UESI Publication Trust organized a workshop for its branches from 19 to 21 April 2013 at Highfield, Kotagiri. Mr Shyam Winston’s sessions enlightened the participants and presented challenges to stay contemporary and relevent to the changing times and growing needs. The members discussed on the magazines and book publishing. This sessions trigerred & fuelled the Long range planning. Due to unforeseen ciscumstances some members couldn’t come.
In the same venue UESI PT AGM was held on 20 April in which annual report, and the audited financial statement were presented. UESI PT branches presented their reports for 2012-13 & plans for 201-13. It was felt that more gifted & dedicated people for this significant ministry are needed.
26-29 July 2012 are among the most memorable days of our lives. We had heard a lot about Highfield, Kotagiri and always wanted to go there. Finally, we got the opportunity to go there for Communication Workshop. When we entered Highfield, I wanted to shout but its beauty silenced me.
The workshop started at 12 noon, and so we had time to go around Highfield. We had gone there to learn about communication. Communication is supposed to be two way, but at this moment nature was speaking one way. Amazing. Words are not enough to describe the beauty of Highfield, one would be mistaken if one thinks the beauty lies in the visual extravagance, the beauty lies there, yes, but it is multiplied immensely by the staff, they add to the beauty and make the stay memorable. The woods are indeed the place to be, a quiet place in the middle of no-where, the perfect place to get lost and be found in His Word.
The Bible tells us about God’s love, it is a written medium, a testament to the power of communication and as born again people it is indeed our responsibility to be prepared to share God’s love creatively. In this regard Communication Workshop was extremely helpful. A session on free-writing, the opening session was an awesome tool to encourage existing writers to write more and non-writers to write afresh. It is a really good way to encourage and allow people to discover their talents, after all everyone is a poet and a storyteller. As each session progressed, it was like multiple scales falling off of our eyes one by one. Each session had something new to tell us.
The sessions on video making and street play/skit were also amazing as they allowed us once again to realize what we can achieve when we put ourselves to it. The talent on display was awesome, each and everyone gave their very best and the results were meaningful videos and skits. The session on music was once again a reminder to use every avenue available to share God’s love. The session on powerpoint presentation and social media were not only for the tech geeks but for everyone, enjoyable, entertaining, yes but more than that enlightening and enriching. Same can be said about the sessions on tract writing and devotional writing. The best part about the sessions was that they were not all theory but very involving practical sessions.
As part of practical assignment each of the six groups produced a short movie, street play, newsletter and the top two were recognized. There were also individual level assignments to write tract, short story, devotional writing.
The resource people really cared and thus poured out all as they shared, the sessions were always lively and challenging. Each one of them presented their session in a manner that was challenging and enabling. As born again believers every moment is an opportunity to live like Christ and share His love. Our writings thus can be of immense value. It was a point made again and again and rightly so.
Participants speak. . .
I could learn and practice more on writing and media. – Eric Doss, Gujarat
I have discovered new talents after coming here, esp. in acting and writing. – John Epaphra, AP
I could find the talents and gifts in me and learnt to create video. Ramakrishna Janga, Delhi
Has been a blessing and transforming experience. Both spiritually & creatively. Thumps Up! – Keran Ida Jennifer, TN
Got the opportunity to explore my ownself speedily on how I can use the gifts ‘n’ talents. The sessions were all based on the present trend.- Christopher Nag
The Creative Writers Workshop for this year was held at Highfield, Kotagiri with 25 participants and 6 resource persons. Highfield is a place where you find peace, love, joy, wonder, beauty, which exhibits perfection in God’s creation and His presence. The first meeting took place at Shamrock. It was such a new experience to meet with people from different places,and different age groups. . . from Nagaland to Kerala, from 16 to 60 years. But all of us were together in that room with one dream to write. The workshop started with ‘Free Writing’ where we were asked to read to others what we had written and introduce ourselves to know each other. Dr Babu Verghese, Mumbai took a session on different aspects of creative writing, how to get ideas, conduct and write Interviews. He testified his personal experience in publishing and the many challenges he faced as a Christian in the secular world. Mr Santosh Kumar, taught us about the technical aspect of writing and how to write short stories with anecdotes. Humorous and full of anecdotes and quotes, he was simply loved by all and inspired us.
Mrs Seline Augustine, from The Hindu, Chennai, taught us about writing articles for newspaper/magazines and her experience in the secular field motivated us to write more articles. Her testimony in the media was an eye opener for all of us as to how the media works.
Mr Paul Augustine’s sessions on “Hymn Writing” was one of the best sessions throughout the entire workshop. He taught us about Rhythm, meter, tune, melody and how when all of these put together would turn out to be a beautiful Hymn bringing out God’s message through music.
Mr John Jeberaj, Secretary, Communication DeptUESI took session on the importance of tracts and how to write tracts to attract the targeted groups. Mrs Joy Jeberaj taught us how to prepare newsletter in different formats and it was a very useful session. We are privileged to know how a newsletter is actually being prepared. Our creativity had no limits when we were asked to make our very own news letters.
The sessions on “open your eyes and look for ideas” gave us a burning desire to write about the Creator and His creation. Enacting News Reports, making news letters, writing Hymns and short stories… everything gave us more insights than ever before.
Still looking back at the 4 days at Kotagiri, there are just tiny smiles that flash across our faces, and memories that will last forever. The workshop has been a life changing experience in all our lives from the youngest participant to the eldest.
This Writers’ Workshop has returned, refined and redefined us by igniting the creative spark in us!!