Monday, May 17

Go on carrying the burdens of one another. —Gal. 6:2.

Commendably, many congregations and individuals do what they can to enable those in full-time service to remain in their assignments. They do so by encouraging them to continue their work, by giving them financial or other material support, or by helping them to care for their family members back home. If those in full-time service receive a new assignment to your congregation, do not view the change of assignment as an indication that they somehow failed or were disciplined. Instead, help them to make the transition easier. Give them a warm welcome and commend them for the work they have done, even if poor health limits what they can do at present. Get to know them. Learn from their wealth of knowledge, training, and experience. Initially, those receiving a new assignment may need your help to obtain housing, transportation, work, and other basic necessities. w19.08 23-24 ¶12-13

Those who are going at the letter-writing full speed might need some financial help. Here in the United States, a single postage stamp costs 50 cents. So, if a pioneer sends out 40 letters per day, which might be the average number of homes visited back in the old days, that would cost $20 in postage. Postage might add up to $4-500 per month. Of course, not driving around the territory and drinking double-shot lattes at Starbucks is sure to save the publishers some money. 

It is incredible to me that the Watchtower churns out these stale Daily Texts as if JW’s were still going out in service and meeting at the kingdom hall. In the digital age, one would expect an organization that prides itself on using the latest technologies to publish spiritual food at the proper time to make some adjustments and offer something more relevant for the present situation. 

Pretending that everything is as it was before the pandemic is not healthy. Indulging in unreality is downright dangerous. It might lead to denying the truth outright. 

Here in Michigan, things are getting back to normal even though the state had one of the more stringent lockdowns. (Last year at this time we were not allowed to buy garden tools, paint, or even starter plants or seeds. Apparently, the governor didn’t want people making home improvements or working outdoors when they were supposed to be locked in the house with the shutters closed. People are fed up with it. No doubt that is why I saw a political sign in someone’s yard that gave me a chuckle: MY GOVERNOR IS AN IDIOT! )

Yesterday, which was Sunday, I happened to be driving by a church around noon. What caught my eye was the parking lot was nearly full—as full as any Kingdom hall parking lot I had ever seen back in the old days. I turned my pickup truck around and drove to the back of the church parking lot to get a picture on my iPhone. Congregants were leaving the building and some had already driven out by the time I took the picture. I noticed most of the parishioners leaving the church were not even wearing masks. Just out of curiosity I “Googled” the church, the name of which is Bethel. Here they are on Twitter. It seems “Bethel” gives folks the option of attending in person or online. That seems reasonable. Let people decide. Everyone knows there might be a small risk of contagion. The other Bethel ought to learn something from the approach taken by other religious organizations. But as you probably know, I suspect there is something else going on besides the GB merely being cautious about the pandemic—something darker. 

It is ironic, in their May JW Broadcast presentation they bemoan the fact that the authorities in Russia shut down every Kingdom hall. But so what? There are no meetings at Kingdom halls anywhere in the world. Even if Russian authorities allowed it the GB would not permit JWs to meet together. What hypocrisy!

I wonder if the Governing Body will ever permit JW’s to go to meetings or knock on doors or even stand on a street corner next to a magazine cart. Maybe the publishers are hoping not. Maybe Jehovah has left the building anyway, as the saying goes. Time will tell. 


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