GAiN Academy 2015: Stories

GAINacademy Poster 

GAiN Academy is open to all those interested in using media and communication tools in local church settings. It includes a mix of technology and communication presentations by professionals in various fields. A variety of keynotes and workshops will empower attendees to improve and expand their use of media and technology in their local setting.

New additions to the 2015 programme include a selection of master classes on Sunday afternoon, and a special banquet on Saturday evening. You can also earn course credit via Newbold College & CEU credit through the SEC Ministerial department.

Below is a tentative schedule for the event, which is subject to change:

GAiN Academy 2015: Draft Schedule

18:00    Registration
19:00    OPENING MEETING: Theological Storytelling for the Contemporary World -- Tom De Bruin
09:00    DEVOTION -- Dejan Stojkovic
09:15    Branding Your Story -- Celeste Ryan Blyden
10:00    What Story do we Stream? -- Delwin Finch
10:40    Crisis Communication (Intro) -- Celeste Ryan Blyden
11:15    BREAK
11:45    Engaging with your Online Community -- Karsten Lundqvist
12:15    Managing My Digital Identity -- Pat Parslow
12:45    Introduction to Workshops
13:00    LUNCH
14:30    WORKSHOPS
               - Website Content -- Delwin Finch
               - A Basket Full of Stars: Communicating with colour and creativity -- Sheridan Voysey
               - Camera Operation (Beginners) -- Daniel Weber
               - Radio Ministry -- Mike Johnson
               - Using Pro-Presenter in Worship -- Douglas McCormac
               - Photography -- Daryl Gungadoo
16:30    BREAK
19:00    Presentation TBC
19.30    WORSHIP: The Power of Story in a Digital Age -- Sheridan Vosey

09:30    Storytelling through Photography -- Delwin Finch
10:00    Digital Discipleship (Interactive Session) -- Tom de Bruin & Kirsten Oster-Lundqvist
11:00    BREAK
11:20    WORSHIP: Storylines: Gods story through us -- Victor Hulbert & Kirsten Oster-Lundqvist
13:00    LUNCH
14.30    E-vangelism 3.0 -- Pedro Torres
15:15    Talking In Context -- Victor Hulbert
16:00    BREAK
19:00    BANQUET
09:00    DEVOTION
09:30    How to Market your Church Event -- Elieen Becejac
10:00    Streaming Your Story -- Delwin Finch
10:45    Design -- Mervyn Weir
11:15    BREAK
11:30    IT Security and Legal Issues (Video -- John Beckett) -- Nancy Lamoreaux
12:00    Following the Breadcrumbs of Our Lives: Is our digital memory changing our future recollection? -- James Poulter
12:45    Introduction to Master Classes
13:00    LUNCH
              - Crisis Communication -- Celeste Ryan Blyden
              - netAdventist Website -- John Beckett with support team
              - Camera Operation (Intermediate/Advanced) -- Daniel Weber
              - News Writing -- Victor Hulbert
              - Church Audio -- Daryl Gungadoo
17:00    SUPPER


Event Details

Starts  6pm on Thursday 26 February 2015
Ends  6pm on Sunday 1 March 2015
Venue  Newbold College, St Mark's Road, Binfield, Bracknell, Berkshire, United Kingdom RG42 4AN
  £140 (the conference price includes meals, however, accommodation should be booked separately); Students pay just £100; Church group of 5 or more? Please contact us for details of discounts available


Speakers & Presentations

Nancy Lamoreaux Nancy Lamoreaux

IT Security and Legal Issues Keynote Presentation

Leading Your Tech Team Keynote Presentation

Nancy Lamoreaux was recently appointed as the First Chief Information Officer of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In her new role she is overseeing the global technology strategy among regional Church entities and institutions, as well as protecting online security. Prior to her current role, she worked as the North American Division IT director.


