Every summer, the Dumont family looks forward to the weekend of their regional convention. “This is the highlight of the year for us! We buy a new dress, we meet our friends, some of whom we haven’t seen for a whole year, and we love eating outside in parks in Cornwall.” says Twistha with a big smile, talking about past conventions. But the large gatherings that the Dumonts and more than 140,000 Canadians used to attend every year will not take place in person in 2021. Breaking from a century-old tradition in the name of health and safety, Jehovah’s Witnesses hold their annual gathering online rather than in-person.
Twistha and Jean-Rénold live in Gatineau with their daughters Romye and Tarah as well as Lucianie Dumont, the mother of Jean-Rénold. Jean-Rénold is a nurse in an emergency department assigned to the treatment of patients with COVID-19. “When I’m asked how it’s going, I often say, ‘I’m swimming in COVID!’ All the serious cases go through our emergency, and sometimes it is difficult to endure that stress, which follows me even at home.” Back in September, all 5 family members were infected with the virus. “Rénold was the most affected, he had to stay completely in bed for 7 days.” relates Twistha, who works in a CHSLD. “Even today he has side effects like a shortness of breath. Fortunately, our family members and our friends, who are also Jehovah’s Witnesses, have been very supportive and helped us get through this. “
Are the Dumonts disappointed not to attend their annual gathering? “I miss going to Cornwall. I’m ‘Mrs. Hugs’, so I miss human contact a lot. But the convention on JW.ORG has certain advantages, like being able to go back to specific talks or listen again to some parts of the program during the break at work. ” explains Twistha. “Every year, I look forward to the presentations on the lessons that nature teaches us,” adds Jean-Rénold. “At times, some people miss parts of the program because of responsibilities that they have as volunteers, but because the sessions are available online, I’m sure I won’t miss anything.”
This global event, with the theme “Powerful by Faith”, is available in more than 500 languages, gathering 15 to 20 million people in 240 countries. Since the convention is typically held from Friday through Sunday, the program will be available in six installments corresponding to morning and afternoon sessions.
“After difficult months, often dealing with anxiety and feeling powerless facing the challenge of this pandemic, strengthening our faith in God will be a real boost!” said Christian Rousseau, local spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. All are invited to attend the event by going to JW.ORG on the web or 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. The schedule for download and global streaming is listed below.
For more information, please contact Christian Rousseau at (514) 567-3168 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Date Available for Streaming or Download from JW.ORG
|Dates Congregations Around The Globe Will Unitedly Be Viewing The Program
|July 31 and August 1
Photo courtesy of the Jehovah’s Witnesses