Jehovah’s Witnesses invite public to convention
BLOOMINGTON — The Jehovah’s Witnesses annual convention will be Friday through July 2 at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum, 101 S. Madison St, Bloomington. The program will begin at 9:30 a.m. every day and the public is invited.
Starting this weekend and continuing the next three weeks, Jehovah’s Witnesses will launch a campaign to extend a invitation to everyone in Central Illinois, Eastern Iowa and Western Indiana to attend the 2006 “Deliverance at Hand!” district convention.
Admission is free and no monetary or information collections will be taken. Starting in May 2006 through September, Jehovah’s Witnesses will hold 266 conventions in 73 cities throughout the United States.
The convention theme highlights “God’s promised deliverance from this wicked system.”
This volunteer effort will take place around the world. The Bloomington area has 70 witness congregations, which are taking part in the campaign. Included will be witness congregations in this area: Ottawa, Streator, La Salle-Peru, Mendota and Morris. La Salle-Peru is unique in that they have both Spanish and English publishers, said Aaron Purvis of Jehovah’s news service.
Other congregations are in Princeton, Morris and DeKalb. A convention will be in DeKalb Aug. 11 to 14.
Each congregation has a number of publishers and a different number of people who attend Sunday services. In this area, there are more than 600 publishers and about 900 people attend Sunday services.
“A publisher is someone who goes door-to-door to minister. Active Jehovah’s Witnesses dedicate their time free of charge. No one gets paid — not even the president of our legal organization in New York,” said Purvis.
About 6,000 delegates are expected at the convention in Bloomington. Projected attendance from across the United States is 1,500,000.
The concerted effort to promote the convention program this year was explained by the Jehovah’s Witnesses office of public information as follows: “Witnesses believe that mankind sorely needs deliverance from the effects of inherited sin and its consequence, death; they feel that only God can bring about that kind of deliverance. Program parts will examine Jesus’ role in delivering mankind and will review various accounts of deliverance.”