1990 “Pure Language” District Convention
1 Over the past one hundred years, conventions have been an outstanding feature of our worship. Particularly since the revival of our preaching activity in 1919, these gatherings have been marked periods of spiritual refreshment as revealed flashes of light from God’s Word have been made known.
2 Recall, for instance, the unbounded joy manifested at Columbus, Ohio, in 1931 when God’s people received the new name, Jehovah’s Witnesses. Also, great rejoicing accompanied the truth revealed at Washington, D.C., in 1935, showing that the destiny of the “great crowd” was to survive into Jehovah’s new world.—Rev. 7:9.
3 As our numbers increased following World War II, it was necessary to spread out over the United States with several district conventions. Six of these were held in 1948 with some 66,000 in attendance. Just 41 years later, over 1,360,000 attended 132 “Godly Devotion” District Conventions. What a tremendous increase in happy conventioners! Now it is time to be making the necessary arrangements for attending the 1990 “Pure Language” District Conventions.
4 All Christians must put language to its most exalted use, praising their Creator and upbuilding their neighbor with wholesome, truthful speech, especially the good news about God’s Kingdom. (Matt. 24:14; Titus 2:7, 8; Heb. 13:15; compare Psalm 109:30.) The ‘purity’ of this language is also reflected in its being free from words expressing malicious bitterness, anger, wrath, screaming, and similar abusive speech, as well as being free from deceit, obscenity, and corruptness.—Eph. 4:29, 31; 1 Pet. 3:10.
5 Hence, what a pleasure it will be to attend the four-day “Pure Language” District Conventions planned for this summer and receive counsel and encouragement as we continue to speak the “pure language” of the truth in these critical times. (Zeph. 3:9) By making the necessary arrangements to be there, you can share in the fine spiritual blessings that certainly await those in attendance. Truly, we look to Jehovah to make this another thrilling convention season as we move forward in unitedly worshiping him.
6 Following the Service Meeting for the week of January 1, congregations should post on the information board the Recommended Lodging Locations list for the district convention to which your congregation is assigned. This list gives all the motels presently cooperating with the Society’s rooming arrangement. By cooperating with these arrangements, the congregations will help the convention organization in its efforts to provide sufficient seats, food, literature, and rooming accommodations for everyone. As you make your plans, lovingly include others who need assistance, especially newly interested ones, so they also can attend every session. (Gal. 6:10) The program will start at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.
7 WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: As soon as—but NOT before—your congregation posts the Recommended Lodging Locations list containing the addresses, phone numbers, and agreed-upon rates of the motels, you should phone the motel of your choice and make reservations, identifying yourself as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and as a delegate attending the Watchtower convention. Doing so will qualify you for the rates listed, which in most cases have been greatly reduced. One night’s DEPOSIT WILL BE REQUIRED at all locations in order to hold the room. Your deposit should be sent directly to the motel AS SOON AS you make your reservations. If your deposit is not received by the motel within three weeks, your reservations can be canceled. MOTELS ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO HOLD THE ROOMS OR EXTEND THE SPECIAL RATES WITHOUT A DEPOSIT. Please do not make reservations at more than one motel or at motels that you do not intend to use. (Matt. 5:37) This is unkind because it prevents the motels from getting business they could have had and deprives other publishers from using those rooms, which often are vitally needed. If you must cancel your reservation, you should immediately notify the motel. This makes the room available for other delegates. If the motel you call first is filled, call your next selection from the list and so on. The convention Rooming Department will continue to provide the congregations with revised lists as long as necessary, deleting motels that have been filled and including additional motels until everyone has a room. Thus, if all the motels on the list are filled, please wait patiently for the next list, and you will be able to obtain a room.
8 DORMITORIES: A few conventions use school dormitories in order to accommodate all of those attending. Usually congregations will receive information on these a month or so after the first motel listing. Those needing accommodations of this type should follow the instructions on the list that is sent to the congregations by the convention.
9 SPECIAL NEEDS: This provision is only for baptized Witnesses and unbaptized publishers, including their children, who are all in good standing in the congregation. Arrangements to care for such ones with special needs should be made by the congregation where these attend. Elders and others aware of the individual circumstances can lovingly extend help. This often requires that publishers consider the needs of those in full-time service, the elderly, the infirm, the deaf, and perhaps others, which may include taking such ones with them. Publishers may care for such ones in other ways also. (Jas. 2:15-17; 1 John 3:17, 18) Of course, the convention Rooming Department will endeavor to provide rooming accommodations for publishers with special needs who are unable to care for themselves and who cannot be assisted by those in the congregation where they attend. These publishers may ask the congregation secretary for a Special Needs Room Request Form, discussing their situation with him at that time. The secretary should first speak with the Congregation Service Committee to see if it is possible for the congregation to assist these persons to care for their own rooming accommodations. If not, then he may give them a copy of the Special Needs Room Request Form. Those with special needs are the only ones that should fill out this form. It is to be returned to the secretary and checked for completeness, accuracy, and verification of the circumstances that qualify the person or persons for special needs consideration, which are to be explained in detail in the space provided on the form. This should be done well ahead of the convention. The secretary will then forward the form to the convention Rooming Department. The individual making the request will be notified directly about the accommodations. Those with special needs should NOT go to the convention and request a room when they arrive because the convention Rooming Department must have the verification of the Congregation Service Committee.
