RCC 2014 News

Religion Communicators Council Marks 85 Years at Annual Convention

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World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) Congratulates RCC on its 85th Anniversary

WACC General Secretary Rev. Dr Karin Achtelstetter sent a letter of congratulations to RCC, saying that WACC is proud to be part of the RCC fellowship and to partner with RCC in recognizing and promoting freedom of religion for all through mass, community and social media.

The letter begins:

The 85th anniversary of the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) is an occasion for celebration at a time when religion communication is being challenged by a plethora of information and news sources that can easily overwhelm the unsuspecting reader, viewer or blogger.

Read full letter... PDF file

Read news release...

CBS News, Religion News Service Combine for 7 Wilbur Awards

By Jeff Huett, APR

Wilbur Award Recipients and Participants (photo by George Conklin)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 5, 2014) — At its annual award program to recognize secular media's coverage of religious issues, values and themes, the Religion Communicators Council handed out 25 Wilbur Awards Saturday, four which were won by CBS News and three by the Religion News Service.

CBS earned awards for a March 17, 2013, report titled "The American Nuns" on 60 Minutes; a March 31, 2013, report titled "Keeping the Faith" on CBS Sunday Morning; a June 30, 2013, program titled "What's So Funny About Religion?" by the CBS Religion & Culture unit; and a Nov. 13, 2013, report titled "The Francis Effect" on CBS This Morning.

The Religion News Service took home each award in the digital communications category. In Faith-Based Blogs, Jonathan Merritt won for his blog, "Jonathan Merritt on Faith & Culture." Kimberly Winston won the Online News category with "One Woman's Journey Out of Faith, Family and Fear" and Adelle M. Banks and a team from RNS for their work on "The March" in the Multimedia category.


GBC Leader Hosts Prestigious Wilbur Awards

By Krishna-lila Dasi ISKCON News

 April 15, 2014 — Most people have heard of the Oscar, the Tony and the Emmy Awards. But, who has ever heard of a Wilbur?

While less known than its Hollywood and Broadway cousins, the Wilbur Award is a highly sought after annual prize awarded to members of the secular media in North America. It is conferred upon two-dozen winners at a gala event hosted by the Religion Communicators Council (RCC), a national organization founded in 1929.

The 2014 Wilbur Awards were held on April 5th in Nashville, Tennessee. This year for the first time ever the event was hosted by an RCC member from outside the Christian or Jewish faiths, ISKCON’s own Governing Body Commission Chairman, Anuttama Dasa.


Buckner, "Presbyterians Today" big winners at RCC's DeRose-Hinkhouse Awards

By Jeff Huett, APR

DeRose-Hinkhouse Best of Class Winners (photo by George Conklin).

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 4, 2014) — Nearly a year into his work as editor of Presbyterians Today, Patrick Heery and his publication had a good night at the Religion Communicators Council's annual DeRose-HinkHouse Awards Thursday.

Heery, Jeffrey Lawrence and Mark Thomson of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. won two awards for their work. They won Best of Class for Periodicals and Periodicals Single Issue for the September 2013 issue, War Beyond the Battlefield.

In accepting the Single Issue award, Heery said he was proud of the award because "putting a microphone before people who have not had a chance to speak" was a primary goal of his since taking the position at the magazine. Veterans and victims of violence are among those who found a voice in the award-winning issue, Heery said.

The annual DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards are given to active members of RCC who demonstrate excellence in religious communication and public relations.

The awards are named in honor of the late Victor DeRose and the late Paul M. Hinkhouse, leading lithographers in New York City, and long-time friends of the RCC. Both men shared a strong interest in, and concern for, excellence in communications.


How to Master the Social Maze

Techniques to Advance and Enhance your Religion News Coverage

Join Religions for Peace USA and the Religion Communicators Council for a webinar on April 11th at 3PM ET as Linda Sarsour, Executive Director of Arab American Association of New York, and Rev. Bud Heckman of RCC explore the role of social media as an advocacy tool for the interfaith movement.

Please visit How to Master the Social Maze to watch the webinar, which will be broadcast live.

To have your questions answer during the Q&A time, send them to communications@rfpusa.org or tweet @rfpusa. To sign up for future webinars by RFPUSA please visit rfpusa.org.

Webinar Flyer PDF file

Convention Kicks Off with Film Screening, Discussion on Change in a Rural Community

By Jeff Huett, APR

Kim Snyder, director and producer of "Welcome to Shelbyville," participated in the panel discussion after the movie (photo by Andy Rawls).

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 3, 2014) — The Religion Communicators Council annual convention kicked off Wednesday with a screening and discussion of a film documenting a small town in the Bible Belt grappling with changing demographics.

