Christian Communication Workshop
The Philippine Bible Society recently conducted a Christian Communication Workshop from September 3-7, 2007 at the PBS Sanctuary in Baguio City. The Workshop, designed to equip Christian communicators on the theology and methodology of communicating Gods word, was attended by some 30 participants from the Bible Society and representatives from partner organizations including the Episcopal Commission on Biblical (ECBA) and the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC).
The panel of speakers included: Dr. Julian Sundersingh, Program Consultant of the United Bible Society in the Asia-Pacific; Rumel Caballero, Vice President and CEO of Verumed International Pharmaceuticals, Inc; Carlo Dino, Domestic Broadcast Service Director of the Far East Broadcasting Company; and Charles Javier, an inter-confessional resource speaker on Creative Communication to Youth and Children.
Dr. Sundersingh, is the Program Consultant for UBS Asia-Pacific Office, for Media, Publishing and Research, and holds both a Ph.D. and an MA in Communication. He discussed: Biblical Principles of Communication, Understanding Audiences and their Needs, Audience Research, Understanding Media in Scripture Communication, Creative Programming, Strategic Approach in Carrying Out Our Mission, Spoken Language in Media Communication and Critical Success Factors in Scripture Communication. Mr. Caballero, an expert in strategic marketing and business planning spoke on: The Filipino Consumer and Its Changing Demographics, The Philippine Publishing Industry, and Research Tool in the Filipino Context. On the other hand, Mr. Dino, whose media involvement includes theater, television, marketing communication and corporate training tackled the Models for Social Change and Media Possibilities. Meanwhile, enjoyable and lighthearted moments sprinkled the sessions with Mr. Javier who shared on and demonstrated Communication through Music, and Communication with a Difference (Music for Youth and Children).
The workshop featured a challenging mix of lectures, small group discussions and presentations on proposed communication projects. On the whole, it challenged the participants– an ecumenical group composed of the clergy, lay workers, marketing professionals, media practitioners and information technologists — to be bolder in communicating Gods Word. It also convinced them that a paradigm-shift is necessary for stakeholders to start thinking of themselves not merely as Bible publishers but as true Bible Communicators.
Fr. Oscar Alunday SVD, head of the Episcopal Commission o Biblical Apostolate of the Catholic Church says: The Baguio workshop was an experience of the Word Alive. The Word alive and kicking in the hearts of women and men who are active in the promotion of the Bible. The resource persons shared their life experience on the Word of God – how they are inspired to do more and to be more and not so much to have more. The workshop was also an experience of solidarity of people sharing and reflecting together as sisters and brothers. It was an experience of communion where each one freely shared ideas, feedback, challenges, shadows and lights of life and ministry. It was a workshop where communication was liberating because the participants were gathered around the Communicator – the Word of God.
For his part, IT officer Third Fermin of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches says: I have no previous background on mass communication or marketing. But the four-and-a-half day Christian Communication Workshop helped me appreciate and understand the biblical foundation of communicating — the way God designed it to be. The workshop taught me to strive and be a more effective, focused and be an intentional communicator to a world that needs the message of Love, Hope, and Salvation.
France Torreja, PBS Marketing Manager and workshop coordinator sums up the sentiments of her team: We enjoyed the workshop immensely. But more than that, it enlightened and challenged us to communicate Gods Word not only through print — our usual way nor in the manner we want, but rather in the way our target audience would truly understand and appreciate. Thus, let lovers of music hear the Divine Love Story through chords of music…let radio enthusiasts hear of God’s love on the airwaves and let TV and computer aficionados see and hear the Good News live on their monitors and screens.
The Philippine Bible Society is the foremost Scripture source in the country and has been in the ministry of Making the Bible Known for almost 108 years. It constantly seeks to discover and devise ways of realizing its vision of a transformed Philippines through Gods Word. The Christian Communication Workshop, undertaken in partnership with the United Bible Societies, is the first to be conducted in the Philippines.