1995 “Joyful Praisers” District Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses
1 What a joy it was to be among the 1,481,258 who attended the “Godly Fear” District Conventions in the United States branch territory this past summer! A total of 13,742 expressed proper godly fear by being baptized. How encouraging it will be to assemble next summer for the three-day 1995 “Joyful Praisers” District Conventions! That intriguing theme should truly motivate us to make every effort to attend along with our Bible students. The program will prove to be a real source of spiritual refreshment for all of us as we continue faithfully serving Jehovah in this time of the end.
2 Be sure to make your convention arrangements well in advance so that you can be there to enjoy all three days of the delightful spiritual program, from the opening song to the closing prayer. Lovingly include in your plans those who may need assistance, especially newly interested ones, so that they too can be present at every session. It would be very helpful to consider the information in this insert with any Bible students who may plan to attend. (Gal. 6:6, 10) The program starts with music at 9:40 a.m. on Friday and ends at approximately 4:30 p.m. The Saturday program begins at 9:30 a.m. and closes with song and prayer at approximately 4:40 p.m. The morning session on Sunday begins at 9:30, and the day’s program concludes at approximately 3:50 in the afternoon. The following information will assist you with your preliminary preparations.
Instructions for Obtaining Rooms
3 After the Service Meeting for the week of January 2, congregations should post on the information board the Recommended Lodging Locations list for the district convention to which the congregation is assigned. This list gives all the motels presently cooperating with the Society’s rooming arrangements. Your cooperation with these arrangements will assist the convention organization in its efforts to provide sufficient rooming accommodations for everyone at reasonable prices.
4 What You Should Do: After—NOT before—your congregation posts the Recommended Lodging Locations list containing the addresses, phone numbers, and agreed-upon rates of the motels, you are free to phone the motel of your choice from the list and make reservations. Identifying yourself as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses or as a delegate attending the Watchtower convention will qualify you for the rates listed, which in most cases are greatly reduced.
5 One night’s DEPOSIT IS REQUIRED to hold the room. Your deposit should be sent directly to the motel AS SOON AS you make reservations. If your deposit is not received by the motel, your reservations can be canceled at any time. MOTELS ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO HOLD ROOMS WITHOUT A DEPOSIT. If you must cancel your reservation, you should immediately notify the motel, making the room available for other delegates.
6 If the motel you call first is filled, call your next selection from the list and so on. Often, everyone calls the motels closest to the convention facility being used; therefore, you may find it beneficial to try some motels farther away. These also have quality rooms at lower rates. The convention Rooming Department will continue to provide the congregations with revised lists, deleting motels that have been filled and listing 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.
7 Dormitories: A few conventions use school dormitories in addition to motels in order to accommodate everyone. Usually, congregations will receive information on these a month or so after receiving the first motel listing. Those needing such accommodations should follow the instructions on the list sent to the congregations.
8 This provision is only for exemplary publishers, including their well-behaved children, who are approved by the Congregation Service Committee. Arrangements to care for persons with special needs should be made by the congregation where they attend meetings, not shifting this obligation to the convention organization. Elders and others who are 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, and perhaps others. Publishers may extend help by taking such ones with them or caring for their needs in other ways.—Jas. 2:15-17; 1 John 3:17, 18.
9 Of course, the Rooming Department will endeavor to provide suitable rooming accommodations for publishers with special needs if they cannot be assisted by those in the congregation. These publishers may discuss their situation with the congregation secretary. The secretary should speak with the Congregation Service Committee to see if it is possible for the congregation to assist these individuals in caring for their own rooming accommodations. If the congregation is unable to render the needed assistance, the secretary may give such persons a copy of the Special Needs Room Request form. Only those with special needs should fill out this form. It is to be filled out by the person making the request. It should be returned to the secretary, who will check it for completeness, accuracy, and verification of the circumstances that qualify the person for such consideration. The circumstances are to be EXPLAINED IN DETAIL by the secretary in the space provided on the form. All of this should be done well ahead of the convention. The secretary will then forward the form to the Rooming Department. The individual making the request will be notified directly about the accommodations.
10 Those with special needs should NOT go to the convention and request a room when they arrive because the Rooming Department must have the verification of the Congregation Service Committee.
