DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
"Look! How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in
unity! - Psalm 133:1.
To be read by all persons living in Bethel homes, both at headquarters and
in the branches. As you progress with the reading, please look up and read
every scripture cited. This booklet is the property of the Society and may
not be taken away from the home in which you reside.
Revised and Effective September 1, 1974
Printed by the WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF NEW YORK, INC. 124
Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201, U.S.A.
Made in the United States of America
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
COMING into one of the Society's homes will mean a change in your
lifea big change. But we at Bethel want to make that change as easy as
possible for you. Friendship with our brothers and sisters is the aim of
every one of us living here in these homes.
Now, how can this best be achieved? Lets start at the beginning. When you
first learned the truth, you began to make your mind over. You started to
fill your mind with new ideas. You got these ideas from reading God's Word,
the Bible, and you enjoyed them. These new truths thrilled you. Now you knew
the right thing to do. You accommodated yourself to new ways of living. You
quit being fashioned after the old system of things and you found out that,
by making your mind over, a pleasant, happy new way of living was yours. You
heard and believed the truth, and it was wonderful. Now your desire is to
live in the new system. You are working to that end, so you continue to take
in knowledge of Jehovah and his Son, because you know that this means
everlasting life.Rom. 12:1, 2; John 17:3.
Being here at Bethel will be a new experience, also a new way of living and
a pleasant one. We will admit right from the start that it isn't like living
at home with your father and mother, yet it is still one of the very best
places on earth to be living right now. In many places throughout the world
our Bethel homes are big, our families large, larger in numbers than your
natural family, but we are still one family and we dwell together in unity.
In some places our families are small and it is easy for all of us to get
acquainted with one another. But the point is this: We want you to feel at
home since arriving; we want you to succeed. Always remember that brothers
have been living here before you came and they have been getting along
together in unity for many years. Bethel homes have been in operation a long
time, and the occupants have contentment with their godliness. (1 Tim. 6:6
8) We have learned certain routines and habits, and they are good habits
because they are based on God's Word and we ac- complish much work as a
result. We like it this way.
You are now a newcomer and certainly you don't expect the Bethel family to
change its ways of living and re- arrange them to accommodate each newcomer
in the home; therefore you may have some changes to make. You're like a baby
here. You're new in our family and we all
4 DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
love you and we want to get acquainted with you. We know that you want to
get acquainted and accustomed to us too. We want you to love Bethel as we
do. So let's get acquainted right away.
The Brooklyn Bethel is a large home and hundreds of people live here. Since
the Brooklyn Bethel family is so large, we may, when we see you, think you
are just one of the many visitors that come in each day. We may think that
you have some friend who is looking after you; so, not wanting to intrude
into someone else's business, we go right ahead with our busy routine of
life. We do not know that you are a new arrival. So would you please
introduce yourself to us as you meet us at different places in the home, the
factory or at a congregation? Thank you!
We are scattered all around in the home and factory and offices. In some
Bethel homes the family is not quite as scattered, because it is smaller.
But, believe us, we want to know you. Sometimes, though, we are so busy with
our routine in the home, factory or office, or with the house- to-house
service and Bible studies, that we find ourselves with barely enough time to
say Hello. So stop us and say, "Hello, I am a new member"; and we will try
to learn your name, tell you ours and get acquainted. Please, try to get
acquainted with us right from the start and help us to meet you. You are a
part of our Bethel family.
Now for a little bit of information about us. We may work in an office, do
housework, work in the laundry, print magazines and books, and cook
wholesome meals; we also study our Bibles. Some of us work on farms; all of
us go to school. And in all of this, we are really full-time servants of
God's kingdom. We have a lot of preaching to do. We enjoy our family
Watchtower study. We go to our congre- gation meetings and share in them,
and we want you to get the full benefit of these meetings with us. We want
you to enjoy your place in this big theocratic organization. We want you to
do your part, and we want to help you to do it. When you know us as a busy,
active family, you are going to be happy in our Bethel home. So be sure to
get acquainted right from the start, the first day and the first week; let
us know you are here. Thanks a lot!
We know that a Christian must keep on taking in spiritual food. This is true
with regard to our family just as much as it is for any other Christian
family. As a family we have our own weekly Watchtower study. Every member of
the family should set aside this evening for study with the family. Nothing
should interfere with it. Feeding on the things that Jehovah provides on his
table is essential to
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNlTY 5
gain life; don't neglect this study. This Bethel family study of The
Watchtower is exclusively for the family; no out- siders are invited to
attend unless they are overnight guests in the Bethel home.
The Watchtower study is followed by the Theocratic Ministry School. All who
are members of the family are enrolled and all should take part in this
meeting too. We are sure you realize that everything Jehovah provides
through his organization is important and necessary. So come to both
meetings; make comments. Feel at home.
You will probably find it is a little difficult to get up in front of the
Bethel family to give your first talks. But all of us went through that
ordeal and lived; it will do you good. You may feel that everyone here is so
experienced and has been at Bethel so many years that you should not even
try. That is the wrong idea. We want you to be an ex- perienced, mature
person in our family. So you need this training as all of us do.
You will also be assigned to a local congregation. You will attend the
congregation book studies, Theocratic Min- istry School and service
meetings, as well as the public talks and Watchtower studies, under the
supervision of the local congregation with which you associate. It cer-
tainly is for your good to attend these meetings. The more knowledge you
take in during your youth, the happier you will be when you become of more
mature years. All of us can tell you from experience that what you learn
when you are young you will be very grateful for later on in life. Right
study habits will work to your advantage!
You should arrange for some time during the week to study privately. You
should read The Watchtower and Awake! as soon as you can after you get them
in your room. Read all the new publications of the Society and keep abreast
of the things that the Society knows to be im- portant for the blessing of
all of Jehovah's witnesses.
Usually all Bethel homes have a study room or library, and this is provided
for the use of the family. Concordances and files of The Watchtower and
other publications are kept by the Bethel home in a place convenient for all.
Also a good dictionary should be on hand in every Bethel home and available
to the members of the family so that they can improve their language,
learning to pronounce and to use words correctly every day as well as when
giving talks. The branch office should mark in the front of all its library
books that they are the property of the branch. Someone should be appointed
to look after the library so that it will always be in a tidy condition.
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
Jehovah has blessed his organization, as you well know. It certainly has
grown rapidly in the last few years. Many new Bethel homes have been set up
throughout the world at the various branch locations. We feel sure that
Jehovah is pleased with the praises we are bringing to him day by day and we
take great joy in carrying on true worship. Everyone who works in a Bethel
home or a branch office shows interest in his brothers who are sharing in
the worldwide witness work. He has a privilege of service that many other
publishers do not enjoy; he is in this special service full time and can
work in the interests of all his fellow workers in the country where he
serves, helping to supply them with the things they need. We need you; that
is why you were called. You will learn a lot, and the more years you spend
at Bethel the better servant you will be. Yes, you said, "Here I am! Send
me." (Isa. 6:8) Now you have a special appointment in Jehovah's organization.
We are not high-minded, feeling superior to someone else because of our
service, but we do appreciate the organization and our part in it. In the
same way as the eye is important to the body, and as the ear would not say
to the hand, "I have no need of you," we need you, and that is why we called
you to Bethel.
