This past weekend we had our circuit assembly. You guessed it, same ol' same ol.' On Saturday, the overall theme was based on Materialism. How can we do more in the ministry without spending more time at work to pay for our new "Big-screen HDTV Plasma tv?" Yes, this was actually used as an example. Do we really need that big SUV or luxury import when a small or mid-sized sedan will do the same job? Brothers, do we have to have the latest and greatest gadgets and also compete with each other to see how small and "cool" our little handheld computers can get? Yep, these were used as examples too. It seems that some are spending a lot of money to have the newest toys and others in the congregation are being stumbled because they do not have the funds to buy the same things. Others are getting into serious debt and are not able to pay back their debtors. Those who do not pay back what they borrow are classed as "wicked ones."
Sunday was a bit more interesting. The theme for yesterday was trusting in Jehovah for everything. At most assemblies in the past, families would get up on stage and relate how "spiritual" they were. Example - "We get up at 5 am each morning as a family and do our daily text. On Saturday nights during our WT study, if someone calls and invites us to go bowling, we decline because our study comes first." Yesterday was a complete 180. There were two instances of a bro and a sis where they both lost loved ones in the past few months. The bro actually lost his father, bro-in-law, and his home to a fire, all within the last 3 months. Two other sisters related how they had severe depression and one of them said that was the reason that her and her husband had to leave bethel. None of the experiences were full-on uplifting to say the least. They were actually good for making everyone in the audience feel guilty for not doing better like these folks were, considering their circumstances. Hell, even I felt a twinge of guilt, but I got over it pretty quick after I slapped myself mentally upside the head.
For the part, "Paying attention to the needs of the circuit," the CO spoke about the current inactive work that is taking place over a three month period. He said that in one particular area of the USA, there is a circuit that has the equivalent of 5 congregations of inactive ones. Damn, I was impressed! Where is this area at? I'm sure some of you here are in that circuit.
Not much else was new. It was basically the same thing rehashed like usual. Oh, did anyone ever notice when they give the account statement for the assembly that there is ALWAYS a deficit? When the announcements were being given Sunday afternoon and he was getting into the money part, I nudged my wife and said, "...leaving us with a deficit of..." she just gave me a sneer and said "How do you know there is going to be a deficit?" I told her there is always a deficit. "It doesn't matter how much is 'on-hand, in the bank and with the Society' prior to the assembly," there is always a deficit come Sunday.
Sure enough, we had a deficit of $800.....