I'd guess baptisms will take a sharp downturn in 2014 and thereafter.
24 baptized at Tucson, AZ today - attendance 5,670
Jacksonville, FL (USA) - attendance (not exact):
Baptized 50 (they did not mention numbers per gender; ages ranged from 9 to 90+)
Interesting side experience: On Saturday, a street preacher was sitting on a bench right across from the entrance to the Veterans Memorial Arena (this was the location of the DC). This is the point where thousands would trek to from the parking lots and then have to wait for the traffic attendants to allow them to cross the street to enter the site. There was heavy car traffic there, so the attendants would wait till a large group massed before stopping traffic to let them cross.
The preacher was not quite shouting, but talking loudly so many could hear (not unlike Proverbs 1:20). He was roughly quoting from John 8:24 and saying we would die in our sins if we did not acknowledge Jesus as the "I Am." (In effect saying we had to believe Jesus was God.)
Nobody was saying anything to him or even acknowledging him as I walked up. When "someone " pulled out a Bible to see what it was he was talking about, the preacher must have noticed it because right away he starts saying; 'Yeah, pull out your Bible and see what it says ...'
Anyways, on Sunday a very large size brother was sitting on the bench, were the preacher was the previous day, and "someone" said to him; 'Aha!, you're there to block the preacher!' His response; 'No, I'm just sitting here. But fortunately all the friends were just ignoring him.' (From which, "someone" understood that he was there to block the preacher.) "Someone" responded; "Well, he was just doing what WE say Christians are supposed to do." Sitting Brother's response; 'Yeah, but did you see how he was dressed?' (The man was in khaki knee length shorts and a black tee shirt with a scripture printed on it. - it was to be high 80s or low 90s that day.)
Inside the DC, to those this was mentioned to, "someone" got the impression that most thought said preacher was an apostate. "Someone," himself, thinks he was just from a local church.
Another curious experience:
Much of the parking (except for handicapped) was about 1/2 mile (.8 km) from the DC arena. Quite a trek for people carrying bookbags, lunch coolers, blankets, babies, etc. (Not as bad as at the DC in Gainesville, FL though.)
Several paid parking lots, very close to the entrance, had signs up saying "Paid Parking $5."
During the DC announcements on Friday and Saturday they included this item: "Evidently there is some confusion about parking arrangements. We have arranged for free parking for convention delegates. All delegates are advised to follow the directions of the parking attendants. These are the guys with the convention lapels and neckties." (Chuckles from audience.)
Even so, a number of people (including "someone") made use of the paid parking. For $5 it was worth it for the convenience. But you virtually had to run over the attendants to do so. They were trying to turn you to the right at the crossroad just before the paid parking (which was straight thru the crossroad) and did not seem too enthusiastic about letting you go straight ahead.
I imagine there will be 'counsel' about this for next year's DC. (By the way, if you didn't know, those in the Chairman's Office often have some of the closet parking spaces reserved for themselves. After all, they have to lug in their laptops and luggage bags (airport type) and picnic baskets for the feast that is often set up in the office.)
How many of them are immigrants?
24/5670 = 0.4%
50/10300 = 0.5%
By contrast I recently found in my old papers a convention program from the Divine Victory Assembly in 1973. The program is from June 21-24, 1973 in Tiger Stadium, Detroit Michigan. There were 982 baptized on Friday morning, with 49,114 in attendance.
982/49114 = 2.0%
Baptisms are only one fourth as much as they used to be.
Is that really the cover of the new DVD, back on page 1?
That is seriously creepy!
-The 5th Reich is here!
Just in case anyone is going to one of the 9 U.S. conventions this weekend, if they could find out baptism number and attendance there? I know, most of us don't go anymore, thankfully.
I only got info on 4 conventions so far (not enough for much evaluation). But so far with those, percentage rate of 'attendance' is encouraging, about .4% (.004). May go up from there some though.
Some are observing at convention that the percentage of youth are less. Some have expressed concern that the adult converts may be more? But I am wondering/hoping that more youth are hesitating to be baptized yet for any of several reasons? Or, are parents holding their youth back a bit for baptism yet for any of several reasons?
I am waiting on re-confirmation on baptized there (S.D.).
Out of 5 conventions indications showing @ .4% average baptisms of attendance. This indicates quite a decrease. Many more reports are needed for conclusive though.
Another thing I am noticing. In the past, the WT made official news reports announcing conventions. I subscribed to "Google" to get anything about "Jehovah's Witness." In the past though, the newspapers opened up a "Comments" section. Many JW critics would go on there with scathing anti-JW comments. Now, there aren't hardly any newpapers with reports, at least coming up @ Google. I am suspecting the WTS isn't doing "PR" reports as in the past.
Nine Convention today having baptisms. If any get a report, will you let us know? Thanks all.
If any get a report, will you let us know?
I'll be attending a convention in a couple of weeks. Will be sure to get you the numbers.