After a year of hard work and collaboration, leaders of the Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) in Europe will officially launch Happiness, their newest multimedia offering, on February 3, 2023.
Happiness, the fifth GAiN Europe project of its kind, is the result of cooperation between the Trans-European Division (TED) and Inter-European Division (EUD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and Hope Media Europe. Special contributions from the North American, Inter-American, and South American Divisions made this project the most comprehensive ever.
“The project, supported by the General Conference and the commitment of several divisions, is coordinated by a team of international creators … [with contributions from] almost every continent,” Adrian Duré, Europe project coordinator and Hope Media Europe producer, said.
Fifth GAiN Collaborative Media Project
Happiness seeks to sharing the message of the gospel with the many and various European peoples and cultures, mostly dominated by a worldview that feels no need of God, producers said. As in the team’s previous projects, it seeks to share a biblical teaching, following a basic approach that tries to connect with someone who has no previous knowledge about God or the Bible.
The series began in 2016 with the topic of Rest, followed in 2017 with This Is My Mission, highlighting a value right at the heart of the Christian faith, since, as it stated, “there is nothing better than living for others.”
For 2018, the project focused on Fathers, in an attempt to create concrete, positive, and focused material for families and highlight the important role fathers play in families. The project sought to motivate and bring to the forefront the special privilege of taking the responsibility of being a father, something modern European society seems slow to acknowledge.
The launch of the 2019 project Uncertaintyimmediately preceded the COVID-19 pandemic. When taken in the long view, the project aligns with the context described by The Sunday Times journalist John Glancy, during “six years of tumultuous news” for Europe, from the political drama of Brexit in 2016 to the continuing war in Ukraine today. The title of the book published for that project was The End of Uncertainty, Returning from Exile, providing a clear Christian perspective about how faith turns from surviving to thriving in an age of uncertainty.
Now in 2023, the Happiness project will be officially launched, with the first episode of the “700 Years of Happiness” docuseries, which will premiere on Friday, February 3.
What the Project Includes
The project includes a book written by a group of storytellers from around the world, exploring the topic of happiness from a personal and existential perspective. Another element is a documentary film titled Masters of Joy. The film is about children in countries such as Bolivia, United States, and Iceland who share what makes them happy.
The initiative also includes a documentary series titled 700 Years of Happiness, which explores the lives of seven centenarians from various countries to find out what makes them happy and what helps them enjoy life. Also, a social media series, comprising eight clips for social media, explores the beatitudes in the Bible and their role in our happiness.
Finally, it includes Those Were the Good Days, a narrative short film produced by the North American Division in association with Pacific Union College. The film explores happiness through the lens of a father-daughter relationship.
Who Can Use the Material
These resources are available free of charge through the GAiN Europe network. They can be used by church media entities, ministries, Hope Channel studios, and Adventist radio stations around the world. The content is currently available in English, with the possibility for it to be adapted or translated easily to many languages and cultures.
Commenting on the launch of Happiness, TED communication and media director David Neal acknowledged the relevance of this year’s project.
“Given the uncertainty Europe is facing and following our previous project to lead the viewers and readers from uncertainty to hope in Christ, it seems fitting that we add to this series by considering the meaning of true happiness,” Neal said. “Once more, the project shows that what we can achieve together is much more than what we can accomplish by ourselves.”
“Happiness is not necessarily something we own from birth but rather something we learn,” Duré said as he discussed the topic chosen for this year’s multimedia project. The films and book aim at “motivating and inspiring the audience and readers” to acknowledge that “happiness is not a destination, but the path we travel every day. Happiness can be found every day, all around us, even in the simple things. It is within our reach.”
At the same time, Duré acknowledged, “it is important we accept our realities and who we are.” He said to be excited about the way this multimedia project will allow viewers to dive deeper into such an important and relevant topic.
TED communication and media associate director Vanesa Pizzuto agreed. “As a GAiN Europe team, we pray that these free resources will inspire reflection and dialogue in our local communities and beyond,” she said. “We hope they’ll serve as a springboard for conversations on cultivating happiness and resilience as well as sharing our hope.”
And the story does not end here, GAiN leaders said. Collaborative work has already begun on the next network project focusing on “finding purpose and meaning in life.” Updates are expected soon, they said.