United Methodist Association of Communicators

Connecting with colleagues. Sharing our story with the world.

2017 UMAC Awards Turn on the Light

by Kay DeMoss

NEW ORLEANS, March 23, 2017—Thursday was a special day for storytellers gathered here from around the world to “Embrace the Story” at the United Methodist Association of Communicators Conference.

In the morning worship session, held at First Grace United Methodist Church, conference participants heard a powerful sermon by Pastor Shawn Moses Anglim. He concluded, “Sometimes you need to stay in the dark long enough for God to turn on the Light.”

Later, during the evening Awards Celebration Dinner, the efforts of 160 communicators were recognized. Their entries, across 10 classes of communication, bore witness to the shining of Christ’s Light at levels local to global.

Best in Class awards are as follows:

Class I Print Publications
Robert F. Storey Award of Excellence

Interpreter—Dan Krause, Kathy Noble, Jennifer Rodia, Julie Dwyer, Joey Butler, Mike DuBose, Kathleen Barry, Elsie Cunningham, Tricia Bruckbauer (United Methodist Communications)

Class II Digital Publications
The Reporter—Arthur McClanahan, Liz Winders (Iowa Conference)

Class III Writing
Donn Doten Award of Excellence

Pastor’s healing from abuse inspires ministry and meeting with the Pope—John Coleman (Eastern Pennsylvania Conference)
Northern Light’s ‘love letter’ to Orlando reaches United Methodist pastor—Christa Meland (Minnesota Conference)

Class IV Internet Communications
Perspectives—Stephen J. Hustedt, Ashley Riddell, Mary Dalgish, Shannon Hodson, Karen Campolieto (Upper New York Conference)

Class V Video Production
Living Generously—David Stucke, Doreen Gosmire (Dakotas Conference)

Class VI Audio Production
The Kindness Project—Rev. Dr. Robin Blair (Common Good Radio)

Class VII Photography
Face of the Lumad—Kathleen Barry (United Methodist Communications)
Exploring East Congo—Mike DuBose (United Methodist Communications)

Class VIII Visual Design
Bazillion Book Drive Logo—Lyn Cosby, Danette Clifton, Mary Simpson (North Alabama Conference)

Class IX Publicity and Advertising
Leonard M. Perryman Award of Excellence

UM Cocoa—Poonam Patodia, Jennifer Rodia, Diane Degnan, Laura Buchanan, Crystal Caviness, Steven Adair, Royya James, Tyrus Sturgis, Sheila Harrison, Andrew Schleicher (United Methodist Communications)

Class X Media Presentations
GBHEM Booth—Ebony Lincoln, Donnie Reed, Beth Neil (General Board of Higher Education and Ministry)

Doreen Gosmire, member of the UMAC leadership team and associate director of communications for the Dakotas Conference, has organized the UMAC awards for the past two years. She says this about the value of the competition: “Learning about each other’s work gives you ideas. It refreshes you and renews your spirit for telling the story.” Gosmire notes that there was a total of 250 entries representing 300-400 contributors.

“Those entries represent a massive amount of energy, time and resources,” she said. “It’s phenomenal the number of people out there telling the story of The United Methodist Church in so many different ways.”

High points of the evening were the Andrews Family Band and announcements of two honors conferred annually. The 2017 Hall of Fame Award winner is Cate Monaghan, who retired from her role as communications director of the California-Nevada Conference in 2012. Bishop John Schol of the Greater New Jersey Area was on hand to introduce his director of communications, Carolyn Conover, as the 2017 Communicator of the Year. These women are two exceptional bearers of Christ’s Light. 

The association was also thrilled to welcome communicator Ndzule Tueche “Joe” of the United Methodist Church in Côte d'Ivoire, attending the gathering with the help of the UMAC "Helping Hands" fund. 

This year’s UMAC conference included a Wednesday evening communication gallery showcasing of newsletters, photographs, videos and various media provided the opportunity for participants to learn from the work of colleagues.

Click here for the complete list of awards.
Click here for a video of the full awards ceremony. 
Click here for photos from the ceremony. 
Kay DeMoss is senior writer and content editor for the Michigan Area.

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