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Adventist Communicators Celebrate a Year of Excellence

By Julie Zaiback
Photos by Tim Putt

Collaboration. Creativity. Inspiration. This year’s Society of Adventist Communicators (SAC) Convention delivered all of this and more. Newport Beach, Calif., proved to be an inspiring backdrop for the 20th annual conference. A total of 140 communicators from across the country joined together to exchange ideas, celebrate successes, and brainstorm strategies for improvement.

After mingling with welcomed newcomers and longstanding veterans at the open reception, attendees gathered for the Thursday night program. The Communications Showcase featured exciting new projects, highlighting the Voice of Prophecy and the Hope Channel. The business meeting covered numerous agenda items, including the nomination and voting of new board members and SAC president. Steve Vistaunet, assistant to the president for the North Pacific Union Conference, will be replacing Celeste Ryan Blyden, assistant to the Columbia Union Conference president and Visitor editor, who dutifully served as SAC president for the past two years.

The evening closed with the SONscreen Film Screening, highlighting young adults who effectively use film and video to encourage social consciousness, inspire action, and celebrate creative entertainment.

Keynote speaker Ryan Bell, pastor of the Hollywood (Calif.) church, and young adults from his congregation blessed Friday morning attendees by sharing their inspirational—and artistic—approach to ministry. The morning address opened minds to the importance of artists, filmmakers, writers, and actors serving the Lord.

The remainder of the day was spent in breakout sessions addressing the diverse needs faced by communicators. Award-winning filmmaker Martin Doblmeier closed the evening with a moving presentation of his film The Power of Forgiveness. Clips of his upcoming film The Adventists was also shown. The production focuses on Seventh-day Adventist’s unique approach to the interconnected relationship between faith and science and is scheduled for release December 2009.

Blessings continued pouring Sabbath morning with a touching testimonial from Christian Iordan, associate pastor of the Campus Hill church in Loma Linda, Calif. Campus Hill senior pastor, Hyveth Williams, DMin, presented the morning’s sermon. Her prolific rendering reinvigorated and charged the congregation as she urged worshippers to serve and praise the Lord “excellently.”

The evening’s award banquet and farewell was drenched in humor by the program’s guest emcee, Jimmy Phillips, including the surprising performance of The Three Waiters. However the heart of the evening was focused on celebrating efforts of high-reaching and high-achieving individuals and teams. Roland Scalliet from Southern Adventist University won the Student Award; Jessica Lozano from Southwestern Adventist University won the Young Professional Award; the 2008 Offering Campaign for Adventist World Radio was awarded the Excellence Award; the Southeastern California Conference website redesign was awarded the Reger Smith Jr. Cutting Edge Award; Daniel “Don” A. Roth received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Communicators left rejuvenated, inspired, and revving to fulfill this year’s theme: “Ride the Wave of Communication Excellence.” Save this future information: October 14-16, 2010, Rochester, N.Y. For more information about SAC, visit