2002 “Zealous Kingdom Proclaimers” District Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses
1 “I rejoiced when they were saying to me: ‘To the house of Jehovah let us go.’” (Ps. 122:1) In examining the psalmist’s expression, note (1) how he felt when he was invited to join in worshiping Jehovah, (2) the good associates he had, who were also keenly interested in true worship, and (3) the planning that must have been needed to extend the invitation, to gather together, and to make the journey to God’s house.
2 Do not the psalmist’s words echo our own feelings when we hear that plans are being made for our next convention? We are filled with anticipation as we recall the joys of past conventions and the prospect of again being at a special gathering with fellow lovers of Jehovah. Arrangements have been made for three-day “Zealous Kingdom Proclaimers” District Conventions throughout the United States branch territory in 2002. Now is the time to make our plans to attend and to receive the fullest benefit from the spiritual feast awaiting us.
3 “The faithful steward, the discreet one,” has begun preparing the timely spiritual food to be served at the convention. (Luke 12:42) Each congregation has been assigned to a specific convention so that overcrowding at each venue and in the area hotels can be avoided. In addition, many brothers have started to organize the various convention departments so that “all things take place decently and by arrangement.” (1 Cor. 14:40) With so many things already in place for our benefit and convenience, what can we personally do to prepare for the convention?
4 Plan Now to Attend All Three Days: Do you need to ask your employer for time off to attend all of your assigned convention? Jehovah understands that some employers are “hard to please.” (1 Pet. 2:18) But our conventions are very important, and we want to make a diligent effort to attend the entire program. Approach Jehovah in prayer about such matters, seeking his guidance for a good outcome.—Neh. 2:4.
5 Use the Recommended Lodging List to Make Your Hotel Arrangements: By the time this information is discussed at the Service Meeting, your congregation will have received the Recommended Lodging List for your convention. Call hotels from this list, and make your reservations using the step-by-step procedure in the box on page 4, “How to Make Your Hotel Reservation.” A maximum of four adults is permitted per room unless indicated otherwise on the list. Accept only the rates shown, as that is what the hotels have agreed to charge our delegates. If a hotel attempts to charge you more than the listed rate or indicates that there are any added charges you must pay (aside from applicable taxes), do not accept the higher rate.
6 Some publishers, without consulting the current Recommended Lodging List, may call a hotel and ask if they have rates for our convention. The hotel may assure them that it does have a rate for Jehovah’s Witnesses, even though for good reason the hotel is not on our list. Rather than call a hotel to see if they have special rates, please check the list first. If you plan to attend a convention in a different city, obtain the Recommended Lodging List for that convention. The congregation secretary can provide you with the address of the convention headquarters located on the reverse side of the Special Needs Room Request form. Enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your request. If there is more than one convention held in that city, be sure to indicate the dates of the convention you will attend.
7 Through your congregation secretary, please inform the Rooming Department of any problems you encounter. (Be sure that you have called all the hotels on the Recommended Lodging List before informing the secretary that there are no rooms available.) The address and telephone number of your convention’s Rooming Department may be found at the top of the first page of your Recommended Lodging List.
8 Look Around the Congregation: If we are aware that a brother or a sister has a physical or material need that may make it difficult for him or her to attend the convention, can we “widen out” in our love and provide some assistance? (2 Cor. 6:12, 13; Deut. 15:7) This is the spirit Paul encouraged at 2 Corinthians 8:14. Why not invite such ones to travel with you to the convention? If they are pioneers, likely they have many good experiences to share along the way. If they are older members of the congregation, they may have a wonderful theocratic history that you have never heard. Would not association with these brothers and sisters be a good influence on you and your family? Your generous spirit will be appreciated by them and rewarded by Jehovah.—Prov. 28:27; Matt. 10:42.
9 Although those with special needs are primarily cared for by their Christian relatives, the elders and others in the congregation who are aware of such needs can lovingly assist in making arrangements. (1 Tim. 5:4) When Special Needs Room Request forms are submitted to the Congregation Service Committee, the committee should review each applicant’s qualifications before forwarding these forms to the Rooming Department. The congregation secretary should include his telephone number on the form so that the Rooming Department can contact him if there are any questions. Mail the approved forms to the convention address shown on the reverse side of the form.
10 Respond Willingly as a Volunteer: During the convention, hundreds of volunteers assist with the smooth running of the departments. Attendants in the auditorium and the parking lots provide direction for seating and watch over our vehicles during the day. The Cleaning Department has the privilege of upholding our fine reputation for cleanliness, leaving our temporary place of worship cleaner than we found it. Can we assist these or other departments that can use our support? Will you volunteer your help to serve “shoulder to shoulder” with your brothers?—Zeph. 3:9.
11 Do People Really Notice What We Do? During a district convention this past year, a man who had stopped studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses over 20 years ago was working in a hotel. He related to some Witnesses that he was now thinking of resuming his Bible study and going back to the meetings. Why? Because of the loving way he was treated during the days the Witnesses were at the hotel.
12 A hotel salesperson said of our brothers: “Your group is the best one that stays at our hotels. Your people are so patient and polite.” How proud this must make our heavenly Father as he sees us following Jesus’ admonition: “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your fine works and give glory to your Father who is in the heavens”!—Matt. 5:16.
13 May we reflect the attitude of King David, who joyfully anticipated going to Jehovah’s house of worship. Our district conventions are a vital source of spiritual food and an unequaled opportunity for loving fellowship. Therefore, we enthusiastically invite you to begin making your arrangements to attend all sessions of all three days of this year’s “Zealous Kingdom Proclaimers” District Convention!
[Box on page 3]
Friday and Saturday
9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
[Box on page 4]
How to Make Your Hotel Reservation
1. Call hotels as soon as possible during their regular business hours. Use the hotel telephone numbers provided on the Recommended Lodging List.
2. Inform the hotel that you are attending the convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
3. Provide the dates you will stay in the hotel.
4. Be sure that you are receiving the room rate(s) shown on the Recommended Lodging List. Do not accept a higher rate.
5. If rooms are not available, call another hotel on the list.
6. Make your reservation, and ask for a confirmation number.
7. Make your deposit by credit card, check, or money order. Do NOT send cash. If deposit is made by check or money order, be sure to write the confirmation number on the front. Mail within ten days.
8. If you encounter any problems, speak with your congregation secretary.
◼ Stay only in hotels on the Recommended Lodging List.
◼ Reserve only rooms that you will actually use.
◼ Keep your first reservation.