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CC wins seven Canadian Church Press awards

Christian Courier won seven awards at the annual Canadian Church Press (CCP) banquet, including five first place awards and the prestigious A.C. Forrest Memorial Award for excellence in socially conscious religious journalism.

Held June 22, 2017 at Laval University in Quebec City, a variety of Christian publications were recognized for their works published in 2016.

“I’m delighted and grateful for these awards,” says Reitsma Bick. “As an independent newspaper, CC receives no denominational funding and has only part-time staff. The CCP awards are a great encouragement for the work we’re doing together by God’s grace and for God’s glory.”

First Place Awards: 
• A.C. Forrest Memorial Award – Angela Reitsma Bick, “The Stained-Glass Ceiling: 100 ordained women in CRC ministry today
• Features, Newspaper – Chris Cuthill, “The Art of Worship
• Personal Experience (circulation up to 9,999) – Jim Dekker and Jessica Dekker, “Our Family’s Unexpected Change of Direction
• Interview – Angela Reitsma Bick, “Fear, not facts, behind climate change skepticism: An interview with Katharine Hayhoe
• Opinion Piece – Lloyd Rang, “Disruptive Theology
• Original Artwork, Newspaper – Lisa Smouther, “Golden Hands: A Modern Portrait

Third Place Award: 
• Media Review – Cathy Smith, “Kent Haruf – Scribe of dust and light

The Presbyterian Record, which ceased publication at the end of 2016, also won awards, including one to author Katie Munnik for her “The Messy Table” blog, now a CC column.

Reitsma Bick took home the most significant honour – the A.C. Forrest Memorial Award for her article on women clergy.

“All of us who have been ordained in the last 20 years,” Rev. Mary Hulst said, after hearing of the award, “are in ministry because we love the Lord and his church. We aren’t here to prove anything other than that.” Rev. Hulst is Calvin College’s Chaplain and the author of A Little Handbook for Preachers. “We also remain very grateful to all those who worked for decades so that we can be serving the church in ordained ministry. I especially want to mention the Committee for Women in the CRC, who gave us scholarships and emotional support while working for change at the classical and denominational levels. We wouldn’t be here without them.”

Editor Reitsma Bick hopes that “The Stained-glass Ceiling” helps churches think about how to better support the passionate, faithful women called to ministry and brings awareness to the challenges that female clergy still face.

The banquet was held during the 2017 Catholic Media Conference, an event which brought together members of the Canadian Church Press (CCP), the Catholic Press Association and the SIGNIS World Congress. The conference theme – Sharing Stories of Hope – provided a professional development opportunity for editors and journalists from around the world. Its highlight was a showing of the film Silence followed by a Q&A on faith with director Martin Scorsese.

“The CCP awards are important because they demonstrate excellence in God’s service, encouraging all of us to serve God with our gifts, including those whose gifts are focused on using words,” Bill Fledderus, CCP president, says.

The CCP awards help publications look beyond denominational limits to see what others are doing, he notes. “We learn from each other and spur each other on. The A.C. Forrest award is a great example of that impulse, a way to highlight a particular kind of journalism and encourage others to continue in that tradition of social justice.”

All winning articles are free to read online at christiancourier.ca. Click here for a list of all the CCP winners.

CC columnists receive Word Awards for writing excellence

The 2017 Word Awards were presented June 23 in Toronto, where Christian Courier (CC) columnists Derek Schuurman and Rudy Eikelboom each received recognition for their work. ​Schuurman won the Harvey/Mackey award, which celebrates “the best of Canada’s up and coming Christian journalists.” The award, given to one journalist a year, was for Schuurman’s column “Transhumanism and the incarnation.”

Eikelboom took first place in the Best Column Series category for his columns “Artificial Intelligence II” and “Artificial Intelligence III.” The shortlist of four writers included two from CC as well as long-time Faith Today columnists.

“I’m surprised and humbled,” Eikelboom said when he heard the news. “My English teachers would be in shock.”

Both Eikelboom and Schuurman have a unique gift for explaining science and technology concepts and for applying those to everyday life, CC’s Editor says.

The Word Awards was established by the Word Guild, a community of Christian Canadian writers, editors, speakers and publishers. Angela Reitsma Bick, CC’s Editor, received the highest number of nominations on this year’s shortlist. Click here to view all the 2017 Word Guild winners.

  • Jennifer is CC's advertising and social media manager. She lives in Cobourg, Ont. with her husband and three children. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University.

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