Celeste Ryan Blyden Celeste Ryan Blyden

Branding Your Story Keynote Presentation

Crisis Communication Keynote Presentation

Crisis Communication Master Class (Sunday)

Celeste Ryan Blyden serves as vice president for strategic communication and public relations for the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. In that role, she directs internal communication, spearheads external communication initiatives and serves as publisher of the award-winning Visitor magazine and its online platforms, which the Associated Church Press named “Best Denominational Magazine” in the United States and Canada in 2010.  During the last 15 years, Celeste has helped a number of organizations effectively communicate during crisis situations, managed dozens of cases and conducted numerous training workshops across North America and the Caribbean. In 2013, the North American Division and AdventSource published her first book, titled Crisis Boot Camp, in print and eBook formats.  A Blue Mountain Academy graduate, Celeste has a Bachelor of Science in Communication and Counseling Psychology from Washington Adventist University, a Master of Arts in Organizational Communication from Bowie State University and plans to pursue a doctorate in Strategic Communication and Leadership.


Pedro Torres-Martinez Pedro Torres

E-vangelism 3.0 Keynote Presentation

Evangelization is the communication of the gospel. It involves a personal commitment from each believer, not only the Church as an institution. It is clear to see that methods of communication have changed a great deal in recent decades. Since evangelization is communication, we must also change our evangelistic methods, means and strategies. Could the new media become a tool in personal ministries? Is it only for the departments of the church? A revolution may start here....

Pedro Torres holds a DEA (MA) and is a PhD candidate in Communications at Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia (2007). He pastored in the Spanish Union of Churches from 2002-09, and then served as director at Centro de Producciones Multimedia (now in Sagunto (Spain) until 2012. He now teaches Communications at Facultad Adventista de Teología, and serves as director of (AWR-Spain), HopeChannel Spain, and Communications and ANN-Spain, as well as editing Adventist Review Spain.

Tom De Bruin Tom De Bruin

Theological Storytelling for the Contemporary World 

Dr Tom de Bruin is the communications director and executive secretary of the Netherlands Union Conference. While reading Computing Science and Communication in the Netherlands he received the call to ministry. After receiving his B.Sc. he listened to the call, and completed a BA, an MA, and recently a PhD degree in New Testament and Theology. Dr de Bruin communicates for a living, and is steeped in contemporary culture. As a pastor he worked in a church where the membership and leadership were predominantly youth. There he spent years tweaking his communication styles to appeal to young and old, in-church and out-church alike.

Delwin Finch Delwin Finch

What Story Do We Stream? Keynote Presentation

Storytelling through Photography Keynote Presentation

Website Content Workshop (Friday)

Delwin Finch is a graduate of both Walla Walla and Andrews University, and has also obtained several technical certifications. He has worked in both a corporate and church-based IT environment. His focus and passion is on the intersection of worship and technology. He is currently Pastor for Web Ministries at Forest Lake Seventh-day Adventist Church, Apopka (Orlando), Florida.

GAIN15-Weber, Daniel Daniel Weber

Beginners Camera Operation Workshop (Friday)

Intermediate/Advanced Camera Operation Master Class (Sunday)

Daniel Weber serves as Communication Director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America. After graduating from Andrews University with a degree in commercial photography, he initially worked as a freelance still photographer before transitioning to video, and is now considered an expert in single operator field productions. He has previously worked as producer for the church’s first full time news program, Adventist NewsLine, has produced the Adventist Mission DVD at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; and was senior producer at the Hope Channel’s, Silver Spring, Maryland based production center. A proficient director of photography, production and editing, Daniel is always looking to grow his professional skills and talents.

GAIN15-Beckett, John John Beckett

netAdventist Website Master Class (Sunday)

John Beckett is director of the Adventist world church’s Office of Global Software and Internet.

