2008 District Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses
1. (a) Why does Paul’s counsel to the Hebrew Christians apply with special urgency today? (Read Hebrews 10:24, 25.) (b) What upcoming opportunity will we have to apply Paul’s counsel?
1 The apostle Paul urged Hebrew Christians to gather together and to encourage one another “all the more so” as they beheld the day drawing near. (Heb. 10:24, 25) Evidence is mounting that “the day” Paul spoke of is very near at hand! Therefore, we look forward to opportunities to assemble with our brothers and sisters for spiritual instruction that can guide us through these increasingly perilous “last days.” (2 Tim. 3:1) Such an opportunity will be provided at the upcoming 2008 district conventions.
2. (a) Why is it vital to attend all three days of the convention? (b) How should we begin making preparations to attend?
2 Attend All Three Days: We encourage you to be in attendance for all three days. By “not forsaking the gathering of ourselves together,” we will not miss out on vital spiritual food. (Heb. 10:25) Begin making preparations as soon as possible. You will want to inform your employer early so that he can make any necessary arrangements. If your children will be in school during the time of your convention, inform their teachers of your plans. Let them know that the convention is a regular part of your worship. You can be sure of Jehovah’s blessing on your efforts to put Kingdom interests first.—Matt. 6:33.
3. In what ways may we show consideration for others?
3 Help Others Attend: Paul also appealed to his brothers to “consider one another.” (Heb. 10:24) Do brothers and sisters in your Congregation Book Study need assistance to attend the convention? Can you help your Bible students to enjoy the convention with you, even if they can be present for only one day? When you inform unbelieving family members of your convention plans, invite them to come with you. Your loving efforts may bring unexpected blessings.
4. How may we obtain information regarding the dates and locations of district conventions?
4 Obtaining Information: The branch office receives hundreds of telephone calls each year asking when and where the conventions will be held. Nearly all of these calls are from brothers and sisters who have already received this information. Before calling the branch office, we suggest that you first consult the March 1, 2008, issue of The Watchtower.
5. What should we do if we need rooming information concerning a convention other than the one to which our congregation is assigned?
5 If you will be attending a convention other than the one to which your congregation is assigned, you may obtain rooming information by writing to the convention headquarters address located on the back of the current Special Needs Room Request form. These forms will soon be sent to congregation secretaries. To receive a reply, be sure to include a stamped, self-addressed envelope with your letter.
6. What are some reminders regarding the Special Needs Room Request form?
6 Special Needs: If a publisher requests help in obtaining accommodations, the Congregation Service Committee should decide if the publisher qualifies to submit a Special Needs Room Request form. Before the congregation secretary sends the form to the convention Rooming Department, the guidelines found on the form and in the December 14, 2007, letter addressed to all bodies of elders should be consulted.
7. How may we cooperate with the arrangements that have been made for rooming? (See the box “Rooming Guidelines.”)
7 Reserving a Room: A Recommended Lodging List of available hotels will be posted on the information board at the conclusion of your Service Meeting for the week starting January 7. Before making a hotel reservation, review the “Rooming Guidelines” and the “Steps in Making Your Hotel Reservation.” Rather than accepting a higher rate at a hotel on the list or calling a hotel that is not on the list, please wait for the congregation to receive a revised list for your convention.
8. (a) In what ways may we glorify Jehovah as we attend our convention? (b) Because of the fine conduct of our brothers, what comments have been made by hotel personnel?
8 Fine Works: Obedience to Jehovah’s command to gather together for worship enables us to ‘benefit ourselves.’ More important, it provides opportunities to glorify Jehovah’s name. (Isa. 48:17) Our “fine works are publicly manifest” to many persons at district conventions, and some have been moved to express their feelings. (1 Tim. 5:25) In one city where our conventions have been held for many years, a hotel manager acknowledged: “A lot of talk goes on in the city about Jehovah’s Witnesses and what your conventions mean to us. We know how your people clean the civic center, and we see you cleaning up the parking lots. It is a pleasure having your people with us during our summer season. We hope we can continue our relationship in the years to come.” After relating the difficulties encountered with other groups and entertainers, a hotel manager commented on the cooperative spirit and patience shown by our brothers during their hotel stay. He said, “We wish all our guests were like Jehovah’s Witnesses!” The conduct of our brothers that led to these and many similar comments must bring joy to the heart of our God, Jehovah!
9. How does Matthew 4:4 highlight the importance of paying close attention to each part on the program?
9 Jesus said that our very lives depend on listening to “every utterance coming forth through Jehovah’s mouth.” (Matt. 4:4) At our annual conventions, Jehovah provides spiritual “food at the proper time,” prepared by “the faithful and discreet slave.” (Matt. 24:45) Much work has gone into preparing and serving this spiritual banquet. May we demonstrate our gratitude for Jehovah’s loving care by being present and paying close attention to each part on the program.
[Box on page 3]
Friday and Saturday
9:20 a.m. - 4:55 p.m.
9:20 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
[Box on page 4]
◼ Do not call for hotel reservations prior to your Service Meeting the week of January 7, 2008.
◼ If at all possible, make your hotel reservations during the month of January. Do not make your hotel reservation online, since we are not using that method.
◼ Stay only in hotels on the Recommended Lodging List.
◼ Do not accept a higher rate than what is shown on the list.
◼ Each room reserved should be in the name of the person who will actually occupy it.
◼ To comply with fire regulations, do not exceed the number of adults allowed in the hotel room, as shown on the list.
◼ Keep your first reservation.—Matt. 5:37.
◼ Do not call hotels that are not on the list to ask if they have a rate for our convention.
◼ If no rooms are available after you have called ALL the hotels on the list or if you have a problem with a particular hotel, inform your congregation secretary. He should communicate with the convention Rooming Department using the contact information at the top of the list.
◼ If you must cancel a reservation, do so as early as possible. Be sure to receive a cancellation number.
Steps in Making Your Hotel Reservation:
1. Call hotels during regular business hours using the phone numbers on the list to get the discounted rate.
2. Inform the hotel that you are attending the convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
3. Specify the dates you will check in and check out of the hotel.
4. If no rooms are available, call another hotel on the list.
5. Make your reservation, and ask for a confirmation number.
6. Make your deposit by credit card, check, or money order within ten days. Never send cash. If a deposit is made by check or money order, write the confirmation number on the front.