CHICAGO — LCMS Communications (including Reporter, The Lutheran Witness and Lutherans Engage the World, as well as the department itself) won a total of 13 “Best of the Christian Press Awards” from the Associated Church Press (ACP) for work in 2013.
Award certificates and plaques were presented during the 2014 ACP/Episcopal Communicators convention here April 23-26.
Reporter received five ACP awards; The Lutheran Witness, one; Lutherans Engage the World, two; and LCMS Communications, five. This was the first year that Lutherans Engage the World — the Synod’s magazine for donors — entered the ACP awards program.
The honors include three “Best in Class” awards:
- an Award of Merit (second place) to LCMS Communications in the “Online Independent Website” category for the Synod’s website. Cited on the award plaque are Becky Cummings and Rudy Blank of LCMS Communications and Sam Ambrose of LCMS Information Technology.
- an Honorable Mention (third place) in the category “Online Digital Edition/Mobile Publication” to The Lutheran Witness, citing Concordia Publishing House as the digital edition’s designer, as well as Executive Editor Adriane Dorr Heins.
- another Honorable Mention — for “Public Relations/Marketing Campaign” — to LCMS Communications for the “Giving Tuesday” campaign. The plaque names Vicki Biggs, the Synod’s former director of Public Relations who is now director of Media Communications for Lutheran Church Extension Fund.
Reporter’s awards are:
- a first-place Award of Excellence (“News Service/Website/Blog”) for “Moore, Okla., pastor relates tornado nightmare,” by LCMS Communications staff writer and social media coordinator Melanie Ave.
- an Award of Excellence (“Single Photo with Article or Cutline: Newspaper/News Service/Newsletter/Website/Blog”) for “Disaster team surveys typhoon damage, brings aid” (a photo of team members eating by candlelight), by Erik M. Lunsford, editor of Stakeholder Information and staff photojournalist with LCMS Communications.
- an Award of Merit (“Convention or Meeting Coverage: All Media”) for “Man-made tragedies a focus of Disaster Response Conference,” by Kim Plummer Krull, a freelance writer and member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Des Peres, Mo.
- Honorable Mention (“Convention or Meeting Coverage: All Media”) for “LFL conference: Speak out, share God’s love on life issues,” by Paula Schlueter Ross, managing editor of Reporter Online.
- Honorable Mention (“Single Photo with Article or Cutline: Newspaper/News Service/Newsletter/Website/Blog”) for “Tornadoes damage two Illinois LCMS congregations,” by freelance photographer Dan Gill.
The two ACP awards to Lutherans Engage the World are for the same article, titled “A light in the darkness,” (September-October edition) about Unity Lutheran Christian Elementary School in East St. Louis, Ill. They are:
- an Award of Excellence (“Design, Spread or Story: Magazine/Journal”) to LCMS Communications Manager of Graphic Design Erica Schwan; and
- an Award of Merit (“Feature Article: Magazine, Short Format”) to freelance writer Katie Schuermann, who is a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Sherman, Ill., and designer Erica Schwan.
The three other awards to LCMS Communications are:
- an Award of Excellence (“Photo Spread with Article or Cutline: Newspaper/News Service/Newsletter/Website/Blog”) for “LCMS disaster response [in the Philippines],” by Erik M. Lunsford.
- an Award of Merit (“Integrated Communications”) for “LCMS launches first app,” by Vicki Biggs.
- Honorable Mention (“Social Media”) for “Tweet Chat with LCMS President Matt Harrison,” by Melanie Ave.
“We are so thankful for and proud of our great communications staff,” Synod President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison said of its ACP awards. “This is an unbelievably bright moment for the Synod and its publications and media.”
“What is gratifying about this year’s awards,” said David Strand, executive director of LCMS Communications, “is that they very nearly run the gamut of corporate communication areas: website, publications, PR and marketing, news and feature stories, convention coverage, graphic design, photography, social media and integrated communications.
“If I may say so humbly, this speaks to the breadth of talent and dedication on our staff — people who are honored to serve the members and ministries of this church body .”
Concordia Journal, a publication of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, also received two ACP awards for work in 2013.
One is a “Best in Class” Honorable Mention (for the category “Journals”), citing Concordia Seminary President Rev. Dr. Dale A. Meyer, publisher; the Rev. Dr. Charles Arand, executive editor; and the Rev. Travis Scholl, editor.
The other award to Concordia Journal is an Award of Merit (“Theological or Scholarly Article: All Media”) for “Called to milk cows and govern kingdoms: Martin Luther’s teaching on the Christian vocation” (Spring edition), by the Rev. Dr. Robert Kolb.
The Associated Church Press, founded in 1916, is the oldest interdenominational religious press association in North America.
Posted May 1, 2014