Sabbath blessings at New Media Awards ceremony
The world needs rest, and we have the solution. The mission of The Sabbath Sofa Project, run by Pastors Vili Costescu and Sam Gungaloo is to share the gift of the Sabbath with those who need rest. The Sabbath Sofa is rapidly spreading online, with over 42,000 followers on Facebook from all around the world.
Having established a following online, the Sabbath Sofa was nominated for two awards at the Christian New Media awards ceremony: Most Creative Use of Social Media and Innovative Use of New Media in Outreach. The Sabbath Sofa made the list of five finalists, and on the night, we were awarded second place in both categories. The project which won in both categories is 40ACTS, a challenge set up by the Christian charity Stewardship which encourages Christians “to do Lent generously”.
The awards night was very enjoyable, and it allowed us to network with fellow Christians. There were a few things that really stood out to us, and which highlight the benefits of exposing our project to the wider Christian media community. Firstly, we were overwhelmed by the support and positive comments our project received from the other attendees. The new friends we made at our table, including bloggers Gillan Scott, one of the most influential bloggers in the country and Mina Munns, children’s ministries blogger, cheered loudly for us when we were announced. One of the highlights was when I was approached by one of the judges, Simon Jenkins, who said that we are doing a fantastic job, and that he loves our project. Team members from the Saltwater and Honey blog came to me at the end, saying that our project seemed “really cool”, and that they would continue to follow us on Facebook.
Secondly, interacting with other Christians on the night meant that we were able to fulfil our mission. Team member Julian Thompson said that being there on behalf of The Sabbath Sofa “gave us the opportunity to engage with other Christians on the subject of the Sabbath.” Sam Neves stated, “It is remarkable that the Christian community is willing to engage with the Sabbath and to recognize a divine idea when they see one.”
Finally, being awarded runners up in a competition involving more established projects than our own, is a true encouragement for the team to continue with this project and to keep dreaming big. As Sam Gungaloo said, “Having the Sabbath recognized by the Christian community is very special. We feel privileged to be used by God, communicating his essence creatively.”
Our future goal is to expand further, with God’s help. Our biggest dream is to spread the Sabbath Sofa internationally, and to have Sabbath Sofas all over the world. We do not know what the next year will hold, or if we will win any awards in the future. “The one thing we are certain of is that we want to tell as many people as possible: Remember, you’re not a machine; experience the Sabbath.”- Vili Costescu.