KAHULUI - The "Remain Close to Jehovah!" District Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses will be held July 9 to 11 at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center's Castle and McCoy theaters.
The convention is expected to draw an estimated 1,400 people to hear a "message rarely heard: Stay close to God."
"In a world where some powerful and influential voices in academia and media dismiss or disparage belief in God, Jehovah's Witnesses are proclaiming the importance of such belief, actually promoting the strengthening of one's personal attachment to God," an event announcement said.
The church members will "present an intriguing approach to the topic as a clarion call to the faithful as well as an analysis of faith and reason" during the three-day event.
"The convention will focus on ways to strengthen one's personal attachment to God despite challenges and threats to one's spirituality," the announcement said. "Jehovah's Witnesses believe that a strong relationship with God is vital for spiritual well-being and personal happiness."
The Friday morning session will feature a keynote address on "How Jehovah Draws Close to Us" by Leslie Hudnall. Friday morning's symposium on "Imitate Those Who Maintained Intimacy With Jehovah" will discuss how Bible characters of old - including Abraham, Ruth, King Hezekiah and Mary, mother of Jesus - drew close to God and how it benefited them.
Friday afternoon, most of the program will focus on how family members can enhance their communication with one another based on their individual relationships with God. The session will conclude by focusing on why faith in God must be built on fact and reason. Gary Wong will be a guest speaker from the Hawaii Branch of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society in Honolulu.
Saturday morning, residents publicly will show their dedication to God during a baptism ceremony, and there will be an ordination of new ministers.
Sunday morning, a series of talks will provide a fresh examination of eight aspects of God's appealing personality, as revealed in the Scriptures.
Jeffrey Maielua, circuit overseer for Maui island, will present a public discourse on "How Can You Draw Close to God?"
At 1:45 p.m. Sunday, a full-costume drama set in the first century will focus on God's desire to deliver those close to him when he brings an end to wickedness on earth. The actors will come from various Maui congregations. The drama will be presented in English at the Castle Theater and in Spanish in the McCoy Theater.
Program sessions will begin at 9:20 a.m. each day. In addition to English, sessions will be held in Spanish (in the McCoy Theater). Admission is free, and no collections will be taken.
Jehovah's Witnesses from Lanai - as well as Spanish-speaking members from Maui, Oahu and the Big Island - also will join the convention. Worldwide, more than 7.3 million Jehovah's Witnesses belong to more than 105,000 congregations.
For more information, contact Clifford Mukai at (808) 357-1254 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.