An Occasion to Eat Spiritually and Rejoice
1. How does Jehovah care for the spiritual needs of his servants?
1 Jehovah lovingly cares for the spiritual needs of his servants. While the world in general is spiritually starved, we eat very well indeed. (Isa. 65:13) One way that Jehovah nourishes us spiritually is through our annual district conventions. Are you making preparations to attend all sessions of the upcoming “Guided by God’s Spirit” District Convention? A tasty and nourishing spiritual banquet has been arranged.
2. Planning ahead for the convention involves what?
2 Plan Ahead: “The plans of the diligent one surely make for advantage.” (Prov. 21:5) Therefore, in finalizing your plans to be present all three days of the convention, do not put off speaking with your employer if you need to take time off work. If you will require overnight accommodations, have these been arranged? You will also want to plan your noon meals so that you can eat with your brothers at the convention site. Make arrangements to arrive at the convention early enough each day to find seating and share in the opening song and prayer.
3. What type of clothing should we plan to wear?
3 We want to make sure that the clothing we will wear is modest and well arranged. (1 Tim. 2:9, 10) District conventions provide an excellent opportunity for us to give a witness to the community. By maintaining a dignified appearance while in the convention city and by wearing our convention badges, we stand out from unbelievers and make a favorable impression upon observers.
4. What will help us and our families get the most from the program?
4 Listen Carefully: We surely do not want to miss out on any morsel served at this spiritual banquet! (Prov. 22:17, 18) Following along in our Bible as texts are read and taking brief notes will help us keep our mind on the program and avoid distraction. Then in the evening, we can use our notes to discuss the highlights of the program with others. In recent years it has been observed that some youths sit together at the convention and converse during the program or engage in text messaging on their cell phones. If we have children, including teenagers, it may be advantageous for us to sit together and listen to the program as a family rather than to allow our young ones to sit apart from us with other youths.
5. How may we increase our enjoyment of the convention?
5 Enjoy Fellowship: A tasty meal is more enjoyable when shared with friends. (Prov. 15:17) Similarly, association with our brothers and sisters heightens our enjoyment of the convention. Therefore, when the program is not in session, how pleasant it is to take the initiative to meet other delegates and enjoy fellowship! (Ps. 133:1) When the chairman kindly invites us to take our seats before the music starts, we should end our conversations and be seated for the beginning of the program.
6. Relate a personal experience that shows how we may witness to people in the convention city.
6 Be Alert to Witness: Conventions usually provide excellent opportunities to give a witness. Many conventioners who go to restaurants after the program are asked by waiters and others about the theme shown on the convention badge. This has led to conversations and giving a fine witness to the truth. Some who inquired were then invited to the convention session and attended.
7. Why should we attend the upcoming district convention?
7 Thousands of hours have been spent preparing the program, arranging for facilities, organizing convention departments, and preparing the parts. All the loving labor that has been invested in preparing this spiritual feast indicates Jehovah’s tender care of his people. May all of us be present and eat heartily! As we do, unlike the world, we will “cry out joyfully because of the good condition of the heart.”—Isa. 65:14.
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District Convention Reminders
◼ Program Times: The program will begin at 9:20 a.m. all three days. The doors will open at 8:00 a.m. When the introductory music begins, all of us should take our seats so that the program can begin in a dignified manner. The program will conclude at 4:55 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and at 4:00 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 disabled persons who have a state-approved disabled license plate or placard will be allowed to park in the area reserved for the disabled.
◼ 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 leave the convention site to obtain a meal during the noon break. A small cooler that can be placed under your seat may be used. Large family-size picnic coolers, glass containers, and alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the convention facility.
◼ Donations: We can show appreciation for the convention arrangements 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 first-aid personnel on-site can assess the seriousness of the situation and render assistance. If it is necessary, our first-aid personnel will call 911.
◼ Hearing Impaired: The program will be broadcast in the auditorium on an FM radio frequency. To make use of this provision, you will need to bring a small battery-operated FM receiver along with earphones.
◼ Baby Strollers and Lawn Chairs: Baby strollers and lawn chairs should not be brought to the convention site. However, child-safety seats that can be secured in a seat next to the parents are acceptable.
◼ Fragrances: Most conventions 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 in those who suffer from respiratory or 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. 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: Honor Jehovah’s name by your fine conduct at 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 what 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, and return it immediately so that others may use it. (4) Do not cook in rooms where cooking is not permitted. (5) Leave a tip for the housekeeper each day. (6) Do 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 at all times. (8) The room rate shown on the Recommended Lodging List is the full price per day, excluding tax. If you are overcharged or billed for things you did not request or use, refuse these charges and inform the Rooming Department at the convention as soon as possible. (9) If a problem arises with your hotel room, be sure to inform the Rooming Department while at the convention.