Singing the Blues? Not Here.
BY KIMBERLY LUSTE MARAN, assistant editor, Adventist Review
ow many communicators does it take to find the notes to perfect harmony? In “Music City,” it takes about 180. That’s how many Adventist professionals and students attended the annual Society of Adventist Communicators
in Nashville, Tennessee on October 11-14, 2007. This group converged in Nashville for their annual convention—and it was no accident attendees had the opportunity to learn from some of the best in the communication business.
Topics at this year’s convention, themed “Communication: The Notes to Perfect Harmony,” were wide-ranging, designed for students and professionals in several fields—communication education, electronic media, print media, public relations, publishing/graphic arts, and Web design.
The list of seminar and breakout session participants was long and impressive, and includes the pros at Thomas Nelson Publishers, the Huntsville Times, Trahan and Associates, Bliss Communications, and United Methodist Communication—Christian representatives from various media helped those in attendance take away valuable information on how to function more effectively as communicators.
Tours of media outlets in Nashville, planned primarily for college students, opened the convention on Thursday. The Tennessean, WNPT-TV (PBS affiliate), the Associated Press, and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau were some of the stops.
Students, professionals in print, broadcasting, and Web—and in varied fields such as public relations, healthcare, education, and corporate church communication—joined with grass roots communicators to gain knowledge, receive encouragement and inspiration, and network. “I made lots of connections with people I might not have met elsewhere,” said one participant. Another added, “I gained some good insight at seminars; and I appreciate the connection of secular and denominational communicators.”
|CONVINCED AND CONVICTED: Lynn Schlisner, senior pastor of the Madison Campus Seventh-day Adventist Church in Tennessee, explains the difference between talking and communicating during SAC's worship service on October 13.
SAC executive director George Johnson Jr., who is also associate communication director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s North American Division, said he and the board were glad that many considered the event a success. Johnson pointed to the involvement of more college students, and the excitement generated by the group’s new Communication Certification Program, as evidence that SAC is working hard to develop a strong network of Adventist communicators.
Johnson said SAC “continues to be important to communicators because if offers professional development opportunities not only through its annual convention, but its monthly newsletter. The annual conventions allow for communicators across the United States, Canada, and Bermuda the opportunity to share with colleagues the exciting things they are doing in communication. We also connect Adventist communication professionals that work for the denomination with those Adventist communication professionals [in other fields]. During the annual convention, these two groups get a chance to share with each other as well as learn from each other.”
He added, “SAC isn’t just about the melody, it’s about all our voices, blending into harmony; and sharing Jesus with the world through our roles as communicators.”
Plans are underway for the 2008 convention in Denver, Colorado. Planned for October 9-12, its theme is “The Communicator’s Edge: Taking It to the Peak” and keynote speakers include Chris, Ginger, and Clarence Small of Small Associates, LLC. Visit the Society of Adventist Communicator's web site for more information.