GAIN15-Voysey, Sheridan Sheridan Voysey

The Power of Story in a Digital Age Keynote Presentation

Story is the heart language of humanity. The Biblical Story reveals the heart of God for humanity. Bring these two together and you’ve got something very powerful indeed. In this keynote talk we will discover that the power of a story goes well beyond its ability to delight and entertain us. Good stories can awakening longing, inspire dreams, provide guidance, and even transform us. Whether one is reading a book or streaming a video, Story engages mind and heart. No wonder it’s God’s preferred way of communicating with us.

A Basket Full of Stars: Communicating with colour and creativity Workshop (Friday)

In this seminar Sheridan will explore creativity and its uses in communication for the Christian cause. The seminar will cover:

  • A four-phase process to help attendees understand what creativity is and how they can develop creative thinking skills.
  • Six elements that communicators can implement into their writing, speaking and other communication ventures, including the role of storytelling, metaphor and simile, and techniques to stimulate listener curiosity.
Sheridan Voysey is a writer, speaker and broadcaster on faith and spirituality. He is the author of five books, the most recent being the memoir 'Resurrection Year: Turning Broken Dreams into New Beginnings'. Before moving to the UK in 2011 Sheridan was the founding host of Open House, an innovative national radio show exploring life, faith and culture with Australia’s "spiritual but not religious" crowd. Sheridan is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought, and shares articles and podcasts at

James Poulter James Poulter

Digital Faith Narratives Keynote Presentation

James Poulter is the UK Representative for YouVersion, the Bible App for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone and the Web. With over 40 Million downloads, YouVersion is one of the most popular christian resources online and on mobile today, regularly topping the various App charts. James manages YouVersion’s relationships, communications and marketing in the UK. James is also a blogger, poet and writer, looking at how social media, new technology and the digital landscape is changing the way we think, act and believe. James regularly speaks on the subject around the UK and beyond, and is a regular contributor to media publications both on and offline.

Pat Parslow Pat Parslow

Managing My Digital Identity

Patrick Parslow is a teaching fellow in the School of Systems Engineering at the University of Reading. His work involves research into social networking, virtual learning environments, concepts of the self and consciousness, Digital Identity, connectivism, networks, boundaries, abstraction and game based learning (amongst other things!). He has recently worked on EU projects including:  MUVENation (using SecondLife as a teaching resource);  mobiblog (supporting mobile students through blogging);  LLL3D (virtual 3D environments for lifelong learning).

Daryl Gungadoo Daryl Gungadoo

Photography Workshop (Friday)

Best practice for taking and using still photography (for use in video productions and PowerPoint); and an overview of the resource.

Church Audio Master Class (Sunday)

Daryl Gungadoo was born on the island of Mauritius, and grew up as a missionary kid in East and West Africa. He has studied audio engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and also has a degree in Electronic Engineering & Software Engineering from Andrews University. He has worked for Adventist World Radio (AWR), in Guam, Italy and England, for 18 years; and is passionate about using and creating technology to help in the propagation of the Good News message. Daryl and wife Johannie have two children; Noah (6) and Anoushka (9). He enjoys photography, scuba diving, hiking, cultural anthropology, paragliding, and ham radio. One of his highlights in photography was working as an underwater photographer during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Victor Hulbert Victor Hulbert

Talking in Context Keynote Presentation

What is your neighbour watching on their TV or iPad?  What’s the topic of conversation around the water-cooler at work, or in the pub at night?  Should our media outreach be taking those conversations into account? This innovative presentation will demonstrate how focusing on issues of specific interest in the public mind but tackling them from an Adventist perspective can increase public understanding and awareness of Adventist ideas and attitudes.

News Writing Master Class (Sunday)

You want to get your story published… but how do you know what is ‘news’, what is reportable, and what your reader will want? Learn key elements to preparing a successful news story that people will want to read, as well as practical tips to help put them into practice.
Victor Hulbert has served in media and ministry since his days as a student missionary with Adventist World Radio in 1979. He has served as a minister in the North and South England Conferences and as Media Centre Manager in the British Union (84 – 87) and Global English Language Service Director for Adventist World Radio (1998 – 2004). Since then he has served as Executive Secretary of the South England Conference and since 2006 as Communication and Media director for the British Union Conference. He is married to Luisa Hulbert and has three adult children. Hobbies include outdoor activities, reading and photography. His greatest joy is that he can use his hobbies to serve God. He loves his job!

