On June 26, the Canadian Christian Communicators Association (CCCA) held its annual Awards Ceremony online. During the hour-long celebration, Christian Courier’s name came up regularly as our writers and staff received awards in 10 different categories, including four first-place awards!
CCCA President John Longhurst hosted the Awards, given for work published in faith-based publications in 2019. The program was, for the first time, hosted virtually on two platforms rather than in person, due to COVID-19, which ended up being a blessing as more people than normal could participate. Over 40 Editors and Judges were part of a live Zoom call, including CC Editor Angela Reitsma Bick, Assistant Editor Meghan Kort and Board Chair and writer Jim Dekker. Another 600 people across Canada were watching simultaneously via Facebook Live. It was a heartening celebration of great Christian journalism from dozens of different publications.
“If we ever needed good reporting and communications, it’s now,” John Longhurst said in his opening comments. “The world is filled with so many voices, telling us to do this and that, often all at the same time. Information is coming at us in torrents. All those things we once took for granted are gone or up in the air. Not only that, we can’t worship in person together the way we used to.”
“In the midst of this,” he said, “people still need to make sense of it all. That’s where we come in as communicators. You folks have become an anchor – something that didn’t change even when most other things in the world changed. I bet readers appreciate that you keep showing up in their mailbox or their inbox on a regular basis.”
We’d like to extend our congratulations to all the winners, along with our thanks to you – our faithful readers – for your support every step of the way!
First place awards
CC’s Features Editor Amy MacLachlan won first place in the Features category for her article entitled “Mental Health Gaps” (Nov. 12). This important article will soon have a sequel, as Amy is working on a follow-up piece to examine how the pandemic has affected our mental health.
In the Original Art category, Rosemary Sloot also took first for her painting “Waterford, Summer of ‘52” (Nov. 12), which was published alongside Heidi VanderSlikke’s column about her friend Gerda (“A Legacy of Faith”).
King’s University Student Kayla Boone won the Student Award, sponsored by Faith Today and Love is Moving, for “Called to Justice,” her article about the Report on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (July 8).
And we were shocked and pleased to win first place in a new category – Marketing! Our 2019 Fall Donation Campaign, which built on the motif of DEEP and CURRENT, was a joint effort between Meghan Kort and Angela Reitsma Bick, with support from Peter Elgersma, Peter Schuurman, Sarah Smith and Heather Snippe. Kevin Tamming and Naomi Francois are the dream design team! And you – our readers and donors – have our heartfelt thanks for helping the campaign exceed its goal by $11,000!
Second place awards
“Mom, why did the Dutch steal people?” That’s the question Christina Vander Pol’s 10-year-old Haitian daughter asked her last year, which Vander Pol shared in “A New Chapter” (Feb. 11) – about how in the long shadow of slavery, God offers grace. It won second place in the Personal Experience category.
For “Risks Worth Taking” (Sept. 23), Meghan Kort also took second place in Editorials.
“I never expected to have the opportunity to write editorials this early in my career,” she says. “Ironically, my editorial was all about boldly taking risks with trusting younger generations to rise to the challenge of responsibility. The CC editorial staff and board have such a gift for equipping young writers!”
Third place awards
Photographer Jeff Nicholls took third place for his News Photo of the “Entry to Unist’ot-ten Camp,” which we used alongside Jonathan Boone’s article “No Easy Answers” (Feb. 11).
Lloyd Rang also won third in the competitive Opinion category for “The Hat Means Hate” (Feb. 11). And David Snapper received a third place award for “The Ties that Bind” (Jan. 14) as a News Story, in which he documents membership patterns in the Christian Reformed Church.
“I pray now as when I was writing,” Snapper says, “that some good will come from it for the church. I pray that the churches will be stronger.”
Angela Reitsma Bick was awarded Honorable Mention in the A.C. Forrest Memorial Award, which recognizes excellence in socially conscious religious journalism, for her article about how to better prevent and respond to abuse of power in the church: “Power Trips” (May 13).
We’d also like to congratulate our Features Editor Amy MacLachlan who won the A.C. Forrest Memorial Award for an article she published in Faith Today!
Lastly, we are thrilled to announce that CC columnist Roland DeVries won an award from the Word Guild on June 13 for Best Column with “The Missing Cup” (Dec. 9)!
“Under Angela Reitsma Bick’s leadership,” award recipient Lloyd Rang notes, “Christian Courier has become an insightful leader in contemporary Christian journalism, while embodying the best traditions of Reformed thinking.”
By God’s grace and with your support, we can continue to provide Christ-centred journalism that goes DEEP and challenges the cultural CURRENT!
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As an independent publication, we simply cannot produce award-winning, Christ-centred material without support from readers like you. And we are truly grateful for any amount you can give!
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