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Thousands prepare for gathering of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Rio Rancho

Have you heard the good news?

About 28,000 members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses are gathering this weekend and next at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho for their annual regional convention. The theme of this year’s convention is “Love Never Fails.”

Among them will be members of the 53 congregations in New Mexico, Southwestern Colorado and Arizona, but it is expected to draw adherents of the religion from an even wider area around the region, said Juan Lobato, local spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The regional event is part of a series of conventions from around the world, in which some of the speakers will appear on a big screen monitor, live or delayed streamed from remote locations. There will also be local speakers filling out the program, Lobato said.

An unusual aspect of the conventions, spanning six continents, 200 countries and 400 languages, is the program is exactly the same for all, Lobato said.

In Rio Rancho, the convention will be held in English this weekend and in Spanish next weekend. In August, a convention will be held in Farmington at the Farmington Civic Center, and will be in the Navajo language, he said.

“The concept of presenting one united program takes a lot of coordinating, but that’s what is amazing about it,” he said. “No matter where you attend, you will hear the same information.”

Among the topics that will be discussed will be:

• Taught by God to Love One Another, “which highlights our personal responsibility to demonstrate love toward individuals, whether it’s in families, at work or with friends,” Lobato said.

• Go on Walking in Love, which examines the different circumstances in life and among people from different countries that make the world seem “disunited at times,” and the “need to show that love to one another, no matter where we come from,” he said.

• Keep Yourself in God’s Love, will address Bible principles that demonstrate love, and how, by living by those principles “always results in a better life and better relationships with one another.”

The overall goal of the conventions, Lobato said, is to help individuals and families apply Bible principles in everyday life. “It’s a never-ending struggle for us to continue to be faithful, and for each individual to apply these principles, so we need these reminders and opportunities to get together, have fellowship and enjoy one another’s company.”

The convention is free and open to the public. Hours today are 9:20 a.m. to 4:50 p.m., and Sunday from 9:20 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The hours for next week’s events will be Friday and Saturday, June 14 and 15, 9:20 a.m. to 4:50 p.m., and Sunday, June 16, 9:20 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For further information, go to www.jw.org.

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