Branch dedication London

by ExBethelitenowPIMA 44 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Journeyman
    The celebrations are massively over the top and demonstrate the hierarchical setup of the organisation.

    There's so much hype around this event, it's like a "worldly" corporate exercise (because it is one).

    I was in a conversation with a couple of brothers the other day, one of whom has been a remote Bethel worker for some time until recently, and he said that the dedication is happening now because the site is finally complete, the "museum" having only been finished recently.

    However, I said "surely if a building is being used for spiritual activity to Jehovah, it should have been dedicated first?" Given that the Chelmsford branch has already been in use for - what is it now, 3+ years - then this should have happened a long time ago? All I got was the repeated comment that "everything has to be completed first before you can have a dedication" - even if it means you've already started 'spiritual' activities in the rest of the complex long beforehand.

    That doesn't seem to be the scriptural precedent from the temple in Solomon's day at 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles , for example.

    Surely, if it's so important to have a dedication to God, then that should take place BEFORE you start using ANY of the facility for His worship? My question fell upon deaf ears and the subject quickly moved to something else...

    Since the unceremonious ditching of the Mill Hill complex after decades of hype about how vital it was in Jehovah's service, etc (and of course the same happening with the Brooklyn HQ), the sudden change to a completely new site made it impossible for me to view any new location with the "reverence" that seems to be expected - and rightly so, really: these are just buildings.

    The scriptures show the more modest attitude a Christian should have towards the buildings they use:

    Jesus' words at Luke 21:5,6: "Later, when some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with fine stones and dedicated things, he said: "As for these things that you now see, the days will come when not a stone will be left upon a stone and not be thrown down."

    Acts 17:24: "The God who made the world and all the things in it, being, as he is, Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in handmade temples..."

    And the account of the woman at the well in John 4:21-24 also shows Jesus emphasising that the physical location of worship is not what matters to a spiritual person - or to God.

    Yet as is often the case, the JW org goes beyond what is written and falls into excessive worship of their physical assets (while at the same time, condemning Babylon the Great for doing the same with their holy sites).

    The more practical aspect of this dedication programme which is also crazy, is that hundreds of Witnesses are being forced to pack into their Kingdom Halls this weekend to watch a streamed programme from the branch, which they could just as easily watch over Zoom from home.

    "A three hour bladder marathon", indeed! 🤣

    I bet we will see a drop in meeting attendance across the country for the next fortnight or so, as the number of people catching colds, flu, COVID, etc, increases due to the packed attendance this weekend. That already seems to happen after every circuit or regional assembly these days!

  • ukpimo

    From letter to BOE

    2. Special Meeting in Connection with the Branch Dedication: We are happy to provide the details to connect to the special meeting on Sunday, May 19, 2024. Congregations will be able to log in to the event from 8:30 a.m. (BST) and the programme will start at 9:30 a.m. (BST). The programme will last approximately 3 hours. A recording will be available from 1:30 p.m. (BST) throughout the weekend. Please note that prayers will not be included in the recording.

    3. Non-English congregations can make local arrangements for interpretation. However, British Sign Language interpretation will be provided for deaf publishers, and a recording made available. Please note that the programme should not be downloaded or recorded locally.

    The link is only accessible for those with a Stream account, so I suggest any PIMO elder record the program and make it available online afterwards.

    Before the Sunday program, all assembly halls and other facilities in the UK are streaming a live dedication program at 1pm BST today, which is coming directly from the new facilities outside Chelmsford.

    In response to a few comments here, the most likely bearded GB members are Mark Sanderson, Geoffrey Jackson and Samuel Herd. They are currently the 3 confirmed Governing Body members with beards. The comment may also refer to some helpers as well. Some helpers sighted at Chelmsford are

    William Turner Jr

    Donald Gordon

    Robert Luccioni

    Ronald Curzan

    David Schaefer

    I can confirm the details of the special tours are all correct. Bethelites have been dressing up in ancient clothing. One particular ridiculous sight was the Tudor marketplace setup where a 'bible smuggler' was being chased by two guards shouting at them for realistic acting purposes. Of course, the ones on tours were brainlessly laughing at the sight, however for those of us observing Bethelites acting in a childish and pathetic way helps us reinforce the truth about the truth, it's a cult!!!!

    Every department was visited, even the legal department albeit in a very brief manner.

    I will provide updates for todays program later.

  • Bribie

    In 1978 I visited Mill Hill. Was with another brother and we travelled from New Zealand to attend the International in Edinburgh Scotland. We also stayed in Chelmsford Essex.

    Its apparently the home of Essex cricket, suppose it still is, just one of the things I remember. Have thought about going back to the UK again for a visit. Just love the country villages, pubs, scenery and historical aspect of the place. Things though have changed over the years and I guess it is less appealing in some ways. If anyone is out there living in the UK maybe they could tell me what is still wonderful about the place.

  • cofty

    Bribie, the Uk is still a great place to visit. The largest cities are probably unrecognisable from the 70s when you were last here though. There are many beautiful regions with great scenery and amazing history. The Northumberland coast is worth considering as part of an itinerary, it's not too busy. We have had some great holidays in the Lake District, Peak district, Lincolnshire and Devon. Scotland is fantastic if you get good weather. You will still find plenty nice villages and pubs and cricket if you need a good sleep in the afternoon :)

  • Gorb

    Is Chelmsford branch not build on a former waste dump?

    Seems to remember this from a message long ago.


  • LaFrancia

    UkPimo.....grazie per gli aggiornamenti

  • ukpimo
  • ukpimo

    Four Governing Body members are currently at Chelmsford: Kenneth Cook, Geoffrey Jackson, Gerrit Lösch and Mark Sanderson. Geoffrey said the opening prayer and Mark said closing prayer. It seems that Gerrit has also grown a beard now.

  • ukpimo

    For a Branch Dedication, the meeting was actually very interesting. The talk History of the work in Britain was very well covered, and they couldn't make it more obvious that the London Tabernacle at Craven Terrace (the first kingdom hall in England) was a Congregationalist church refurbished and dedicated to God for the ibsa movement at the time. There were even 3-D models bringing this all to life, this alongside personal accounts of older ones including sister Gooch (wife to the late Governing Body member) were very insightful even from an exjw perspective. Hopefully much of what was seen at this inside meeting will be more openly shown at the Sunday broadcast for all congregations in the United Kingdom. Of course, we are all at various levels of being mentally out. But I hope even the most critical of us find the historical part at least the most insightful and helpful in understanding how this Organization came to be in Britain.

    It was of interest to note that both Geoffrey Jackson and Mark Sanderson in their prayers asked Jehovah to forgive them all for any mistakes they make as they do every day. Either a sign of culpability or humility? You decide.

  • Elena
    interest to note that both Geoffrey Jackson and Mark Sanderson in their prayers asked Jehovah to forgive them all for any mistakes they make as they do every day. Either a sign of culpability or humility? You decide

    I thought they can never ever lie?

    that’s what was said of these future kings. They can never lie

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