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‘Loyalty to Jehovah central to pure worship’

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JEHOVAH’s Witnesses have completed the 27th edition of their Remain Loyal to Jehovah series of regional conventions attended thousands of congregants countrywide.

BY TATIRA ZWINOIRA

Yesterday, 3084 congregants attended the final day of the Harare three-day convention series while thousands others attended in Gweru, Bulawayo, Kadoma, Chegutu and Mutare respectively.

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Speaking to NewsDay on the side lines of the convention, programme overseer Arnold Makayi said the convention came at a time when Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the end is nigh as highlighted in Matthew 24:14.

“These pressures in life make it easy for worshippers to develop divided devotion for our God. So this convention was helping us redirect our priorities and keep in our minds that Jehovah is the sovereign lord and creator who deserve our undeserved loyalty,” Makayi said.

“We also have, apart from this convention, our beautiful website JW.ORG. It has all our literature, videos and even news about us. The website is in over 600 languages including Shona.”

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One of the major highlights was the drama, titled O Jehovah…I Trust in You, a movie chronicling biblical King Hezekiah and the troubles he faced against the Assyrian army. The film showcased how his trust in Jehovah resulted in God sending an angel to slay 185 000 of the Assyrian army which saved Hezekiah and the people of Jerusalem.

The film was told in a very stylized way with effects found in large scale block buster film productions.

Many non-Witnesses attended the event following a massive three week campaign prior to the convention.

In this current series of regional conventions, 15 events would be held in Shona, Chitonga, Swahili, French and Zimbabwe sign language while the first Ndebele convention will be held beginning this Friday at the Harare Assembly Hall.

The final day of the convention also featured the public discourse titled When Will Loyal Love Triumph Over Hatred that was met with a rapturous response.

As part of the programme, nine symposiums showed how Jehovah God does care for his people in this time of the end and how Jesus revealed loyal love for His followers. There were also captivating interviews that were prepared to help congregants on how to remain loyal to Jehovah.

Guest speaker Trent Edison said: “all the parts imitate loyal ones like biblical David, Shiphrah and Puah, Hushai and Ruth, and warning not to imitate loyal ones like the first human Adam, Judas Iscariot were timely for Jehovah’s people today. “The interactive videos shown were meant to prepare Witnesses for the great tribulation in the not too distant future”.

Edison added the baptism talk helped all baptised witnesses – new and old –to reflect on their promise of loyalty to their Creator.

“The dramas were another major highlight of the convention, helping people to reflect on their spirituality,” he said.

This year is the 50th anniversary of Jehovah’s Witnesses use of dramas at their conventions since 1966.
The convention also featured dramatic bible reading Who is on Jehovah’s Side?

There are over 43 000 Witnesses in Zimbabwe, and an estimated 100 000 congregants are expected to attend the regional conventions which kick-started on July 22 and end on September 25 this year.

