible and the creator of all things. It is expected that more than 12,000 delegates will attend the Amherst convention from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire; hundreds of other conventions will take place throughout the country this summer. The local convention been at the Mullins Center for 24 years, noted Ryan, a member of the Northampton Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses. The three-day program will feature 49 presentations exploring the theme of loyalty. Witnesses also have prepared 35 video segments specifically for the program plus two short films that will be shown on Saturday and Sunday. Each day, the morning and afternoon sessions will be introduced by music videos recorded for the convention. The Watchtower Society's Film Production department in Patterson, N.Y, produced the videos. One is a full-length feature film on Sunday about King Hezekiah and the attack on Jerusalem in 732 BCE. (See the video trailer at jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/conventions/drama-movie-trailers-2016) A discourse on Sunday at 11:20 a.m. will focus on the topic "When Will Loyal Love Triumph Over Hatred?" The public is invited to attend; attendees do not need to be one of Jehovah's Witnesses. "Bible prophesy and the Apostle Paul tell us that our loyalty to God (Jehovah) would be tested," Ryan said. "The program will answer three questions: Why does God expect us to be loyal? How can being loyal improve our lives? How will God act in loyalty toward us?" The conference begins each day at 9:20 a.m. There are no admission fees, and collections are not taken. Another gathering will take place July 15-17. There are more than 8.2 million Witnesses in more than 118,000 congregations worldwide. For more information, visit jw.org Source: http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/07/jehovahs_witnesses_convention.html
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