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Meet Puerto Rico Hosts Its Largest City-Wide Convention of 2016

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    • By The Librarian
      What is the theme of your baptism year??
      Mine was... Kingdom Truth~1982

      (Although mine was at a Circuit Assembly in Natick, Massachusetts not a district convention)

    • Guest Nicole
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      Un grupo de voluntarios de la organización mundial de los testigos de Jehová trabajó arduamente en Puerto Rico para atender la situación de emergencia que dejó el huracán María en la isla.
      Según un comunicado de prensa, esta organización estableció 10 centros alrededor de la isla para distribuir ayuda humanitaria y coordinar labores de reparación y reconstrucción de casas.
      “Hasta el momento, se han reparado aproximadamente unos 1,200 hogares y se estabilizó a más de 3,000”, lee el documento.
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      FARGO — About 4,000 Jehovah's Witnesses will be in Fargo this weekend for a massive three-day regional convention at Scheels Arena.
      The "Be Courageous!" 2018 convention here beginning Friday, June 29, through Sunday, July 1, is one of many around the country and globe, including Hungary, Japan and Australia.
      Convention spokesperson Stephen Mostad, of Blackduck, Minn., said the convention for the Dakotas and Minnesota has been held at Fargo's Scheels Arena since 2012 with the exception of 2015, when it was held in Milwaukee.
      Mostad said Fargo is a central location for the 55 congregations in the tri-state area that flock here.
      Each summer, he said a little more than 500 conventions are held throughout the U.S., where Jehovah's Witnesses make up less than 1 percent of the population. Worldwide, there are nearly 8.5 million Jehovah's Witnesses, though they are banned in some countries like Russia.
      The Pew Research Center came out with a study in 2016 following the death of Minnesota's superstar musician Prince, who became part of the Christian religion as an adult.
      Other famous members of this denomination include Michael and Janet Jackson, athletes Venus and Serena Williams and Larry Graham of Sly and The Family Stone. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was raised a Jehovah's Witness, but left the religion as an adult, as did musicians Patti Smith and Donald Glover.
      Jehovah's Witnesses are most known for door-knocking and prophesying with pamphlets. They don't serve in the military or celebrate birthdays and holidays. Mostad said these guidelines are from their interpretations of the first-century model of the Bible that regulate personal decisions.
      Conventions are a "spiritual highlight" for all ages, Mostad said.
      "Its encouragement. We enjoy being together," he said. "We find in the world we live in experiencing challenges and tragedy, it's nice to find a little oasis where you can be spiritually refreshed."
      The free, public event will consist of presentations on family life and prophecies with a feature film on Sunday. Programming starts each day around 9:20 a.m. and lasts until 5 p.m. On Sunday, programming ends at 4 p.m.
      More information about the convention is available at www.jw.org.org.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Three-day convention expected to draw around 3,500 people from around the region
      Thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses will be in Barrie for their annual summer convention this weekend.
      Dozens of volunteers were busy on Thursday preparing the Barrie Molson Centre for this weekendÂ’s three-day gathering. From those building the stage and assembling video screens to crews cleaning the arena top to bottom to make it spick and span, it was a hive of activity.
      The convention will draw people from several towns in the area, from Collingwood to Shelburne, Barrie to Aurora and north up to Bracebridge.
      A similar gathering was held in Barrie in 2016 and had 3,700 people in attendance.
      However, Steve Brown, who is handling media for the event, which runs from Friday to Sunday at the BMC, said he expects around 3,500 people this weekend because fewer congregations have been invited.
      “When the announcement was made that we would be going back to Barrie, there was loud applause,” Brown said. “We love coming to Barrie for our convention.”
      Brown called the city “an ideal location.”
      “The city is relatively easy to get around (and) we feel welcome by our hosts at the BMC, hotels and restaurants,” he said.
      Brown said the waterfront is also “perfect” for attending families to stretch and play after a day at the BMC.
      “Barrie is an ideal location for a variety of reasons,” Brown said. “Of course, its central location makes it very convenient for the majority of delegates from this area.
      “However, it is also ideal because the convention venue is the perfect size for our needs,” he said. “Additionally, Barrie has the great hotels, restaurants and shopping facilities that are required to care for the needs of several thousand visiting delegates.”
      Brown said the convention is a great way to connect.
      “Our conventions are three wonderful days in a spiritual paradise,” he said. “Family groups, young people, couples and our dear older ones all eagerly attend.
      “The Bible-based program is the primary reason for the delegates to be there,” Brown added. “Nonetheless, the opportunity to associate with our brothers and sisters before and after the sessions is an unmistakable highlight.”
      The convention includes talks, interviews and the sharing of experiences as well as music, videos and a feature film.  
      “We are always delighted by the quality of the teaching and how interesting the program is,” Brown said.
      This year’s theme is ‘Be Courageous’ and all presentations will focus on courage.
      “We all need courage in our daily routines,” Brown said. “At school and in the workplace, people may be exposed to bullying, harassment, ridicule and other unwelcome pressures.
      “Living by Bible standards, as we strive to do, requires extra courage because it sometimes puts us out of step with what’s going on around us,” he said.
      World conditions can also cause fear and concern, Brown added.
      “This convention program will provide much in the way of reminders, suggestions and encouragement to forge ahead, doing what is right , even when it is difficult to do so,” he said.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      About 3,500 Jehovah's Witnesses will meet in Billings Friday through Sunday at Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark for their annual regional convention.
      Members come from the eastern half of Montana, western North and South Dakota and northern Wyoming, said media spokesman Joe Kurkowski. The public is also invited to attend any of the sessions, he said.
      "There are no collections taken and it's a completely free event," Kurkowski said.
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      Similar conventions are held throughout the United States and around the world between May and September, Kurkowski said. The theme this year at all the conventions is "Be Courageous."
      For more information, go online to www.jw.org