Jehovah's witnesses have land, buildings, furnishings, machinery, household
equipment, linen, food everything that goes to make up the equipment that is
committed into our care. We who have made expression of wanting to live in
the Bethel home and who have been called to such a place certainly feel a
responsibility in using these things. So in these various dwelling Places we
want to use the property and equipment in the best way to praise Jehovah. We
all look after it and hold it in trust for Jehovah and his theocratic
As you know, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania is a
Pennsylvania corporation, while Watch- tower Bible and Tract Society of New
York, Inc., is a New York corporation. The International Bible Students
Associa- tion is a British corporation, and we have throughout the world a
number of other corporations that are used by Je- hovah's witnesses. The
president of the above-named three corporations has general supervision and
control over all the business interests of the Society and is very much
interested in the welfare of all those in Bethel homes everywhere. He wants
to see the work move along well in all of the branch offices and on the
farms and in all other places that come under the direct supervision of the
office of the president.
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY 7
So that all of us may dwell together in unity in these homes, it is
necessary to set out some instructions that will help us all to get along
well together. (Prov. 15:22, 23; 19:2) All of us know that everyone who
becomes a member of one of these many families has dedicated himself to
Jehovah, and, according to his application, has told us that he has
symbolized his dedication by water immersion. (Matt. 16:24; 28:19, 20) From
what you have told us we know that you are in full accord with the Society's
teachings and that you accept the Bible as the Word of God. (John 8:32;
17:17; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17) We know, too, that the truth is advancing more and
more as we approach the perfect day; so it is necessary for us to keep on
studying. An under- standing of God's Word and of his principles of truth
and righteousness is more to be desired than fine gold.Ps. 19: 7-11.
The reason we have come to the Bethel home is that we love Jehovah God above
everything else. Loving him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength
would certainly re- quire that we love our brothers too. In fact, Jesus said:
'" You must love your neighbor as yourself." (Mark 12:29-31; 1 John 4:20,
21) If we keep these two commandments, lov- ing God first and our neighbors
as we do ourselves, we certainly will not have any difficulty in getting
along with our brothers and sisters in the home where we are living. In fact,
if we would carry out all the principles of truth and righteousness that God
sets forth in his Word, we would not need this booklet of counsel, which
sets out some helpful advice as to how we can get along together in unity.
But we make mistakes, and so that we shall under- stand one another and what
we may expect from one another, the Society publishes this booklet. If we
really love our neighbor as we do ourselvesand certainly we do love
ourselves, because we are always looking after ourselves we shall get along
just fine with everyone.
So, now that you are a new member of the family, let's see what you can
expect of us as the organization moves along and, at the same time, what we
may expect of you in order to make our life happy and contented here in our
daily service to Jehovah.
First of all, we should appreciate that Jehovah God is the Great Theocrat.
We recognize him as supreme and we have full faith that he is directing his
organization through his Son, Jesus Christ. We should realize that organi
zation instructions come from the head down and not from the bottom up. We
who are young and new in these homes certainly want to find our right place
in the organization and be contented. We should have confidence in Jehovah's
organization and that Jehovah places the members in the
8 DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
body or organization as it pleases him. We should be de- lighted to do
whatever is required. Some of us act in the capacity of branch overseers,
factory overseers, Bethel over- seers, teachers or special servants, and in
numerous other assignments, but every one of us is a publisher of Jehovah's
kingdom.1 Cor. 12:18, 28, 29; Ex. 18:21
Our brothers who are in charge of various departments of work have had
experience in those departments and can help you and teach you much if you
are willing to learn. After you have mastered the work in the way you have
been taught and can do it excellently, then it will be time enough if you
have suggestions for improvements to talk to those elders in charge about
such improvements that you think will help all concerned. It is good first
to follow the training given. You learn more quickly that way. We be- lieve
that everyone in the Bethel home is working to advance the interests of the
Kingdom. We will keep on believing that unless someone proves otherwise. "By
their fruits you will recognize them."Matt. 7:16.
We feel confident that Jehovah will keep his organization clean and will
take out all those who cause others to stumble or who assume the attitude of
a boss who is trying to lord it over the brothers. It is good to extend
mercy and to be patient with such persons for a while. Maybe they will
change their course of action when given some counsel and reproof. But if
they do not have God's spirit they just cannot last at Bethel. All in
Jehovah's organization must be diligent workers. Those who are placed in
positions of responsibility as elders should be the best examples to all
their fellow workers in word and in deed.1 Pet. 5: 1-3.
The president of the Society appoints overseers in Bethel and has the
privilege and responsibility of making any changes that he sees fit. The
president of the Society ap- points the Bethel overseer who looks after the
interests of the Bethel home, the office overseer in charge of the office
management, the factory overseer who looks after general production and the
shipping of factory production, the farm overseers who look after the farms
and homes in connection with each and the branch overseers in charge of the
work in general in the various countries. In some instances these overseers
may hold more than one position. For example, the branch overseer may be the
office overseer as well. Other appointments of brothers over divisions of
work are usually made by the branch overseer, but he should make
recommendations to the president before any selections are made of overseers
to look after certain divi- sions of work. Thus if it becomes necessary to
appoint someone to look after the pressroom as an assistant to the branch
overseer, or if someone is to be put in charge
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY 9
of the kitchen and will have Jurisdiction over other persons, or if someone
is to be appointed to look after the service desk with considerable
responsibility in connection with the handling of congregation matters, or
if someone is to be appointed to do the translating of the Society's
publications into another language, such appointments should always be
brought to the attention of the president for final ap- proval. The
president may have someone else in mind. Every member of the Bethel family,
no matter where he is located in Jehovah's organization, should feel
perfectly free to register a complaint if he is mistreated by another
individual. These complaints may be registered with the branch overseer or
directly to the president, but I would like to say now that, whenever
possible, such differences should be settled privately between the brothers
involved. It will save you a lot of heartaches and bring you great happiness
if you can gain your brother without calling in others. (Matt. 5:21-24; Luke
17:3, 4) If you have difficulties with your brother, it is always best to go
to him first before you bring someone else in. Don't gossip about your
trouble. Handle it yourself, or, if you must, go to an older brother, an
elder, if you can't straighten it out. Don't carry bitterness in your heart.
(Eph. 4:31, 32) If you can't settle it after you have taken this course of
action, then, of course, you can write to the president about your
difficulties, but you ought to supply the other brother in your complaint
with a copy of your letter. Remember that we want to dwell together in unity.
If we follow God's Word, we will; but we forget to do this some- times and
so have trials and difficulties. Problems will arise in the Bethel home just
as they do anywhere else in Je- hovah's organization, because we are born in
sin and shaped in iniquity. But if we keep on making our minds over and
follow Jehovah's admonition, there should be less trouble. Let us always be
contented and happy, living to- gether as a family.
It is left to the discretion of the overseers appointed by the president to
assign the members of the family in var- ious homes and factories to their
work. We do not ask individuals to select their jobs, but we feel that the
proper spirit to have is that of Isaiah: "Here I am! Send me." We feel, too,
that if you are asked to do a job, the one asking you believes that you can
do it. Even though you feel that you do not have the natural ability, try to
do it with all your heart and mind and ask Jehovah's blessing on your
efforts. Have in mind, too, that you may be moved from place to place, but
don't think we are displeased. Perhaps
10 DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
we haven't found the right kind of work for you to do, so we keep trying. Of
course, if you are lazy and indifferent toward your privileges you will
probably be told, but you will be told for your own good. Jehovah is not
pleased with a slug- gard. (Prov. 6:6; 13:4, AV) We should be happy to work
hard and to serve God wherever we are. Remember, being in Jehovah's
organization and having any work at all in that organization is an honor and
Every member of the Bethel family receives a small allowance monthly; it
makes no difference if he is the president or some other individual. The
president of the Society determines what the allowances will be for all
those working in the branches.