10 Private-home accommodations are usually set aside for those who would experience real hardship if such accommodations were not available. They are not intended for those who can afford motel rooms but who want free or inexpensive rooms just to save money. Similarly, it is not proper for delegates to presume upon the hospitality of our brothers by expecting to be accommodated extra days in order to visit vacation spots or do other things before or after the convention. These rooms are for the convention period only. Those receiving such accommodations should see that they and their children act respectfully toward the home of their host and do not damage anything or rummage through the possessions or private areas in the home. If householders experience any difficulties along this line, these should immediately be brought to the attention of the Rooming Department at the convention, and the brothers there will be happy to help.
11 DELEGATES ATTENDING FROM OUTSIDE THE ASSIGNED AREA: In nearly every case, the location assigned for you to attend is the one nearest your congregation. Seating, literature, food orders, and so forth, are planned on the premise that the majority will attend the convention to which they are assigned. However, if for some reason you will be attending a convention other than the one assigned and need accommodations, the congregation secretary can give you the address of the convention headquarters where you desire to attend. These addresses are listed on the back of the Special Needs Room Request Form. Then write to that convention headquarters and request a copy of the motel listing for that location, sending along a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Upon receipt of this list, use it to make your reservation.
12 YOUR COOPERATION NEEDED: The smoothness and success of this rooming arrangement depends on the cooperation of everyone involved. (Compare Genesis 6:22.) Thus, we are asking everyone to cooperate fully with the Society’s rooming arrangement and use ONLY the motels on the list so as to avoid major difficulties that we are experiencing in our negotiations. Many are taking to heart the clear direction that has been given in the January Our Kingdom Ministry convention inserts for the past few years, and many good results are being experienced. However, it is still necessary to encourage everyone to observe the following guidelines for obtaining motel accommodations:
a) Make reservations ONLY AFTER the congregation posts the Recommended Lodging Locations list from the convention.
b) You should not accept a higher price than what is quoted for a motel on the list.
c) Please do not make reservations at more than one motel with the idea of checking each one, selecting the best one, and then canceling the others.
d) Do not reserve rooms for yourself or others without giving names and sending the deposits for each room immediately. If a deposit is not received within three weeks after the reservation is made, the motel can cancel the reservation.
e) Do not put more people in the room than the law and the management allow, which is normally no more than four or five persons, including children. Remember, you are paying a rate based upon no more than four or five persons in the room.
f) Do not check in before 1:00 p.m. or whatever is the motel policy. You may check in after the program that day, since your deposit guarantees your room.
g) Do not cook or heat food in the room, unless it has a kitchenette for that purpose, and be careful not to soil anything in the room with food.
h) Children should not be allowed in hallways, elevators, or swimming pools without a parent or adult guardian with them. Swimming pools should not be used after their closing time.
13 Some violations in these areas make it difficult to negotiate good rates and also bring reproach on Jehovah’s name and organization. (Ps. 119:168) Therefore, the Society will be asking the Rooming Departments to check with the motels during the convention to determine if any are experiencing such problems and who is involved. Your compliance in these matters is earnestly sought so that the Society may continue assisting delegates to obtain reasonably priced accommodations. On the other hand, IF YOU EXPERIENCE A PROBLEM WITH A MOTEL, please do not hesitate to bring it to the attention of the Rooming Department overseer during the convention, so he can assist you in resolving the matter that day. The convention organization is working hard to save our brothers as much expense as possible, so it is in the best interests of all for everyone to cooperate fully with the Society’s rooming arrangement. The listing is comprehensive enough to give a choice of good-quality accommodations and yet give preference to the motels that cooperate. Our aim with this arrangement is to help delegates to be accommodated as comfortably and economically as possible so they will be refreshed and fully able to enjoy the fine spiritual program.
14 A simplified food service arrangement similar to last year is planned for 1990. This greatly eases the work load and allows more attention to be given to the spiritual aspects of the convention, with the workers being able to enjoy more of the program. (Ex. 12:16b; Deut. 31:12; it Vol. 1 pp. 503, 821; compare Luke 10:38-42.) The menu provides sufficient sustenance for the morning and noon periods. Compare Matthew 14:14-20. For evening meals, everyone is free to make his own arrangements, although some food will be available at the convention.
15 The Society appreciates very much the fine support you brothers and sisters have been giving to the food service arrangements at the district conventions over the years. This has made it possible to rent good buildings and care for the convention expenses. It has also enabled you to remain at the convention site during the short noon break and to be present, on time and refreshed, for the more important spiritual program.
16 As you will note in the February 15, 1990, Watchtower, sign-language interpreting will be provided at ONLY 16 specific convention cities. NO provision will be made at any other conventions for sign language. This has proved to be a real blessing for a number of years now for those with this special need by providing good-quality interpreting and larger groups with which to enjoy upbuilding fellowship. Those who are signers should let the deaf in their congregations know of the arrangements and help them to attend where the sign-language provision is made by the Society.
[NOTE TO THE BODY OF ELDERS: Please read the Society’s December 15, 1989, convention assignment letter for your congregation during your Service Meeting for the week of January 1, and after that meeting post the Recommended Lodging Locations list on the information board. NO ONE, INCLUDING THE ELDERS, SHOULD MAKE ANY MOTEL RESERVATIONS BEFORE THIS SERVICE MEETING. Please read the assignment letter again at your next meeting, and put it back on the information board. In this way all the congregations will receive the information the same week.
The congregation secretary should handle convention-related material and announcements on future meetings. All elders will want to cooperate fully to ensure the prompt, enthusiastic, and effective handling of convention matters.]