Juggling faith and farm

SUBLETTE COUNTY – Like many who have lived their years working with land and livestock, Carol Rogers, of Boulder — better known as Cami in her local Boulder community — works her days with the rising and falling of the sun. For 50 years, her family has found satisfaction in ranching life.

Rogers has an appreciation for her livelihood but her main focus is her spiritual life. As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, she finds joy in her fellowship at the Kingdom Hall.

“Meetings have been the priority,” she said. “My goal is to always be on time and present at meetings.”

That goal isn't always easy to achieve when working with livestock. “In ranching, the biggest challenge is the unexpected events,” Rogers said. “It is amazing how inventive animals can be in mishap situations and, invariably, such an event occurs on a meeting day.”

Then another contingency came — COVID-19. In March 2020, Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide suspended in-person meetings in response to the coronavirus threat. The organization transitioned to videoconferencing services.

Rogers was willing to make the adjustment.

“I learned a long time ago, if you put meetings first, then the rest works out,” she said. “It took me a while to figure that out, but that's the best way to go.”

Weekly worship also helped many maintain regular routines and structure in life, which “can buffer the adverse impact of stress exposure on mental health,” according to a 2020 review in the Journal of Global Health.

Rogers has found this to be true. She has often received support and comfort from her local congregation. “Meetings always calm me down,” she said. “Also, the association with my friends is a definite plus.” Now, because of hybrid meetings, she can always have the encouragement she needs.

Have virtual meetings helped in other practical ways? “We didn't miss any meetings this year due to weather,” Rogers said. “With Zoom, we could get on and listen, even if we couldn't get to the actual meeting.”

As of April 1, 2022, Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world began to resume in-person meetings. Since then, many are enjoying face-to-face association. For individuals like Carol Rogers, however, attending virtually continues to be an option. Jehovah’s Witnesses will be utilizing hybrid meetings, allowing congregants on Zoom to not only watch but even participate in the program.

Rogers said: “My plan is to be at the hall. But we have ranching, we have illness, we have weather; and so to know that the Zoom meetings will still be available – that’s a real comfort to have.”

To connect with a local congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, visit the organization’s official website, www.jw.org.