Gabe Reynaud

Manifest supports digital disciples

Friday, June 23, 2017
Creative conference to see return of Gabe Reynaud Award

The most prestigious award of an Avondale-supported movement exploring, encouraging and celebrating faithful creativity will return at a conference for digital disciples next month.

The Gabe Reynaud Award honours the pioneering Seventh-day Adventist filmmaker. Awarded at Manifest’s creative arts festival between 2011 and 2015, it returns after a one-year hiatus as part of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Greater Sydney’s Digital Discipleship Conference in July.

Manifest will announce two recipients of the award next week. Previous recipients include artist Joanna Darby, academic, composer and writer Dr Robert Wolfgramm, the interactive, outdoor drama Road to Bethlehem, clown, storyteller and trainer Graeme Frauenfelder and entrepreneur and publisher Jeremy Dixon. “All five recipients challenge our understanding of what it means to be a faithful creative, particularly in the church,” says Manifest co-convenor Brenton Stacey. “The next two will, too.”

Reynaud, an Avondale College of Higher Education alumnus and former Adventist Media Centre Senior Producer, became the church’s first professionally trained director. His vision, according to brother Daniel: for the church to recognise the power of art, “not to preach so much [but] . . . to testify to [God’s] wonder and awe and mystery, and for artists to use their talents in all genres to testify to a God who is the embodiment of creativity.”

Manifest has increased its support for the Digital Discipleship Conference, in this the conference’s second year. In addition to the presentation of the Gabe Reynaud Award, two Manifest alumni—Shelley Poole and Nathan Brown, Assistant Convenor and Co-Convenor of the creative arts festival—are presenting workshops. Poole will speak about “Super Charging Your Creative Project” while Brown will discuss the potential role of the church as a creative centre for its community.

Digital Discipleship Coordinator Rachel Aitken sees this collaboration as a good fit. “Like Manifest’s focus on faithful creativity in a more general sense, Digital Discipleship exists to create, inspire, encourage and resource disciples of Jesus Christ to share His love through their creativity and innovation in the digital space.”

As the name suggests, Digital Discipleship includes in its participants photographers, videographers, graphic designers, social media enthusiasts, writers, bloggers, on-camera personalities, web designers, church communication secretaries, SEO and digital marketing specialists, and sound, production and lighting specialists.

“We gather annually at the Digital Discipleship Conference to collaborate, create, meet and energise around the idea of creating a discipleship movement in the digital space,” explains Aitken. “The event is a fun weekend of keynote speakers, workshops, collaborative activities, networking and prayerful planning.”

Become a digital disciple

The Digital Discipleship Conference is a ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Greater Sydney. It will be held at the Scientia Conference Centre at the University of New South Wales, July 14-16.