I have to say ,any gatherings done at my old Congo were very enjoyable occasions...everyone let their hair down and just enjoyed themselves...no loud,embarassing prayers,no real gossipping,in fact i have very good memories of them...think i might go back!! Lol
The ones I went to were fun, even the weddings. In one of my halls we'd go to the beach and have bonfires but some teens got into trouble and so there was a local needs talk about supervising your kids better but it was not to stop group outings.........just keep the group manageable (sp?).
One of the biggest times my dad ever "went to war" with the local control freak P.O. was over get togethers. We lived in SW Kansas and by their attitudes, you'd have thought they were a congregation of southern baptists...only more boring. This elder tried to ban any and all gatherings over the ammount of 2 families. My dad was a rebel and told him to shove it. We were going to have them anyway. The elders boycotted the events, but their families seemed to enjoy themselves.
My dad knew how to make gatherings pretty fun. I don't see how anyone could get into "trouble" there...anymore than at a DC. We had some good times, but it seemed that dancing was rarely a part...and usually no alcohol either.
While I do not remember anything in particular as a whole I remember them as at least some fun. But everything was so controled and everyone had to behave ...
As a kid in the 70's and 80's I do remember our congregation picnics. Usually once a year, though maybe once and while they would do it twice. I thought it was a great way to hang out with the only "friends" you were supposed to have, but rarely saw outside the meetings.
At the park, potluck style. The adults would play baseball, with some kids. You could ride your bike, some basketball courts were nearby.
I remember wishing they would do it much more often. Our congregation was very strict, so everything was kept in line.
Once in a while, there was family in the hall that would invite everyone over to their house for a similar "get-together."
In a nearby hall, they had many more gatherings, whether at someones home, or better yet, several big parties at the beach. They were considered a very "Spirtually weak" congregation, and if you attended these beach parties, it was looked down upon. Nothing "bad" ever happened. Just people getting together for some beach fun. Usually several halls would get together for these.
There were never gatherings for the sake of gatherines. They were reserved for weddings (which became increasingly boring when dancing became discouraged) and showers (I was never invited) and the occassional graduation party (mine is the only one I remember and it was FUN!). Also a gathering when every year the spring cleaning of the kingdom hall occured. When the gatherings happened they were OK. It was not embarrassing because we were never in the public. A lot of people even elders in my parents congregation were very enjoyable people.
Never ever ever would there be larger parties for the teens or kids though. Forget that! I tried...On the maybe two occassions where I had more than 1 girl over spending the night, some parents would always drag them home earlier than expected...and I would get in trouble for something, it was so discouraging a lot of parents really did not like me!
Ah yes, the memories!
We had congregation picnics, when I was living in Torrance, CA; fairly regular events, more like once every 3-4 months, at parks. Loved 'em! Once, us kids were playing on a park mock-up of a fire-engine, and my youngest (and now only surviving) brother fell off, hit his forehead on a curb, and got a noggin-bump the size of an avocado. Moved to Oregon in '64, and still had 'congregation get-togethers,' but by the early '70s they were terminated.
As I recall, one of the reasons those events became discouraged was that (in my best George Couch shrill voice): "Some of the brothers" hit the beer coolers a little too hard. Also, it was like "why spend time having fun, when you could be out in service?"
This is one of the fundamental paradigm shifts that the WTS will go through, if it is to survive. Most people need religion, not for theological reasons, but for social reasons. There's a mega-church down the road here, has about 5,000 people. I was thinking, "Wow, that preacher must be one charismatic dude!" But when I talked to a few that attended that church, they said "Heck no...I don't even go to the Sunday sermon; I go because there's a support group that is really helping me." Turns out that this church has like 100+ support groups, for everything for divorcees to children of divorcees, to teenage alcoholics, lesbians, unemployed persons...across the gamut. It's like 100 little "churches" inside the church.
My guess, based on historical precedent of other eschatological high-control groups: the WTS will have to get back into the mode of people-people stuff (and yes, they once were more in that mode).
Ona...you hit the nail on the head! People use religion for social purposes, That's why BEFORE a JW decides to leave the organization, they must make new, good friends.
kool-aid made in a large rubbermaid trash can
Hmmm, sounds like the virgin version of trash can punch.
Hey, onacruse! I was living in Anaheim, CA from 1962-65 -- I'll bet we attended some of the same assemblies without even knowing it. I was the cute girl with brown eyes, if that helps.
Nina, yeah, I'll bet you were one of those girls that wandered around at the assemblies, looking all pretty and stuff, plagueing otherwise pure and innocent adolescent boys like me with troubling fantasies.