Christ in Christmas: Reflection on SummitRDU sermons

My friend Kelly introduced me to the SummitRDU church a couple of years ago. I had struggled with my home church because I felt there was no service that really spoke to me or fulfilled my spiritual needs, but at SummitRDU I found the worship to be meaningful and the sermons challenged me.  For the past couple of weeks, Pastor J.D. has been preaching about “Searching for a King: The Story of David, King of Israel.

Last week, “Still Small” truly spoke to me about worship and its purpose. In 2nd Samuel 6:14-15 it says, “Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might,  while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.”

This demonstrates how David wanted God to be a big deal to others. He would humiliate himself for the Lord by dancing basically in his underwear.

What does your worship tell others about the value of God to you? Your worship puts our hunger for God on display. This truly hit me because I always say that I want my actions to speak for my faith, but do I actually do that?

Worship is our response to the Gospel. It is how we live, spend our money and our time. So based on your life, what do you worship?  For me, it is apparent that I worship school work, internships and working out.  And yes, I wish I spent more time with my friends, but it is obvious when looking at my planner, that I do not worship the Lord with my time. I barely fit in my 5 minute devotion each morning. This needs to change.

Worship fits right in to giving in the Christian faith. Giving is a way of worship, expressing our love for Jesus by donating our time and money to share the good news. This week the message was on “Who is Giving to Whom.”

2nd Samuel 7:1-26 shows that God is the giver and we are the receivers. He is the provider for us.   God does not need us, but we should want to give back to Him. We should offer ourselves to God and do what He says to do.

Romans 10:14-15 says, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ “

We must be sent to tell people about Jesus. We could go on our own, but God can do magnificent things with us if we listen to Him.  So where do we start?  Start the with the needs rights in front of you, in your community. Also, start with the passions God has given you. For me I know my passion if human rights issues and international work like that of International Justice Mission and World Vision.

The last thing J.D. talked about was the “disappointment principle” where God ordains failure so people will make a bigger deal out of God than out of you. This helps remind you that your joy comes from Him rather than your success. Although this is hard to accept, I know this is true. Because if everything went my way, I would become cocky and think I do not need God, but in reality, I rely on Him for everything. He is the provider so people should see Him in me.

I think these sermons fit for the nature of this season of giving. Christmas is about Jesus’ coming and His task to be the Savior we need. It is a time to worship the Lord for His gift of salvation. Christmas is about giving of yourself because of what Jesus has done for you.  I know I fall to the advertisements of buying and spending on your friends, family and even yourself, but truly this season is about God. As cliche as it is, let’s put CHRIST back into Christmas.

Reflecting on my internship at RLF Communications

This fall semester I interned twice a week at RLF Communications in downtown Greensboro.  This was my first experience at a PR agency and it was a great learning experience.

As an intern I was assigned to one main account, the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, because of my class work for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Through social media, newsletter articles, e-mail pitches and press releases, I assisted in increasing the number of visitors to specific events and new exhibits.

I also learned 2 programs utilized in public relations: Cision and PR Trak. Using Cision, I created media lists for the Greensboro Partnership and Care One. PR Trak aided me in evaluating media coverage by providing monetary value for published articles.

Working at a small agency gave me the opportunity to try many new tasks – writing copy for advertisements, writing pitches,  creating social media content calendars – but also helped me hone my skills in researching and evaluating media coverage and writing press releases.   Although I worked on one main account, I was able to work with several different clients and most of the agency staff.

Two adventures I had the opportunity to take part in were a team building day at the N.C. State Fair and visiting Genuity Concepts marketing company.  As part of the team building day, we had an agency meeting to reflect on the year as it came to a close and discuss what the future entails. Then we traveled to the fair to enjoy each other’s company outside the office. We tried lots of fried food and adventured on several different rides. It was wonderful to interact with the staff members in a casual setting and be able to spend more time with each person that I may not interact directly with at work.

Several of the staff and interns went to Genuity Concepts to learn about the different marketing and promotional pieces available. I thoroughly enjoyed it because it got us thinking outside the box. We explored the show room of pens, mouse pads, custom wine labels, rainboots, watches, etc. with brand names and logos. We thought of different uses for things – such as an RLF holiday gift for our clients or what our clients could give to their clients.

My internship was a great time! I enjoyed everyone I worked with, the variety of projects and clients I was able to work with and learning about the workings of a small agency.

Holiday Celebrations

December is one of my favorite months at Elon. There are so many ways to celebrate the holidays. The Annual Holiday Celebration is where the school is lit up with 1,500 luminaries and Elon turns on its lights on the trees.

The Moravian Lovefeast is a tradition from Germany brought to Old Salem, North Carolina, by early Moravian settlers. The service includes beeswax candles, singing carols, coffee and a Moravian bun.

In addition to Elon’s events, my group of friends travel to Winston-Salem every year to go through the Tanglewood Festival of Lights and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies at Chelsey’s house.

 

 

This year we were lucky and it snowed on campus the day we went to Festival of Lights!

Although this is also the busiest time of the year, I love all the traditions that Elon has and am glad I get to celebrate with my closest friends while at school!

Advertising and New Media Workshop

Last night Elon’s PRSSA chapter had an advertising and new media workshop with School of Communication faculty member Dan Haygood.

He discussed how advertising used to focus on convincing people to buy their products because of its qualities, but now it is about entertaining the audience to encourage them to purchase the product.

We discussed the 10 best digital campaigns from the NY Times article. My favorite from the list is the Dove evolution commercial. This ad demonstrated just how made up “beauty” is and how models do not even look perfect – they are altered by a computer.

Then we discussed how to adapt to the industry today through:

  • dialogue rather than monologue
  • listening rather than talking.  Companies need to listen to audiences, not just talk to them. Good examples are Dominos changing their pizza and GAP reacting to changing their logo.
  • individual rather than segments. Attract specific people through blogs, Twitter rather than try to attract a large audience
  • customization rather than one size fits all
  • strict accountability rather than generalization
  • real-time rather than “next quarter”.  It’s happening now, so change now, not next quarter.
  • collaboration rather than isolation. Have more people contribute to creative work.
  • chaos rather than order. Change is constant and hard to learn, accept it.

“ad land must be truly integrated”

New medial tools for brand communication:

  • social media
  • private online communities
  • virtual communities
  • blogs
  • RSS feeds
  • podcasts
  • microblogging (ex. Twitter)
  • content sharing (ex. Youtube, Flickr)

Media channels for placing advertisements:

  • sponsored search
  • user-generated content. For example priority club members were asked to take photos of the view from their hotel rooms, then that photos were used in ads
  • mobile. For instance, using messaging opt-ins at the mall to get discounts via text message.

Haygood spoke about his agency experience and how young people today are what these agencies are looking for because we have the social media competence. He gave examples of agencies that have struggled to transition to the new media world and others that have excelled.  It was great to learn about how to build successful digital campaigns and the tools available because these tools can also be applied to public relations campaigns.