On April 22, 2023, the ELCIR Theological Institute held the 3rd Interconfessional Media Seminar. Its topic was “The Role of Text in Printed and Electronic Mass Media.” The seminar was organized with support from the Department for Relations with Religious Associations in the St. Petersburg Governor’s Administration.
Participants: 15 Christian journalists (Lutherans, Baptists, Pentecostals) from St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast.
In his greeting speech, ELCIR Bishop Ivan Laptev said, “Martin Luther said […], ‘If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write!’ […] We need to think […] how we should write, how the modern resources and technologies can help us do the main thing—spread the Word of the Gospel […] bring the Gospel to the needy and suffering people in this world. […] Let us remember that we are only a pen in the Lord’s hand, which He wants to use. However, God’s Word, which we proclaim, has in itself a tremendous power to accomplish the things God sends it to do. I wish you, first of all, to remember this and also to share with each other the resources available in the modern world to do this for God’s glory and to bear good fruit.”
In her speech, Tatiana Pruzhivina, chief specialist, Department for Relations with Religious Associations, noted, “All religious confessions need to have a voice. You need to tell about yourselves. This is necessary. We must bring God’s Word to the masses, telling everybody that Christ is risen!”
Presenters and trainers:
Elvira Zhejds, Andrei Kolomiytsev, St. Catherine’s Lutheran Church, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Russia;
Pavel Yevteyev, Vera i obshchestvo Journal, The Russian Church of Evangelical Faith Christians;
Pastor Artis Eglītis, Pastoral Leadership Institute International, The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia.
The presentations covered such topics as everything in the web leaving a digital trace, provocative headlines and any clickbait being able to become food for neural networks, building a public image of the church in social medias, advertising music concerts and congregational tours, branding, theory of generations, taking small steps toward a big goal, surviving in the acidic information environments and overcoming an attention crisis, priority of speed vs. priority of quality, why a journalist should have two dictaphones, how a church door may or may not become a Christian media, where a Christian text can “live” and how it can work, and many many other things.
Many thanks to all the people who participated in the seminar! Special thanks to Bishop’s Secretary Yelena Novichkova and Information Dept. Secretary Olga Rudaya who did most of the organization!
Information courtesy of Darya Shkurlyatyeva, head of the ELCIR Information Department, who played a Celtic harp, talked about itinerant musicians as “mass media in the Middle Ages,” and reminded us that Christian media and modern congregational musicians have the same goal—proclaiming the Good News of Christ.
Photo credits: Kristina Gainova; Yelena Novichkova