A Christian should have good morals. Jehovah is dis- pleased with immoral
persons and such will not inherit the kingdom of God. There are a few things
that I would like to say here in this connection. I am sure you know them,
but this will serve to refresh your memory. Jehovah has no pleasure in a
thief, an evildoer or a busybody in other men's matters. (1 Pet. 4: 15) No
one needs to use filthy language to express his thoughts. The vocabulary
available in all languages is sufficient to get our ideas across without
nasty, filthy words. If one has had the bad habit of using filthy language
before learning the truth, it is high time for him to get such words out of
his mind and make his mind over. A person can be emphatic, if necessary,
without using bad language. Our speech should be positive and up- building
and, if it is, we will be in harmony with the Christian organization's way
of doing things. Jas. 3:10, 11; 1 Tim. 6:3-5.
Proper respect for persons of both sexes must always be maintained.
Politeness and kindness are always ap- preciated. (1 Cor. chap. 7; Rom.
1:20-32) Men are given places of responsibility, and those placed in such
positions should be respected by all. The women should always keep their
proper place and recognize Jehovah's arrangement as to their position in His
organization. (1 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim. 2:11-13) Filthy habits and bodily
uncleanness will not be tolerated at Bethel. All should keep hygienically
clean and care for their own health. (2 Cor. 7:1) Drunkenness is con- demned
by Jehovah and will not be allowed. (Prov. 23:21; 1 Cor. 6:10) It is
expected that all who become members of a Bethel family have ceased any
filthy and unscriptural habits that they might have engaged in prior to
learning the truth If anyone needs help- along any of these lines,
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY 11
talk to an elder at Bethel and he will be glad to help you from the
Scriptures. Jehovah's organization must remain clean; those who do not want
to practice good conduct, but who want to live in the way of the old system
will, when discovered, be dismissed from the family.2 Tim. 3:1-7.
Wine and liquors may be used in moderation by the members of the family if
any so desire. But when such beverages are brought into the home they should
be used in such a way as not to stumble others.1 Pet. 4:3. Those who have
dedicated themselves to Jehovah should never give anyone cause to point the
finger of reproach at Jehovah's organization. Never act improperly in public
or in private. What you do that is observed by others will cause them to
believe that the rest of the family act the same way. While this may not be
true, still an organization is judged by those that represent it. Let your
actions be based on the principles of truth and righteousness. Love your
neighbor as you do yourself. If you ~o this, you will conduct yourself
properly toward your brothers and all people. Gal. 5:19-26; Eph 5:1518; 1
A clean person and a clean room will bring you happiness and contentment. It
will contribute to good health. There is no reason for anyone to be dirty.
Ample provisions are made for taking baths and keeping one's body clean. It
is a good practice to bathe daily. Do not only keep yourself clean, but
clean up after yourself; rinse out the washbasin after you use it. Keep
things tidy in your room; remember, your roommate lives there too. Things
decorative or orna- mental may be displayed in your room; however, papers,
magazines, books left lying around and clothing that is not put away only
detract from the appearance of the room and make more work for those
cleaning your room. Also keep your desk, working tables and machinery clean
at work. You will be able to use them better and the machinery will run more
Remember that you are a member of a family and you are expected to keep
confidence with the family and the organization. Many things that are said
to the family by the one at the head of the Bethel table or by the one in
charge of the home are for the family only. No one should communicate with
brothers outside the Bethel home con- cerning new publications that may be
manufactured or letters that are being printed, or send out reports about
matters discussed at the Bethel table that strictly involve
12 DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
our family. These are confidential to the family.Compare Matthew 17:9.
Information that the Society desires to communicate to the brothers outside
the Bethel home will be given them in due time through The Watchtower, Awake!,
Kingdom Min- utry or by letters mailed by the Society. Letter writing, of
course, is a fine thing. Encouraging words and helpful suggestions can be
given to relatives, others in the full-time service and publishers on the
outside. However, we should never include confidential matters and
especially not gossip in our letters; neither should we gossip within the
family. Prov. 17:4; 26:2~22.
Remember, your mother and father, especially if they are Jehovah's witnesses,
are very much interested in you. There is a natural family bond of love.
They would like to hear from you once in a while. Why not write your mother
and father once a week. There are many things that you can write them
aboutyour experiences in the field service, your congregational meetings,
experiences related to the Bethel family by travelling representatives, and
personal activities, aside from the details about work that you handle at
Bethel. They spent a lot of time with you and cared for you daily before you
came to Bethel. They miss you. A letter will help them.
Details about the individual work assigned to you as a member of the family
are confidential. What you are given to do is your business. You are
requested not to communicate information from your department to another
department. If we wanted you to know the details of the other persons' work
we would have assigned that work to you. Married couples serving in
different departments should not discuss confidential details of their work
when at home. If you have problems, take them up with the elder in charge.
The same is true concerning roommates. Confidential Society matters received
in the mail should be handled confidentially. Information to be announced
generally will be presented by the one in charge of the home or the factory.
If you are to know what is going on in other departments, you will be told
through the proper overseer.
We are interested in the welfare of our brothers, but working hours are not
for visiting. That is the time to work. If we find that we haven't enough to
do, then we should report to the overseer in charge of where we work. When
we waste time talking unnecessarily to other people, it is a waste of their
time as well as ours.
A capable, sympathetic person should be assigned to first aid. First-aid
equipment should be available to all who
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY 13
may get hurt or bruised. If they need someone to help them with their wounds,
then the one assigned should be told immediately. If a major accident occurs,
the one in charge of first aid should get in touch immediately with the
over- seer in charge of the branch or home, who will see that the injured
person is cared for properly. If necessary, the overseer will call a doctor
or send the injured person to a hospital. A full and accurate report on the
accident should be typewritten for future reference. If there was any care-
lessness on the part of the individual or on the part of the management in
not guarding moving parts of the machinery, these things should be corrected.
Keep in mind that there is always danger near moving machinery. Therefore,
care should always be taken by those operating machines when working or
cleaning around them. It would be better to stop the machine if some
adjustments need to be made. Do not use rags to clean machinery ex- cept
when it is stopped and the power is off. Machine parts can be purchased, but
we can't buy fingers and hands; so please be careful and do not take
chances. Always be care- ful around machines in motion. Your safety is what
you should be interested in as well as that of your brothers.
CARE OF THE FAMILY
Brothers brought into the family are believed to be strong and healthy and,
according to their applications, there is nothing seriously wrong with them.
The Society will try to keep its members healthy. We do so by providing them
with clean rooms, comfortable sleeping quarters, wholesome food and good
conditions under which to live and carry on their daily routine. If an
individual gets sick and it is believed necessary to call a doctor, the
brother in charge should not hesitate to do so. If the branch office can
make arrangements with dentists or optometrists or other specialists to get
re- duced rates for the care of the teeth and eyes of the family, this
should be done. If the branch overseer can arrange for free treatments for
members of the family, then the mem- bers of the family can be called from
their work at various intervals for checkups or treatments. If it is during
working hours, please notify the brother in charge of your depart- ment
before going for medical attention. It is a good thing for members of the
family who are not feeling well to report that to the one in charge of first
aid. Maybe some advice can be given to the individual that will help him to
get over a cold or other difficulty. Getting to bed early in the evening
right after supper when feeling ill is better than going out. Rest and sleep
are the best healers. It may be necessary to isolate a sick person and
restrict visitors to
14 DWELLlNG TOGETHER IN UNITY
keep the ailment from spreading. Those who get sick will be given needed
If one of the brothers in the home is a barber, arrange- ments can be made
for him to cut the hair of the other brothers and sisters. A schedule should
be drawn up and the brothers called according to the schedule to have their
Remember that the money the Society spends is not furnished by us. It was
contributed by those who want to see Kingdom interests advanced. We should
not waste food, electricity, water, supplies or equipment. All of us should
be careful and economical. When you are given machinery to operate or tools
to use, you should take good care of them. Be sure to oil and clean your
machines according to the schedule established by the branch overseer or the
one in charge. Waste in Jehovah's organization should be at a minimum.Prov.
