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Greater Tulsa Reporter

Area Jehovah’s Witnesses Gather For Conventions

Contributing Writer

ANNUAL GATHERING: More than 6,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses gathered at the University of Tulsa’s Donald W. Reynolds Center over two weekends in June and July for the religious group’s 2017 “Don’t Give Up!” conventions.

BLAKE AUSTYN for GTR Newspapers

For two weekends in June and July, approximately 6,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses from northeast Oklahoma and Kansas visited the Tulsa area to attend the religious group’s three-day annual conventions, held at the University of Tulsa’s Donald W. Reynolds Center.

These conventions were two of more than 3,700 conventions that were held in approximately 150 countries during this year and early 2018. Admission to all conventions is free, with no collections taken.

The event’s theme “Don’t Give Up!” addresses various ways to successfully cope with discouragement.

“Challenges in life can rob us of peace and even cause some to think about giving up,” says David A. Semonian, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses at their world headquarters in Warwick, New York. “Our conventions will benefit both Witnesses and non-Witnesses because they promise to empower individuals not only to keep enduring but also to cope with challenges productively.”

The program is divided into 52 parts and presented in a variety of formats, including brief discourses, interviews, short videos and a feature film.

On Friday, the day’s theme was “Let us not give up in doing what is fine,” from Galatians 6:9, and included Bible discourses on how to deal with injustice, persecution, advancing age, prolonged illness and loss of a loved one.

Saturday’s theme, “Rejoice in the hope. Endure under tribulation,” taken from Romans 12:12, revolved around fostering contentment and the lessons of endurance that can be found in the physical creation.

The program for Sunday focused on the theme “The one who has endured to the end will be saved,” from Matthew 24:13. Sunday’s Bible discussions delved further into the daily habits and activities that can help humans to endure despite challenging circumstances.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are a worldwide Christian religion, with more than eight million members in 240 lands.

The organization had its start in the late 1800s in the United States by a group of Bible students.

The group’s main focus is to honor Jehovah, who is the God of the Bible and the creator of all things. The religion also encourages imitation of Jesus Christ as God’s son.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are well known for their door-to-door evangelizing work in which they share information about the Bible and God’s Kingdom.

The organization’s name is taken from a Bible verse (Isaiah 43:10) and is due to the fact that its members all witness, or speak, about Jehovah God and his Kingdom.

Updated 09-04-2017

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