Attend the “Divine Love” District Convention This Summer
1 It is the normal desire of people who love one another to want to be together. This desire intensifies under conditions of stress when support and encouragement are especially needed. How natural it should be, then, for us as Jehovah’s people to come together at every opportunity in these difficult times! (Heb. 10:23-25) How much more reason we should have to attend when the theme of the convention is “Divine Love”! When you receive the February 1, 1980, Watchtower (English) you will find listed therein over 100 occasions at 65 different locations where the “Divine Love” District Conventions will be held in the United States for the summer of 1980. It is our desire to see every lover of Jehovah in attendance, is it not? (1 John 5:3) In order for you to be better able to make your plans to attend as well as to assist others who may need help, we are providing the following information.—1 Cor. 14:40.
NEW ROOMING ARRANGEMENT
2 Finding rooming accommodations for the thousands of individuals attending a district convention has always been a major undertaking. Faithful rooming workers have been willing to offer their services year after year in behalf of those attending. Many of us remember weeks of door-to-door canvassing for rooms in preparation for larger conventions in the past when many of our brothers were accommodated in this way. However, changing times and habits of those attending conventions have reduced the number staying in private homes in recent years to the point where most can be cared for by local Witnesses. Most now prefer to stay in hotels or motels. While convention rooming departments have been happy to assist by placing brothers in private homes or in hotels and motels, in some instances at reduced rates, a growing number of our brothers have chosen to make their own arrangements directly. This has been either out of a desire to be helpful or to have a greater selection. Those doing so, however, often paid the “rack” or highest rate while those obtaining rooms through the rooming department at times received a lower group rate.
3 In order to assist everyone needing accommodations and simplify the overall rooming operation, the Society has decided to take a new approach to rooming this year for those attending the “Divine Love” District Conventions. Under the new arrangement it will be easier for you to make your own arrangements directly with the hotel/motel and yet enable everyone to share in the benefits, including lower rates, that often come from a single organization using a large number of rooms in a facility. In order for you to understand the arrangement so as to cooperate fully with it, the following information should be helpful.—Rom. 8:28.
4 Already, qualified brothers have approached selected hotels and motels in the convention cities and have negotiated the best rates possible for those attending each convention. They have blocked off a number of rooms in several establishments of good quality to be assigned by the hotel/motel only to those identifying themselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses or as delegates attending the Watchtower Convention. In most cases, by the end of January 1980, your congregation will have received a list of hotels and motels in the convention city that are cooperating closely with the Society’s rooming arrangement. It will show the address of the facility, their agreed-upon rate to those attending the convention and the phone number to be used in making your reservations, along with other information.
5 WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: As soon as your congregation receives the list of hotels and motels from the convention organization, you should select the facility where you would prefer to stay. You should then phone the hotel or motel immediately, identifying yourself as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses or a delegate attending the Watchtower Convention. Doing so will qualify you for the agreed-upon rate listed. One night’s deposit (credit card, cashier’s check or money order) will be required at all locations and should be sent to them as soon as your reservations are confirmed. This deposit should be sent to the hotel or motel directly, well in advance of the cutoff date listed on the sheet(s) received from the rooming department. Motels and/or hotels are not obligated to hold the rooms without a deposit or extend the special rates beyond the cutoff date. If you find it necessary to cancel your accommodation you should write or phone the hotel/motel directly, doing so as far in advance as possible. This makes the room available to other delegates who may desire the accommodation. The convention rooming department will be monitoring the arrangement and will provide additional information through the congregation, such as which hotels/motels are filled after a month or two, as well as any additional ones it may find necessary to add to the list. Remember, therefore, that it will be your responsibility to contact the hotel/motel and make reservations based on the information provided on the list. If the hotel/motel you call first is filled, then it will be necessary for you to call the next one you have selected from the list, and so on.
6 DORMITORIES: A few conventions find it necessary to use school dormitories in order to accommodate all those attending. In most cases, the congregations will receive information on these a month or so after the first hotel/motel listing is sent. Those needing accommodations of this type should follow through in accord with the instructions set out on the list that will be sent to the congregation by the convention rooming department.