18:9; John 6:12.
All lost equipment should be reported immediately. Any- one deliberately
destroying equipment will be required to pay for it. Lights should not be
left on when not needed. Be sure to turn water faucets completely off. There
are many ways in which you can help to avoid needless ex- penses by just
being careful. Things needing repairs should be reported in writing. The
Society's buildings are kept in good condition inside and out But after you
report in writing the need of repairs, the responsibility is no longer yours.
It becomes the responsibility of the brother in charge if you have made the
written report to him.
In the Society's buildings where there are elevators, those who need to
climb more than three nights of stairs or descend more than six flights of
stairs are permitted to use the elevators. Those who are infirm or those
over thirty- five years of age may use the elevators at any time.
Radiators should be turned completely off when rooms are not occupied. If
you are in the room and it gets too warm, turn the radiator off. Never have
the windows open and the radiator on at the same time. When you are living
or working in a room with someone else, if the room be- comes too warm or
too cool it would be well to consult the other person before changing the
temperature. It may be that you are underclad and could put on a sweater or
a jacket, which would make the temperature just right for both of you. If it
becomes too warm, the first thing to do is to turn off the heat. After this
has been done, if the room still remains too warm, then you can open a
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY 15
comfort in working, a temperature between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit seems
to be the best. In some countries it does not get that cool, so one just
becomes accustomed to the higher temperature.
EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES
No large expenditures or purchases of any machinery or of property or
anything out of the routine needs should be made without the approval of the
president of the So- ciety. Before anything may be purchased, a requisition
must be written out and approved by the overseer appointed by the president
or by the president himself. The approved requisition should go to the
purchasing clerk, who will make out a purchase order. This order will go to
the seller, and a copy should be attached to the requisition so that it can
be checked with the receipt of goods and the bill of sale before payment is
made. Any person who buys some- thing in the name of the Society without an
approved requisi- tion will have to pay the bill himself. No one may
obligate the Society to an expenditure or purchase in the name of the
Society unless he has written approval from the one in charge.
All matter being printed in the buildings of the Society be- longs to the
Society. No books, magazines or any publications may be removed from the
bins, skids, or presses and taken out of the building except by the
permission of the overseer in charge. The Watchtower, Awake!, Kingdom
Ministry, letters and other information for individuals in the family will
be delivered to their rooms at the proper time.
No one should operate another person's machine or change the adjustments. No
one may borrow tools or move them from one department to another without
asking for per- mission. Because tools or other equipment are not locked up
is no reason to walk away with them. If tools are needed, they must be
obtained from the overseer in charge.
No furniture or equipment may be brought into any of the Society's homes or
alterations made in your room with- out permission. Private property such as
clothing may be brought into a home without permission. Radios, lounging
chairs and similar items may be purchased by members of the family, but
before doing so be sure you have the per- mission of the overseer in charge
to bring them into the home. Junky pieces of furniture will not be allowed
in the home. Installations of a permanent nature must remain in the room.
Any alterations to be made in a room should be made at painting time, which
is about every five years. Wall washing is done once a year.
At the close of every day's work, desks, cases and work-
benches should be cleared of all papers and tools, which
16 DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
should be put in their proper places. Everything should be left in a tidy
condition at the close of the day.
Overalls and shop apparel are to be placed in the dressing room in the area
assigned you. The dressing rooms and washrooms should be kept clean and the
toilets sanitary. Brothers and sisters should put on neat, clean clothes
when coming to meals or when travelling the streets to and from work. We
should not appear sloppy or indifferent toward proper dress, nor should we
be conspicuous by wearing overalls or dirty work clothes in the dining room
or on the streets. We should wear clothing that befits our Christian life.
When coming to meals we should have on the cus- tomary dress of the country.
Washing up before mealtimes is essential and is expected of all.
Each one of us as a member of the Bethel family wants to take part in the
field service, witnessing from house to house, making return visits and
conducting Bible studies. (Matt. 24:14; Isa. 61:1, 2) Field service is a big
part of our lives. We have dedicated ourselves to God to do his will; so, in
order to share to the full in the privilege of being his servants we study
his Word and we witness to other per- sons. The elders of the congregation
with which you work will assist you to be regular in the field service. The
aid they offer you is for your own spiritual welfare. One way to keep happy
in Bethel service is to keep busy in the field service. We need personal
association with the other pub- lishers and with interested people to keep
Every Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday the regular routine of work
stops so that we will have time to engage in the field service. Field
service should at no time interfere with your regular assigned work in the
Bethel home, office or factory. Remember, you were called to Bethel to do a
special work. You should keep your Bethel service first in your life, as
your work at Bethel is necessary to help others in their service. However,
we will have time to engage in preaching the "good news" and we should make
good use of that time.
In many instances in branch office cities members of the branch staff are
appointed as elders and ministerial assistants in local congregations, but
even if they are such it does not mean they can neglect their Bethel work.
Being an elder or ministerial assistant in the local congregation is an
privilege of service and should be considered as such.
HOURS OF WORK
The reason we came to Bethel was to work, wasn't it?
We can get the most work done if we all work together at
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY 17
the same time. The hours of work are from 8 a.m. until 11:55 a.m. and from 1
p.m. until 5:40 p.m. A bell will be sounded at 8 a.m. and at 1 p.m. and all
should be at their work by those times. Another bell will be sounded at
11:55 a.m. and at 5:40 p.m. These bells notify the brothers to close down
their machines and get ready for meals. Some countries may find it advisable
to adjust the eight hours and thirty-five minutes to accommodate their local
conditions. In such cases they will write to the president for a change.
However, the hours of work in all countries will be eight hours and
thirty-five minutes. These hours apply from Monday through Friday, and a
half day of three hours and fifty-five minutes on Saturday morning. It would
be wrong to waste your time during these hours. You should not engage in
personal errands or go out for refreshments or carry on visiting during that
time. (Prov. 13:4; 26:16) If it becomes necessary for you to leave the home
or the factory for any reason during working hours, obtain per- mission from
the overseer in charge. While you may be as- signed to prepare public talks
to give on some weekends or material for other congregational meetings,
these are added privileges of service to be cared for during free time.
Likewise we request you not to carry on personal correspondence or to read
newspapers or literature for personal study during the working hours. In the
general routine of work some brothers are re- quired to work hours other
than those mentioned before, and in such cases a schedule should be made by
the overseer so that the brothers will be working eight hours and thirty-
five minutes during a day. Of course, if a brother wishes to work longer
hours than required at his assigned work, he may do so as long as it does
not impair his health and if it is in the best interests of the work. It
should be under- stood, though, that working extra hours at his regular work
does not allow him to be away at any time during the regular working period
unless special permission has been obtained. We must have permission to be
absent from the Bethel home or factory during regular working hours. No one
is ever given blanket permission to come and go as he pleases. Set a good
example for the newcomers by being at work on time and leaving after the
bell rings. Sometimes it may be requested that we put in extra time in the
office or factory because of the press of work, but we hope this will not be
too often. There are also a few extra duties, like dish duty, lobby or
watchman duty, to which members of the family are assigned by written notice
from time to time. All other hours of the day outside the scheduled ones are
yours to use as you see fit, to the honor and glory of Jehovah.
