Covenant Companion Wins Eight Top National Awards

Post a Comment » Written on April 27th, 2007     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (April 27, 2007) –  In the March 2006 issue of The Covenant Companion, Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC) pastor J. Kevin Butcher wrote of his hard-earned lessons in developing multiethnic churches. On Tuesday night, the Associated Church Press (ACP) recognized his article with an Award of Excellence.

The award was one of eight the Companion received during ceremonies in which the ACP named its “Best of the Christian Press.” Nearly 200 publications are members of the ACP and have a combined readership of several million subscribers.

CoverThe Companion earned two awards of excellence (first place), three awards of merit (second place), and three honorable mentions (third place). The awards covered content published during calendar 2006 that was created not only by staff writers and designers, but also by Covenanters across the denomination and others.

“These awards from independent judges affirm what our readers already experience – the timeliness and relevancy, as well as the high quality and professionalism of the content our staff develops each month,” says Don Meyer, executive minister of the ECC’s Department of Communication. “And given the relatively small size of our denomination and staff in comparison to the huge organizations with which we are compared – Sojourners, Christianity Today, Christian Century to name a few – the accomplishment of our staff and the quality material provided to our churches and individuals is even more amazing and gratifying.”

Butcher is pastor of Hope Community Church, a Covenant congregation in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan. He won in the Professional Resource category for “A Tale of Two Churches.

Judge Jim Manney, senior editor of Loyola Press, wrote, “This is an excellent, practical, honest article about the task of building and pastoring a multiethnic church.” He added that Butcher “offers much needed pastoral wisdom about one of the church’s most pressing challenges.”

Following is a list of additional Companion awards and comments from the judges:

Magazine Cover – Steven Velez Luce and David Westerfield were honored with an award of excellence for their October cover, “Is Politics Taking Over Church?” The category was one of the most crowded, with 47 entries. “On every level – concept, design, typography – this was the most professional of all entries,” writes judge Tim Harrower, a newspaper design consultant. “Nicely balanced, handsomely symmetrical, with a very effective color palette.” Luce is creative director in the Communications Design Center, where Westerfield serves as art director.

Theological Reflection: Long Format – Scot McKnight earned an award of merit for “The Future or Fad,” which appeared in the February issue. “This piece gives a clear analysis of the emergent church while carefully connecting it with the intended audience,” writes judge D. Brent Laytham, associate professor of theology and ethics at North Park Theological Seminary. “The willingness to risk broad judgments, the refusal to nitpick, and the gentle critiques are wonderful.” McKnight is the Karl A. Olsson professor in religious studies at North Park University.

Interview – Covenant pastor Doug Bixby’s interview with theologian Miroslav Volf in the May issue earned an award of merit. “This interview provides a compelling picture of his story of costly discipleship and reconciliation,” writes judge Timothy Morgan, deputy managing editor of Christianity Today magazine.

News Story: Magazine – Dave Olson (Department of Church Growth and Evangelism) earned an award of merit for “Empty Pews, Signs of Hope,” in which he challenges myths of church attendance. “This writer comes armed with numbers and narrative skill to give the reader some needed clarity about the real-world habits of churchgoing,” writes judge Ray Waddle, editor of Reflections, the theological journal of Yale Divinity School. “In an engaging, authoritative way, he delivers facts that will surely stimulate discussion and action.” Olson is director of church planting. The article appeared in the January issue.

Editorial or Opinion Piece: Magazine – James R. Hawkinson won honorable mention for “The Danger of Being Relevant,” which appeared in the February issue. He is executive secretary emeritus of the former Covenant Publications department.

Biographical Profile – Bob Smietana earned an honorable mention for “The Amazing Adventures of Dave and Bonnie (and Their Nine Kids)” in the July issue.
Smietana is features editor of the Companion.

Devotional/Inspirational: Short Format – Columnist Krista Brumberg Stevens earned an honorable mention for “sry” in the May issue.

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