CASA GRANDE — With a message of “Love Never Fails,” thousands of people, including representatives from more than 41 countries, arrived in Phoenix earlier this week for the international convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses. And before the convention events began on Friday in Phoenix, some international delegates visited Casa Grande to meet people and invite them to the convention.
“Part of the international delegation has been out enjoying parts of Arizona and several came here to Casa Grande,” said David Cohen, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses of the United States. “They’re here for the convention, but as part of their excursions, they went out to knock on doors and meet people and invite them to attend the convention.”
While talking with communities, the delegates share a message of love and hope with the people they meet, said Gene Beltran, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses of the United States.
“The Jehovah’s Witnesses see people collectively as one big community,” Beltran said. “And in a time when love seems to be diminishing, and we’re all shocked by the recent shootings, sharing a message of love based on the Bible can bring hope.”
More than 40,000 people were expected to attend the three-day convention, which began on Friday and ends on Sunday.
With more than 1,000 members of the Jehovah's Witnesses faith in Casa Grande, Eloy, Maricopa and Coolidge, Beltran said he expected to see many Pinal County residents among the attendees.
About 5,000 representatives from 41 countries, including Italy, South Korea, Germany, Japan, Australia and others were among the attendees.
The convention features talks and interviews, multimedia presentations, Bible discussions and a viewing of the feature film “The Story of Josiah: Love Jehovah; Hate What Is Bad.”
On Saturday, public discussion will focus on how Bible principles can help people show unfailing love to one another.
Events at the convention on Sunday include a public Bible-based discussion entitled “True Love in a Hate-filled World” that aims to help people understand how showing love can help overcome prejudice and hatred, information about the event said.
“For me, the convention is a lesson in love,” Cohen said. “It teaches me how I can interact with my family in a more kind manner and be more loving and understanding.”
Events and discussions are free to attend and open to all.
Convention hours on Saturday are 9:20 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. On Sunday, the convention opens at 9:20 and closes at 3:30 p.m. at Chase Field, 401 E. Jefferson St., in Phoenix.
To learn more, visit the Jehovah’s Witnesses website at jw.org.