Image Credit: Lacey Stecker

Oregon Conference Hosts First Creators Lab

The first Creators Lab was held March 22–24, 2024 and brought together podcasters, YouTubers, social media content creators, writers and other digital creatives of faith from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. 

Over the past decade, the online world has rapidly become an embedded aspect of our culture, bringing with it a flood of new ways to communicate and connect with our neighbors. Under the Adventist umbrella, there are still relatively few occasions for digital creators to connect in person. With this in mind, Oregon Conference communication staff, Washington Conference media and communication teams, North Pacific Union, Oregon young adults and others put their heads together to create such an event.

"Creators Lab" refers to both our Creator and those using their creative abilities to point to Him. This year featured a variety of digital creative leaders including TikTok’s Kevin Wilson, @crossculturekev; Seth Pierce, Beast & Bible podcast host; Evelin Velinova, documentary filmmaker; Kaleb Eisele, Oregon Conference digital media specialist and host for Bridges Over Walls, How the Church Works and Humans of Adventism; Ernesto Hernandez, Washington Conference media director; and Nicole Dominguez, Faith, Reconstructed podcast host.

While many of the attendees call the Northwest home, others flew in from as far as New York, Chicago and Chile. Kristin Ward, a member of Church of the Advent Hope in New York City, was one such person. "Flying in from New York City, I had no idea what to expect from Creator’s Lab — I just hoped to learn something and meet a few fellow creatives," said Ward.

"This event was so much more than I imagined! Not only were there engaging, incredibly knowledgeable speakers, but I also got to meet such a diverse group of creatives in the Adventist community — from beginners to seasoned pros, representing so many different fields," Ward continued. "Everyone shared the same passion for creating things and believed that their talents were contributing to something greater. I never expected something of this scale and absolutely loved learning and connecting with like-minded people!"

Ward shared, "There were so many great quotes from the weekend, but I won’t forget Seth Pierce’s speech: ‘If God created us and we are made in His image, is the ability to create not also in us?’"

Though presentations were an integral part of Creators Lab, the planning team worked hard to create time and space for the development of community connections and new friendships.

Eunice Reyes, who manages the award-winning platform @ratedvfood, shared, “Creators Lab is something I personally believe every Adventist conference has been missing. I truly enjoyed how relatable it was as a content creator myself."

"There are many questions we have when we begin or when we start considering starting a platform, so being able to hear the stories and journeys of others is inspiring and refreshing to know you can learn from them," Reyes continued. "With media now being one of the largest types of expression and many young people using it, it’s a way to connect with others and helps bridge a gap. I look forward to seeing this event next year grow even bigger.”

Featured in: July/August 2024