Is there a slowdown in congregation get togethers?

by truthseeker 44 Replies latest jw friends

  • coffee_black

    We used to have weekly (Sunday night) ice skating get-togethers...all the teenagers in the circuit were invited by word of mouth. There was a group of regulars you could count on to be there. That was in the 60s though.

    My parents would have "get togethers" at our house...and usually everyone in the cong. was invited. People would drop by the house nearly every day to hang out with my mom. The coffee pot was always on.... My mom would also make weekend service an event. She always brought along thermoses of coffee and home made muffins, and we would always stop for a coffee break. Everyone wanted to be in our car group.

    That was my social world growing up, but you know, after I grew up, I realized that wasn't the way it was for most jws. I've been out for over a I couldn't tell you about now....


  • MelbaToast

    When I was young, we also had a skating party on every sunday night, but we didnt rent out the rink, so there was always a little fun. During the 80s it seemed that there were a lot of teen get togthers in my congos, but thats when the congo had about 250 regular ones. Big families too, so lots of young ones. We lived on a lake, and our book study conducter also worked with my dad, so they were pretty tight. He lived on lake front property too, so there was always picnics and beach parties, going fishing, and fun had.

    90s came along and we moved to a very rural community in appalachia. Apparently they don't do things the same in the bible belt. I got invited to Inter-congregation formal only a couple of times, some showers, pioneer couple would have teens over to study watchtower (always had to go), but I would say that I mainly did things with my friends, and we always got big groups together. One time we chaparoned a whole 5th grade class to go to Kings Island. It just happened to be Gay Pride day and some people standing in lines were pretty raunchy and were just making out and groping eachother in lines.

    We were a pretty well-behaved bunch, but one mom said to this couple " I would appreciate it if you would get a room, really."

    I was LMAO! She stood there and said, well I sure don't want to see him stick his tounge down his throat! "

    She was soo funny, course she got real sick and then felt better. And when she got better from being sick, she got on her feet and disassociated herself, never to be seen again.

    I guess she saw the real light :)

  • Mary

    Even at conventions though, the dubs are told not to go outside for lunch, regardless of whether it is a nice day of not.

    What the hell???? Are you serious?? Why aren't the supposed to go outside for lunch? Is Satan de Debbil lurking right outside the doors??

    There has most definitely been a slowdown in congregation get togethers over the years. Years ago, we used to all go roller-skating on Sunday nights, we'd have one or two congregation picnics at the park each year, and we also had 50s dances and costume parties. They were a scream and we had a really good time.

    Now as we all know, there's nothing that irritates the Governing Body more than to see Witnesses having a good time when it doesn't include having your nose stuck in a Watchtower magazine. So after hearing reports of entire congregations dressing up, dancing, laughing, and enjoying life for a change, they quickly came out with yet another bullshit rule suggestion that we shouldn't be having any fun organizing these "worldly" parties. The dork of a DO got up there at one assembly and sneered "Can you imagine Jesus going to a costume party?" When a local elder repeated these words to me I replied "...Ya, well I can't imagine Jesus going tobogganing either, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it." Dumb jerkoffs.

    Well, they're reaping what they've sown. You can't cut out all fun for people and then be shocked when the teenagers end up hanging around with "worldly"'s in our nature to want to have fun and relaxation and a good time. Perhaps this is a reason why so many people end up leaving the Borg: because you're not allowed to do ANYTHING that's fun without getting your knuckles rapped.

  • Shania

    When I was a teen in the congregation, we had friends who lived near lakes, always went over for cong. cook-outs, swimming, (a little boy kissing) then would go roller skating every week with big groups, this good fun all took place in the 70's, Then elders started condeming our get-togethers saying to many bad things are happening with other kid from other cong. The fun stopped...........then we got married and began having house parties with other couples, vacationing with others, going out dancing, we found our own fun without involving the elders.

    Now the teens of the 90s, be assured my friends there is a secret society of fun going on that the elders or parents haven't a clue about............PARTIES EVERY WEEKEND.............. they make their own fun and do it in secret and mosts teens know of it..........until they are adults and leave...........they force them to do this since there is know real joy in being a teen in this religion.....

  • delilah

    That's a good one Mary my friend! "I can't imagine Jesus tobogganing..." I can imagine who you made that comment too, and I would've paid a plug nickel to watch the look on his face as you said that to him, hahahaha. I remember the very last cong. party we ever went too, [we were still in good standing at the time ] we pulled into the park, we could hear everyone laughing and talking. We parked the car, and as we walked towards them, they stopped dead in their tracks. You could hear the crickets. I looked behind me to see if perhaps Satan de Debbil had snuck in with us, NOPE. My brother took us under his wing, got my hubby to help him BBQ, while I chased after my two little ones. Needless to say, we ate and left. And that's when I decided, along with hubby, that this was a farce. Talk about your Cliques!!!


