Jehovah’s Witnesses Returning to In-Person Meetings, After Two Years Virtual, Congregations Start Meeting Together Again

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All congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses across the world were encouraged to begin holding in-person meetings during the week of April 1.

 

St. John resident Lisa Lee, who has been attending meetings for over 40 years, said, “The meetings are the place where I meet my extended family members, my spiritual brothers and sisters. I greatly value their hugs and in-person conversations.” She also enjoys being able to raise her voice once again “along with the congregation in heartfelt song.”

For most of the last two years, buildings for worship remained closed globally due to the risks associated with meeting in person. Jehovah’s Witnesses also suspended their public ministry on March 20, 2020. Since that time, they have carried on their ministry through letters and phone calls while holding twice-weekly meetings in a virtual format. Average attendance at these meetings exceeded 1.5 million each week in the U.S. & Caribbean, even though there are fewer than 1.3 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in some 13,000 congregations.

“There is a collective shout of joy among Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world right now,” said Robert Hendriks, Spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “While we have prospered in many ways as individuals and congregations using technology to bring us together, nothing can adequately replace being together in person. We have longed for this moment for the better part of two years.”

Guidelines for holding “hybrid” meetings have been sent to all congregations in the U.S. & Caribbean. Over the past six months, many Kingdom Halls have been equipped with the required technology to hold a productive meeting that allows for in-person and remote attendees, all of whom can participate in the discussions. A pilot program was held in October and November in countries around the world to assess how this could be done most effectively. The lessons learned in these pilot meetings have helped form the plan for moving forward with reopening all Kingdom Halls, where the law permits.

“It has been heartwarming to see the peace and unity among Jehovah’s Witnesses during this very divisive time,” said Hendriks. “We know resuming in-person meetings will bring us even closer together.”

“I longed for and eagerly anticipated our return to Jehovah’s house… my home,” remarks Lisa. “The things which cannot be experienced on Zoom” are what she and her family again mostly appreciate, during in-person meetings.

As of now, Jehovah’s Witnesses have no plans to resume their public ministry, though their “alternative” ministry continues. In fact, since the start of the pandemic through November 2021 in the U.S. & Caribbean, Jehovah’s Witnesses spent more than 400 million hours in virtual Bible studies, writing letters of comfort to their neighbors and making phone calls. They have released 77 new language translations of the Bible and held two global virtual conventions in more than 500 languages.

“No time was wasted in the past two years,” said Hendriks. “Our congregants have been busy and productive helping each other and their neighbors through this most challenging time. That’s what love and unity are all about.”

For more information on Jehovah’s Witnesses go to jw.org.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. That is one interesting cult, totally made-in-America, based on the teaching of the late Pastor Charles Russell. They used to be called “Russellites” or even Dawn Bible Students. They now like to be called JEHOVAH’s Witness, even though Jesus said, “Ye shall be witnesses unto ME.” There have been several splinter groups off the main body over the years, and they’ve had lots of problems in their midst, but basically decent living people, although some say otherwise. They are very exclusive and do not recognize non-JWs as anything even remotely resembling brothers and sisters in CHRIST. Glad to know they’ll soon be back in their meeting halls. ABLP, DNA, and UPP should just leave them alone. They don’t vote.

  2. United group of course and hopeful for convention soon. They follow bible base truths .

  3. Cult = “a small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous.”

    With over 8 million JWs worldwide and 95% vaccinated, it’s hard to see how they are dangerous when the main reason for delaying in-person meetings and still no door to door is to avoid putting non-JWs at risk.

    From someone who has not been active or attending for years because it’s free choice, not a cult.

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