We hope you have made your plans for the Feast of Tabernacles 1999—and if not, we hope you make them soon. Brethren have more sites to choose from than ever before. But those who sponsor sites have more difficulty than ever before. From talking to those who plan sites, it seems that brethren are making up their minds which site to attend later and later each year.
The problem is understandable because choosing a feast site is much more complex than it was years ago. For many years in the WCG it was straightforward: The format and messages at the various sites were all very similar. Members were given a list of sites and a list of "official" motels early in the year. They were given a date when they could begin making reservations. If they did not make reservations on that date, the best sites and motels would often be full. (Before the 1980’s, members were assigned a Feast site and had to apply if they wanted to transfer to another.)
Today it is very different. Members face questions like:
a. My relatives and friends attend several different church organizations. Is there a site to which we can all agree to go?
b. My relatives cannot agree on a common site. Is there a place where my and their organizations have sites close together so we can all stay together, but attend nearby sites?
c. Will my church organization still exist or will I still be a member of it by Feast time this year?
d. What doctrines will be taught at a particular site?
e. What form of services will be used at a particular site?
f. What music will be used at a particular site?
g. What calendar is used to determine the dates of the Feast?
These questions can be difficult. But please remember the sponsors who plan Feasts. When they try to make reservations for meetings, rooms, dinners, activities, etc., the first thing they are asked is: "How many people will be there?" Managers of such facilities are not impressed with, "I have no idea." In many cases, making reservations requires down payments of hundreds or thousands of dollars. Brethren can help Feast sponsors by letting them know now where they are planning to go. If your plans change, let them know about the change. This will help sponsors provide a better Feast, and save them from spending money on unnecessary facilities. Thanks a lot.