Feliz7Play platform reaches 2,000,000 viewers monthly
July 7, 2017, was not just an ordinary day for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the South American Division (SAD). That day five years ago marked the launch of Feliz7Play, an online platform for TV series, films, and documentaries. It has since become one of the largest forums of value-based content in the world.
Carlos Magalhães, considered the mastermind behind the initiative, said, “Feliz7Play’s monthly average of unique viewers is currently two million. Content can be accessed through the website, an app, YouTube, and Vimeo in Portuguese, Spanish, Brazilian Sign Language, and some videos also in English.”
Magalhães said leaders are now planning to make Feliz7Play content available on more devices, such as those that use the Alexa assistant, and on other SmartTV models besides Samsung and LG, the ones currently used.
“The term happy and the number seven refer directly to the Sabbath as a traditionally different, joyous day, seen by Adventists as a memorial of divine Creation. It is a day when church members and their families engage in a different set of activities,” the founders explained. But the Feliz7Play platform attracts viewers from other Christian and even non-Christian faiths, with teenagers being the primary audience.
“Most content is produced with teenagers in mind, by thinking about the quandaries they usually face,” Magalhães explained. “They have welcomed our efforts, which include reaching out to them through various social networks. It has been a successful strategy, something that connects church leaders and older members with the new generations.”
Other major projects are in the works. Magalhães said, “For 2023, we are also planning to launch a Feliz7Play movie theater in the metaverse.” [Felipe Lemos and Marcos Paseggi, Adventist Review]
ADRA launches emergency operations to help Pakistan flood victims
Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is stepping up emergency efforts to assist the more than 33 million people impacted by the monsoon rains in Pakistan. The unprecedented heavy seasonal rainfall and consequent floods have killed more than 1,000 residents, including children, and displaced millions of people in the Sindh, Balchistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regions.
“Our emergency response teams are already on the ground performing needs assessments to ensure displaced families are safe and have vital supplies,” said Mario Oliveira, director of emergency management for ADRA International. “ADRA is mobilizing and already providing food packages and other supplies to help vulnerable women, children, and the elderly.”
Surface flash floods destroyed infrastructure, roads, and bridges, as well as over 600,000 dwellings, leaving at least 30 million people without shelter, gas, or power. This corresponds to 15 percent of the overall population living in the open on highways, on higher land, or on top of home rubble. Access to vital health services is also a concern since more than 800 medical facilities have been disrupted, and disease outbreaks are becoming more likely.
“ADRA is collaborating with Karachi Adventist Hospital, which has already established a mobile medical clinic in the region to ensure communities have access to medical care,” said Josue Orellana, ADRA International’s director for health, nutrition, and water sanitation and hygiene.
ADRA International is among the leading international organizations responding to the Pakistan flood catastrophe featured on USAID’s Center for International Disaster Information website (cidi.org). [ADRA]
Conference reevaluates the mission and message of the church
The 2022 Lambeth Conference, convened every 10 years by the archbishop of Canterbury (England), brought together over 1,400 people from around the world, including 650 Anglican bishops, spouses, and guests from other denominations.
The conference theme, “God’s Church for God’s World,” explored what it means for the church to respond to the needs of a twenty-first-century world, covering topics from mission, evangelism, and discipleship to poverty, the legacy of slavery and colonialism, and how the church needs to be an instrument and voice for those who are marginalized.
Such global issues fall within the Anglican communion’s five marks of mission: to proclaim the good news of the kingdom; to teach, baptize, and nurture new believers; to respond to human needs by loving service; to transform unjust structures of society and challenge violence of every kind and pursue peace and reconciliation; and to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
“The image one has of the Anglican Church being a White western institution was completely blown away at this conference,” said Bishop Nicholas Dill from Bermuda. “The majority of the Anglican church worldwide is from Africa, Latin America, and Asia. The church is growing rapidly in the midst of extraordinary suffering, deprivation and persecution in these parts of the world.”
The conference was held against the backdrop of an alarming report titled “Growth, Decline, and Extinction of UK Churches,” by John Hayward (May 2022), which examined church growth in historical denominations compared with contemporary denominations.
The report declared, “All bar two of the pre-1900 churches in this set are declining. Only the Free Church of Scotland and Seventh-day Adventists are growing. By contrast, all the post-1900 churches are growing.” The report concluded, “One thing is clear: if things carry on as they are, the future of Christianity does not lie in the hands of the older denominations.”
Dill concluded, “I believe we need a renewed focus on evangelism and discipleship. McDonald’s makes hamburgers, and Starbucks makes coffee. What should the church be making? It should be making disciples—people filled with God’s love and inspired by Him to live their whole lives following and learning and walking in the steps of Jesus.” [Juanae Crockwell, Royal Gazette / John Hayward, Anglican.ink / Jeffrey Brown, Ministry]