Is there a slowdown in congregation get togethers?

by truthseeker 44 Replies latest jw friends

  • truthseeker

    I was just reading TheListeners post from an earlier thread, and it got me thinking just how little time dubs have to associate togther.

    It seems to be more and more the fact, that the only time dubs see each other to "associate" - if you can even call it that - is at meetings and conventions.

    Even at conventions though, the dubs are told not to go outside for lunch, regardless of whether it is a nice day of not. (Note, this may not be true at all conventions)

    Where is a Jehovah's Witness supposed to get this period of refreshment so he can do more? (Also called wholesome association).

    At meetings, you see the same cliques get together time and time again. I think I'm beginning to realize the Society's policy of all-inclusiveness, whereby everyone can have an elderly person as a friend, just isn't working.

    A sister lamented to me recently, that she has no friends her own age in the cong, and she is only 35. When a younger sister invited her out to chill with her friends, the older sister said she felt unwelcome; perhaps the younger group felt she was their mother?

    True friendships are hard to find at the hall, making cong. get togethers largely the work of elders.

    What perceived friendships do exist, are simply what I would call "Kingdom Hall buddies." - you know, the brothers and sisters you might talk about a movie with, but not actually go to see the movie with.

    Kingdom Hall buddies are easy to find and easy to replace. There is no sense of connection, but they help you pass the time at the hall till you're able to leave.

    But this post is about congregation get togethers. Are they slowing down? In light of the above, I would find it difficult to imagine many even getting off the ground, with superficial friends, and young people who just want to do their own thing.

    A few years ago, my congregation rented out a hall and had "Talent Night" - it happened once. Nothing has happened since then.

    Congregation picnics? My cong can't announce them from the K.Hall, supposedly due to insurance reasons. "What if someone gets hurt?", an elder asked.

    Book study picnics - rarely happen anymore.

    And with "everyone" so busy in the preaching work, who has time to get together? Busy elders, busy pioneers.

    A worldly corporation would love these guys, all work and no play...

    Another question - do you think tehcnology has made people want more alone time? Computers, consoles, video games, text messaging - have these technologies limited the "widening out" of the young, even the old?

  • blondie

    I have been fading for about 3 years but what I observed and still do in this area is that entertainment consists of:

    1) An occasional congregation has an elder brave enough to sponsor a yearly "congregation" is clearly understood that it is his family and not the congregation organizing it.

    2) Goodie night after the book studies...some do this on a scheduled basis...say, the first Tuesday every month, others do it more hit and miss.

    3) Elders and their wives have get-togethers, card parties, movive viewings, etc., no hoi polloi though.

    4) Some people go out to eat after the school and service meeting with either another couple(s) or a group of younger JWs over 18

    5) Gender biased wedding and baby showers

    6) SuperBowl parties

    7) Camping get-togethers, some organized annually by elders (carefully vetted list of people though...popularity rather than spirituality seems to be the criteria though)

    I can remember the days when people got together on Sunday after 3 to play baseball or soccer or basketball...even 2 congregations getting together..(good sneaky way to have 3 or 4 'independently' arranged groups at the same park). There used to be card parties and singing parties (not Kingdom melodies), pool parties, trivia pursuit parties, etc, etc. People are afraid of being singled out for spiritual discipline because they offended or stumbled someone...a lot of sensitive consciences out there.


  • truthseeker


    Seems your cong has more fun than we do. Our cong is very pioneer oriented - no time for the sort of things your cong has.

    I think one couple goes out to Applebees after the school and service meeting.

  • blondie

    Of course, Truthseeker, this is not everybody doing everything. A lot is money-driven. You'd be surprised that people do things socially at the KH with just one other couple and no one knows about it. Like saying they went to a movie and then have to say which movie. I know JWs that wait until the DVD comes out, rent it and watch it at home with a few selected friends. I find it hard to believe that people just go to work and the meetings and go home and never have contact with another person besides their spouse and any children. Many people socialize only with JW family too...that counts doesn't it?


  • truthseeker

    Good point Blondie.