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
One key to the main entrance of the home will be pro vided each member of
the family. No one is ever allowed to make duplicate keys. If a key is lost,
report it in writing to the overseer in charge. Another key will be provided
in due time after written notice of the lost key has been received, but if
the second key is also lost, the overseer in charge may use his discretion
as to whether the brother should have a third key. Keys may not be loaned
from one member of the family to another. Your key is Private property.
Should you ever find it necessary to leave Bethel, your house key must be
turned in to the overseer in charge. Everyone coming into or going out of
the home should see to it that the door is closed and locked, unless it is
during working hours when the door is normally unlocked. If it is the custom
for the door always to be locked, then every individual in the home should
be careful to see that the door is kept locked. Keys for any building other
than the living quarters will be given only to such persons as need them;
for example, the watchman or the person who usually opens the building in
the morning and closes it at night. Records will be kept of all brothers
having keys and of the respective key numbers.
Each member of the Brooklyn Bethel family is given an identification card
upon his becoming a member of the family. This is because the family is so
large, and so this acts as a protection to the family. Every member of the
family should carry his identification card with him and show it upon
request when entering the home if he is questioned by another member of the
family. All of us should be interested in protecting the home and keeping
out those who do not live here. If you terminate your service at Bethel, the
identification card should be turned in at the time you turn in your key to
the Bethel office.
DWELLING TOGETHER AS A
When one becomes a member of the family, he should want to become fully
acquainted with the general routine of the home. That is why you were given
a copy of this booklet, Dwelling Together in Unity. I hope that you will
carefully read each of these suggested principles for living together. As
long as you are a member of this family you may keep this copy of DwelIing
Together in Unity. If for some reason you find it necessary to leave the
family, please turn this booklet in to the overseer in charge. We feel
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY 19
sure that all will agree with the suggestions set out here, because they are
based on the Scriptures, and by following them we will show our love for the
organization and for our brothers.
All of us would want unruly and obstinate persons dismissed from the home.
(Prov. 12:7; 16:2830) Why have discord when the rest of us want to keep
happy and enjoy the home? So it is best to send such ones away and let them
live as they wish. We will live as Jehovah wants us to and we will show our
gratitude for his undeserved kind ness in arranging for us to be here.
The overseer in charge assigns each member to the room we want him to live
in, and we sincerely hope that room- mates will get well acquainted and
enjoy each other's good association. Remember, we all have different
personalities, but since we are walking in the truth they are not so dif-
ferent that we can't get along well together. Your room is your private
home, so you should take care of it and you may make it as comfortable as
possible. If you want to get additional furniture or hang up some pictures
or cal- endars or put up drapes at the windows at your own expense always
get permission first from the home overseer. If what you have in mind is
within reason, and will not inter- fere with the cleaning of the room,
permission will be granted. Also, you should always consult your roommate
about moving in any additional pieces of furniture. Give consideration to
the other person.
No one should go into another's room without an invitation. Knock on the
door, and if you are asked to come in, then enter; but if you receive no
response, then you have no per- mission to enter the room. If you go to
another person's room and you find him studying or doing some such work, it
is good to inquire as to how busy he is. Maybe he wants to keep working so
as to finish whatever he is doing Or, when you have visitors, if your
roommate is studying or getting things ready for a meeting or for a public
talk, take these things in- to consideration. You may find it advisable to
go to the other person's room to carry on your conversation. The overseer in
charge may visit the rooms at any time that necessity requires it.
Your becoming a member of the Bethel family is a blessed privilege. You
should consider that Jehovah arranged for you to be here, that it was his
organization that called You. Before you decide to leave Bethel it would be
well to talk to one of the elders about it. Leaving the Bethel home is not a
sin, and there are some good reasons for going away, but be sure these
reasons are sufficiently strong. Never forget your first love for the Bethel
home, and keep that love strong by engaging regularly in the field service,
20 DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
meetings and keeping busy in your work. Learn to love your new home.
If you find it necessary to leave, we would appreciate your giving the
overseer in charge a thirty-day notice in writing so that arrangements can
be made to have some- one else come to take your place when you leave.
When individuals are called to Bethel it must be decided whether to select a
single person or a married couple, a brother or a sister. Branch overseers
make their recom- mendations to the president and get his approval before
calling persons to Bethel, explaining why these ones are needed at Bethel.
The work in the Bethel home requires healthy, strong persons, and usually
young single persons are brought in for Bethel service. As a general rule
the greater portion of the work can be best taken care of by brothers; of
course, some kinds of work require sisters. As individuals remain at Bethel
over a period of years, they naturally become more efficient, and the longer
they are at Bethel the greater their love for it becomes. Bethel be- comes
our home and we love it. As time goes on, however, the desire to marry may
arise. It is a difficult thing for one who loves Bethel to decide whether he
should give up his many privileges of service at Bethel for marriage, but in
many instances a member of the family decides it is better for him to marry.
The apostle Paul said: "Let marriage be honorable among all, and . . .
without defilement, for God will judge fornicators," and also that he that
gives his virginity in marriage does well, but he that does not give it in
marriage will do better." (Heb. 13:4; 1 Cor. 7:38) So each individual must
decide for himself.
Any two single members of the Bethel family, both of whom have been at
Bethel two years or more and who wish to get married and stay at Bethel, may
make such request of the Society, and if approved by the Society, they may
stay, but they must fill out new applications for Bethel, which new
applications are for four or more years, beginning at the date of their
Also, a brother or a sister who has been at Bethel for four years or longer
and is interested in marriage, and who desires to being a brother or sister
into Bethel for the purpose of marriage, will have to get permission from
the Society. Both of them must file applications to be at Bethel four years
or longer, applicable from the time of their marriage. These applications
are to be filled in and filed with the office of the president for review by
the board of
directors. The usual checkup will be made on both parties.
It will be up to the Society through its board of directors
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY 21
to make the decision as to who shall become members of the Bethel family
under the above circumstances, and who shall remain in the family if they
decide to get married.
If the question arises in branches about bringing someone into Bethel from
the outside for marriage to someone who has been at Bethel for four years or
more, the application for Bethel service would first have to be presented to
the branch overseer. However, before the branch overseer makes inquiry of
the office of the president he would ask at least two other Bethel elders,
preferably the factory and Bethel overseers, what they recommend and send
mendaffons and his to the office of the president in writing. Each of these
individuals will make his separate written recommendation on what should be
done and why, whether all agree or not. What the local congregation elders
think of the individual who wants to come into Bethel should be attached to
the application also. A thorough review of the individual's qualifications
should be sent along with the applications of both persons. It will be up to
the board of directors of the Society to go over the material and decide
whether the person will be called in or not.
In a case where both members are in the Bethel family already, the brother
and the sister, then the same above- mentioned overseers in the branch can
make a recom- mendation to the Society as to whether they should stay or not.
Of course, if other obligations arise after marriage or difficulties develop
that prevent them from dwelling to- gether in unity, then the Society may
have to advise on the course of action to take.
However, if any member of the Bethel family who has served for the minimum
time agreed wishes to marry some- one and live outside the family, we wish
him Jehovah's rich blessing. His leaving, though, does not mean that he is
leaving full-time special service. It may well be that some other privilege
of special full-time service can be his, like pioneering or maybe circuit
work if he has the qualifi- cations of an elder, and if his wife could join
him in that work and carry on pioneer activity as a circuit overseer's wife.
