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Jehovah’s Witnesses convention goes virtual for COVID safety

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Jehovah’s Witnesses has moved its annual in person event to a virtual format for the second time in as many years, canceling nearly 6,000 conventions in 240 lands.

In 2020, the pandemic unexpectedly interrupted the organization’s tradition of in-person conventions, moving the international religious organization to cancel in-person conventions throughout the world and launch a global virtual event.

“Powerful by Faith!” is the theme of the 2021 global event, which will be delivered in more than 500 languages to households throughout the globe over six weekends during July and August 2021, uniting some 15-20 million people in 240 countries.

The program will be available in six installments corresponding to morning and afternoon sessions. “Friday” morning’s session became available for streaming or download on June 28, 2021.

Bandera resident Jason Walden said he enjoys the virtual format.

“While we miss being with a large group, we found that we are able to pay more attention to the program, and if we miss a point, we can just rewind it,” Walden said.”

Walden said he’s attended conventions in the area for over 40 years.

“I have always enjoyed the Bible drama, which takes events from the Bible and applies them to modern life. These dramas really make the Bible come alive and they help me to see how ones living so long ago endured the same type of trial that so many of us go through today,” Walden said.

Bandera local Sam Hensley, who has been attending conventions for almost 30 years, appreciates the convention parts on creation.

“These parts highlight God’s love, power, wisdom, and justice, and how all of this is for our benefit,” Hensley said. Regarding the shift to the virtual program, he added, “Having the conventions streamed at home has insured that we don’t miss this spiritual program during the pandemic.”

The continued risk of bringing thousands of people together in cities around the world prompted the organization to opt for a virtual platform for the second consecutive year, but the move has not curbed the enthusiasm for the annual event.

Congregations around the world are inviting the public to join them in this historic occasion.

“Faith has helped our global brotherhood to continue to thrive even during a pandemic,” said Robert Hendriks for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “Our faith will continue to unite us in worship — even virtually — as millions gather in private homes around the world to enjoy a powerful and inspiring spiritual program.”

All are invited to attend the event by going to jw.org on the web, using JW Broadcasting on the free JW Library iOS or Android App, or on streaming platforms like Roku TV, Apple TV, and others.

The program is free and accessible to all.