  • freedom96

    When I was growing up, once or twice a year for several years they had a congregation picnic. As a kid, I so looked forward to those. But, they became less frequent, and now, I don't think they even do it.

    I attended 3 other congregations in my young adulthood, and I never heard of any large get together.

  • 95stormfront

    Back in the late 80's and 90's, I remember the congregation get togethers at Roller Rinks my wife always went and took the kids to. I actually remember going to a park bbq gathering where they were playing flag footbal. I also remember participation in them fizzling out after a few well placed "local needs" talks with the usualy guilt inducing fare.

    There was this one sister who used to organize great parties at hotels and community centers. The very last one I went to was in the clubhouse of an apartment where they have a band made up of "hovah" youth who lip-synced music heavily sanitized so as not to offend. They even served alcohol, hor'derves (sp), and a meal. Can't remember specifically what. Everyone dressed up and a great time was had by all.

    A couple of years later, this same sister organized a formal gathering at a nice hotel where everyone who wanted to attend was asked to pay a small amount to offset the expenses. I didn't go to this one, I was on my way out by then, but, from what i heard all in attendance thought it was very nice and had a great time.

    Well, about a week after, everyone in attendance got a call asking if they would like to have their money back. I don't know what others did, the cheapskates in true JW fashion probably took her up on it and got their money back, but, my wife adamately refused to take any money back......she felt that it was well spent....and from what she told me about the party, I couldn't help but agree.

    But, I guess word of the party had got around the circuit and the "shit hit the fan" because of the loss of control all those poor disenfranchised sisters and brothers who perhaps didn't have the money to participate. Wouldn't want them to feel left out. They pulled out the same old guilt ridden baggage and heaped it on all who attended and chastised the organizer sister that if she were to throw these type of gatherings, she should organize it in such a way that anyone can attend without cost so as not to offend, effectively forcing her to pick up the total cost. Then they had a bunch of "talks" going around about being careful of the association and entertainment, what it "could" lead to, recognizing it's place, and always putting jah and service first, the typical garbage they use to control your every thought and action effectively scaring away any who'd even want to participate in a function of this type that didn't have a WT trademark all over it.

    That poor sister......before this happened I'd heard she was looking for a husband "in da truth". Haven't heard a word and don't know what has become of her since.

  • Honesty

    Only if you are not one of the "spiritually mature" ones in the congregation.

    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.

    I'm over 50 and had a great time Sunday afternoon with some of my church family. 20 or so teenagers and 2 other people over 35. Age didn't enter into the picture. Financial status... who cares. Race... what's that. We just all had a good time together.

    I suppose the JW's were half right on one thing. Christendom is all about social activities It's amazing how much you can enjoy other people when you aren't being fed 'meat in due season' by the unfaithful discreet slave, being taught by Joe Hoba at 5 meetings a week and turning in door-to-door sales field service reports.

    Maybe one day some of the rank and file JW's will really understand 1 John 2:26-29

  • Jez

    Seems to me that the elders are tightening their grip on the congregation. What IS allowed and what is not. People are so afraid of being 'marked' or being gosssiped about or stumbling others that it has turned into one big paranoia-fest. The ones I know that are active dubs have pulled the walls around themselves in even closer. They associate with very trusted ones or family only. They are afraid.

    1John 4:18 is about fear and how you have not perfected love if you have fear.

    Every single meeting I have been to lately, the talk or the WT have focused heavily on segregation. In one way or another, ppl are encouraged to segregate themselves, even from 'questionable' ones within the KH. The WT study on Sunday was all about this as well. By the last paragraph, I looked back and all it is saying is basically, "Stay, stay stay stay, don't look outside, be busy with 'theocratic activities', careful careful, don't leave..." WHAT are they doing???

    To a JW, self-preservation is number 1.

  • jeanniebeanz

    Sounds like things have really gotten a lot more boring in da "troot" of late. The 70s weren't bad, roller rink, beach parties, movie nights and picnics at the lake.

    I noticed a lot of changes though in the late 80s and by the time I was out in 93, the youngsters had started dropping out by the bushel.

    You'd think they'd understand the need to hang onto their youth in order to grow. It's breeding that's been the main reason the borg has continued to grow over the years, and with the slow down in new members I'm really surprised that just from a business standpoint, that they have not developed a religious equivalent to a corporate EAP for their young people.

    It tells me they just don't care anymore. That they're tired and just want it to be over with, Armageddon to come, and they probably figure that there are more than enough people to populate paradise waiting for resurrection so who cares about their own children.

    Too bad, but then again, not. Less kids staying in means decline and will hopefully lead to the JW?s becoming an obsolete religion.


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