Perhaps Gilead could be his goal after some years of pioneer service with
his wife, or maybe the special pioneer work.
Of course, when you come to Bethel we want you to stay and make it your
life's work, if you can. But I know that many problems can arise in the
lives of some that will cause them to leave. If your reasons are
sufficiently strong in your own mind to cause you to leave Bethel, well and
good; but I sincerely hope and pray that those who do leave will try to stay
in the pioneer service. A person at Bethel re-
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
ceives good training over a period of years and this will equip him for
other full-time service. So, if one makes the request and can be used in
some other special field upon leaving Bethel, it will be considered. Of
course, he must meet the qualifications of having kept up with the family
study of The Watchtower and the Theocratic Ministry School, kept active in
the field service and kept doing his work well in the Bethel family. These
are the things that will show those in positions of responsibility that he
does have at least some of the qualifications that would help others in the
right way. He should show a spirit or dominant attitude that is right with
God's spirit at all times. He will find that the longer he is at Bethel,
enjoying all of its privileges, the more he will be making his mind over.
But no matter where you are, whether in Bethel, in the pioneer work, serving
as a circuit overseer, in a missionary home or as a congregation publisher,
we want to see you maintain your integrity and prove the Devil a liar. Just
think of the joy that we can bring Jehovah! He said: "Be wise, my son, and
make my heart rejoice, that I may make a reply to him that is taunting me."
(Prov. 27:11) So we ex- pect you to stay with Jehovah's organization because
you want to share in the vindication of Jehovah's name and because you love
life. Moreover, it is hoped that it will be at Bethel where you will
accomplish that, now that you have come here and are one of our family.
The telephone is a very
helpful instrument that can be used to our advantage. However, we would
appreciate it if you would not use the business telephones for personal
matters. You should arrange for your personal calls to be made at times
other than working hours. If you do receive a telephone call during working
hours, please make your conversation brief.
The telephones in the office and factory are for Society business. However,
if you find that you must make personal calls through them, please get
permission first. You will have to pay the Society for the cost of the call.
If you make any long-distance calls, you will have to ascertain the charge
so that it can be paid to the Society. Strangers are not permitted to use
the tele cept by permission of the one in charge. Please make your regular
business con- versations brief, too, so that the wires will not be tied up,
keeping other calls from coming through. If you have an inside phone system
it should be remem- bered that this is to be used for business and not for
visiting, during and after working hours. If, after 5:40 p.m., you want to
talk to another brother in your building, then it would be
DWELLlNG TOGETHER IN UNITY 23
better if you went personally to see him rather than phone and possibly
disturb another brother who would have to try to locate him. You would
appreciate the same consider- ation. After 9:00 p.m. the phones should not
be used unless it is an emergency.
VISITORS IN THE HOME
Someone is appointed by the brother in charge to show visitors around the
home. If you want to take someone through, you may get permission to do so;
but if the one in charge believes it is best to have a regular guide take
your party through, it is for him to decide. You cannot just take people
around the premises of the Society anytime you want to. Please obtain
permission each time. The overseer in charge is the one to decide what
should be shown to visitors and he will arrange a regular route to follow
during working hours. Before anyone can be invited for a meal or invited to
stay overnight, permission must be obtained from the over- seer in charge.
Arrangements should be made in advance. Please understand that if they are
not, your request may not be granted. Visitors who are calling for just a
short time will remain in the visiting room or lobby of the Bethel home
until the one they are visiting is called and meets them there. Any person
invited for dinner must be registered and he will be given a place to sit in
the dining room with his friends in the Bethel family. Always keep in mind
that we are limited in the number of guests we can have for meals because of
space, cooking arrangements, pur chasing of food, etc. You should not invite
visitors to meals on weekends when meals are served cafeteria style. There
can be exceptions to this, but permission must be obtained, otherwise it may
be necessary to limit your guest privileges for a period of time. After the
meals or during the evening it will be permissible for members of the family
who invite guests in to see them to take them to their rooms and to
entertain them. All such guests must register "in" and "out" of the home,
and at all times while in the home they should be accompanied by a member of
the Bethel family. Of course, on such oc- casions nothing should occur in
the rooms that would disturb other members of the family in the home. If any
one is in a room alone with a member of the opposite sex who is not a close
relative, they must leave the door wide open. Special arrangements can be
made with the overseer in charge for you to have members of your own family
who are Jehovah's witnesses stay overnight in the Bethel home. In some homes
there may not be any available space, and
24 DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
then, of course, we could not invite guests to stay overnight. But if there
are some available vacant rooms and you have permission you may have your
close relatives visit you on a weekend or during the week. When guests stay
in the home they may have their meals with the family. In this way, members
of the Bethel family can spend considerable time with their folks who are
walking in the truth. Arrange- ments are not made to accommodate guests for
more than two nights in the Bethel home, even though space is avail- able
for a longer period, as it would work a burden on others of the family in
cleaning the rooms, preparing meals, etc. Pioneers in good standing who are
passing through a city where there is a branch office may make arrangements
in advance with the overseer in charge to eat with the family there and to
stay overnight if there is room. If any pioneer overdoes this, then
permission would not be granted. We want you to make Bethel your home, and
we want you to feel free to invite your friends who are Jehovah's witnesses
to Bethel as your guests from time to time if you so desire. We feel sure
that none of the members of the family will overdo this and misuse the
privilege, but, if some do, then the overseer in charge has the right to
decide whether restrictions should be put on those persons as to the number
of individuals such ones may bring in as guests.
In many parts of the earth we have very large buildings for the Bethel homes
and factories and in such places there should be night watchmen. A checkup
should be made in all parts of the building every two hours. He should check
to see that the windows and doors are securely dosed and that no water is
running in the toilets and sinks. The watchman can also be given other work
to do, however, something that will not disturb the sleeping members of the
family. In smaller homes, like regular dwellings where there are only five
to ten persons or so who sleep there, there may be no need to have a night
watchman. We leave this to the discretion of the overseer in charge. If
there is no watchman in charge of the home, then, of course, everyone is
respon- sible to see that windows and doors are closed and locked when going
in and out. In the evening before retiring, the home overseer or someone
appointed should see to it that the main entrances are securely locked.
Where night watch- men are assigned, a schedule should be made out for week-
ends so that the watchman will be relieved by other mem bers of the family.
This assignment for weekends will take in all the members of the family,
with different ones being assigned at different times. Sisters may be put on
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
during the daytime and evenings, but for night watchmen always use brothers.
Where there are many visitors or businessmen who come to the home, as at the
headquarters of the Society, we have someone appointed to answer the door
and care for the main lobby. This one should receive sufficient work to keep
him busy in addition to caring for those calling.
All of us in the Bethel home fully appreciate that there must be an orderly
arrangement and that someone must be in charge to answer questions and from
time to time to make suggestions that will benefit all members of the family.
When there is a branch organization, then the branch overseer is in charge.
