By Jan Fischer Bachman
Messenger won five awards in the 2021 Associated Church Press “Best of the Church Press” competition, announced May 12, 2022. ACP is a professional organization “brought together by a common commitment to excellence in journalism as a means to describe, reflect, and support the life of faith and the Christian community.” This year’s competition had over 800 entries from 67 organizations.
“Award of Excellence” equals first place, “Award of Merit” second place, and “Honorable Mention” third place.
Messenger 2021 ACP awards
Science Writing for the World of Faith, Award of Merit
William Miller, “Down by the river: Developing a Brethren ecological identity“
A judge commented, “Well-written story that weaves together the theology and practice of baptism, ecology, and the hope for redemption. Including humans as caretakers, those who have spoiled creation, and as part of creation gives a well-balanced view of the topic.”
Convention or Meeting Coverage, Award of Merit
Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, editor, “Annual Conference goes virtual“
“With denominations having to pivot away from business-as-usual to trying to create and maintain virtual community, Messenger found ways to capture both the factual business of the Annual Conference and the extraordinary effort to capture the feel of the Annual Conference. Well done!” wrote a contest judge. Photographers and writers contributing to the 2021 Conference coverage included Glenn Riegel, Frances Townsend, Frank Ramirez, and Traci Rabenstein.
Humor, Honorable Mention
Walt Wiltschek, writer, and Paul Stocksdale, designer, “Brethren Mascots“
An ACP judge wrote, “Very clever and original. The graphics added considerably to the overall impact of the piece.”
Best in Class for Denominational or Other Special Interest Magazine, Award of Merit
One of the judges commented: “The contents are a good example of what a denominational magazine should cover. . . . Thoughtfully planned. And even more. I enjoyed reading even though I’m not Brethren. Writing and editing set the right tone for the publication—neutral, informative, professional, free of jargon. . . . Very well done periodical.”
— Jan Fischer Bachman is web producer for the Church of the Brethren and serves on the editorial team for Messenger magazine.
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