PC(USA) communicators win 25 Associated Church Press awards

Prestigious ‘Best in Class’ prizes go to PNS, OGA, Presbyterian Outlook

by Jerry Van Marter | Special to Presbyterian News Service

CHICAGO – Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) communicators garnered twenty-five awards in the 2017 Best of the Christian Press competition sponsored by the Associated Church Press, the oldest and largest Christian press association in North America. The awards were presented April 20 during the ACP’s annual convention at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago.

Nearly 850 entries were submitted for the contest, which was judged by an independent panel of communications experts. Awards were given for first place (Award of Excellence), second place (Award of Merit), and third place (Honorable Mention).

Among the PC(USA) communicators’ awards were three prestigious “Best in Class” nods — ACP’s highest honor — to Office of the General Assembly Communications (Award of Excellence), Presbyterian News Service (Award of Merit) and The Presbyterian Outlook (Award of Merit).

ACP President Jay Blossom presents 2017 Best of the Church Press awards to Jerry Van Marter (left) and Gregg Brekke (right.)

PNS and OGA Communications each won seven awards — including five Awards of Excellence for OGAComm and two for PNS (part of Presbyterian Mission Agency Communications). The Presbyterian Outlook won four awards — three of them Awards of Excellence. Presbyterian Women also won four awards, two of them Awards of Excellence. Single awards went to Presbyterians Today — an Award of Excellence, PMA Communications — an Award of Excellence, and Justice Unbound, an Award of Merit.

The complete list of PC(USA) award-winners:

Presbyterian News Service:

  • Best in Class — News Service: Award of Merit, Gregg Brekke, editor.
  • Video News Story (stand-alone): Award of Excellence — “The Porch at Faith Chapel, PC(USA) New Worshiping Community,” by Paul Seebeck.
  • Video Series: Award of Excellence — “PC(USA) 1001 New Worshiping Communities,” by Paul Seebeck.
  • Educational Video: Award of Merit — “Presbyterian Financial Aid Programs,” by Paul Seebeck.
  • Video News Story with Article: Award of Merit — “Brain of an artist, heart of a pastor,” by Paul Seebeck.
  • News Story, Website/News Service/Blog: Honorable Mention — “With only faith for protection Rev. Peter Tibi engages in shuttle diplomacy in South Sudan,” by Kathy Melvin.
  • Video News Story with Article: Honorable Mention — “Making a digital dream come true,” by Paul Seebeck.

Office of the General Assembly Communications:

  • Best in Class — Video Production: Award of Excellence, videos by OGA Communications staff, Randy Hobson, manager.
  • Convention or Meeting Coverage, Website/News Service/Blog: Award of Excellence — Mid Council Leaders Gathering of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), by Jerry Van Marter, Eva Stimson, and Gregg Brekke.
  • In-Depth Coverage, Website/News Service/Blog: Award of Excellence — Immigration/DACA by Jerry Van Marter, Eva Stimson, Randy Hobson, Amanda Craft, Teresa Waggener, J. Herbert Nelson, II, and Jim Nedelka.
  • Video Documentary: Award of Excellence — The Genesis of Exodus, by Randy Hobson, Teresa Waggener, and Amanda Craft.
  • Integrated Media Communications: Award of Excellence — “Story Map: The Genesis of Exodus,” by Vicente Guna, Randy Hobson, Teresa Waggener, and Amanda Craft.
  • Video News Story (stand-alone): Award of Merit — Untold Dreams: DACA Recipients Weigh Uncertain Future, by Randy Hobson.
  • Department, Online Publications: Honorable Mention — “re:RE (Regarding Ruling Elders),” by Diana Nishita Cheifetz, Rodger Nishioka, Rhonda Myers, and Jane Rogers Vann.


The Presbyterian Outlook:

  • Best in Class — Blog: Award of Merit — “Outlook Outpost” blog, by Jana Blazek, Emma Nickel, Jeffrey A. Schooley, and Alex Becker.
  • Theme Issue or Series, Blog or Social Media: Award of Excellence — “Parental grief” (blog series), by Jana Blazek.
  • Personal Experience, Magazine: Award of Excellence — “Pastoring a purple church,” by Jill Duffield, Jana Blazek, and Christopher Edmonston.
  • Print Publication Redesign: Award of Excellence — The Presbyterian Outlook 2017 Redesign, by Jill Duffield, Jen Jones, and Jana Blazek.

Presbyterian Women in the PC(USA):

  • Website Redesign: Award of Excellence — Presbyterian Women Website Redesign by Sharon Dunne Gillies, content; Stephanie Morris, Store; Laura Lee, art director.
  • Direct mail fundraising campaign: Award of Excellence — Birthday Offering 2017, by Stephanie Morris.
  • Bible Resource: Honorable Mention — “Cloud of Witnesses: The Community of Christ in Hebrews” by Melissa Bane Sevier, author; Betsy Ensign-George, editor.
  • Direct mail fundraising campaign: Honorable Mention — 2017 Thank Offering, by Kathy Reeves, author; Betsy Ensign-George, editor; Stephanie Morris, designer.

Presbyterians Today:

  • Feature Article, Magazine: Award of Excellence — “Christian Values: Muslims and Christians share a meal – and more,” by Paul Seebeck.

Justice Unbound:

  • Editorial or Opinion, Website/News Service/Blog: Award of Merit — “Choosing Vulnerability in the Wake of #MeToo,” by Henry Koenig Stone.

Presbyterian Mission Agency Communications:

  • Social media single posting: Award of Excellence — “PC(USA) Responds to U.S. Refugee Ban” (January 28, 2017), by Mari Graham, Social Media Manager.

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