Did you go to your ASSIGNED congregation?
The rule was (is) that you go to your assigned congregation.
Growing up, I think our family was in our assigned congregation only one of three times. The family made two major moves when I was a kid and each time my folks would visit the various congregations in the area and pick the one with the most kids. Given our association restrictions with the world, they wanted to make sure we had plenty of friends.
I have to give them credit where due. They even stood up to an elder in one congregation who told us we didn't belong there. My dad got in his face and said THIS is where we choose to be.
And so it was.
Yes. There wasn't any other choice! (no alternative congs to go to nearby)
Was pretty big on the theocratic order deal, so yep. Assigned conventions too. Still feel that way actually. Order can be just fine, the problem arises when someone doesn't and you make them out to be evil simply because they want to go where their family does.
Went to our assigned congregation for twenty years. There was an intelligence deficit but I figured that the "burden of understanding" was on us. So we forgave and went on. When the kids got older, I felt that we all needed a "season of refreshing." And it WAS better. Not great, but at least a change. A "marking" talk was given at the old hall and some at the new one treated us like we were lepers. It was weird that the marking talk was given because I spoke with the elders and explained that we wanted to broaden the kids' horizons, but we were at the heart of the old congregation and I guess they figured that they owned us.
so, the kids all made it out ok. My eyes are opened now. My wife is a treasure trove of denial and cognitive dissonance and misplaced loyalties. Therapists would have a field day with her, but she won't ever see such a worldly person with her problems and the elders just aren't qualified no matter where you go. But she insists that we should move on. I already did, in my head. ;)
To Stillin: Your experience seems to be the perfect scenario for "being stumbled" and coming to realize that these men and their decisions are not "directed by Holy Spirit" and are not "coming forth from God". If there is no HS in this small matter, how can we trust that there is HS in any of it? Time to sit back and "wait on Jehovah" to clarify it all -- sit back at home, that is.
It would be interesting to know if their fear is correct--is attending a non-assigned kingkongregation associated with subsequent inactivity?
I think they may be a bit off though. It's not always a causal relationship. Sure, the lights can turn on once you have a fresh perspective, or the pressure to participate is interrupted while you're moving. But...sometimes it's because people are trying to stay in despite serious concerns that they change kingkongs.
Most recently, no. I was helping my wife take care of her mother (post stroke) and it was just too inconvienent. Never was an issue for us. Her mother has been gone for a while and my wife still attends out of territory. I think in many cases Polish people view rules and laws as suggestions. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't.
Hubby didn't want us to go to our assigned cong a few times, he often had problems with different elders. Of course it held him back and he never progressed beyond m.s., he still loves the Borg, thought even though he's had his fair share of harsh treatment.
I was told about 5 years ago by a lovely JW guy trying to get me to return, " All that has changed, you can go to whatever Congregation you like and no-one will say anything".
I don't know if attitudes have changed at the top, I doubt it, the way they stress obedience, this may just be a local thing, but in any case I know I would have been viewed in a bad light had I returned, but to the "wrong" Congregation.
There was a time when it got pretty bad where half the elders and MS were in the wrong territory. The CO came through and said that all the elders and MS had to go to the congregation in whose territory they lived in AND if they did not they would be removed....they all changed, there were no special circumstances these jws just wanted to be around the relatives and REAL friends.
I think he wanted to mix up the elder bodies a little as well.
It was not applied to the rank and file so forcibly (of course the rank and file had little to lose) but many did switch. It did improve the cliques and grudges of long standing for a few years.