Jehovah's Witnesses Convention - file

In this file photo from August 2017, over 2,800 people pack into the Forum River Center for the second day of the three-day Jehovah's Witnesses Convention. 

For more than a decade, the Forum River Center has been the site of an annual Jehovah’s Witness convention that drew thousands of people from Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced a cancellation this year, but the group is inviting anyone interested to take part in their virtual convention online.

Millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses and their invited guests in some 240 lands are expected to participate in the global convention with the theme “Always Rejoice!”

“Our worship is centered on our mutual love for our God and for each other, irrespective of where we are physically,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “This year’s convention program underscores the unity of our international family and the joy that people can have against a backdrop of stress and despair.”

Locally, the convention was scheduled to be held every Friday through Sunday, July 10 through Aug. 30. Approximately 20,000 people were expected to attend over those eight weekends.

The program is to be released in six installments, with the first sessions posted this past weekend. The final weekend of the virtual event is scheduled for August 29-30.

The program explores questions like: What contributes to finding and sustaining joy? How can you cultivate joy in the family? How can you remain joyful in difficult times? A key feature will be a Bible-based drama that considers the life of Nehemiah and how he helped the ancient nation of Israel find joy in their worship of God.

Those interested in viewing the convention can access the program on jw.org, under the “Library” tab. There is no charge for viewing.

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