On Saturday August 28th, 2010 the A.C.O.E, Diocese of California youth ministry held its monthly Joint Bible Study (JBS) at Larsa Hall in Turlock, California, which saw youth members of Mar Yoisp, Mar Zaia, Mar Gewargis and Mar Addai Parishes coming together in the love of Christ and His life-giving word. The topic for this month’s discussion was “Media and its Influence on Our Christian Lives.”
The day commenced with the Assyrian Church of the East liturgical Morning Prayer lead by Reverend Genard Lazar – Diocesan Youth Coordinator, numerous deacons, and all youth members. After the prayer, all attendees were welcomed by Deacon Ramil Bivyodavid, Vice President of the Mar Addai youth ministry, which was the hosting parish for this month’s JBS. Deacon Ramil expressed his gratitude to everyone who attended and urged those who were attending for the first time to engage with this month’s topic, discuss, learn, and join their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ for fellowship. After a few instructions and breakfast, as prepared by the Mar Addai Parish youth committee, all attendees were divided up in groups based on age and dispersed with their respective bible studies leaders for discussion. In these small groups, various deacons and other youth leaders engaged their groups in discussion by introducing the following sub-topics:
1. A comparison of the values presented by the pop culture and the values of the Christian faith as expressed in the Holy Bible
2. The Influence of media and its reasons for being influential
3. The effects of the media on the daily lives of Christians
4. Overcoming the influence of the media
The groups also examined various case studies of different biblical characters who dealt with matters of influence; some who overcame the influence and others who were not successful in overcoming it. In conclusion, as all attendees gathered together for a quick re-cap session, a modern pop-culture song was closely examined to show the opposition such songs present to our faith as Christians. Reverend Genard Lazar concluded the day’s session with a prayer supplicating God for His guidance and His strengthening of our power of discernment as so what is good and what is evil so that we may be aware of the evils of the world and refuse to take part in them.
“Today’s Bible study/preaching was amazing. In fact, it was probably one of the best lectures I’ve heard in a while. The media’s influence really needed to be discussed and religiously analyzed to the youth of today.” Commented Nenos David.[nggallery id=48]