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People 7.0: Forwarding together

People 7.0: Forwarding together

Adventists in search of a joint venture to guide children, women, and family

September 24, 2019 | V.Addazio, Hope Media Italy; C.Cozzi. Pictures C.Cozzi

Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy. [CD-EUDNews, V.Addazio, C.Cozzi]. Encourage, uplift, develop. All together, following the footsteps of Jesus as modern disciples. This was the main message and the invitation launched in Lignano Sabbiadoro, in Friuli-Venezia-Giulia (Italy), from the People 7.0 stage. The summit was organized by the Inter-European Region (EUD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, from the 18th to 22nd of September 2019.
 
About 500 women and men, sisters and brothers, coming from all the countries represented by the Inter-European Region, and some representatives from Australia, Asia, Africa, and America, took part in the meeting inspired by the guiding motto: "People 7.0: Forward together".

The keyword of the event, at its first edition, was indeed "synergy". The Children’s, Women’s, and Family Ministries in the EUD jointly organized the meeting, sharing ideas, experiences, and common dreams.
 
“At the center, we, the people, are all interconnected in our daily challenges and needs: children are part of the family and represent their future; families are also composed of women and women are connected in various ways with families and children,” were the remarks from the three Ministries’ directors: Dagmar Dorn (Women’s Ministries), Elsa Cozzi (Children’s Ministries), and Rainer Wanitschek (Family Ministries), also organisers of the event.
 
Starting the work of the summit, Mario Brito, EUD president, pointed out the novelty of the inter-ministerial joint venture, inviting everyone “to become disciples of Jesus in our interpersonal relationships, in a daily setting”.
 
Many international guests walked the stage of People 7.0 to present their reflections and personal experiences on over twenty themes: from new ways of creative communication to the resources that could be cultivated to live a full and satisfied family life. Themes also covered advice on how to develop emotional intelligence and the potential that ecclesiastical communities have in offering care, attention, and presence to people.

The module the organisers proposed was the world-famous TED Talk style, translated to E.U.D. Talk, where E. stands for Encourage, U. for uplift, and D. for develop.

With a maximum talk time of 15 minutes, the speakers shared their topics and later animated a panel guided by two moderators.
“We were impressed by the way we received the messages,” declared participants, “so clear, authentic, open, void of any kind of politically correct language, and straight to the point. This is what we were really expecting, and it has been [fulfilling].”

During the afternoon, summit participants were able to choose from a wide range of workshops to explore the themes proposed in the morning. Among the topics: Why kids (really) misbehave; Burning bright, burning out, burning again; The healthy way to forgive in a family; A creative approach to the inclusion of people with special needs; Kindness – the “chesed” challenge; Marriage and family: nightmare or resource?; Butterflies or junk in your head?; Can we change God’s mind?; Porn-free: the gateway to wholeness project; The path to financial peace, and much more.
 
Special focus was placed on action through the presentation of the global enditnow campaign (www.enditnow.org) to fight against all kinds of abuse and promote prevention. The Adventist Church continues to advocate the rights of all women, as well as children and men, of this earth to be free from any kind of violence and abuse.

Joao Martins, ADRA Europe director, (https://adra.eu/AdraEU.php) also invited everyone to sign the petition "Every child. Everywhere. In school", on the website https://inschool.adra.org/#sign-petition.
“The dream is to [send] all the children [of] the planet to school, saving them from exploitation, poverty and early marriages,” Martins declared.
 
The internationally renowned mime, Carlos Martinez, who has always been committed to defending human and civil rights, performed on the stage of People 7.0, giving a “brush stroke” of poetry and smiles to all summit attendees.
 
On Friday evening, an important anniversary was celebrated: the centenary of the birth of the Adventist Family Ministries. Willie and Elaine Oliver, Adventist Family Ministries world leaders, celebrated the centenary by presenting the stories and experiences that animated this long century. Family Ministries is a leading department within the Adventist Church that deeply believes in the important role that the family plays in society.

The Sabbath worship was the highlight of the whole summit. The three organisers set up the morning programme in a very creative and special module that caught the attention of all participants.
“We would like to present something out of the box, and let the participants feel ownership of the message,” declared the three. And so it was, because everyone could find, in the very clear and symbolic words of the message presented by the three, something that concerned them, that pushed them to reflect, something with which to identify.

This special program ended the meeting by feeding the hope of having marked the path of sharing and common work under protection of the Holy Spirit.


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