Other persons may be ap- pointed to assist the branch overseer, such as the
office, factory, Bethel and home overseers. When these brothers who have
positions of responsibility request you to do something or make suggestions
about things that need to be done in the home, you should heed their
suggestions and follow their counsel. These brothers who have been appointed
and put in responsible positions are interested only in the welfare of the
family and in the promotion of the Kingdom interests; and if we all work
together with them we will have a happy family and all of us will dwell
together in unity. From time to time it may become necessary for the
overseer in charge to give some good advice to you. Per- haps you do not
fully appreciate that you are disturbing other persons by your actions; and
if such an occasion arises so that it is necessary for you to receive
counsel, then accept it in the spirit in which it is given. It is to help
you to get along better with your brothers.Gal. 6:1. Sometimes you will have
problems. Coming into the Bethel home isn't going to remove all the problems
from your life; it may even bring more. But as these problems arise it is
well for you to talk about the difficulty to mature brothers, elders who
have been in the family for many years. Maybe they can help you with it. Or,
you can go to the branch overseer or the Bethel overseer and maybe he can
help you. Those who live in the Bethel home in Brooklyn or at one of the
farms the Society operates in the United States may always feel free to come
to the president with their problems, and when the president visits branches
the members of these families should feel the same way too. Those in
Brooklyn Bethel or branches may always feel free to write about their
problems if they think it necessary to bring them to the president's
attention. I am not asking
26 DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
you to write me lettersI have plenty of mail; but if you feel that I can
help I am certainly willing to try.
All of us want to be contented and happy, and we want you to stay at Bethel;
so don't let some little, aggravating problem disturb your equilibrium and
make you think, "Well, now I have to go." Let's work out your problem
There are a lot of little details you are going to get ac- quainted with in
Bethel life: where to put your laundry, where to keep Your clothes, how to
take care of your bed on weekends, where to dispose of fruit peelings or
garbage in the home, and other things. It may even be necessary to tell you
how to open and shut a door, because sometimes persons like to bang doors
and it isn't very considerate. But these are all little things that can be
worked out be- tween you and the overseer, and from time to time it may be
necessary for the overseer to announce certain regulations to keep the house
activity running smoothly.
For example, about lights: We like to go to bed at a reasonable hour, and it
seems that at 10:30 p.m. lights should be out. However, if your roommate is
not at home and you want to read a little later, you may. But remember that
you need your sleep too, and we want you to be at breakfast in the morning
for the discussion o$ the day's text. It is good to get at least eight hours
of sleep each night.
You will appreciate as time goes on that coming to break- fast is important
to Bethel life. Sometimes we may find it very hard to get up in time for
breakfast, but it is a good habit to start. For fifteen minutes on all
working days we discuss the day's text in the morning before breakfast.
Brothers and sisters are called on to comment. This arrange- ment is very
helpful to our spiritual life. Give this fifteen minutes your undivided
attention. It is more important than the meal. So always be down to
breakfast; and it is beneficial to read the scripture and comment in the
Yearbook before- hand. When you are called upon to do so, prepare a question
and a comment, since we enjoy hearing you express yourself.
Probably you came from a small congregation where you had to do the talking.
Now you get into a large family where you will want to give others the
chance to talk, too; but just because there are so many of us, don't be
afraid to speak up. Remember, we want to know you and you want to know us.
After our morning discussion is over we always have a prayer expressing our
gratitude to Jehovah for his blessings and guidance on the organization.
Then we go ahead with our meal. Near the conclusion of our meal we read the
Yearbook or some article from The Watchtower or Awake! for five minutes.
Then we have a general dismissal by means of prayer. We are grateful for
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNlTY 27
and give thanks to Him for all things. Whether we are eating or drinking, we
do all things as to Jehovah.1 Cor. 10:31.
In different homes the times for meals may vary. At Brooklyn Bethel we have
breakfast at 7 a.m., dinner at 12:15 p.m. and our evening meal at 6 p.m. On
Saturday when we work one half day, and on Sunday, we have a cafeteria
arrangement for the evening meal. On Saturday this is served between 5 and
6:30 p.m. Cafeteria breakfast Sundays is served between 7 and 8 a.m. Then we
have extra supplies of food so that you can make some sandwiches to take to
your room or out in the field service with you for your noon meal. On Sunday
from 4 to 6 p.m. we have the cafeteria arrangement and you can come at any
time during these two hours and enjoy a good, nourishing evening meal. If a
branch office sees fit to change the hours for these meals on weekends
because of local customs, the branch overseer will fix the hours.
If there is food remaining on the table after a meal you may take fruit, a
sandwich or anything else on the table to your room for a later time. It is
perfectly all right to take food with you when you leave the table; however,
the dining room dishes and tableware are to be left in the dining room. Do
not put any food in a dresser drawer or in a closet, and be sure the food
you take i~ used the same day, unless you have some means of refrigeration.
It is not good to have food in the room otherwise, because the bugs may
think more of it than you do and start eating from it. It is hard to keep
the living quarters clean and free from vermin if you have food around.
I am sure that all of us will keep in mind that we do want our home to be
neat and clean and tidy and that we will cooperate with the overseer in
charge and with the housekeepers to keep it that way.
Good table manners are always welcome and make the rest of us comfortable.
It is good for brothers to speak with one another while at the table, but we
should keep our voice at a low level so that other persons who want to talk
can carry on a conversation too. However, when the one at the head of the
table speaks, asking for a question, or giving information, then all should
cease talking and listen to the chairman or others who may speak for the
benefit of the whole family.
Included in good table manners is the passing of food. After serving
yourself make certain to pass it on to the one next to you, until everyone
has had the opportunity of being served. So that there will be an equal
distribution of food, take only your portion, even though the dish being
served may be your favorite.1 Cor. 10:24.
21~ DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
It isn't necessary to list a whole lot of do's and don't's for brothers who
love their neighbors as they do themselves. Take this example; I am sure you
will appreciate it: You don't want to disturb other persons with your radio
any more than you would want them to disturb you. Of course, if you have a
radio or television or high fidelity system in your room you should use it
just for your own benefit, not for all the neighbors; so it is good to keep
the volume low, just loud enough for you and those in the room with you to
enjoy it. Maybe your brother next door is preparing a talk and he cannot do
it with music or other entertainment playing loud nearby. This is true of a
lot of other little things; just be considerate. Peace and quiet are always
appreciated by brothers living in any home.Isa. 32:17, 18.
VACATIONS FOR BETHEL FAMILIES All members of the Bethel family are allowed a
vacation. Anyone who comes to Bethel before February 1 may have a two-week
vacation (eleven and a half working days) at the end of the service year.
Anyone coming after February 1 may take time equal to one working day off
for each full month of Bethel service to the end of the service year. The
time must be taken at one period during July, August or thereafter and
cannot be split up. (Of course, if he has come from special pioneer,
missionary, circuit or district work he will get his regular vacation for
the year.) Members of the Bethel family who have been here from one to four
years receive two weeks of vacation (eleven and a half working days);
however, the time may not be taken until earned. ~o they may take the first
week anytime after March 1, and they are eligible for a second week anytime
during the last three months of the service year or thereafter. This
two-week vacation time may be split into as many as four periods of time,
including the usual convention period. They will always receive a number of
days off for the yearly district assembly in addition to their two weeks of
vacation for each year. The year runs from September 1 to August 31. Persons
at Bethel for more than four years also get eleven and a half days of
vacation a year, but may make as many splits of their earned vacation period
during the year as they want. It is understood that vacations are granted
only when they are earned. They can be taken a few days at a time, but must
always be reported at least a week in advance to the overseer in writing,
stating when the individual will be away. Even though a person has earned
more vacation time than he is planning to use at one time, it shows his
concern for the work being done at Bethel if he reports back to work at the
time that he specified in the written vacation notice that he turned in
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY 29
Individuals in Bethel service who have served continuously for fifteen years,
whether it be the pioneer, special pioneer, missionary, circuit or district
work or Bethel, may have three weeks of vacation (seventeen working days) or
if they are forty-five years of age or older they may have three weeks of
vacation each year. Even during the service year when an individual
completes his fifteenth Year of special service or reaches forty-five years
of age, he may take the third week of vacation at any time following that
Persons in Bethel service who have served continuously for twenty-five years,
including pioneer, special pioneer, cir- cuit or district work, missionary
or Bethel, may have four weeks (twenty-three working days) of vacation, or
if they are sixty-five years of age or older they may have four weeks of
vacation each year. Even during the service year when an individual
completes his twenty-fifth year of special service or reaches sixty-five
years of age, he may take the fourth week of vacation at any time following
As stated above, after four years they may split their vacation time any way
they wish, but the vacation time must be earned. If someone wishes to take
one half day off on
Saturday as part of one's vacation or one and one half days, then that one
will so report it in writing to the overseer, who will keep the records
It is understood that those entitled to two weeks of vacation may request in
writing eleven and a half days working time off per year. Those with three
weeks of vacation time will be allowed seventeen days of working
time off. Those who have four weeks of vacation time will have twenty-three
days of working time off. Saturday after noon and Sunday are not considered
Sharing Vacation Time: Married persons may not have been in the service the
same length of time. One mate may have more vacation time due than the other.
