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For the first time, the annual convention of Jehovah's Witnesses is happening at Sacramento's Convention Center on J Street. For eight weekends, including Fridays, the 134,000 square feet Convention Center Complex is filled with Jehovah's Witnesses. Over each 3-day weekend, over 12,000 Jehovah's Witness have/will attend the event.
Their annual convention runs until Aug. 22nd. There are concurrently 57 conventions in 90 USA cities.
I dropped by Friday morning and discovered this weekend is devoted to Spanish speaking folks. It was all spoken in Spanish. The two men who showed me around laughed when I told them I flunked Spanish in Junior High. Even the signs were in Spanish as seen below.
Samuel M. Nevarez of Carmichael, the main speaker for this weekend.
Marco Escobar of Pittsburg, CA holds his grand-daughter, Samantha Gonzales, in the Convention room.
These gentlemen (left to right)Jason Garcia, Salvatore Jimenez, Ignacio Poszles, Jaime Guzman and Santo Banuelos, were some of the many volunteers keeping things organized and running on time.
According to a press release, Jehovah's Witnesses are members of a worldwide Christian religion (7.3 million) who actively share with others information about God, whose name is Jehovah, and about his Son, Jesus Christ. They base their beliefs solely on the principles found in the Holy Bible and view first-century Christianity as the model.
They believe that in addition to drawing one closer to God, living by Bible principles gives purpose to life, promotes strong family ties, and develops productive and honest citizens.
They are Christians. They follow Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and put faith in the ransom sacrifice he provided for the salvation of mankind. They imitate his example in preaching and teaching and in their dealings with fellow humans. They also look forward to living in true peace on earth under his heavenly Kingdom.
While they have strong religious convictions, they are not fundamentalists in the sense that the term has come to be used.They do not believe that every passage in the Bible is to be interpreted literally. They do not pressure political leaders to promote a certain point of view, nor do we resort to demonstrations and violence against those who disagree with them. The Bible teaches Christians to be kind, good, mild, and reasonable—qualities that do not allow for the kind of fanaticism that is sometimes associated with fundamentalism.
They do not consider themselves the only ones to be saved. Many millions who have lived in centuries past and who were not Jehovah’s Witnesses will come back in a resurrection and have an opportunity for life. Many now living may yet take a stand for truth and righteousness before God’s time of judgment, and they will gain salvation. Moreover, Jesus said that we should not be judging one another. Humans look at the outward appearance; God looks at the heart. He sees accurately and judges mercifully. God has committed judgment into Jesus’ hands, not human's.
SacPress Photos | Kati Garner