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United Methodist journalists receive ACP honors


Domingos Antonic lies dying of malaria at the provincial hospital in Malanje, Angola. The photograph is among a collection that earned United Methodist News Service photographer Mike DuBose an Associated Church Press award. 












By the Rev. Kathy Noble*
May 4, 2007 | CHICAGO (UMNS)

Writers, editors, photographers and publications with ties to The United Methodist Church garnered 13 awards as the Associated Church Press honored the "Best of the Christian Press" for 2006.

Awards were announced during the association's April 22-25 meeting in Chicago.

United Methodist NeXus, an independent weekly news publication produced by the Boston Wesleyan Association, received an award of merit in the Best of Class competition for independent Web sites or e-zines. NeXus, edited by Cynthia B. Astle and S. Kathleen Palmer, also tied for honorable mention for in-depth coverage by a newspaper, newsletter or news service.

Vital Theology, an ecumenical newsletter edited by the Rev. David Reid, received eight awards, including tying for honorable mention in Best in Class for newsletters. Awards of excellence honored its editorial courage, theological reflection and design, while awards of merit went to a feature article and a news story. The ecumenical newsletter also received two honorable mentions.

UM Connection, the news publication of the Baltimore-Washington annual (regional) conference, received honorable mention in Best in Class for regional newspapers. Melissa Lauber is the editor.

An award of excellence to United Methodist News Service, based in Nashville, Tenn., honored photography by Mike DuBose depicting the ravages of malaria in Angola. UMNS writer Kathy Gilbert received an award of merit for her feature story from Angola, "Malaria, Poverty Kill Children in Angola."

The United Methodist Reporter, edited by Robin Russell, tied for honorable mention for an editorial in a newspaper.

As 120 editors, writers, designers and other communicators gathered for three days of workshops, keynote addresses and worship, they heard the Rev. Barbara Rossing say that their mission continues to be storytelling.

Rossing, who teaches New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago, drew from her book The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation, in which she critiques the popular Left Behind series of novels.

"We really need for you to write the stories," Rossing said, "because I have come to see from these novels that people are really shaped by stories, by narrative."

The Christian press is in a special position to tell the story of Jesus' healing power for mankind, she said, "not as a story of escape from the earth, not as a story of people hiding out in bunkers, waiting for the last battle, but rather as a story of renewal for our world.
A story whose heroes are rooted on the earth, breaking bread together, preaching the Gospel … Tending the healing tree of life in our midst," she said.

Other plenary speakers for the 91st annual meeting included the Rev. Barbara Brown Taylor, the Rev. Martin Marty and veteran journalist Don Wycliff.

Members elected Astle to a two-year term as vice-president. They honored the Rev. Victoria Rebeck, director of communications in the Minnesota annual conference, for many years of service on the association's board of directors and as its past president.

Associated Church Press is the oldest interdenominational religious press association in North America. Nearly 200 publications, Web sites, news services and individuals are members, representing a combined circulation of several million.

*Noble is editor of Interpreter, a publication of United Methodist Communications and the official ministry magazine of The United Methodist Church.

News media contact: Kathy Noble, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

Related Article

United Methodist communicators get RCC honors


Associated Church Press

United Methodist NeXus

Vital Theology

UM Connection

United Methodist News Service

The United Methodist Reporter

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