Greenfield – Do you have time to talk about Jesus Christ on the phone?
In this unprecedented period, Jehovah's Witnesses have answered the phone and wrote letters to people. Their beliefs are synonymous, and their door-to-door department has been suspended in order to spread its message without spreading the new coronavirus that has killed 361,000 Americans.
"What we did in Greenfield actually reflected what Jehovah's Witnesses did on a global scale. This is an organizational change. This is not just a change in Massachusetts or the Greenfield area," Longmeadow One of the church elders, Erik Glass (Erik Glass) said.
"Once this virus began to spread globally and in the United States of our organization, they did intentionally suspend our public affairs. It is based on two principles: The first principle is our respect for life and our neighbors. Love.
"I mean, that's why we deliver home. We love our neighbors. We want to share the good news with them," Glass said. "So, out of love, you must also show action. Therefore, we don't want to spread the virus to our neighbors, nor do we want to get the virus ourselves."
Northfield resident Jay Whitney, an elder of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses at 290 Shelburne Road, Greenfield, said the meeting was temporarily suspended in the first week of March. Local witnesses have been in contact with people in their area, writing letters and calling people they knew in previous years of volunteer work. They also obtain contact information from public directories.
But Glass and Whitney say that alternative communication methods are not new to faith.
"We have been writing letters and calling, but this is not our main focus. It is much better to share the encouraging information in the Bible, if possible, to do it yourself, and we really like it." Whitney Say.
"However, when this happened, we simply shifted the focus from one door to another, and then we started writing and calling. The response was very positive. We received a reply, thank you.
"We also received a call back. We are quite interested in this," he added. "We are very satisfied with the response, and found that we are reaching some people who may not have been contacted in door-to-door work, which is good."
Jehovah’s Witnesses quote specific scriptures, such as Matthew 28:19-20 (where Jesus told his followers to “make disciples of all nations”) as their reason for preaching from house to house. They usually distribute two literary works titled "The Watchtower" and "Wake Up".
Andre'Martine, the elder of the Chicopee Church, worked with Glass to handle media relations in this area of Massachusetts. He said that before the large-scale blockade, all Kingdom Halls were required to Disinfect chairs, tables and high contact surfaces before and after the meeting. He said that the last face-to-face meeting in Chicopee was March 12.
Whitney said that local residents are very knowledgeable about safety procedures, "because it makes sense."
He said: “You only need to consider the conditions and make adjustments at any time,” he added, adding that church services are now usually carried out through the online video conferencing platform Zoom.
After the pandemic is over, three elders interviewed said that face-to-face meetings and door-to-door services will resume. Whitney said the initial anxiety caused by the pandemic seems to have been replaced by what some people call "COVID fatigue." Glass said that perhaps more people than ever are looking for relief and comfort.
"We are still here. We are still here to provide you with comfort." He said. "We are here to teach and guide people to read the Bible. But, currently, it is done through other means (virtual, phone, letter).
Glass added: "Even if our knock on the door becomes quiet, our love is still very active."
Glass said that there are approximately 13,000 congregations in the United States and 8.6 million Jehovah's Witnesses on 240 lands. Faith’s official website,
, Has been translated into 1000 languages.
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