KISSIMMEE – After a three-year pandemic pause, one of the largest convention organizations in the world has once again chosen Kissimmee to host its global three-day event, the 2023 “Exercise Patience”! Convention.
Prior to 2019, summers in Kissimmee were marked by Jehovah’s Witnesses filling hotels and restaurants as they attended their annual conventions at the Silver Spurs Arena at Osceola Heritage Park. In 2020, the pandemic interrupted that tradition in Kissimmee when the Witnesses canceled their in-person events throughout the world and held their convention programs as virtual events in more than 500 languages. Beginning August 4, 2023 in English, the Witnesses will bring that tradition back to Central Florida.
“The virtual format with which we conducted our conventions for the past three years reached millions around the globe and, at the same time, kept our communities safe. Now that we have the opportunity to be back together, well, there is nothing quite as wonderful,” said Keith Barros, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Some 6,000 conventions will be held worldwide as part of the 2023 “Exercise Patience”! Convention series. In Florida alone, 44 conventions will be held in six host cities. From Friday through Sunday, six convention sessions will explore the quality of patience, highlighting its modern-day relevance through Scriptural examples. A live baptism will be performed following the Saturday morning session and a prerecorded drama will be featured in two parts during the Saturday and Sunday afternoon sessions.
“Patience is one of those beautiful qualities that all Christians desire to display. Sadly, though, life’s pressures can make that a challenge,” says Barros. “Spending three days exploring aspects of this quality will, doubtless, help all of us in that regard.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses have been holding public conventions in stadiums, arenas, convention centers, and theaters around the world for more than 100 years. After resuming smaller in-person meetings and their public ministry during 2022, the summer of 2023 marks the first time they will gather at much larger regional events around the world since the lifting of pandemic restrictions.
The convention is open to the public and no collection is taken. For more information on the program or to find other convention locations and dates, please go to jw.org HYPERLINK “http://jw.org/” and navigate to the “About Us” tab.