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  1. December 15, 2017 TO ALL CONGREGATIONS Re: 2017 Service Year Report Dear Brothers: We are pleased to share encouraging highlights from the 2017 service year report. The peak number of publishers was 8,457,107. Jehovah’s people spent a total of 2,046,000,202 hours in the ministry, a 3.1 percent increase from last year. We are especially encouraged to see a 7.4 percent increase in the number baptized, with a total of 284,212! This is evidence that we take seriously our commission to “make disciples.” (Matt. 28:19) We were delighted to see that the average number of regular pioneers was 1,225,279. This was an 8.6 percent increase! The worldwide Memorial attendance figure was 20,175,477. Significant features of the service year report will soon be available on jw.org and in JW Library, Watchtower ONLINE LIBRARY, and Watchtower Library. These figures provide compelling evidence of Jehovah’s blessing on our work.—Isa. 60:22. Throughout our branch territory, it is evident that Jehovah is searching for those “rightly disposed for everlasting life” in the language of their heart. (Acts 13:48) For instance, we are happy to report the formation of the first ever Cherokee-language congregation during the past service year. The first Swahili-language circuit in our branch territory was formed effective September 1, 2017. In addition to those reached in the door-to-door ministry, public witnessing initiatives are reaching more people than ever with the Bible’s message. There are over 17,000 publishers participating in the special metropolitan public witnessing program in 17 locations. Harbor witnessing is now organized in 45 ports, with 4,400 trained publishers boarding cargo and cruise ships in an effort to witness to crew members. Public witnessing campaigns organized at large state fairs and sporting events are exposing millions of individuals to the good news, as well as adding great impetus to this aspect of the preaching work. Much has also been accomplished in regard to Kingdom Hall usage in the United States branch territory. Twenty branch planning meetings were held with bodies of elders in metropolitan areas affecting over 2,200 congregations. Implementing non-construction solutions such as merging or relocating congregations has reduced the need for new auditoriums in these areas from 41 to 19, with a potential savings of millions of dollars! Be assured that Jehovah values your faithful service and that he will continue to give you the necessary strength to “fully accomplish your ministry” in the coming year!—2 Tim. 4:5; Isa. 40:31. Your brothers, PS to coordinators of the bodies of elders: Please arrange for this letter to be read to the congregation by the elder handling the part “Annual Service Report” in the Life and Ministry Meeting the week of January 1, 2018. Thereafter, the letter should be posted on the information board. This postscript should neither be read to the congregation nor be posted on the information board.
  2. The previously posted WT letter of December 15, 2017 "Re: 2017 Service Year Report" was for the UScongregations. The second (and third) paragraphs of the letter are being re-written to feature highlights in the local field to the congregations that it is addressed to... PHILIPPINES - "December 15, 2017 letter Re: 2017 Service Year Report" - with local numbers and highlights Below is the local section of the SPANISH letter:
  3. The previously posted WT letter of December 15, 2017 "Re: 2017 Service Year Report" was for the US congregations. The second (and third) paragraphs of the letter are being re-written to feature highlights in the local field to the congregations that it is addressed to... Hence below is what I understand to be the version of the above letter that is being sent and read out (in the first week of January 2018) to congregations in the Philippines. I believe that the Philippines is traditionally one of the WT's Star Performers in terms of growth I have bolded the key text in the letter: . For comparision with previous years: Year Population Peak.Pubs Ratio Av.Pubs %Increase Baptized 2015 100,621,100 201,761 499 199,551 5 10,146 2016 100,981,437 209,131 483 202,431 1 8,900 2017 210,914 3 10,781 . Year Av.AuxPios Av.Pios Congs Hours Studies Memorial.Att 2015 12,440 38,813 3,246 49,798,859 268,598 576,542 2016 9,801 41,182 3,315 50,130,621 269,655 584,685 2017 45,264 52,443,544 575,813 . A 3% increase would indicate that Average Publisher is expected to be between 207,492 and 209,515 (ie between 2.5% to 3.5% as the yearbooks only used whole numbers for the %'s) The Regular Pioneer figure is a Peak - though I would expect the Average Regular Pioneers during the year to be fairly even, with no real spiked peaks.

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