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
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      By Guest Nicole
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      Reacciona el presidente de la Cámara
      Méndez dijo esta tarde que el gobernador fue inducido a error y por eso fue que vetó el llamado proyecto de Libertad Religiosa. 
      "Respeto el poder constitucional del gobernador, pero creo que lo indujeron a error las personas que le recomendaron el veto. El proyecto buscaba proteger el derecho que ha sido refrendado por legislación federal y las decisiones del Tribunal Supremo en términos de que nadie puede discriminar contra nadie", dijo Méndez en entrevista con El Nuevo Día.
      Méndez mencionó jurisprudencia que protege a "sectas", en referencia a los Testigos de Jehová, que "pueden entrar a un lugar donde el Estado o asociaciones les han prohibido entrar".
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      "Ese análisis lo vamos hacer y lo de nosotros es sencillamente que la política pública del estado es defender la libertad de las personas, expreearse sin afectar los derechos de los demás", respondió.
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      By Guest Nicole
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      PUERTO RICO Besides injury, not one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Puerto Rico were affected by what has been described as the most devastating Hurricane in the history of the Carribean.
      Hurricane Maria which made land fall in Puerto Rico as a category 4 storm killed 16 people, Governor Ricardo Rosello of Puerto Rico has said. The hurricane disrupted communication and power supply, effectively cutting off Puerto Rico from civilisation.
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      Last minute news | more information about Puerto Rico after the passage of hurricane Maria
      For today, 25 September 2017, information is already available from 15 of the 19 circuit superintendents serving in Puerto Rico. It was reported that there was only one person injured because of hurricane Maria. We are still waiting for news of the four circuit superintendents on the west side of the island as it has not been possible to communicate with them. Nearby circuit brothers have achieved motorcycles and SUV vehicles to visit the west area and learn more.
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      FAIRFIELD, CA—On July 28, 2017, Tagalog circuit in Northern California of Jehovah’s Witnesses will begin their three-day annual conventions with the theme “Don’t Give Up!” The program will be held in 2020 Walters Road, Fairfield CA. As in years past, the Witnesses are participating in a global campaign to personally invite the general public to attend.Admission to each event is free and no collections are taken. “Nearly thirteen million persons attended our conventions last year worldwide,” states David A. Semonian, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses at their world headquarters in Warwick, New York. “We hope to have an even larger audience this year.” Angelito Roque, the Tagalog’s local circuit convention spokesman, has estimated 1,900 Filipino to attend this years’ convention which is similar to last years’ attendance.The program is divided into 52 parts and will be presented in a variety of formats, including brief discourses, interviews, and short videos. Additionally, one segment of a three-part feature film entitled Remember the Wife of Lot will be shown each afternoon. Media outlets may contact Mr. Roque for reporters planning to cover the convention.“Challenges in life can rob us of peace and even cause some to think about giving up,” says Mr. Semonian. “Our convention this year will benefit both Witnesses and non-Witnesses because it promises to empower individuals not only to keep enduring but also to cope with challenges productively.”For more information, please go to
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. then click the “Convention” section under the “About Us” heading. Regional Media Contact: Angelito Roque, telephone: (408)238-1063

