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Get ready to hear 'the good news' — Jehovah's Witnesses are back to door-knocking after 2.5-year hiatus

The organization has resumed its house-to-house method of ministry and is planning in-person conventions for 2023.

A couple wearing masks talk with a woman on the front doorstep of her home
Ashley and Lonnie Bommer, who are Jehovah's Witnesses, talk with a Fargo neighbor. The organization resumed its trademark door-to-door ministry Sept. 1, 2022, after a more than 2 1/2 year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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FARGO — A trademark door-to-door ministry is underway again after a two-and-a-half year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are back to the business of knocking on doors and spreading what they call “the good news” as of Sept. 1.

“I’m looking forward to face-to-face interaction with my neighbors again,” said Ashley Bommer, of Fargo. She goes door-to-door with her husband, Lonnie Bommer.

“We’ve had many wonderful phone calls during the pandemic but I’ve missed … being able to see their personal expressions,” he said.

The resumption of the door-to-door ministry marks a complete return to all pre-pandemic, in-person activities for the 1.3 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in 13,000 congregations in the United States, the organization said in a news release.

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Their houses of worship, called Kingdom Halls, reopened April 1, and in-person conventions are once again being planned for 2023.

In March 2020, Jehovah’s Witnesses suspended public ministry nationwide as COVID-19 spread.

Virtual meetings and conventions became the norm, and witnesses conducted their ministry exclusively through letters, phone calls and virtual Bible studies.

The McEwen family of Fargo pulled out a computer and web camera and rearranged their living room furniture twice a week to take part in virtual sessions.

The so-called “year without knocking” dragged into two years, as new variants of the virus continued to pop up.

The suspension was unprecedented, as Jehovah’s Witnesses had preached house-to-house without interruption for more than 100 years, even through two world wars.

Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses, said the move helped keep communities and congregants safe.

“We believe that the early decision to shut down all in-person activities for more than two
years has saved many lives,” Hendriks said.

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Lifting of the door-to-door suspension coincides with a global campaign to distribute a new interactive Bible study program, which is available in hundreds of languages at no cost, the organization said.

Huebner is a 35+ year veteran of broadcast and print journalism in Fargo-Moorhead.
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