A married person is permitted to share his vacation time with his mate if he
wishes to do so. In other words, if the man has three weeks' vacation due
him and the man's wife only two weeks, he may give his wife half of the
third week, and notation of this would be made by the branch office.
Members of the Bethel family may accumulate vacation time if they wish to
take a longer period of time at a later date. For example, if they want to
save a week's vacation from one year to the next, that is agreeable, but you
can- not borrow from a future period and try to use it ahead of time. The
only exception to borrowing time would be an international convention
arranged by the Society, where the Society arranges for the travel and
notice is given to the whole family that they may borrow vacation time in
30 DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
advance. But then the matter will be definitely stated at that time. So
please do not try to borrow time. Earn it .and enjoy it! Leaves of Absence
for Gilead Graduates in Bethel Service: Leaves of absence are provided for
some, but not for those in the forty-eight states of the continental United
States, or Canada or certain persons in Europe. Each one will accumulate two
weeks of leave time for each year of service after he arrived in his
assignment following Gilead graduation. Such leaves of absence may be taken
only after he has been in his foreign assignment for at least three years.
This provision does not apply to any Gilead graduate in Bethel service who
came to Gilead from the country in which he is now serving. Some of those
who have been in Bethel service for a number of years will have accumulated
quite a lot of leave time, but we would not want any to be away from the
Bethel home for more than a total of ten weeks, whether that would be
vacation time or leave time. Of course, people will not qualify for leave of
absence if they take the three-week or four-week vacation each year. It
seems reasonable that anyone from another country who requested the
privilege of working at the Bethel home in Canada or the United States
mainland would take his vacations the same as anyone else in the Bethel
family, some of whom have to travel long distances to get to their home. In
Europe the distances are not so great between countries, so for those there
we would say that a Gilead graduate assigned to a branch in a country other
than the one in which he was working when he came to Gilead does not get a
leave of absence unless his place of origin is more than 2,000 miles from
where he is assigned in Europe. Brothers working in small branches as
part-time branch overseers will be allowed to take their leave of absence
along with the other missionaries in the country. Bethel family members who
are Gilead graduates do not receive allowance or bonus for the months when
they are taking leave of absence. Emergency or family problems arise in the
lives of some individuals. For example, there may be a death of a close
relative in one's family and one may want to attend the funeral and help
clear up the estate. If more than two days are required, then time in excess
of the two days should be taken away from the regular vacation time.
Individuals should discuss this with the overseer in charge. Therefore each
branch office should have an accurate writ- ten record showing the number of
working days taken as vacation time or other days off for each person,
showing dates so used and any vacation time remaining.
DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
Persons who apply for Bethel are called only if they say they are in good
health, which information is on their applications. If a new person's
illness becomes chronic and the branch overseer knows it, then it would be
better to send such person home during his first years at Bethel and not to
keep him as a member of the Bethel family. Individuals who may become ill
during their vacation time are not entitled to another vacation to replace
the time that was specified in their written vacation notice.
If any member of the Bethel family who is here less than five years becomes
ill and is ill for more than twenty working days, all of the days following
the twentieth work- ing day of illness will be deducted from his vacation
time. This applies only for the first five years of Bethel service. After
that it no longer applies.
All members of the Bethel family when ill will receive their monthly
I want you always to feel free to approach any of the overseers in charge.
Don't be afraid of them; they are your brothers. Sometimes you may think:
"Oh, but they are too busy to talk to me"; but don't feel that way about it.
They are busy, yes, but never too busy to help you out. We are here to help
you who have come here to help us to get the work done; so we will show you
what we want you to do and we feel sure that you will put forth every effort,
by Jehovah's undeserved kindness, to do it the way we show you. If you have
a problem, come to us. Let's keep in mind that the overseer in charge is
responsible before Jehovah and to the organization for the things that are
done, so cooperate with him. If you have suggestions, we are willing to
listen to them, but if after you have made your suggestion we feel we should
not follow it and still think our way is better, then do it in the way the
Society suggests. You will be happier in the long run. It may try your
patience, but just think of the patience that God has shown toward each one
of us, and then work on this Christian quality. Jas. 1:4; 5: 8.
Since those of us at Bethel are imperfect like the rest of our brothers,
mistakes are going to be made and once in a while a person may violate the
good principles on which the home operates. It might happen that you will be
re- proved; but when you are, keep in mind the counsel at Proverbs 27:5, 6:
"Better is a revealed reproof than a con- cealed love. The wounds inflicted
by a lover are faithful, but the kisses of a hater are things to be
entreated." Then again, the scripture points out: "Should the righteous one
32 DWELLING TOGETHER IN UNITY
strike me, it would be a loving-kindness; and should he re- prove me, it
would be oil upon the head, which my head would not want to refuse."Ps.
141:5. We know that "the reproofs of discipline are the way of life." (Prov.
6:23) God is going to reprove us when we do something wrong. But as we are
making our minds over, studying God's Word, living in the family routine and
en- joying everything that Jehovah has provided for U8 in this home, it will
bring us great joy. If we follow Jehovah's instructions we shall be happy,
just as it is set forth in Micah 6:8: "He has told you, O earthling man,
what is good. And what is Jehovah asking back from you but to exercise
justice and to love kindness and to be modest in walking with your God?" Of
course, you are following this instruction, and that is why you are here.
That is why Jehovah's organi- zation invited you to Bethel. You can show
your love for Jehovah by serving faithfully here at Bethel. You will have a
good feeling knowing that the course of action you are taking leads to
eternal life in the new order. "God gave us not a spirit of cowardice, but
that of power and of love and of soundness of mind." (2 Tim. 1:7) It is our
hope that everyone who has come to Bethel will keep in mind Jehovah's
principles of truth and righteous- ness. Always "trust in Jehovah with all
your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways
take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight. Do not
become wise in your own eyes. Fear Je- hovah and turn away from bad."Prov.
3:~7. I am very glad you came here and so are the overseers with whom you
are working. Make it your home. Keep on in right living here and be trained
for living forever under God's kingdom. Be assured of my love for you, and
may Jehovah bless you richly. Your brother and fellow servant,
N. H. Knorr President
WATCHTOWER BIBLE AND TRACT SOCIETY OF PENNSYLVANLA
WATCHTOWER BLIBLE AND TRACT S0CIETY OF NEW YORK, INC.
INTERNATIONAL BIBLE STUDENTS ASOCCIATION