7 SPECIAL NEEDS: Most arrangements to care for those with special needs have customarily originated at the local congregation where such ones attend. Elders and others who are aware of their circumstances have lovingly extended help, which is commendable. This has often involved taking others with them in their own group—those in full-time service, the elderly, infirm or needy ones. Also they have cared for their needs in other ways, such as assisting them in making arrangements or even aiding them financially, if possible and where needed. (Jas. 2:15-17; 1 John 3:18) We are confident that such loving concern will continue to be shown. (John 13:35) However, the convention rooming department will function to provide rooming accommodations for those with special needs who can neither be cared for by themselves nor by those in the congregation where they attend. Such ones may ask the convention coordinator in their congregation for a Special Needs Room Request Form, discussing their situation with him at this time. Those with special needs are the only ones that should use this form. They should fill it out and return it to the convention coordinator to be checked for completeness, accuracy and verification of circumstances. Even though he forwards it to the convention rooming department, the individual(s) will be notified of their accommodations directly by the rooming department. Both private homes and hotel/motel accommodations will be used in caring for those with special needs, according to their circumstances. Please keep in mind that private home accommodations listed by the convention are usually set aside for those with limited funds who would experience real hardship if such accommodations were not made available. They are not intended for those who want free or inexpensive rooms just to save money, such as for a vacation, and so forth. Also, private home accommodations are for the convention period only. It would hardly seem proper to presume upon the hospitality of our brothers by expecting them to accommodate delegates for extra days so as to visit vacation spots in the area before or after the convention.
8 DELEGATES ATTENDING OUT OF ASSIGNED AREA: District conventions are arranged at many locations to reduce the travel required in order to attend. In nearly every case, the location recommended for you to attend is the one nearest your congregation. Seating, literature, food orders, and so forth, are planned on the premise that the great majority will attend the convention to which they are assigned. However, a few for various reasons may choose to attend a location other than the one recommended for their congregation. Such individuals may ask the convention coordinator in their congregation for the address of the convention headquarters where they wish to attend. These addresses are listed on the back of the Special Needs Room Request Form. Unless the persons have special needs, they should not use the Special Needs Room Request Form. Rather, they should write to the convention headquarters and request a copy of the hotel/motel listing for that location. (Be sure to include your return address when making this request.) Upon receipt of this listing of hotels/motels they should proceed just as if they were using the listing for their local area.
9 YOUR COOPERATION APPRECIATED: The smoothness with which the new rooming arrangement functions will largely depend on the cooperation of everyone involved—the convention rooming department, the hotels and motels, the elders serving as convention coordinators and those being accommodated. It would be good to keep two things in mind in order to avoid a problem. If a large number of delegates attempt to make hotel/motel reservations on their own before receiving the listing of facilities that are cooperating with the convention rooming department, it could cause a breakdown in some negotiations. This could occur at locations used year after year where brothers, based on rumor or assumption, have been accustomed to making very early reservations. Also, it could result in difficulties if a large number of delegates choose not to use the hotels and motels listed, but for one reason or another, make their own arrangements with facilities that have not cooperated as fully with the convention rooming arrangement. We hope to make the listing broad enough so as to give the brothers a choice of good quality accommodations and yet give preference to the hotels/motels that give the best cooperation. Our aim with this new rooming arrangement is to see that our brothers and other delegates are accommodated as comfortably and economically as possible, according to their circumstances, so as to be refreshed and able to enjoy fully the fine spiritual benefits of the program.
SELECTING YOUR LOCATION
10 As already stated, it is our hope that every lover of Jehovah will be in attendance at the “Divine Love” District Convention, if at all possible. In most cases, you will be attending at the location nearest to your congregation, or where two or more conventions are being held at the same location, on the dates recommended for your circuit or portion thereof. Please find listed on page 6, in date order, each convention city and the circuits, or portions thereof, recommended to attend each convention.
11 Those circuits in the chart marked with an asterisk (*) may have some congregations located a little closer to another convention city, but it would be best, if possible, to attend at the location indicated so as to prevent unnecessary crowding.
