Keep in Expectation of Jehovah
1. What is the convention theme, and why is it timely?
1 “Jehovah is a God of judgment,” wrote Isaiah. “Happy are all those keeping in expectation of him.” (Isa. 30:18b) There are many Bible accounts of God’s execution of judgment on his enemies and deliverance of his faithful servants. What lessons do such accounts teach worshippers of Jehovah today? What can we do now to prepare for “the great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah”? (Joel 2:31, 32) Our upcoming “Deliverance at Hand!” District Convention will move us to ponder those questions and make self-examination. It will help us to keep in expectation of Jehovah.
2. How can we show appreciation for our district convention?
2 Have you made arrangements to benefit from all three days of the convention? For example, have you approached your employer about having time off to attend? Do not leave this to chance. Make it a matter of prayer. Then make your request. (Neh. 2:4, 5) Similarly, we should not put off finalizing arrangements for transportation, lodging, and other necessary matters. Such good planning reflects our deep appreciation for Jehovah’s spiritual table. Elders should be alert to help those who need assistance with their convention arrangements, especially the older ones in the congregation.—Gal. 6:10.
3. What qualities should be in evidence among Jehovah’s people in the convention city?
3 Fine Conduct Honors God: When we gather in large numbers at conventions, our fine conduct serves as a witness to the community. What does this require of us? When we are at hotels, restaurants, and other places of business in the convention area, those we deal with should be refreshed by our Christian qualities, such as long-suffering, mildness, self-control, and reasonableness. (Gal. 5:22, 23; Phil. 4:5) All of us should manifest the kind of love that “does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked.” Even if difficulties or inconveniences arise, we will want to “do all things for God’s glory.”—1 Cor. 10:31; 13:5.
4. How can parents help their children to conduct themselves in a way that brings praise to Jehovah?
4 After one convention, a hotel manager was so impressed with the conduct and appearance of our youth that he expressed his desire “always to have Jehovah’s Witnesses as guests in his hotel.” What a cause for rejoicing! This is a credit to the training and supervision provided by you parents. It would be unwise for parents to allow their children to stay in a hotel room without supervision. Children should always be properly supervised. (Prov. 29:15) May their good conduct bring praise to Jehovah and make his heart rejoice!—Prov. 27:11.
5. How can we honor Jehovah by our dress and grooming?
5 Modest Dress and Grooming: Each of us can contribute to the overall impression given at the convention by avoiding styles of dress and grooming that are faddish, extreme, immodest, or overly casual. This applies when traveling to and from the convention city, while helping to prepare the convention site, and while attending the sessions. As servants of God, our first concern is for Jehovah’s name and reputation, not our personal preferences or comfort. Family heads have the responsibility to make sure that their family’s appearance reflects modesty and soundness of mind at all times.—1 Tim. 2:9.
6. Why should we maintain the same dignified appearance during leisure time that we display during convention sessions?
6 It is no less important to maintain a dignified appearance during leisure time at hotels, stores, and restaurants. It is appropriate to wear our convention attire if we eat out after the sessions. Wearing our convention badge card creates opportunities for us to witness informally.—2 Cor. 6:3, 4.
7. How can we contribute to the orderliness and joy of the convention? (See “District Convention Reminders.”)
7 Isaiah foretold: “Jehovah will keep in expectation of showing you favor, and therefore he will rise up to show you mercy.” (Isa. 30:18a) Gratitude for Jehovah’s mercy and undeserved kindness should move us to honor him by our conduct and appearance as we gather together at our conventions. May the “Deliverance at Hand!” District Convention glorify our God and help us to keep in expectation of him!
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District Convention Reminders
◼ Program Times: The program will begin at 9:30 a.m. all three days. The doors will open at 8:00 a.m. A few minutes before the start of the session, the chairman will be seated on the platform while introductory Kingdom music is played. All of us should take our seats at that time so that the program can begin in a dignified manner. The program will conclude at 5:15 p.m. on Friday, at 5:05 p.m. on Saturday, and at 4:10 p.m. on Sunday.
◼ Parking: At all convention sites where we have secured control of the parking facilities, the spaces will be made available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Convention badge cards will serve as identification for parking. Only those who have a state-approved disabled license plate or placard will be allowed to park in the parking areas reserved for the disabled. Since parking space is usually limited, carpooling should be done to the extent possible rather than having only one or two persons per car.
◼ Seat Saving: Seats may be saved only for those traveling with you in the same vehicle or living with you in the same home.
◼ Noon Meal: Please bring a lunch rather than leaving the convention site to obtain a meal during the noon break. A small cooler that can be placed under a seat may be used. Large family-size picnic coolers, glass containers, and alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the convention facility.
◼ Donations: Considerable expense is involved in arranging a district convention. We can show our appreciation by making voluntary contributions to the worldwide work at our Kingdom Hall or at the convention. Any checks contributed at the convention should be made payable to “Watch Tower.”
◼ Accidents and Emergencies: Emergency-response services have complained that they receive many cell-phone calls over minor matters. If a medical emergency arises at the convention site, please contact a nearby attendant, who will immediately notify First Aid so that our qualified personnel on-site can assess the seriousness of the situation and render assistance. If necessary, 911 will be called.
◼ Hearing Impaired: The program will be broadcast in the vicinity of the auditorium on an FM radio frequency. An announcement regarding this will be made at the beginning of the first session. To make use of this provision, you will need to bring a small FM receiver along with earphones.
◼ Recording: Recorders of any type should not be connected to the facility’s sound system or electricity and may only be used in a way that does not disturb others.
◼ Picture Taking: If you take pictures during the sessions, please do not use a flash.
◼ Pagers and Cell Phones: These should be set so as not to cause a distraction.
◼ Fragrances: Most conventions now take place in enclosed areas where we depend on mechanical ventilation. Therefore, it would be a kindness for us to limit the use of strong fragrances, colognes, and perfumes that may cause reactions to those who suffer from respiratory or other related problems.—1 Cor. 10:24.
◼ Follow-Up Forms: A Please Follow Up (S-43) form should be used to provide information regarding any who show interest as a result of our informal witnessing during the convention. Publishers should bring one or two follow-up forms to the convention. The forms will also be available at the convention Book Room Department. Completed forms may be submitted to the Book Room for handling or to your congregation secretary upon your return.—See the February 2005 Our Kingdom Ministry, p. 6.
◼ Restaurants: In many places, it is customary to leave a 15 to 20 percent tip, depending on the service.
◼ Hotels: (1) Please do not reserve more rooms than will actually be needed, and do not have more people stay in your room than is allowed. (2) If you must cancel your reservation, notify the hotel immediately. (3) Take a luggage cart only when you are ready to use it. (4) Do not cook in rooms where cooking is not permitted. (5) Leave a tip for the housekeeper each day. (6) As Christians, surely we will not abuse any complimentary breakfast, coffee, or ice provisions that are made available for guests to use while they are at the hotel. (7) Display the fruitage of the spirit in dealing with the hotel staff, especially during very busy check-in and checkout times.