11 Private-home accommodations are 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. Furthermore, it is not proper for those making such requests to presume upon the hospitality of brothers by expecting to be accommodated additional days before or after the convention. These rooms are provided for the convention period ONLY. Those receiving such accommodations should be sure that they and their children act respectfully toward the home of their host and not rummage through or damage the host’s possessions or enter private areas of the home. If householders experience problems along this line, these should immediately be brought to the attention of the rooming overseer at the convention, and he will be happy to help.
Delegates Attending From Outside the Assigned Area
12 In nearly every case, the location assigned for you to attend is the one nearest your congregation. Arrangements for having adequate seating, literature, rooming accommodations, and so forth, are based on the premise that the majority of publishers will attend the convention to which their congregation is assigned. However, if for good reason you will be attending a convention other than the one assigned and need accommodations, the congregation secretary can give you the address for that convention headquarters from the list on the back of the Special Needs Room Request form. Then you can request in writing a copy of the motel listing for that location, sending along a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Upon receipt of this list, you should use it to make your reservation.
Your Cooperation Needed
13 The success of this rooming arrangement depends on the cooperation of all of those involved. (Heb. 13:17) Thus, we are asking everyone to cooperate fully with the Society’s rooming arrangement and USE ONLY THE MOTELS ON THE RECOMMENDED LODGING LOCATIONS LIST FOR THIS YEAR so that major difficulties we still experience in negotiating with the motels can be prevented. We have made contracts with the motels on the list, stating that our people will be using them. It is a guarantee that they will get the business if they make special rates for us. Most publishers are taking to heart the clear direction that has been given in previous convention inserts, and many good results are being experienced. However, it is still necessary to request that everyone PLEASE OBSERVE WAYS YOU CAN COOPERATE, as noted in the box on page 6.
14 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 at the convention so that he can assist you in resolving the matter right away.
15 The convention organization is working hard to save our brothers as much expense as possible. It is therefore in the best interests of all to cooperate fully with the Society’s rooming arrangement so that this provision can continue. The listing gives a choice of good-quality accommodations at motels that cooperate. With this arrangement our aim is to help delegates to be accommodated as comfortably and economically as possible.
Sign Language Conventions
16 Considering the success of American Sign Language conventions last year, we are happy to announce that the same provision will be made this year. The program parts will not be interpreted but will be given in American Sign Language by qualified brothers. This means that the entire convention program will be conveyed directly to those in attendance, who will also be able to enjoy very upbuilding fellowship. In view of this, NO PROVISION for any type of sign language will be made at any other conventions.
17 It is important that all deaf individuals IMMEDIATELY begin making plans to attend one of these two sign-language district conventions. The elders should diligently check with each deaf person in their congregation to be sure that these know about this arrangement and to determine whether any assistance is needed so that they can attend.
Note to Body of Elders: Please read the Society’s December 15, 1994, convention assignment letter and the first and last paragraphs of the Recommended Lodging Locations list for your congregation during the Service Meeting for the week of January 2. After that meeting, post the letter and the list on the information board. Elders are NOT to change their Service Meeting to an earlier night for this week. NO ONE, INCLUDING THE ELDERS, SHOULD MAKE MOTEL RESERVATIONS BEFORE THIS SERVICE MEETING. In this way all congregations will receive the information the same week. To the extent possible, the congregation secretary should handle convention-related material and announcements on future Service Meetings unless otherwise specified or he is unable to do so.
[Box on page 3]
To Obtain a Room
◼ Phone the motel of your choice after the Recommended Lodging Locations list is posted.
◼ Identify yourself as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses or as a delegate attending the Watchtower convention.
◼ Be prepared to send one night’s deposit immediately after reservation is made.
◼ If all motels or dormitories are filled, please wait patiently for the next list.
[Box on page 6]
Ways You Can Cooperate
◼ Do not call motels in the convention city to ask them if they are on the current list or have special Watchtower rates for the convention. Also, please do not use the same motel year after year without first checking to see that it is definitely on the current list.
◼ Do not accept a higher price for a motel room than what is quoted on the current list.
◼ Please do not make reservations at a motel you do not intend to use or at more than one motel with the idea of checking them, selecting the best, and canceling the others. (Matt. 5:37) This is unfair, as it prevents the motels from getting business they could have had and deprives other publishers of the use of those rooms, which are often vitally needed.
◼ Do not reserve rooms for yourself or others without giving names and immediately sending the deposit for each room.
◼ 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 on the number of persons you AGREED would be in the room.