Finding and sustaining joy, cultivating joy in the family and remaining joyful in difficult times are some of the topics that will be explored by Jehovah’s Witnesses during the program for their final convention, which for the first time moved to a streaming platform.
A key feature of the August 29-30 closing convention, held under the theme “Always Rejoice!”, will be a Bible-based drama that considers the life of Nehemiah and how he helped the ancient nation of Israel find joy in their worship of God.
“Our worship is centered on our mutual love for our God and for each other, irrespective of where we are physically,” said Robert Hendriks, United States spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “This year’s convention program underscores the unity of our international family and the joy that people can have against a backdrop of stress and despair.”
The two Christian principles guiding the Witnesses’ historic decision are respect for the sanctity of life and love of neighbor.
“As much as we long to meet together, life is far too precious to put at risk,” said Hendriks. “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.”
The program was released in six installments, each corresponding to a morning or afternoon session of what would have been three successive convention days. Many congregations and families viewed the first convention session during the weekend of July 11-12, with August 29-30 the final weekend of the virtual event.
Typically, the conventions are held in stadiums, arenas, conference halls and smaller gathering places around the world.
Locally, the convention was scheduled to be held during the months of June and July in English and in Haitian Creole at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Edmund Street on New Providence, and at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Comet Road on Grand Bahama, however, the convention was canceled in May in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
People interested in viewing the convention can contact their local congregation or access the program on jw.org, available under the “library” tab.
Jehovah’s Witnesses leadership said each year many people who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses attend the annual conventions. They said there are more than 8.6 million active Witnesses worldwide, and that their 2019 conventions had a peak attendance of more than 14 million.
The program is available online in hundreds of languages.
In a world where achieving a state of sustained joy may seem elusive – even impossible – Jehovah’s Witnesses and their invited guests in some 240 lands are expected to “attend” the global convention.