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Jehovah's Witnesses gather at convention in St. Charles

Sunday, July 24, 2011

(Photo)
From left: Amy Milam, Kimberly Winton, Cheryl Cox, Charlotte and Thomas Kelsey, and Thomas and Sonia Quinn inside Kingdom Hall Friday in Cape Girardeau.
(Laura Simon) [Order this photo]
In a modern world filled with uncertainty, many area Jehovah's Witnesses traveled to their 2011 District Convention to meet and discuss topics relevant in today's society.

More than 2,600 Jehovah's Witnesses gathered at the convention, held July 15 to 17, at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo.

This year's convention focused on God's Kingdom, which is mentioned in the model prayer in Matthew 6:9, 10, and drew Witnesses from Illinois and Missouri.

Tom Kelsey, a new service director for the convention, said the topic of God's Kingdom not only appeals to Jehovah's Witnesses, but to anyone who studies the Bible.

"We discussed the topic of God's Kingdom. That's a pretty interesting topic for anyone, especially those who read the Bible on a regular basis," Kelsey said. "Jehovah's Witnesses study the Bible and we believe that God's Kingdom is an actual government that our King will set up with his son Jesus. I know some religions teach that God's Kingdom is within a person's heart, but we believe it's an actual kingdom ruled by God."

In addition to discussions about this year's topic, the three-day long convention featured multiple speakers, interviews, question and answer sessions and costume dramas.

Kelsey said the staged dramas dealt with issues that many people face in today's society.

"One of the dramas dealt with the breakdown of the modern-day family unit," Kelsey said. "It showed how we can all get distracted with work and school and not take the time to come together as a family. In the end, the drama emphasized how important it is for families to be close because of all the negative factors that can effect all of us in our everyday lives."

The convention also included discussions about many of the prophecies that appear in the Bible and offered advice for both senior and younger members of the congregation.

"We discussed topics on prophesy," Kelsey said. "We also had topics that were very relevant for today's young members, teaching them how to deal with bullying and peer pressure. We also had specific topics for older members enduring health issues."

Thomas Quinn, who has attended 52 district conferences during his years worshipping as a Jehovah's Witness, said this year's convention stood out from previous meetings.

"I've been a Witness for 52 years and this year's convention was outstanding because of how it was structured," Quinn said. "There were segments, some of which were 10 minutes long, and speakers had a short amount of time to get their point across. That made it more meaningful because we were able to stay more involved without feeling as though we were listening to a college lecture."

Kelsey said many Witnesses who attended the conference found comfort in what this year's convention had to offer.

"The Bible talks about us living in times like we are now with wars, earthquakes and other natural disasters," Kelsey said. "It's comforting to know that the Bible has prophesied all of it and that helps strengthen our faith. In fact, the comment I heard most from those attending was that this conference was just exactly what they needed right now because we're living in critical times that are hard to deal with. The Bible helps us get through that."

ssemmler@semissourian.com

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Pertinent Address:

2002 Arena Parkway, St. Charles, MO


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"In the end, the drama emphasized how important it is for families to be close because of all the negative factors that can effect all of us in our everyday lives."

Nothing goes together quite like close families and Jehovah's Witnesses. The ones I knew growing up always had to keep track of which grandparents, aunts & uncles they were never to speak with because they were being shunned by the church. Of course once they grew up themselves and decided to marry someone outside the group, or possibly even consider joining a different church then they had their own parents & siblings turning their backs on them and cutting off all communication.

Perhaps I have only been friends with a bunch of apostates, but none of them has had a relationship with their parents for many years and in their own children will never have chance to know their grandparents thanks to the church rules. The "breakdown of the modern-day family unit" seems a strange concern for a group that destroys family relationships far more effectively than any amount of modern distractions and divorces.

-- Posted by Nil on Sun, Jul 24, 2011, at 5:09 AM

You beat me to it Nil. Very well said. This "cult" ( in my opinion ) has much to learn about "family". Their group is responsible for thousands of examples of "the breakdown of the modern-day family unit" ! This article is in no way news worthy in my opine.

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Sun, Jul 24, 2011, at 8:46 AM

Per Capita, I doubt there are any more Jehovah's Witnesses responsible for the breakdown of the family unit than any other religious group.

Whether it be drugs, alcohol, food, politics or religion, anything taken to the extreme is not healthy for the individual or family. I've known many Jehovah's Witnesses that, though most were very staunch in their beliefs, were no more quick to condemn others than anyone else.

Every activity has "cult" factions. I.E. always be prepared and you're a Scout but, become a survivalist, and you're a cult member.

-- Posted by malan on Sun, Jul 24, 2011, at 11:30 AM

As a 15 year Zealous Person for Jehovah (and elder) here is my own story.

http://exjehovahswitnessforum.yuku.com/t...

-- Posted by VinnyT on Sun, Jul 24, 2011, at 3:33 PM

Jehovahs Witnesses apostate belief system .

A) They are at your door to recruit you for their watchtower society corporation,they will say that *we are just here to share a message from the Bible*... this is deception right off.

B) Their *message* creed is a false Gospel that Jesus had his second coming in 1914.The problem with this is it's not just a cute fairy tale,Jesus warned of the false prophets who would claim *..look he is here in the wilderness,or see here he is at the temple*.

C) Their anti-blood transfusion ban against *whole blood* has killed thousands.

D) once they recruit you they will *love bomb* you in cult fashion to also recruit your family & friends or cut them off.

----

My family was spiritually and financially swindled by the apostate Watchtower society,3rd generation Jehovah's Witness Danny Haszard www.dannyhaszard.com

-- Posted by DannyHaszard on Thu, Aug 11, 2011, at 2:51 PM


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