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Inspiring through stories

Sweimeh, Jordan—Each year, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) facilitates two weeks of working group sessions with roughly 200 staff members from its 131 country offices.

A leadership summit kicked off this year’s meetings introducing three pillars of thought for ADRA’s leaders to consider in the coming year, namely, to create clarity, generate energy, and thrive.

Participants were also introduced to an array of workshops and plenary classes. Leading experts and specialists spoke on topics of spirituality, influential leadership, employee relations, diversity, work ethics, and mentoring, to name a few.

Karla Cole, director of annual giving at ADRA,attended a creative workshop focused on storytelling in which Bill Knott, executive editor of the Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines, was thepresenter. “I found the storytelling workshop to be a unique way to inspire,” she said.

“Storytelling is as much what the teller says, but also what the listener hears,” Knott said during his storytelling workshop. “A story can be internalized by the hearer to make it his own and be changed by it.” He added that every culture uses stories and that stories have the power to let Bill Knott God speak to each individual and their personal narrative. [Kimi Roux-James/ADRA International News]

To hear Bill Knott explain how to better engage your congregation during sermon time, moving past the days of passive listening, go to “The Interactive Sermon” on the Ministry in Motion website, the-interactive-sermon/.

Sonscreen, stories, and salvation

Columbia, Maryland, United States—The 2019 Sonscreen Film Festival took place April 4–6, 2019, in Riverside, California, United States. The Sonscreen Film Festival, created by the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, is an exciting gathering of visual storytellers—artists, Christian filmmakers, and all those who have a passion for creating timely and relevant productions. Since its debut in 2002, the festival has become the destination for up-and-coming Christian filmmakers to share their creative work, gain exposure, network with media and film students, and be nurtured by film professionals. It has given young Christian film-makers the opportunity to share their stories—and the gospel—with others.

Say Sonscreen organizers, “Young people are telling their stories and, therefore, are able to connect with other young people who are also living those stories. That’s what film does. It connects people together through storytelling. The lives of the filmmakers are the content of the films.They’re their stories. And one of the most powerful ways to communicate, to connect, is through story.”

Historically, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has been at the forefront of using media to engage society and carry out evangelism. The Adventist Church was one of the first Christian denominations to broadcast nationally on radio through the Voice of Prophecy. The founder of this program, H. M. S. Richards, was a real visionary. One of the first Christian television broadcasts was Faith for Today.

Today, we have to compete with the programming on Netflix, on Hulu, HBO, and the like. Many call this time the second golden age of television.

It would behoove the church to use storytelling to create parables—allegories if you will—to connect with this audience. Scripted drama, films, and television programs give us a platform by which we can talk about the gospel in present-day language. We can do this in ways that are real to people who are living through challenges and seeking something, or Someone, beyond themselves. [Kimberly Luste Maran/NAD NewsPoints]

For a sample of award-winning films from past festivals, see “Screening Room” on the Sonscreen Film Festival website,

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September 2019

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