More than 180 Seventh-day Adventist communicators serving in various capacities across Europe and beyond gathered for training, inspiration, and networking opportunities at the 2022 Global Adventist Internet Network (GAiN) Europe in Bucharest, Romania, on October 16. Several communication project reports kicked off a series of focused presentations. The afternoon sessions on October 16-17 also showcased a variety of projects in printed resources, social media, radio, and TV. Two of these are featured below.
ST.Network: A Global Network of Articles
Romanian Signs of the Times editor Norel Iacob delivered a presentation about the Signs of the Times Network, known as ST.Network. He shared how years ago a group of communicators were inspired to create a network for sharing content globally. “It never seemed to be the right moment, but then the pandemic struck,” he said. “In a very short while, we published more than 100 articles and reached 450,000 readers in one month. Ninety-five percent of those readers were not Adventist church members.”
The articles initially focused on COVID-19 and spiritual topics, Iacob said. And the network became instantly successful. “Even celebrities began to share our contents,” he said. “And a supermarket chain used one of our articles for their internal magazine.”
Now, after 18 months, ST.Network has amassed 142 contributors and posted 901 articles in English, Iacob said. “We tried to cover any issue that is in the news, or any thematic topic like faith and hope,” he said.
Titles range from the more metaphysical to the practical, including, “Can We Leave God Out of History?,” “Leaving Home Without Leaving Your Parents,” and “Shame and Its Traps.” It also includes interviews with Adventist leaders. In “The Marathon Runner with a Mission,” for instance, Signs of the Times interviewed former General Conference vice president Delbert Baker, who has run multiple marathons.
The site is maintained by the Inter-European Division, and the content is free, as contributors have release their rights to it, Iacob explained. “Our articles are now being shared [in] dozens of countries,” he said. “Lately, the Inter-American Division Publishing Association (IADPA) also requested permission to use them. Now it’s our hope they can start sharing them [in] the more than 40 countries included in their church territory.”
Artventist: A Refuge for Creative Adventists
Seven years ago a group of Adventist communicators met at a workshop with the idea of getting creative people to stick together, Home Media Europe audiovisual production director Manuel Wildemann told GAiN Europe participants. At that workshop, they explored the idea of working together as creatives. With the overall goal of using every person’s creativity and following Jesus, Artventist.com was born. “It is a place where Adventist creatives can find a community, exchange ideas, network, and connect with like-minded people,” he said.
“Our primary goals include creating together and developing an online community,” Wildemann said. “We aim to be the main global network of Seventh-day Adventist creative artists,” he said.
Soon after the group was established, the founders organized communities by topics—photography, illustration, marketing, video production, and so on—and opened a forum for questions. “We also used it as a place to showcase our projects and ask for feedback or comments,” Wildemann said.
Among Artventist.com’s most important features is the interaction through member profiles, where individuals can share details about themselves. Interaction also takes places through social groups—public, private, or hidden social areas with separate activity feeds and member listing. Wildemann noted that the site also features private messaging and the ability to upload and share photos or photo albums. The app is available for IOS and Android, he said.
A quick visit to the site reveals that it allows people to enlist in groups according to their interests. Groups include audio and music, video and animation, and graphic design. It also includes writing, plastic arts, and performing arts, among many others.
Zoom integration and training opportunities are among the features developers plan to add in the future.
“This is a community created for you,” Wildemann said. “Go now and please register.”