12 Where the chart indicates that a portion of a circuit attend at a particular location, such as 1⁄2 or 1⁄4, and so forth, it simply means that those living in the part of the circuit closest to that convention would attend where indicated, but the rest of the circuit would attend another convention closest to them as shown elsewhere on the list.
13 Your determination to be among those attending the “Divine Love” District Convention will bring rich dividends as Jehovah blesses your efforts. May your joy be made complete by planning to be present for every session from beginning to end, all four days.
TO THE BODY OF ELDERS
Upon receipt of this insert, it will be the responsibility of the convention coordinator to meet together with the presiding overseer before the next service meeting. They can determine from the circuit list shown which city and dates your congregation is to attend, based on the circuit or portion thereof that your congregation is in as of the end of February. (If the coordinator is caring for both positions, he should meet with another member of the congregation service committee.) Where a fraction of a circuit (1⁄2, 1⁄4, and so forth) is involved, they should determine which location is the nearest to their congregation and plan on attending there. Then please announce at the next service meeting as well as the following Watchtower study the location and dates recommended by the Society for your congregation. It may be good to underline on the circuit list the recommended convention city and dates your congregation is to attend and post that portion of the insert on the information board for the benefit of the congregation.
In nearly every case, the elder serving as the convention coordinator will be conducting the service meeting part covering this insert as scheduled, as well as making other announcements and handling convention material on the meetings. This will serve to acquaint the congregation with their convention coordinator, as well as enable him to better coordinate convention matters. When covering the insert on the service meeting, it would be good to have a qualified brother read all the numbered paragraphs and arrange for others to read and apply the scriptures cited.
All the elders should be informed as to convention arrangements. They will want to cooperate fully, offering suggestions to assure the prompt, enthusiastic and effective handling of convention-related material. We appreciate very much your enthusiastic support of and kind attention to these matters.
1980 U.S. DISTRICT CONVENTIONS
Biloxi, MS: Ala. 3; Fla. 1⁄2 11; La. 3-A*; Miss. 1.
Cicero, IL: Ill. 1, 1⁄4 4, 5; Wis. 1.
Denver, CO: Colo. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; N.M. 2-B, 1⁄3 3; Wyo. 1-B.
Greenville, SC: Ga. 1⁄3 8; N.C. 4; S.C. 1⁄2 2.
Jacksonville, FL: Fla. 3, 1⁄4 5, 1⁄2 11, 12; Ga. 1⁄3 7.
Pine Bluff, AR: Ark. 1, 2, 1⁄2 4-A, 4-B; La. 2-B; Miss. 3-A*.
Pontiac, MI (Tentative): Ind. 7-B*; Mich. 1, 2, 5, 1⁄3 6, 8, 10, 11*, 12; Ohio 5.
Tucson, AZ: Ariz. 1, 2, 3-B.
Wheeling, WV: Ohio 14; Pa. 8, 10.
Cicero, IL: Ill. 2, 11, 12; Ind. 1-B.
Des Moines, IA: Iowa 1, 1⁄2 2-A, 2-B, 3, 4-B*; Mo. 3-A*, 3-B*.
Greenville, SC: Ga. 4*; N.C. 3*.
Macon, GA: Ga. 2, 6, 1⁄3 8.
Memphis, TN: Ark. 3, 1⁄2 4-A; Miss. 2-A, 1⁄2 2-B; Mo. 1⁄2 4-A; Tenn. 1⁄2 2-A, 3.
Providence, RI: Mass. 1; N.H. 1-A; R.I. 1.
Richfield, OH: Ohio 1, 1⁄2 2-A, 3, 8; Pa. 12-B.
St. Petersburg, FL: Fla. 1⁄2 2 (St. Petersburg congregations), 2⁄3 9.
South Bend, IN: Ind. 1-A, 2-A*, 2-C*, 5, 1⁄3 6, 7-A; Mich. 4*.
Tucson, AZ: Ariz. 3-A, 4, 5.
Wheeling, WV: Pa. 7, 14; W. Va. 2-A, 1⁄4 3.
Wichita, KS: Kans. 1⁄2 1-A, 1-B*, 1-C*, 2, 3, 4; Mo. 6*.
