Witnesses hoping for record turn-up

Witnesses hoping for record turn-up

TIM MARTAIN
20jul06

LETTER drops to every home in Tasmania has organisers hoping they will get a record crowd to the Jehovah’s Witnesses three-day state convention in Hobart from tomorrow.

The annual event at the Derwent Entertainment Centre usually attracts about 2000 people but this year organisers hope to draw a record 2500 after their intensive publicity campaign.

“This year we have delegates coming from around Australia and we’re very excited about having them as guests,” Jehovah’s Witness public information officer David van Dam said.

Similar conventions are held in 155 countries around the world in the course of a year and the theme of the convention is “Deliverance at Hand.”

The Christian denomination is participating in a global push to get its message out into the world this year because it believes world events indicate the day of God’s reckoning is fast approaching and speakers at the conventions will help prepare people for this.

“We believe in the urgencies of the times according to Bible prophecies and we would like people to have real hope for the future and for people to see these events in relation to Bible prophecy,” Mr van Dam said.

But the convention is not intended to be all doom and gloom, with a series of talks from guest speakers focusing on how to lead a happy family life and emphasis on comforting scriptures.

The convention is open to the public and is free, with no collections being taken.

Tasmania’s more than 1600 Jehovah’s Witnesses have spent the past three weeks hand delivering invitations to the convention to every home in the state.

“We’ve had some very positive feedback and even people who aren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses are interested in coming,” Mr van Dam said.

The three-day convention also includes dramatised stories from the Bible and the baptism and ordination of new members as ministers.

The conventions are expected to attract around 80,000 people nationwide, both members and non-members, and the huge events are organised and run entirely by volunteers and financed with donated funds.

The convention at the DEC runs from 9.30am-5pm from tomorrow to Sunday.

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