https://www.newsday.co.zw/2016/08/22/remain-loyal-jehovah-central-pure-worship/

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      More than 14,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses will attend the 2016 “Remain Loyal to Jehovah!” Regional Conventions in Frisco, Texas.
      The first convention will be held July 29 – 31 followed by conventions August 5 – 7, August 19 – 21 and August 26 – 28 at the Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco.
      The three-day program will feature 49 presentations, each exploring the theme “Loyalty.” Additionally, the World Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses have prepared 35 exciting video segments specifically highlighting the theme “Remain Loyal to Jehovah and Family” for the program plus two dramatic short films that will be shown on Saturday and Sunday. The meetings are open to the public with no admission charge and begin at 9:20 a.m.
      Last year, Jehovah’s Witnesses in the United States organized 438 conventions—in 32 languages—in 110 cities. Worldwide, there are over 8,000,000 Witnesses in more than 115,000 congregations.
      David A. Semonian, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses at their world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, 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 program.”
      For more information, please visit their Web site at www.jw.org
      http://www.freestonecountytimesonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16429:jehovahs-witnesses-welcome-all-to-2016-remain-loyal-to-jehovah-convention&catid=52:community
    • By Nicole
      The silence will speak volumes at a three-day convention in Brampton from July 29 to 31.
      More than 600 deaf and deaf-blind from Canada are expected to take part in a series of religious talks conducted solely through American Sign Language (ASL).
      The Bible-themed talks, drama and movies are being held at the Assembly Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses 2594 Bovaird Dr. W. near Bovaird and Heritage Rds.
      At the event, there will be tactile services for the deaf and deaf-blind, 10 television screens, Braille literatures and 18 sign language interpreters, explained Mike Franklin, spokesperson, ASL Convention, adding the entire program will be in ASL with speakers from across Canada, including both hearing and hearing impaired.  
      “Sign language is the language of heart for the deaf and deaf-blind and it’s really their first language,” he said. “This event will give many an idea of how valuable it is to deaf people to have both a program in their language and three days of association with people who all use sign language. ”
      Last year, some 600 ASL users from across Canada, including a few new immigrants,  attended what was the first ever event in the Toronto area.
      Stewart Milner, 46, a Burlington resident who is deaf and has low or tunnel vision, was one of the many travelling to Brampton.
      “Last year’s (convention) was uplifting and a spiritual feast,” Milner signed via Brandon Muldoon, an interpreter.
      Milner, who was born deaf, could see, but slowly over the years, his vision degenerated. He cannot communicate verbally.
      Milner said a loss in vision means that sometimes he cannot see the person using the sign language, and so he has to resort to tactile (touch) methods in which he will place his hands over the signer’s hands to feel the movement and location of the signs.  
      Milner said he was angry and hurt about the cards he had been dealt with in life for many years until he found solace in spirituality some eight years ago.
      “Before I connected with the Witnesses (Jehovah’s), I was very frustrated,” Milner signed. “I was an angry person. As I began to study and understand the Bible, I gave up a lot of bad habits. It wasn’t a quick change, it took years, but I feel I am a happier person for it…”
      Many of the hearing and sight impaired that live alone have no opportunity to interact with another humans and this can often lead to a sense of isolation, Franklin explained. By coming to a convention, they can forge friendships. What’s more, they will be in an environment that’s inclusive to their needs.
      Muldoon, who works in Mississauga as a sign language interpreter, said his job allows him to help the deaf and deaf-blind individuals like Milner. It has proven to be a fulfilling vocation, both personally and spiritually.
      The convention is free and open to all. For more details visit www.jw.org/ase.
      http://www.bramptonguardian.com/whatson-story/6781820-the-sounds-of-silence-will-dominate-brampton-convention/
    • By Nicole
      During their weekends in Berks County for the annual Jehovah's Witnesses conventions each summer, the Outland family from Baltimore has a few must-stops on their agenda.
      Veronica Outland enjoys the deals at VF Outlet in Wyomissing, while Eric Outland breaks into a big smile when mentioning a meal at Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill in Spring Township.The Outlands have been attending the regional conventions in Reading for 10 years, missing only one year to attend an international convention.
      This weekend marked the first of five three-day weekend conventions held at Santander Arena this summer.The Outlands often volunteer to help during the convention for their congregation, and later come to a convention to enjoy the symposiums, dramatizations, lessons, testimonials and singing from the seats."It's a great location," Veronica Outland said of Reading. "The city's not too big, but big enough to accommodate us."The Outlands weren't fortunate enough to find rooms at the new DoubleTree by Hilton across the street and are instead staying in Limerick, Montgomery County, for the weekend.Dan Hoch, DoubleTree's food and beverage manager, said the hotel is sold out all five weekends of the conventions, and the hotel staff was more than ready for the rush."It was something we probably overprepared for," Hoch said. "For us, it's just about suiting the needs of all the guests, just like any other concert, and adjusting to how they like to be serviced."For the conventions, that includes offering buffet-style meals in the hotel's ballrooms so that attendees can eat without too much of a time strain to get to the next event. Hoch said the hotel also widened its check-in and check-out windows knowing that those days would be the busiest.Hoch said the feedback has been positive."Guests love to be able to walk in, do their thing all day and then literally walk 50 feet to the hotel," he said. "They come in and enjoy it and they don't have to do anything other then focus on what their mission is."Saturday's services drew 5,579 Witnesses and guests, but event organizers said that number likely will grow to more than 6,000 for today's events.Overall, organizers expect more than 25,000 people from 225 congregations in Pennsylvania and Maryland to attend the conventions.This year's theme is "Remain Loyal to Jehovah!" with symposiums focused on Jehovah's loyalty, examples of individuals in the Bible who were either loyal or disloyal and encouraging attendees to pursue loyalty in their relationships with friends, family and God.The free conventions are open to the public, and Jehovah's Witnesses invite people of all ages to attend.The conventions will continue the next four weekends.The Aug. 5-7 convention will be held in Spanish.Sessions begin at 9:30 a.m. each of the three days of a convention.
      http://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/thousands-flock-to-reading-for-annual-jehovahs-witness-conventions
    • By Nicole
      NAMPA — A three-day regional convention for Jehovah’s Witnesses will be held in Nampa this week at the Ford Idaho Center.
      According to organizers, this is the first time since 1997 that the convention will be held in this area. They expect to have about 4,200 people in attendance from Idaho, Oregon and Nevada.
      The convention runs from July 29 through 31. About 600 volunteers will arrive at the Ford Idaho Center the day before the event to begin setup. The convention will start at 9:20 a.m. each day and will feature presentations, video segments and films.
      Organizers anticipate the convention will generate about $1.5 million in revenue from shopping, hotel and restaurant use from attendees.
      http://www.idahopress.com/news/local/jehovah-s-witnesses-to-convene-at-ford-idaho-center/article_f67f14ec-80b3-5cf7-aeae-1e8d258469fd.html
    • By Nicole
      DAYTON (WRGT) - More than 6,200 people gathered at the Wright State Nutter Center July 23 for the 2016 Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses.
      The theme for Saturday was "remain loyal to Jehovah!" and highlights included a number of individuals being baptized.
      More than 80,000 people are expected to have attended the convention by July 24, which will be the last day.
      The convention is free to the public with no plates passed around. Sunday's program beings at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 3:45 p.m.
      Reportedly the convention has brought a lot of revenue to the town, particularly due to hotel accommodations.
      http://fox45now.com/news/local/more-than-6000-gather-for-2016-convention-of-jehovahs-witnesses

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