The City Sentinel, Staff Report
Breaking a century-old tradition in the name of health and safety, what a press release calls “the largest convention organization in the world” has moved its annual in-person event to a virtual format for the second time in as many years, canceling nearly 6,000 conventions in 240 lands.
Summers in Oklahoma City have featured Jehovah’s Witnesses streaming into the city to take over hotels and fill restaurants as they held their conventions at the Jim Norick Arena. In 2020, the pandemic unexpectedly interrupted that tradition, moving the international religious organization to cancel in person conventions throughout the world and launch a global virtual event. This was a first for Jehovah’s Witnesses, who have held public conventions in stadiums, arenas, convention centers, and theaters around the world since 1897.
“Powerful by Faith!” is the theme of the 2021 global event, which will be delivered in more than 500 languages to households throughout the globe over six weekends during July and August 2021, uniting some 15-20 million people in 240 countries. Since the convention is typically held from Friday through Sunday, the program will be available in six installments corresponding to morning and afternoon sessions. “Friday” morning’s session will be available for streaming or download beginning Monday, June 28.
Lamonte Minor has attended conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Oklahoma City for 36 years. Although he misses meeting together with fellow believers, he stated, “I appreciate the hard work” and the efforts to “make sure we don’t miss our annual convention.”
According to a press release sent to The City Sentinel newspaper, “The continued risk of bringing thousands of people together in cities around the world prompted the organization to opt for a virtual platform for the second consecutive year. However, the move has not curbed the enthusiasm for the annual event. Congregations around the world are inviting the public to join them in this historic occasion.”
“Faith has helped our global brotherhood to continue to thrive even during a pandemic,” said Robert Hendriks for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “Our faith will continue to unite us in worship — even virtually – as millions gather in private homes around the world to enjoy a powerful and inspiring spiritual program.”
All are invited to attend the event by going to jw.org on the web or JW Broadcasting on the free JW Library iOS or Android App, or on streaming platforms like Roku TV, Apple TV, and others. The program is free and accessible to all.
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