Baton Rouge, LA: La. 1⁄2 1, 3-B, 4, 5; Miss. 4.
Cicero, IL (Greek also): Ill. 8, 9, 10, 13; Wis. 4-B.
Columbia, SC: Ga. 1⁄3 8; N.C. 1⁄2 1-B, 5, 1⁄2 7; S.C. 1, 1⁄2 2, 1⁄2 3.
Dallas, TX: Okla. 1⁄2 4-B; Tex. 12-A, 13, 15.
El Paso, TX: N.M. 1, 2-A*, 2⁄3 3; Tex. 9.
Green Bay, WI: Wis. 2-B*, 3, 1⁄3 5.
Houston, TX: Tex. 16-A, 1⁄2 16-B, 17.
Huntington, WV: Ky. 3-B*; Ohio 1⁄2 2-A, 2-B*, 15*, 16.
Inglewood, CA: Calif. 4, 6, 17, 32-A, 1⁄2 32-B, 37, 38, 44.
Long Beach, CA: Calif. 2, 16, 24-B, 28-A, 30, 46-A.
Macon, GA: Ala. 1⁄2 6; Ga. 1, 5, 1⁄3 7.
Nashville, TN: Ala. 1-A; Ky. 1⁄2 1, 1⁄2 4-B; Tenn. 1⁄2 2-A, 2-B, 4, 6.
Niagara Falls, NY: N.Y. 8, 13; Pa. 12-A.
Ogden, UT: Idaho 3; Nev. 3⁄4 2* (Las Vegas and Henderson congregations); Utah 1, 2.
Providence, RI: Mass. 2, 4, 5.
Richfield, OH: Ohio 10, 11, 12, 13.
Roanoke, VA: N.C. 1⁄2 2, 1⁄2 7; Va. 2, 4-A, 5; W. Va. 1⁄2 1, 1⁄4 3.
St. Petersburg, FL: Fla. 1⁄2 2, 7.
Utica, NY: N.Y. 22*, 24.
Corvallis, OR: Calif. 1⁄4 43-B; Ore. 1, 4, 2⁄3 5-A, 7.
Dallas, TX: Tex. 3-A, 5, 6, 14-A, 1⁄2 14-B.
El Paso, TX (Spanish only): S-6, S-18, S-24, S-28-A.
Green Bay, WI: Mich. 7; Wis. 2-A*, 4-A.
Houston, TX: Tex. 2, 1⁄2 3-B, 2⁄3 11, 12-B.
Huntington, WV: Ohio 4*, 7 ; W. Va. 1⁄2 1, 1⁄2 3.
Inglewood, CA: Calif. 5, 7, 21, 24-A, 25, 31-A, 47.
Johnson City, TN: Ky. 1⁄2 4-A; N.C. 1⁄2 2; Tenn. 1, 5.
Oklahoma City, OK: Okla. 1, 2, 3*, 4-A, 1⁄2 4-B; Tex. 10, 1⁄2 14-B.
Philadelphia, PA: N.J. 3, 4-A, 6, 7-B, 7-C; Pa. 1, 2-A, 3, 4, 6, 11, 13.
Portland, ME: Me. 1, 2; N.H. 1-B; Vt. 1-A.
St. Louis, MO: Ill. 1⁄2 6-B, 7; Mo. 1, 2, 1⁄2 4-A, 4-B, 1⁄2 5-A, 5-B, 7.
St. Paul, MN: Minn. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6; ND. 1-B; S.D. 1-A; Wis. 2⁄3 5.
San Francisco, CA: Calif. 14, 19, 34, 41, 43-A.
Tuscaloosa, AL: Ala. 1-B, 2, 4, 5*, 1⁄2 6; Miss. 1⁄2 2-B 3-B*.
Utica, NY: N.Y. 3-A*, 6, 2⁄3 21.
Billings, MT: Mont. 1-B*, 2, 3; N.D. 1-A; S.D. 1-B; Wyo. 1-A.
Chicago, IL (Spanish only): S-21-A.
Corvallis, OR: Ore. 2, 3, 5-B, 6.
East Rutherford, NJ (Tentative): N.J. 1, 2, 4-B, 5, 7-A, 8; Pa. 2-B.
