Integration of Technologies Highlighted
at Adventist Internet Conference
In Dubai, 230 tech leaders meet to share strategies (Posted May 21, 2013)
BY LIBNA STEVENS
, Inter-American Division, reporting from Dubai, United Arab Emirates
reater integration of Internet platforms and messages was a key theme of the 2013 Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN), which hosted 230 Seventh-day Adventist Church technologists and communicators in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from May 15-19, 2013.
Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, spoke to web professionals, communicators, church leaders and members, at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the neighboring emirate of Ras Al Khaimah on Sabbath, May 18, to continue using all means possible to spread the Word of God.
Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the Adventist world church, delivers the Sabbath sermon at the Ras Al Khaimah Adventist Church near Dubai on May 18. He urged attendees to continue finding innovative ways of sharing the gospel through the web. [Photo: Daryl Gungadoo]
“Share God’s love; share the Three Angel’s Message as to how God is preparing people for His soon coming,” Wilson said.
Wilson challenged technologists to explore ways to help in a comprehensive integrated media approach for reaching the hearts of people through various outreach initiatives.
Participants were also shown the new Creation film series that will be completed and distributed around the world church later this year. Wilson appealed to conference participants to collaborate in innovative ways to showcase the films in churches and special venues in every community.
During the GAiN conference, successful Adventist Internet ministries were highlighted, along with effective initiatives and strategies to assist the church in social media impact. The conference also allowed for group discussion about consumer trends, how to better connect congregations, distance learning and other topics.
Global participants expressed enthusiastic support for the conference’s goals.
“I found GAIN conference extremely informative and invigorating. With so many talented people gathered together, the discussions were lively and filled with energy. The wide variety of topics opened my eyes to how many ways the church is using Internet and social media to promote the Adventist Church’s initiatives and ministries,” said Carlos Medley, online editor for Adventist Review
magazine. “The meeting has inspired me to recommit myself to do all I can to advance the church’s work.”
Mirjana Kicusic, Network Developer & Marketing Manager for the Trans-European Division, attended the GAIN event for the first time: “The participants had an unforgettable opportunity to learn new things in their areas and were able hear great reports from other divisions and unions,” she said.
And Jones Masimba, Central Kenya Conference treasurer, said the event “has been an eye-opener for me. It has been a great experience, showing us the many opportunities that are available for service, and to reach out to the community. Things are changing fast today and GAIN is helping us keep current.”
Along with the case studies and presentations on the Creation film, General Conference communication leaders announced the pending launch of a new www.adventist.org website.
The homepage overhaul will include an improved design framework, creating an opportunity for better integration of the hundreds of websites throughout the world church. Church leaders say the move will deliver stronger and more consistent branding across the denomination.
“This will allow the church to define its brand, to clarify its voice and move from a place of multiple different sites to becoming a network of sites,” said Garrett Caldwell, assistant Communication director for public relations at the world church headquarters.
Williams Costa Jr., the Adventist Church’s communication director and GAIN conference organizer, stressed the importance of a unified digital presence.
“We understand the diversity [around] the world, the different tastes, colors, cultures and the need to have something that binds us, but people need to see us as a family and with clear content and visibility,” Costa said.
Offering greater unity of content and design was a need that prompted Corrado Cozzi, communication director for the Inter-European Division, based in Berne, Switzerland, to attempt to integrate diverse and multi-language territory websites for branding more than a year ago. Cozzi and a team led by Klaus Popa of the Adventist Media Center in Germany have coordinated efforts with the Adventist Church’s new website project in the integration of microsites.
GAIN’s 2014 meeting is scheduled to be held in India, church officials said. Information on that event can be found online at www.gain.adventist.org