A joyless memorial

by eyeslice2 4 Replies latest jw experiences

  • eyeslice2

    Many years ago I started a thread entitled 'A religion with nothing to Celebrate' (https://www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/80630/religion-nothing-celebrate).

    Prior to about the year 2000, our congregation met in what had previously been an old church. We purchased it and even though we had little cash, made the place beautiful. It had real character, with beautiful wood work and we even managed to keep some of the stained glass windows as they weren't religious in nature. When we had finished the work, we had an open day for the public and many came to admire the restoration of such a building. I remember one couple close to tears as they had been married in the church years previously and had seen the previous owners use it as a carpet warehouse.

    Of course, eventually the CO decided the upkeep was too much, we should spend our weekends in the ministry, not working on the hall, and so a quick build hall was commissioned and the congregation moved out.

    That was one congregation, in one hall and I think that at the last memorial in the old hall, at which I gave the talk, there were about 180 in attendance. There was a real buzz about the place as people lingered and chatted after the meeting was closed.

    Fast forward nearly twenty years. Now three congregations shared the same hall - part of the consolidation and downsizing - as a few congregations in the area merged. This becomes a big problem at memorial time in terms of time slots.

    Now the memorial is the one meeting that I always accompany my very active wife to and so this year we went to the early memorial. This was for two congregation together, with the third meeting directly after.

    The first problem; parking in a parking lot designed for just one congregation. Next finding a seat, 220 in attendance (compared with 180 for just one congregation years ago but that said the congregations have bee rearranged) in hall designed to hold about 200 max. Then afterwards, every one is asked to leave more or less immediately, as cars are double parked and besides which the next congregation and their cars are due to arrive.

    I wanted to to have a chat with one or two old friends, including an elder who struggle since losing his wife about 3 years back, but with the crowd and being directed to the nearest exit, I didn't get a chance.

    I am sure they all go home and say what a fantastic memorial it was but as a bystander I found the whole affair total uninspiring. How sad.

  • ToesUp

    Yes, the "intimacy" is long gone. Years ago, we had a fantastic book study group. We actually enjoyed hanging out with this group. The home we met in was my parents home. There was goody night and many anniversaries were celebrated after the book study. On Saturday's we would all go out to eat after serve us. It was nice.

    Now, I don't even know where some of those people are. A lot of them have died and others are in their old age. It's sad. It seems like WT took the joy out of everything, even it's people.

    Quick builds were fun. Everyone worked hard and pitched in. Something our children will NEVER experience.

    Those good ole days are gone!!

  • joey jojo
    joey jojo

    Reminds me of an international assembly in 2003 in Sydney. 60000 people packed into a stadium in summer with little shade cover. Sitting on seats for days that became uncomfortable after 1 hour.

    The worst part was that even though they speak of a brotherhood, there was no way to celebrate it.

    The crowds were so bad it made it almost impossible to meet up with friends and family who had come from all over the country and had not seen each other for years. An elderly relative of mine had travelled 3 days on a bus to attend.

    On Sunday the speaker cut into lunch by 20 minutes and this time wasn't added to the lunch break to make up for it so people could catch up.

    It took about 40 mins and 2 trains to get to the Olympic stadium from the city and then another 15 mins to walk and find a seat.

    We were all told to bring our lunch with us and take our litter home with us as no bins were provided. You can imagine how pleasant it was carrying leftover tuna sandwiches home on the train after a day in the Australian summer sun. We were also encouraged not to eat at any of the restaurants around the venue like McDonald's.

    The whole event was a PR exercise for the organisation with no arrangements for anyone to socialise. It could have been an event to fondly remember but of course it wasn't.

  • blondie

    I wonder if Jesus had so many rules for his followers? He even provided food for them free of charge when there were no food stands nearby.

    It is crazy what you describe. I finally stopped going if it were to be an extreme physical challenge for me. My husband would tape them and I would pretend to listen to them.

    Most jws cannot give an answer when asked to specifically detail what they remember.

  • resolute Bandicoot
    resolute Bandicoot

    Hey Joey, I remember that one well, it was a real pain, I had three little kids to manage also. One really good thing about it was that we got to see old rubber face up on the big screen for the first time and that was a light bulb moment for me, why would a god that really wants to get the message out there choose people that are so credibility bankrupt.

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