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Cancer Does Not Stop Local Jehovah's Witness Couple

      Leslie and Jim Donigan attend the Jehovah's Witnesses conference today at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, Missouri. (Mike Sherry | Flatland)
      At happy moments, Jim and Leslie Donigan often find themselves dancing to “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars,” the Andy Williams hit that has been their song since they first met at a pizza joint in Mission, Kansas, decades ago.
      One of those dance-worthy occasions took place late last year, at the end of a long medical journey. The memory remains strong, even though they have hit a recent bump in the road.
      As Jehovah’s Witnesses, they plan to attend the Midwest convention that runs today through Sunday at Silverstein Eye Centers Arena in Independence, Missouri. Organizers believe few attendees embody this year’s theme, “Don’t Give Up,” more than the Donigans, who are both 71 years old and live in Kansas City. About 5,000 people are expected to attend, said Craig Cochran, the convention’s media services coordinator.
      The ability to be part of a global experience of faith is important to the Donigans, as they once again face medical uncertainty. “It’s like a spiritual family reunion,” Jim said.
      A website for the religion says there are more than 8.3 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in 240 countries. According to the Pew Research Center, fewer than 1 percent of American adults are Jehovah’s Witnesses.

      “Don’t Give Up” is the them of this year’s Jehovah’s Witness conference. (Mike Sherry | Flatland)
      Jehovah’s Witnesses believe in God, who is called Jehovah.  As Christians, they believe in heaven and salvation, but they do not believe in hell or eternal suffering.
      Witnesses, as followers are called, believe the Bible to be the inspired word of God. However, they recognize some parts are symbolic and do not believe all parts of the Bible are to be understood literally.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses also do not believe in blood transfusions, based upon their reading of passages in both the Old and New testaments. They cite Genesis 9:4, for example, where God says, “Only flesh with its soul — its blood — you must not eat.”
      No ‘Cowards in the Foxhole’
      On Oct. 1, 2004, Leslie fainted. That was abnormal for her, a runner who lives a healthy lifestyle.
      Doctors could not pinpoint a cause, and later that month they understood why: They found a gastrointestinal stromal tumor, a rare cancer that leaves no blood marker. The tumor was growing on a section of the small intestine and was also threatening her pancreas.
      The belief about blood transfusions was an obvious complication when it came to surgery.
      So, the Donigans worked through a Jehovah’s Witnesses group in Brooklyn to find Dr. Marvin Romsdahl, a surgeon at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who performed a modified version of a common surgery to remove pancreatic tumors. The modified version did not require a transfusion.
      The night before the surgery, the anesthesiologist backed out because of the risks of doing surgery without blood transfusions. “That’s good,” Jim told Romsdahl. “We don’t need any cowards in the foxhole.”
      The surgery lasted 13.5 hours, but it was successful.
      Yet further treatment included a prescription for the chemotherapy pill Gleevec. The cost of the therapy, which Leslie said at the time cost $2,500 per month, brought them to the breaking point, even after using Social Security and Medicare.
      “It’s always been more than we could swallow,” Jim said, “and progressively over time, it took everything.”
      More bad news hit in 2008, when Jim lost his banking job during the recession. They had to sell the house they had built nearly four decades before, the same house where they had raised their three children.
      But in one sliver of good news, a neighbor approached them during their garage sale and told them he would buy another house for sale on the block and then rent it to them.
      Things began to look up, as Jim found another job, Leslie qualified for a hardship program that allowed her to take Gleevec for free, and then got off the medication altogether when her cancer went into remission.
      The cancer returned, however, and Leslie must remain on Gleevec for the rest of her life. Now, Gleevec costs $13,000 per month, she said.
      Another Test
      In April 2016, the family was tested again, when Jim started having shortness of breath.
      Their first thought was a heart problem, but the first diagnosis was multiple myeloma, a form of incurable blood cancer. A second opinion was different, but not any better: a form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which causes tumors to grow in the lymphatic system.
      A PET scan revealed 100 tumors, and Jim started his own costly round of chemotherapy.

