Have Faith: Knocking on the door

Island Jehovah’s Witnesses have a message to share.

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As I’m writing this, I’m thinking about Nancy Slonim Aronie’s column, “Writing from the Heart,” which you’ll find in this week’s edition of The Times. She writes about jumping to conclusions and passing judgment. Why did my thoughts fly to her column? Because Jason Eldredge with Cape and Islands Jehovah Witnesses sent me an email about a new issue of the Watchtower that’s coming out this month. He wanted to let me know what it’s about, and that Island Jehovah’s Witnesses will be distributing it soon. He wrote, “I wanted to take a moment to share some of the exciting activity that the Matha’s Vineyard congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is involved with this month. Nearly 100 congregants on the Vineyard are joining a worldwide campaign to distribute a special copy of the Watchtower magazine in November.”

Immediately I thought, “Oh, I’ll have to watch out for these folks.” When someone knocks on my door and wants to talk about Jesus, I tend to revert right back to my judgmental self and close the door after a quick “No thank you.” Hardly ever do I think about the courage it must take to even knock on my door. Would I ever have the fortitude to knock on strangers’ doors to talk to them about my faith? No, not likely. I like to keep those parts of myself under lock and key, only bringing them out when someone else brings it up first.
So rather than greet these visitors with a closed door, this time I’m going to let them in. Not just because I think it would be hospitable, but because Jason told me what this Watchtower issue hopes to accomplish.

“The Watchtower, titled ‘A Better World Is Near,’ answers the age-old ‘doomsday’ question, Does the Bible predict the end of the world? with a comforting answer that may surprise many readers. I know you’ve written about the trepidation of some when they think about the future,” Jason wrote. “This magazine shares the Bible-based reasons some of your neighbors have for looking ahead with optimism and faith. More than 36 million printed copies are expected to be distributed worldwide, along with almost 400 languages being available as a digital publication.” That’s what I call outreach.

Rather than a publication that points out all the negativity in the world, this one hopes to do the opposite, and I applaud the JWs for doing that. I may not agree with what is written in their publication or with every one of their beliefs, but I do agree that a new way of looking at things may be in order. Not everyone believes the world as we know it will end, but I bet a lot of people think about the finality of our resources and what happens when they are gone. So instead of closing the door, this time I’m going to listen. I don’t have to agree with Jehovah’s Witnesses, but I do want to respect them.

 

The Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center hosts Hanukkah at the Tabernacle on Friday, Dec. 3, at 5:30 pm. Join Rabbi Caryn Broitman, along with musical accompaniment, for candle lighting, singing, latkes and more. All ages are welcome, and masks are required. What a perfect way to celebrate Hanukkah.

Guess what’s back? I heard from Mary-Jean Miner, and after months of canceling due to COVID, the Neighborhood Convention is gathering in December. The Minnesingers will preview their upcoming holiday concert. Hosted by the United Methodist Church, the event will be at the Campground on Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 11 am. Everyone is welcome, and it’s a nice way to ease into the holiday season.

Bring a bag lunch for fellowship at the Parish Hall after the meeting, and do wear a mask. For more information, call Mary-Jean at 508-221-8703, or email her at mjminer7@yahoo.com.

If you have news for “Have Faith,” email me at connie@mvtimes.com

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