Meetings – Assemblies – Gatherings

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Usually, the Fellowship Meeting is held on the first day of the week on Sunday mornings. These meetings are always held in a home and are presided over by an Elder (called Bishop in some countries) or Worker if one is present. It is considered the most important Meeting of the week. The Emblems (Communion) are served every Sunday to baptized 2×2 members.

Mid-week meetings are normally held on Wednesday evenings, always in a home. They are called Bible Study Meetings. Workers pre-select Topics or Bible chapters, and lists of these are printed and distributed annually. No communion is served.

Sanctioned meetings are the meetings the workers place in homes with their selected elders; i.e. the usual Fellowship Meetings. Unsanctioned meetings are meetings held in their homes that workers did not set up; e.g when workers removed meetings from various elders homes in Alberta, Canada and some elders continued to hold weekly meetings regardless.

Union Meetings are when Friends from two or more Meetings gather for a combined Meeting. They are typically held once a month on the first Sunday morning, always in a home.

Special Meetings are usually held annually, 6 months after the annual convention. Friends from a large radius attend. Locations for the meeting vary. They may be held in rented buildings, auditoriums, hotels, schools, convention grounds, tents–wherever a suitable place is available. The larger ones are held on Sunday, two meetings a day from around 10-12 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. with 1 hour lunches in between. In America, people provide their own sack lunches. In these meetings, several Workers (some visiting Workers) speak and there is a time for testimony for the Friends.

Some Workers Meetings or Conventions are held regular intervals and others are held infrequently and are limited to Workers only and a few handpicked members to facilitate the group, prepare and clean up meals, etc. Workers Meetings vary in size and scope. Some include all the workers in a small geographical area, such as a state; while others are regional and include all the workers in several states. Photographs of the attendees are often made and circulated.

Gospel Meetings/Missions are evangelistic services for the purpose of recruitment. They are held wherever suitable accommodations may be found, which may be in rented halls, private homes, banks, auditoriums, funeral chapels, on rare occasions in churches.

Gospel Meetings and Special Meetings are held in whatever building (or home) may be obtained (sometimes rented) in the desired area that will accommodate the expected crowd.

Generally, two workers will hold a Mission for a few weeks, with 2-3 meetings a week. These meetings are the only ones where Outsiders are welcome and are invited to attend. Most attendees are members who come to support the Workers. The purpose of these meetings is obtain new converts. Currently, most converts are children of professing parents.

See also: Church in the Home vs. Church Buildings