Fr Terence Kesavan speaking to participants of the SHAREfest workshop on July 28.

SINGAPORE – To spur the Church to evangelise through social media, the East District Youth Committee organised a workshop on July 28, at the Church of the Holy Family. About 40 participants attended the workshop.

The project, called SHAREfest (SHARE as an acronym for Stirring Hearts:  A Real Encounter), draws its inspiration from Pope Francis’ message for World Communication Sunday.

At the workshop, the committee invited speakers to share their ideas on how participants could shoot their own videos for an upcoming video competition to be held on Nov 15.

The speakers at the workshop included East District Youth chaplain Fr Terence Kesavan, layout and graphic artist Hilary Hoe, Mr Gabriel Patrick from Nativity Church’s Youth Ministry, and Mr Linus Koh and Mr Tom Seah who are from a boutique creative digital production company.

Kick-starting the workshop was Fr Terence. He highlighted that there often is a disconnect between the Church and the social media. He went on to say that the media is in fact God’s gift that can be used to share the Good News.

The second speaker, Mr Hoe, mentioned that Catholics needed to be well-informed about their faith. To help Catholics with this,  Mr Hoe started PortaFidei, a Catholic lifestyle magazine.

Next to speak was Mr Patrick. He used memes related to the “battle of the two popes” during the World Cup, to show how social media could spread the Gospel in a humorous way.

He also got participants to walk around the church compound for 10-15 minutes and snap pictures and post their reflections on the pictures on social media platforms.

In preparation for the video competition, Mr Koh and Mr Seah shared their inspirations behind filmmaking.

Mr Koh talked about his decision to study filmmaking and make his own films.

Mr Seah, a Christian from another Church, shared how he learnt a lot about Catholicism working on a priestly ordination video.
Fr Terence and Mr Koh also advised participants to focus on the message instead of spending too much money on professional video recording equipment.

Mr Benjamin Tan and Mr Alphonsus Tang from the Church of St Stephen, who attended the workshop, said that it was a great eye-opener and that even though evangelisation was not something they initially had in mind when using social media, they agreed that they should start moving in that direction.   

The winning videos will be screened on Nov 15 at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.

Video submissions for the competition have to convey the Gospel message in a relevant, moving and interesting manner and they have to be less than five minutes long. They are to be sent to [email protected] by Oct 26.
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