Fresno, CA: Calif. 10, 18-A*; Nev. 1.
Hallandale, FL: Fla. 1, 1⁄2 4, 6, 8.
Hampton, VA: N.C. 6*; Va. 1, 6-C.
Lake Charles, LA: La. 1⁄2 1, 2-A*; Tex. 4, 1⁄2 16-B.
Louisville, KY: Ind. 2-B, 3, 4, 2⁄3 6; Ky. 1⁄2 1, 2, 3-A, 1⁄2 4-A, 1⁄2 4-B; Ohio 6, 9.
New Haven, CT: Conn. 1-B, 2-A, 3; N.Y. 3-B.
San Francisco, CA: Calif. 15, 22, 40, 42, 3⁄4 43-B.
Savannah, GA: Ga. 3*, 1⁄3 7; S.C. 1⁄2 3.
Chicago, IL (Spanish only): S-21-B, S-31; Mo. S-3-C.
Fremont, CA (Korean only): Western U.S. Korean congregations.
Fresno, CA: Calif. 9*, 11*, 39.
Grand Rapids, MI: Mich. 3, 9.
Hallandale, FL (Spanish only): S-12, S-16, S-26.
Hampton, VA: N.C. 1-A, 1⁄2 1-B; Va. 3, 6-A, 6-B.
Lakeland, FL: Fla. 3⁄4 5, 13.
Landover, MD: D.C. 1; Md. 1, 4; Pa. 5*, 9*.
Lincoln, NB: Iowa 1⁄2 2-A; Kans. 1⁄2 1-A; Nebr. 1, 2, 3.
Long Beach, CA (Japanese also): Calif. 3, 31-B*, 31-C* 1⁄2 32-B, 33, 36, 45.
Pullman, WA: Idaho 1, 2; Mont. 1-A, Ore. 1⁄3 5-A; Wash. 1⁄2 3-A, 3-B, 4*.
Rochester, NY: N.Y. 7, 9, 1⁄3 21.
San Antonio, TX: Tex. 1, 1⁄2 3-B, 7, 8, 1⁄3 11.
San Francisco, CA: Calif. 12, 13, 23, 26, 27.
Springfield, IL: Ill. 3, 3⁄4 4, 6-A, 1⁄2 6-B; Iowa 4-A*; Mo. 1⁄2 5-A.
Springfield, MA: Conn. 1-A*, 2-B, 2-C; Vt. 1-B.
JULY 23-26 (Note: Wednesday through Saturday):
Seattle, WA (Tentative): Wash. 1, 2, 1⁄2 3-A, 5, 6, 7, 8.
Detroit, MI (Spanish only): S-13.
Fresno, CA: Calif. 8*, 18-B*, 29.
Grand Rapids, MI: Mich. 2⁄3 6, 13.
Lakeland, FL: Fla. 1⁄2 4, 1⁄3 9, 10.
Landover, MD (Korean also): Md. 2, 3, 5, 6; Va. 4-B; W. Va. 2-B.
Long Beach, CA (Spanish only): S-20, S-23, S-28-B, S-32-A.
San Diego, CA: Calif. 1, 20, 28-B, 35, 46-B; Nev. 1⁄4 2.
Springfield, MA: Mass. 3; N.Y. 16*.
Woodburn, OR (Spanish only): S-19.
JULY 31–AUGUST 3:
Elmont, NY (Spanish only): S-1, S-2, S-17, S-22, S-25, S-27, S-29, S-30.
Fresno, CA (Spanish only): S-5, S-11, S-15.
Natick, MA (Portuguese only): T-1.
San Antonio, TX (Spanish only): S-3, S-8, S-14.
Elmont, NY: N.Y. 4, 5, 14, 15, 17, 18, 23-A.
Long Beach, CA (Spanish only): S-4, S-9, S-32-B, S-32-C.
Long Island City, NY (French only): N.Y. 20; Florida French.
San Antonio, TX (Spanish only): S-7, S-10, S-33.
Elmont, NY (Italian also): N.Y. 1, 2, 10, 11, 12, 19, 23-B, 23-C.