      The Donigans vist with their son, Joel, and his wife, Carrie, at the conference. (Mike Sherry | Flatland)
       
      His lymphatic system failed during treatment, causing fluid buildup around his stomach and lungs. Jim suffered malnutrition when draining the fluid removed electrolytes and proteins.
      By October, doctors gave him two months to live. Leslie got it in writing.
      Yet as he sat in the hospital, saying his goodbyes, Jim had a thought: “Why couldn’t we take those fluids from my stomach and put them back into my heart, where they need to be?”
      The question sparked an idea for one of Jim’s doctors, who inserted a shunt normally used to treat cirrhosis. Within two weeks, the fluid buildup was gone.
      On Dec. 27, when he was home filing paperwork, Jim came across the letter telling him he only had two months to live. He did the math, and then they had an “I ain’t dead yet party.”
      At the party, Jim sipped his first glass of wine in a year, and the couple danced once again to their favorite song. The luster remained up until this week, when an infection flared up around the shunt, and the fear of cancer returned.
      This most recent medical challenge has shown Jim and Leslie how important their faith is in preparing them for the troubles that can lie ahead. The convention, and especially its theme, is coming at just the right time to help guide them through this newest trial, Leslie said.
      “No one is shielded from the human experience,” Leslie said. “But personally, we find it better to be prepared to keep these types of relapses in their proper perspective.”
      — Catherine Wheeler is a multimedia intern for Flatland. She is a graduate student studying journalism at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Catherine has a bachelor’s degree in English-Writing from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. She currently lives in Kansas City. You can reach her at cwheeler@kcpt.org

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      An expected audience of around 3,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses and members of the public are beginning to arrive at the Westpoint Arena for their three day annual Exeter Convention.
      This year’s Convention theme is “Don’t Give Up!”
      “Challenges in life can rob us of peace and even cause some to think about giving up,” states David A. Semonian, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses at their world headquarters in Warwick, New York. “Our convention this year will benefit both Witnesses and non-Witnesses because it promises to empower individuals not only to keep enduring but also to cope with challenges productively.”
      Last weekend 3,800 Witnesses and others from Cornwall and South Devon attended their Convention at Westpoint, this weekend it is the turn of delegates from across Somerset, North, and Mid Devon to enjoy the same uplifting program. It is one of 21 such Conventions across the UK, in total the program will be presented in 24 different languages. Last year over 13 million persons attended the Witnesses Conventions worldwide, more are expected to attend this year.
      The program is divided into 52 parts and will be presented in a variety of formats, including brief discourses, interviews, and short videos. Additionally, one segment of a three-part feature film designed to help families will be shown each afternoon. Of special interest will be a discourse especially for the public at 11.20 on Sunday morning entitled “Never Give Up Hope!”, as well as the public Baptism of new believers on Saturday at 11,45 a.m. The program lasts from Friday through to Sunday and begins at 9.20 each morning.
      Admission was free and no collections are taken
      Watch a video about our conventions and see a complete program schedule at jw.org

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