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Jehovah’s Witnesses seek to spread ‘good news’ at 2024 conventions

By Ryan Aston - | Jun 20, 2024

BRIANA SCROGGINS, Special to the Standard-Examiner

More than 4,000 Jehovah's Witnesses and members of the public from Utah, Wyoming, Idaho and Nevada attended the 2019 Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Dee Events Center in Ogden on Saturday, July 6, 2019.

OGDEN -- Beginning this weekend, thousands will converge upon the Dee Events Center for the annual Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses. This year, the convention series' theme is "Declare the Good News!"

The Spanish-language convention will run this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Its English-language counterpart is slated for next weekend, June 28, 29 and 30.

Patrick Tertulien -- local spokesperson for Jehovah's Witnesses -- told the Standard-Examiner that the respective three-day events are "totally unified in declaring good news" and spreading positivity through Bible-based messages.

"We are declaring good news in imitation of Jesus," Tertulien said. "The theme of his preaching and teaching was the good news of the kingdom and so we follow suit and we want to bring good news to people because we're living in a world where, primarily, most of us are flooded with bad news. And so it is such a positive and nice change to have three days that just focus on good news and the very practical application of that."

While convention hours vary slightly from day to day, Tertulien said each day's proceedings will begin at 9:20 a.m. with a music video presentation. Each day also will feature a different theme/program.

Friday's program is based on Luke 2:10​ -- "Good news of a great joy that all the people will have." Saturday's program is based on Psalm 96:2 ​-- "Proclaim the good news of his salvation day after day." Finally, Sunday's program is based on Matthew 24:14 ​-- "... and then the end will come."

Tertulien noted that a bible drama focusing on Jesus' life would be shown Friday and Saturday, and also added that there will be a public discourse at 11:15 a.m. Sunday designed to "highlight why the Bible can help us not to be in fear of bad news."

2024 marks the second straight year that in-person conventions will be held after a pandemic-induced detour into virtual events in 2020, '21 and '22. And after something of a transitional year in 2023, Tertulien believes this year's conventions represent a return to normalcy.

"I think of biochemistry," Tertulien said. "When you're around people, there's just an energy that you get, that you can't get through the screen. The smiles, the handshakes, the hugs, the vibes you get from just being around each other ... we missed that tremendously."

Said Tertulien of what first-timers and members of other faiths can expect: "I think they can look forward to exactly what I experienced when I started studying the Bible, which always witnesses a positive environment -- a friendly environment, kind people, welcoming smiles and an upbuilding theme that will highlight Bible education. And even for those who might not be religiously inclined, the practical application as to how to have happier families, how to be productive citizens, how to be helpful, how to be kind, how to be honest, that is something that everyone can benefit from."

Organizers expect an overall attendance of about 7,900 across the two weekends, an influx that they say will fuel Ogden's economy "with local spending at stores, hotels and restaurants."

Attendants will be on hand throughout the proceedings to assist with parking, crowd movement, seat saving and more. Accommodations also will be made for people with different abilities. For more information, go to https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/conventions/.


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