In a world where achieving a state of sustained joy may seem elusive—even impossible—for many, millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses and their invited guests in some 240 lands are “attending” a global convention this year with the theme “Always Rejoice”!
For the first time in their history of holding conventions, Jehovah’s Witnesses have moved this highly anticipated annual event to a streaming platform.
Congregations, families and guests will view the programme during July and August 2020. Typically, these conventions are held in stadiums, arenas, conference halls, and smaller gathering places around the world.
The convention was cancelled in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our worship is centred on love for our God and for one another, irrespective of where we are physically”, said Nathaniel Gbedemah, national spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“This year’s convention programme underscores the unity of our international family and the joy that people can have against a backdrop of stress and despair”, he added.
The two Christian principles guiding the Witnesses’ historic decision are respect for the sanctity of life and love of neighbour. “As much as we long to meet together, life is far too precious to put at risk”, said Gbedemah. “The virtual meetings we have held over the past four months have proved to all of us that it’s not about where we are physically. It’s about where we are spiritually. In many ways we are closer as a spiritual family than ever before”, he added.
The programme is to be released in six instalments, each corresponding to a morning or afternoon session of what would have been three successive convention days.
Many congregations and families have been scheduled to view the convention sessions from July 11 to August 30.
Congregations have been encouraged to hold a brief spiritual discussion over a video conferencing platform to open the session and then announce that the convention programme can be viewed on JW Broadcasting from the participants’ homes.