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Thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses congregate in Barrie for weekend convention at BMC


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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.

https://www.barrietoday.com/local-news/thousands-of-jehovahs-witnesses-congregate-in-barrie-for-weekend-convention-at-the-bmc-954653

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