Purpose, Passion and Partnership were the tri-focus of the 29th annual conference hosted by the Society of Adventist Communicators (SAC) in Maryland, from October 18 – 21, 2018.
The 3-day conference started with a media tour of Baltimore for over 250 delegates. Exploring one of America’s historic cities to trace the dynamism of media was a rewarding experience for the Caribbean Union delegation which was comprised of some conference Communication Directors: Pastor Steve Riley from the South Caribbean Conference (SCC), Pastor Mark Braithwaite from the South Leeward Mission (SLM) and Pastor Royston Philbert from the North Caribbean Conference (NCC).
In her opening remarks, Ms. Libna Stevens, the SAC President and Assistant Communication Director for the Inter American Division (IAD), outlined the aim of the convention, “. . . to expand and strengthen our global network by developing leaders who pursue excellence in communication. We have to do it with passion because we care. We need to be passionate about God’s church and our role in communicating. In addition, we need to focus on networking because we’re all on the same big team.”
The event coordinators included Dan Weber, the Communication Director of the North American Division (NAD), who commented, “The organization brings together communicators from all over North America and the world as they seek professional growth, enjoy new relationships and experience the joy of sharing in a community of like-minded Christians focused on the art of communication. SAC members are people who work for faith-based organizations or as freelance professionals in the field of corporate communications, public relations, as teachers at colleges and universities, or are studying in the field of communication.”
The conference also highlighted empowering the young to engage their peers and influence the world with passion. “When we go where they are living, and they are living online, we must make our message louder and stronger than all the others. I am realizing that to influence the world we must do it through the available technology and networking,” shared Pastor Mark Braithwaite.
The impacting presenters included:
- Kaleb Eisele who created Humans of Adventism, a social media storytelling and community-building ministry;
- Erica Jones, the Assistant Director Women’s Ministries in the North American Division (NAD) and Director of Gorgeous2God ministries, an online safe-space for girls to ask difficult questions about various topics, including sexuality, dating, and suicide;
- Emily Long, the founder and editor-in-chief of the 715 magazine, which provides an avenue of expression for those on unconventional journeys with God; and,
- Justin Khoe, the creator of That Christian Vlogger a YouTube ministry that helps viewers experience faith in the first person.
As the conference came to a close, Pastor Steve Riley reflected on the numerous empowering sessions geared to enhance effective communication, “Even if we’re not 100% right, we need to talk about it. This is a platform to explore and grow.”