February 21, 2019

Cross-Media Project Highlights Joys and Challenges of Fatherhood

For each of the past two years, participants at Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) Europe have worked on a joint project that can make a difference for each country involved. The aim is that media centers of any size, together with communication departments, editors, and even individual participants, can work together to produce a mission-focused project that is bigger than the “sum of its parts.”

The first project theme, “This Is My Mission,” was chosen at GAiN Europe 2017, hosted at Newbold College of Higher Education in England, and then presented one year later in March 2018, in Valencia, Spain.

Participants then selected an even more ambitious cross-media project involving books, film, and podcasts. That project, Fathers, was produced in 2018 and will premiere on February 22, 2019, when the GAiN Europe meeting runs alongside the 2019 GAiN Conference in Amman, Jordan.

Why Fathers? 

“Fathers play a significant role in families,” said Adrian Duré, TV producer and filmmaker at Stimme der Hoffnung, the Adventist media center in Germany. “Some roles are specific only for fathers, or some other roles run in a different way than mothers. We decided to create special material focused on fathers to orient, motivate, and highlight the special privilege and process of taking the responsibility of being a father.”

Media experts behind the project believe fatherhood is a unique experience but at the same time a privilege and a huge responsibility. Many fathers and families around the world need more information about what it means to be a father in today´s complex society, where women take on a myriad roles, where sometimes the role of the father is downgraded, and where there is a need to highlight the significant role fathers play within the family circle. Much is written about the role of the mother and not so much on the value of fatherhood.

Recognizing the need, the team said the goal of Fathers is to create concrete, positive, and focused material for families, giving strong evidence for their value. The project coincides with the centennial of the establishment of the Family Ministries department in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which has provided material to motivate, inspire, and strengthen families around the world. It is a collaborative effort supported by Adventist experts on family and education.

What’s in the Project?

The cross-media Fathers project contains the following:

  • A “magabook” (a book formatted in large magazine style) with 13 chapters from different authors and experts in family and education from various countries and backgrounds, highlighting the meaning of being a father in today’s society.
  • An intercultural documentary film produced jointly by Adventist media centers in Australia, Lebanon, South Korea, Spain, Mexico, and South Africa. The 45-minute film follows six fathers in six cultures with varied joys and challenges. They tell six stories but have one shared experience: the privilege of being a father.
  • Two inspirational video clips for sharing on social media, produced by the close cooperation of media specialists in eight countries of Europe.
  • A mini-interview series with fathers on podcasts, a contribution of three countries working together.

Who Can Use the Material?

The producers said that all the resources included in this project will be available for use by media entities, media ministries, Hope Channel stations, and Adventist radio stations around the world. Also, the material will be an asset for family ministries in local Adventist churches everywhere.

The materials can be used in many ways, producers said. As well as running in Adventist media outlets such as Hope Channel, local churches will be able to create special community events focused around fatherhood and family by showing the film, making the book available, and tying that in with local resources and experts, as well as sharing on social media. As with those of “This Is Our Mission,” the resources will be made freely available for media centers and publishing houses to translate and use within their language groups.

“When you see a project like this, where each of the members contributes their part from professional work and the desire to do something bigger than ourselves, it shows the work to be guided by the hand of God,” said Ragüel Cremades, producer and director of 7dayproductions. “It is a very positive experience where God has blessed us a lot at every moment of the project. I am pleased to have been involved in this.”

The content will be provided in English, with the possibility to be translated easily to many languages and cultures. 

“In a cross-media project, a book’s fundamental contribution is to provide more arguments,” said Norel Iacob, editor in chief of the Semnele timpului (Signs of the Times) magazine in Romania. “While the other media will undoubtedly impress people and will create great interest in the subject, the book will offer exactly what people will want to have next: more info, in-depth research, an analysis of different facets of the topic.” 

With all these resources combined, the team behind the project hopes that people’s interest in the topic will grow and will help them to find answers and resources for their pressing questions on the issue.

“We are praying that these cross-media resources allow the dialogue to develop, inspire reflection, enhance fatherhood, and help us all to consider the privilege of being a father,” said GAiN Europe leaders. “[It is our goal to] support the development of the next generation.”

The original version of this story was posted on the Trans-European Division news site.

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