Mike Johnson Mike Johnson

Radio Ministry Workshop (Friday)

Mike Johnson has been promoting gospel concerts, managing artists, and producing music and radio projects for the past 30 years. Mike is a radio broadcaster and co-founder of the Adventist Radio Milton Keynes (ARMK), for which he won the Andrew Cross Award in 2000 for the series, ‘Favourite Hymns.’ In addition to ARMK, he has produced religious programmes for Cable Radio Milton Keynes, Splash Radio and, for the past six years, has been managing Light FM. He currently combines radio ministry with a regular schedule of lay-preaching engagements.

Karsten Lundqvist Karsten Lundqvist

Engaging with your Online Community Keynote Presentation

Dr Karsten Lundqvist is a lecturer at the University of Reading. He teaches several modules on advanced aspects of programming and human-computer interfacing. His research focuses on eLearning and how to use AI techniques in eLearning situations. Recently he has been the Academic lead on the online course “Begin Programming: Build Your First Mobile Game”, which is running on the FutureLearn platform. The course has over 30,000 participants, making it the most popular course on FutureLearn.

Douglas McCormac Douglas McCormac

Using Pro-Presenter in Worship Workshop (Friday)

In this presentation we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of using worship software. We will also look at what you can do with ProPresenter in your worship service and how to make it work for you.
Douglas McCormac was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Before heading off to Newbold College he worked as an electrician. He spent the first 11 years of his ministry in Dublin, Ireland. He currently serves as the minister for Adventist churches in Southampton and Winchester. Douglas has always enjoyed tinkering with technology from the day when he first used an Apple II. He loves walking and photography, and finding ways to use technology in his ministry.

Kirsten Oster Lundqvist Kirsten Øster Lundqvist

Pastor Kirsten Øster Lundqvist holds an MA from Andrews University, in Communication & Religion, received in 1994 and completed her undergraduate studies at Newbold College, in 1991.  As well as congregational pastoral work, she has experience in church planting, youth work, radio, media, publishing and communication.  Ministry has taken her around the world as a speaker to the USA, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, France and England. In the aftermath of the 2005 Asian Tsunami, she used her communication skills with the Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA) in Indonesia. She continues to explore ways of connecting people with Christ through ministry. In particular she has a passion for connecting with those who find themselves on the fringes of church life. With her experience in communication and pastoral ministry, she was elected to serve as the Communication and Media Director for the South England Conference, in 2011.


Bracknell has a variety of hotel and bed and breakfast facilities. Accommodation options include:

Newbold College

St Marks Road, Binfield, Bracknell, Berkshire, United Kingdom RG42 4AN
Tel: +44 (0)1344 407407

White Gates Hotel

St. Mark's Road, Binfield, Berkshire RG42 4AT
Tel: +44 (0)134 464 9164

Premier Inn Bracknell Central

Wokingham Road, Berkshire RG42 1NA
Tel: +44 (0)1344 319520

Hilton St Anne's Manor

London Road, Wokingham RG40 1ST
Tel: +44 (0)118 977 2550

The Grange

Charles Square, Bracknell, RG12 1DF
Tel: +44 (0)1344 474000

Premier Inn Bracknell (Twin Bridges)

Downshire Way, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 7AA
Tel: +44 (0)1344 456260

Please book directly with your preferred hotel.


Review GAiN Europe 2014

Watch the presentations from last year's conference:


Links & Resources




Contact us

Sam Davies

Communication Director

Natasha Mirilov

Communication/Media Assistant

Anna McLarty

Communication Secretary

Jodi Burnett

Temporary Communication Secretary