WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Day one of a global convention wrapped up earlier Friday evening in Luzerne County.

It made its way here for the first time since 2019.

The Jehovah’s Witness Convention has come back to Mohegan Sun Arena after a long hiatus due to the pandemic.

Thousands came out Friday to celebrate its return and learn the important message the convention aims to share.

Thousands filled the seats of Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza on Friday – all brought together by one common belief.

“There’s something special when we get to have a larger group of individuals together, friends that we haven’t seen in a while, people that we are getting newly acquainted with. it really helps us to see how our faith is enduring at this time,” says Roby Boothby the convention coordinator.

The Jehovah’s Witness Convention is one of the largest convention organizations in the world – and year after year, they bring their following to Wilkes-Barre Township.

“This year, in fact, some 6,000 conventions worldwide in 500 languages, are being held all over the earth and here we are. we’re excited to be in Wilkes-Barre,” says Ken Swanson the public information at Jehovah’s Witness US.

And now that they’re back after a three-year pandemic pause, 2023’s convention theme revolves around something that many believe we need more of.

“Most of the speakers we have here are volunteers from across the area, there are some visiting from outside of the area. but they all are emphasizing the theme to exercise patience,” added Swanson.

“This year’s theme is what we desperately all need coming out of covid, ‘exercise patience’,” continued Boothby.

There will be over 40 presentations focused on exercising patience a practice they believe can give you a better life.

“We hope that everybody develops the quality of patience a little more, they could show that in their daily lives and they see how it improves their family life, their ability to function in society,” explained Swanson.

When the weekend-long event comes to a close, convention leaders are hoping people take what they learned back to their communities.

“As we go home to worship in our local communities, we will be able to help individuals in our communities as we preach from door to door,” said Boothby.

The weekend-long convention is free admission and all are welcome to attend.

To learn more about the event and the different presentations, head to jw.org.