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Stated Clerk among the winners in church press contest

J. Herbert Nelson, II snags a win with an editorial urging the end of cash bail

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

Marchers emerge through public art in downtown Louisville during last summer’s march to end cash bail. (Photo by Angie Stevens)

LOUISVILLE — Among the winners announced Thursday during the Associated Church Press’ 2019 Best of the Church Press Awards was the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II.

Nelson was given an award of excellence for his editorial, “Overcrowded jails, wasted tax dollars: Let’s reform cash bail in Kentucky and the nation,” published June 3 in the Louisville Courier Journal.

The awards ceremony was to have taken place Thursday in Alexandria, Va., but the coronavirus outbreak scuttled the conference. Instead, the ceremony was livestreamed. The Rev. Gregg Brekke, executive director of the Associated Church Press, and Jana Blazek, associate editor of Presbyterian Outlook, co-hosted the awards ceremony, which was viewed by more than 150 people.

Brekke said the winners were selected from among 940 entries in 90 categories.

“It was a little odd not being in person, and we appreciate everyone’s thoughtfulness and patience during this time,” he said.

Nearly 250 people participating in last year’s end cash bail event marched behind, left to right, Shameka Parrish-Wright of The Bail Project; the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II; the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett; and J. Phillip Thompson, deputy mayor of New York City. (Photo by Tammy Warren)

Also earning awards were staff with the Office of the General Assembly and Presbyterian Mission Agency and their colleagues, as well as those who work for Presbyterian-related publications. Find the complete list of winners here.

In addition to Nelson, other Presbyterians garnering an award of excellence — ACP’s top honor — were:

  • Feature Article, long format: Presbyterian Outlook, for “Slavery and the genealogy of The Presbyterian Outlook,” by Erskine Clarke, Jill Duffield, Blazek and Jen Jones
  • In-depth coverage: Presbyterian Outlook, for “A tour of Baltimore: What do you see?” by Leslie Scanlon
  • Personal experience: Presbyterian Women, for “Decentering Whiteness” by Stephanie Morris in the September/October issue of Horizons Magazine
  • Biblical interpretation: Presbyterian Women, for “Love Carved in Stone,” by Eugenia Gamble, author; Betsy Ensign-George, editor; Yvonne Hileman, copyeditor; and Laura Lee, designer
  • Bible resource: Presbyterian Women, for “Embracing the Gift of Tension” in Horizons Magazine, by Layton Williams, author; Sharon Dunne Gillies, editor; Susan Jackson Dowd, publisher; Laura Lee, designer: and Yvonne Hileman, copyeditor
  • Devotional books: Presbyterian Outlook, for Lectionary Reflections, Cycle A, by Jill Duffield
  • Website redesign: Unbound, An Interactive Journal on Christian Social Justice, by Lee Catoe, managing editor
  • Single photo: Presbyterian News Service, End Cash Bail by Angie Stevens
  • Photo spread: Presbyterian News Service, Louisville area Presbyterians and their friends raise bail to spring more than 50 people, Angie Stevens and Tammy Warren
  • Video, news story, current event: Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), “Hands and Feet Baltimore — Soaring Eagles Learning Center,” by Randy Hobson
  • Fundraising and subscriptions: Presbyterian Women, 2019 birthday offering materials, by Susan Jackson Dowd, publisher; Cheri Harper, editor; Stephanie Patterson, designer; Yvonne Hileman, copyeditor
  • Best in class public relations or marketing campaign: Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), End Cash Bail, by Rick Jones, Mari Evans and Melody Smith
  • Best in class blog: Presbyterian Outlook, Outlook Outpost Blog, by Jana Blazek, Alex Becker, Joanna Hipp, Linda Kurtz and Outlook bloggers.

ACP’s award of merit went to these entrants:

  • Feature article, short format: Presbyterians Today, March/April, “Practicing Resurrection: New life awaits dying churches,” by Sherry Blackman
  • News story: Presbyterian News Service, “Immigration through the experiences of Border Patrol agents,” by Mike Ferguson
  • Personal experience: Presbyterian Outlook, “Freebox, a theology,” by Jana Blazek
  • Column: Presbyterian Outlook, “Benedictory,” by Cynthia Rigby, Presbyterian Outlook staff
  • Biblical interpretation: Unbound: An Interactive Journal on Christian Social Justice, “Facing the bronze serpent: a call out to white people,” by Lee Catoe, managing editor
  • Educational or informative video: Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), “Want to end gun violence? Eradicate the conditions that lead to violence,” by Randy Hobson
  • Best in class video production: Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of the General Assembly, 2019 in Review, by Randy Hobson.

Those receiving honorable mention awards:

  • Feature article: Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), “An out of this world legacy: the Presbyterians who took communion to the Moon,” by Rick Jones
  • News story: Presbyterian Outlook, “Small contributions add up: Idaho church plays big role to reduce state’s medical debt” by Leslie Scanlon
  • News story (magazine): Presbyterians Today, “An out of this world legacy: the Presbyterians who took communion to the Moon,” by Rick Jones
  • In-depth coverage: Presbyterians Today, “The suicide epidemic: now more than ever, community is needed,” by Donna Frischknecht Jackson and Paul Seebeck
  • Editorial or opinion: Presbyterians Today, “Seeking justice in the system: Presbyterians address cash bail plight,” by the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II
  • Editorial or opinion: Presbyterians Today, “The holiness of mud season” by Donna Frischknecht Jackson
  • Personal experience: Presbyterian Outlook, “Call me by name: a lifetime of race and relationships,” by Larry Palmer, Presbyterian Outlook staff
  • Integrated communications: Presbyterian Women, Cultivating PW campaign by Carissa Herold, marketing/writer; Laura Lee, designer; Sharon Dunne Gillies, editor; and Yvonne Hileman, copyeditor
  • Best in class denominational or other special interest magazine: Presbyterian Outlook, Jill Duffield, Jana Blazek, Roy Howard, Jen Jones, Leslie Scanlon and George Whipple.

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