Interested in current events, relevant news, and a dose of spirituality?
Published on: 10-01-2019
Dwain Esmond and Cliff Goldstein, White Estate associate director and Adult Sabbath School Bible Study Guide editor, respectively, sit in a restaurant, chatting spiritedly over orange juice, water, and a basket of chips and salsa. Tonight they discuss their varied experiences with racism, and whether anything has changed in the United States and the larger world on this issue.
No, I wasn’t privy to their private conversation in a public restaurant. But I did watch their discussion on a new and engaging program on the Adventist Review TV platform—14th + U. And you can too.
14th + U is a program homing in on the intersection of current events and topics shaping our world today, while examining the spiritual lessons we might glean from them. It’s intended for 18- to 55-year-olds who wouldn’t call themselves religious, but who like to stay on top of current events and global news. The show also features snippets of interviews with everyday people taped on the corner of 14th and U streets in Washington, D.C., United States. These “vox pop” or “man-on-the-street” sound bites give viewers an insight into what society is talking about while also serving as topics of conversation for Esmond and Goldstein to pick apart.
While the program appears to be set in a local restaurant, it is taped in a studio at the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s world headquarters, an effect that helps viewers feel as if they are privileged to listen in on a lively conversation between two friends.
According to Rico Hill, Adventist Review Ministries TV lead for programming and development, the purpose of 14th + U addresses a real need right now. “14th + U is first and foremost designed to increase the Adventist Church’s relevance in the world, while offering a spiritual/moral perspective on the issues that arise daily/weekly. It’s intended to appeal to those who have opinions or may even be outraged by the events in the news cycle, but aren’t aware of the larger, moral center, and biblical narrative.”
If you enjoy shorter length videos or podcasts, 14th + U presents its thought-provoking content in a format that you will appreciate. “It is designed to appeal to those who watch and listen to video and audio podcasts, respectively,” says Hill. “We wanted to go a step further and remove the typical recorded aesthetic to give it more authenticity. We decided that two guys in a restaurant booth, while still ‘talking heads,’ was much more interesting to watch.”
A key goal of the program, according to Hill, is simple. “We hope to use the show as an evangelistic tool by showing the issues of the day to attract people, then sharing the bigger, spiritual story that includes prophecy and the gospel.”
To watch, visit www.artvnow.com and create a free account. The program is also available as an audio podcast from AR Audio. New episodes are available on demand and are archived to make them easy to share on social media.