After a brief recess following the morning’s activities, it was time for the much-anticipated coffee table discussions.
To start proceedings, Apostle Peter Lambert, along with content expert Andrea Alexander, were interviewed by Melissa Stephens and discussed gender-based violence, the importance of speaking about experiences of gender-based violence, the emotional effects the victims suffer and how the church is dealing with this issue. The group also discussed what to do when one becomes aware of a victim of abuse and how victims can find coping mechanisms to try and deal with the trauma. The speakers also highlighted the need for respect and the importance of the biblical rule of loving thy neighbour.
At 14:30 it was time to cross over to Sandton, Johannesburg where Apostle Sipho Mogane, presenter Sharlene Pillay and content expert Louise Taljaard were waiting to discuss social media and the effects it has on society. The group spoke about cyberbullying and the negative effects it can have on people. This includes participants taking part in dangerous dares, while others suffer from abuse that leads to depression and even suicide among online users. Thereafter, the Apostle and Louise spoke about ‘fake news’ and how to differentiate between clickbait articles and what information is factual. The Apostle also used the opportunity to discuss how we as Christians should act on social media. He highlighted the importance of our actions on social media and how it should be consistent with our Christian belief. This was followed by the Apostle and Louise discussing the positives and negatives of social media.
Back at Silvertown, Apostle Peter Thompson who was in company with presenter Danté Sims and subject expert Mervin Doralingo, spoke about decision making in relation to crime. The first point of discussion was about South Africa’s crime rate and the concern around the constant increase in violent crimes. With the crime rate being so high, the group discussed the importance of young people remaining aware of their surroundings and try to avoid becoming a statistic. Apostle Thompson then spoke about how we can cope with our fears in a spiritual manner. His advice to all is to continue to pray to God, and by doing so, we will be at peace. The consequences of bad decision making in relation to crime was the next talking point, and Mervyn spoke about the devastation this can cause to a young person and how it can negatively impact their future, and herewith, the Apostle encouraged all young people to surround themselves with people who share the same spiritual values as them.
This was followed by a conversation about the sensitive topic of suicide between Apostle Abraham Page, presenter Darius Wyngaardt and content expert Lillian Magagula. The Apostle opened the discussion with a look at the spiritual perspective of the topic. Lillian then spoke about ways in which we can identify the signs and symptoms of those who might be depressed or suicidal. She then spoke about possible contributing factors that cause depression and mentioned that it is important to monitor the duration of negative thoughts and actions. The group moved on to the important role the parents and guardians play in the lives of the young people, and how vital it is to know the difference between hearing and listening to someone’s concerns. The vital element of communicating your emotions was also discussed with people who have suicidal thoughts encouraged to speak to someone they trust about their issues.
District Apostle J Kriel recently introduced the sexual misconduct policy that will guide our church on all matters relating to sexual misconduct. Apostle Robert Worship, content expert Hettie Scheppel and presenter Tracey Lange used the time to re-introduce this important policy and spoke about why the church saw the need to develop the sexual misconduct policy. Hettie then spoke about the difference between sexual harassment and sexual misconduct.
Before the conclusion of the afternoon session, District Apostle Helper Mandla P Mkhwanazi, presenter Simonia Magardie and content expert Karl Muller discussed the emotional impact of the COVID-19 lockdown. The District Apostle Helper gave his views on the current situation we find ourselves in and spoke about the importance of continuing to believe in God during this time. Karl then moved the conversation to the difference between worrying and anxiety, and briefly spoke about techniques of dealing with anxiety. The District Apostle helper then spoke about how to remain disciplined when working from home, while Karl spoke about setting certain boundaries to avoid mental burnout. The group also spoke about cultivating the behaviour of keeping in communication with others while trying to limit your intake of all the information that could have a negative impact on your way of thinking. In conclusion, the District Apostle Helper assured viewers that God remains in control, and Karl encouraged all to be aware of what they are feeling and take the necessary action if they are feeling overinflated.
The remaining Apostles also engaged in topical discussions and this, along with the aforementioned discussions, will be available for viewing on NACTV at a later date.
More images of today's events will be uploaded shortly.
We now look forward to Sunday’s divine service for young people which will be conducted by the District Apostle.