Covenant Companion Earns Seven Top Awards

Post a Comment » Written on May 15th, 2008     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (May 15, 2008) – Evangelical Covenant Church pastor Doug Bixby’s article in The Covenant Companion about his church’s Lenten commitment to stop griping received high praise from the Associated Church Press (ACP) during its recent awards competition.

His article was honored with an Award of Excellence in the Best of the Christian Press competition.

Bixby’s award was among seven the denomination’s magazine received during the ACP annual convention in Westlake, Texas, making it once again one of the top denominational magazine award winners. Nearly 200 publications are members of ACP, the oldest religious press association in North America with a combined readership of several million subscribers.

The Companion won two Awards of Excellence (first place), two Awards of Merit (second place), and three Honorable Mentions (third place). The awards covered content published during calendar 2007 that was created not only by staff writers and designers, but also by Covenanters across the denomination and others.

“The awards come as no real surprise to those who follow the Companion closely and recognize its consistent excellence,” says Don Meyer, editor and executive minister of the Department of Communications. “The awards reflect what readers have come to appreciate in the Companion’s timely and relevant content that speaks to the issues of the day in useful and meaningful ways.

“The awards also say something about the excellence of the staff that produces the Companion,” Meyer observes. “Jane Swanson-Nystrom, our managing editor, has been part of the Companion team for more than two decades and provides excellent leadership in the development of content. Features editor Cathy Norman Peterson, though relatively new, also has deep Covenant roots and excellent experience, succeeding Bob Smietana whose work last year contributed greatly to the magazine’s success. Our design team – art director David Westerfield and creative director Steve Luce – produce designs and covers that have won their share of awards over the years. Heidi Griepp has developed quite a following with the Webwatch feature, and Joshua Havens has worked closely with numerous ministries to develop excellent advertising content. Editorial assistant Evy Lennard offers her excellent editing and proofreading skills, with Jan Gray and the production team working with vendors to achieve high quality printing while keeping expenses under tight control.

“The Companion is one of the Covenant’s gems, and it is affirming to see other professionals in the business give it the recognition it deserves.”

Bixby’s article, “Quit Your Griping,” which appeared in the July issue, won the contest’s Professional Resource category. “Pastor Bixby’s program could change the world if it catches on,” writes judge James Manny, a senior editor of Loyola Press in Chicago. “An article that deserves wide attention.”

Following is a list of additional Companion awards and judges’ comments.

Seasonal Article: Jayson Byasse, “Hail Mary, Full of Grace,” earned an Award of Excellence. “So good it almost takes the breath away,” writes Nancy J. Stelling, managing editor of World Encounter and Interaction magazines. The article appeared in December.

Theological Reflection (long format) – D. Brent Laytham, associate professor of theology and ethics at North Park Theological Seminary, received an Award of Merit for “Truth, Passion, and the Death Penalty.” Terence Fretheim writes, “Wide-ranging, knowledgeable, careful, and clear. The author has a firm grasp of the difficult issues faced in this discussion and presents a balanced, thoughtful reflection.” Fretheim is a professor of Old Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Magazine Cover – Steven Velez Luce and David Westerfield received an Award of Merit for “Little Graces in all the Wrong Places,” which appeared on the front of the October issue. “Good balance of image and typography,” comments Robert Ayers, partner in the design firm Publication Design, Inc. “The logo is strong in color and impact, while working with the mood of the image. Cover line is playful, but has the proper focus on the operative words.”

Biographical Profile – Rob Hall’s article, “A Great Joy in Serving” earned an honorable mention. It appeared in September.

Personal Experience (long format) – Cathy Norman Peterson, Companion features editor, earned an honorable mention for “Temporarily Swedish,” which appeared in the March issue.

Theological Reflection (short format) – “The Third Temptation” by John E. Phelan, president and dean North Park Theological Seminary, earned an honorable mention.

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