Illinois (USA) – It Takes a Village: Volunteers Keep Assembly Hall Running Smoothly
In 1989, thousands of volunteers donated their time and skills to build the Jehovah’s Witness Assembly Hall in Romeoville, and now, nearly 22 years later, hundreds volunteer their time on a weekly basis to clean and maintain the building.
Each Monday, about 100 Jehovah’s Witnesses from the greater Chicago area gather to paint, change light bulbs, vacuum the seats and clean the floors in the Assembly Hall. Their work has kept the building in pristine condition. On Fridays, individual congregations with up to 150 members gather to clean as well.
“What the volunteers do every week has kept the building in very good repair,” volunteer Dawn Kruzinski said. “The number of volunteers varies on an as needed basis, and right now we have many volunteers because teenagers are home on winter break.”
Mondays are considered maintenance days, whereas Fridays are focused more heavily on cleaning.
“The volunteers do things I would never even think about doing at home,” Kruzinski said.
Those things include scrubbing the grout of tile work and dusting the heating and air ducts throughout the building.
“They make sure nothing is ever in disrepair,” Kruzinski added.
The Assembly Hall is used all but 11 weekends throughout the year by five congregations with members coming from as far as Peoria and Indiana. The congregations gather on a circuit schedule with about 2,500 people gathering each Sunday for Bible-based public talks.
“The talks are based on the Bible but have modern applications,” Kruzinski said. “Any gatherings we have are open to the public and they are encouraged to come.
For dates, times and languages of services, please call the Romeoville Assembly Hall at 815-886-9700. It is located at 800 N. Schmidt Rd. in Romeoville.
The Assembly Hall consists of a large auditorium that seats 3,855, a kitchen, several smaller meeting and conference rooms, a mezzanine area that seats an additional 500 and is also used for language lessons, a dining area, offices and four apartments.
The meeting room on the mezzanine level is what Kruzinski described as, “a place to come and learn.”
Members of the congregation meet to listen to the assembly in their native language. Currently, the Romeoville Assembly Hall offers Polish, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Spanish and American Sign Language concurrent with the English assemblies.
The Assembly Hall also has two modestly furnished apartments for the overseers and two apartments for visiting speakers.
Baptisms are performed each Saturday during assembly. Kruzinski estimates about 30 people are baptized each week. Members also gather for Bible readings and one- or two-day assemblies. A special one-day assembly includes a morning and afternoon session and typically begins at 9:40 a.m. and ends around 4 p.m. The special two-day assemblies take place twice a year.
Volunteers built the Assembly Hall in just 10 months, and it continues to be maintained by volunteers. Voluntary contributions placed in contribution boxes around the Assembly Hall provide anonymity as well as the funds needed to provide and maintain the place of worship.
“We view our volunteerism as part of our worship,” Kruzinski said. “You never know what your service will be.”
Article source: http://romeoville.patch.com