    You mentioned "money driven." - I know witnesses who would love to have taken part in certain activities, such as going out to eat sushi or on a cruise, but they simply can't afford it. Then they get hurt when they aren't invited by friends who do have the money.

    In some congs. money talks loudly. If you can't afford a round of golf with an elder, you won't play golf. Money dictates whom we can and can't spend our time with in some circumstances.

    It's a shame - I thought maybe it's a kindness not to invite a friend to an expensive night out if you genuinely feel they can't afford it.

    A couple who are going out to a restaurant are looking at spending at least $30 each on food, that's $60 for two people. Other couples have this enjoyment every other week.

    Some JW's talk about going on cruises, which cost over $1200 each, - one couple I know were espousing a resort in the Dominican Republic - all you can eat and everything provided for - only $1800 per person.

    With this in mind, JW's who can't afford to do activities like this, will not get invited, if their friends know of their financial circumstances. This will lead them to feeling left out - or perhaps it won't.

    But I think money is a big issue when it comes to entertainment.

  • Jesika

    I remember when we had picnics, camping, etc..........but even then when it was the whole cong invited and alot of ppl showed up it was still very clique oriented.

    It was like being at the KH just with out the microphones and it was outside.


  • truthseeker

    Good point Jesika!

    Even when the dubs were altogether, they were certainly not together.

    If we went to a park, the dubs who didn't like the other dubs (the younger ones) would just do their own thing. It was a case of oil and water NOT mixing.

    And it's hard to be yourself when the only time you see fellow witnesses is at a meeting.

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    There is a slowdown around here.

    Inter-congregation dances that were popular up to 10 years ago have disappeared altogether.

    It has been a long time since I have heard of a BStudy or Cong picnic.

    There was a games night with a band and dancing last year and there has been talk of doing it again.

    It takes someone with the energy and desire to organise such things.

    I was invited to a Cong 'party' a few weeks ago, but my wife quickly pointed out that it included a Bible quiz and singing kingdum songs, and took it apon herself to uninvite me

  • truthseeker

    I would like to be able to start a new topic on "How expensive is entertainment in your congregation?" but have used up my two posts per day quota.

    Maybe we could combine the original post with this new avenue of thought.

    In your congregation, did you need a lot of money to keep up with Witness activities?

    such as...





    visiting museums, wineries, six flags etc

    expensive restaurant meals

    expensive "let's get together and rent hall for this occasion" activity

    weddings, graduations (although not entertainment, did this cost you a lot to attend)

    Were you ever asked to contribute to the rental of a hall for any social purpose?

    or was entertainment and recreation "almost free"? say, visiting a park where you paid parking, or a visit to the beach.

    Some things in life are free, such as going to your friends house to watch a movie - unless someone say, "Let's have Chinese tonight."

    If you struggled financially, how did you get round those awkward questions, "Do you want to do this tonight?" Were you always honest to admit you didn't have money?

    For myself, I was not very responsible with money, so I never had any. I was always in debt, and even renting a movie was expensive. I didn't allow people to treat me though, the few times they did, I always paid them back and thanked them. It's plain embarassing never to have money.

    And consider the Saturday morning dub break - I didn't always have money for a coffee and felt bad when someone would say, "Let's go to Dunkin Donuts."

    Fortunately, those days are over. I manage my money better and have a little left over.

  • tijkmo

    yes i think computers personal tvs mobile phones etc have a lot to do with this...but if an effort was made i found most were willing to support arrangements made...most however did not have the confidence or nouse or funds to organize anything which is why i did it...there were times when i thought it would be nice to just go along to something without having the responsibility of it but for the most part i was happy to do the organizing and if everyone knew what they had done before then it pretty much ran we had celeids dvd nights movie nights music nights w/e away quiz nights pub nights coffee nights cheese and wine...and young and old...elder ms pioneer unbelieving husband pub 'weak' ones everyone was invited and most came...was hugely enjoyable..and added to the spirit in cong and in fs where people didnt just do what was required but stayed and encouraged one another......and then they disfellowshipped me for making a mistake and even when reinstated they didnt want anything to do with they can organize their own freaking parties...which they dont

    tijkmo of the look me in the eyes and tell me that you're happy now class

Share this