The film, called "Welcome to Shelbyville," was produced and directed by Kim A. Snyder. Snyder was on hand to discuss her project, which originally aired on Independent Lens/ PBS.

The program focused on Shelbyville, Tenn., and used local citizens to provide commentary as they navigated the challenges of change, specifically around immigration. Two of the film's subjects on hand Wednesday were Luci and Miguel. They work with an initiative called "Welcoming Tennessee," providing cultural and language support to newcomers to the area.


"A New Calling: Spiritual Second Careers," an interfaith special, set for Sunday, April 13 on CBS

Mike McCurry, plenary speaker at RCC 2008, featured in broadcast

"A New Calling: Spiritual Second Careers," a CBS Interfaith Special that explores the phenomenon of mature adults moving from successful secular careers into the world of religion, will be broadcast Sunday, April 13, on the CBS Television Network (check local listings).

The broadcast asks why a successful professional in a secular career chooses to become a teacher, minister or caregiver in their respective Christian, Jewish or Muslim faiths. For example, Mike McCurry, who is best known as the former press secretary to President Bill Clinton in the mid-1990s, talks about his time in the White House and what led him to attend Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., where he now teaches a course in religion and politics. McCurry shares how the seminary inspired a shift in how he speaks about his own faith and the role of religious values in politics. McCurry was a plenary speaker at the 2008 RCC convention in Washington, D.C.


Getting the story out is key element of faith-based disaster response

By Linda Bloom, NYC Chapter president

Interfaith Disaster Panel (from left): Peter Gudaitis, NYDIS; Lesley Crosson, CWS; Francesco Paganini, UMCOR; Larry Peterson, LDS

Can faith-based organizations fundraise for disaster response without sensationalizing or stereotyping?

Is it possible to explain the complexities of a disaster to donors?

Does the public realize the depth of experience that faith groups have in long-term recovery?

Those were some of the issues raised during a March 19 program on "Communicating in Times of Disaster," hosted by the RCC New York Chapter at the Interchurch Center, popularly known as "475" for its address on Riverside Drive in Manhattan.


CBS wins 4 Wilbur Awards

Religion Communicators Council honors 25 for work during 2013

NEW YORK — CBS-TV has won four Wilbur Awards for 2013.

The Religion Communicators Council announced 25 Wilbur Awards March 5. The awards honor excellence by individuals in secular media – print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting, and motion pictures – in communicating religious issues, positive values and themes during 2013.

The Religion News Service earned three stained-glass Wilbur Awards. Other winners include the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., The History Channel, The Christian Science Monitor Weekly and The Huffington Post.

The 2013 awards are to be presented April 5 in Nashville, Tenn., during the council's 85th annual national convention.


Religion News Service wins three Wilbur Awards

Religion News Service is honored to win three 2014 Wilbur Awards from the Religion Communicators Council for a faith-based blog, an online news story and a multimedia project.


The Changing Role of Faith Communities in a Community-Oriented Approach to Prison Ministry

D.C. Chapter meets with Dr. Harold Dean Trulear of Healing Communities

By Emily Woodell, Intern at the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty

 The tough issues surrounding effective prison ministry were the focus of the February meeting of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Religion Communicators Council, which featured guest speaker Dr. Harold Dean Trulear.

As the Director of the Healing Communities Prison Ministry and Prisoner Reentry Project, Trulear has years of experience working in communities affected by incarceration. He also serves as Associate Professor of Applied Theology and Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at the Howard University School of Divinity, a position he has held since 2003. During the RCC meeting, Trulear focused on the organization’s unique, community-oriented approach to prison ministry and the vital role of faith communities in ensuring its effectiveness.


Long time RCC member to receive award

Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.DAYTON, Ohio — An internationally respected film reviewer will receive an award from the University of Dayton for her work in using mass media to communicate Gospel values. 

The University's Institute for Pastoral Initiatives will award the Daniel J. Kane Religious Communications Award on March 6 to Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P., for her outstanding lifetime contribution to the communications ministry of the Catholic Church through film and media studies. The award will be presented during the opening dinner of the annual Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation’s Diocesan Partners Convocation.


Convention News

CBS News, Religion News Service Combine for 7 Wilbur Awards

Key to Communicating across Faith Lines is Friendship and Dialogue

Communicating Faith in the 21st Century — It's all about relationships!

6 Tips to Prepare for Handling a Crisis in your Congregation

The Internet and the Underground Railroad: Dr. Sybril Bennett shares seven elements of innovation

World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) Congratulates RCC on its 85th Anniversary

Buckner, "Presbyterians Today" big winners at RCC's DeRose-Hinkhouse Awards

Getting Past Excuses: Using Strategic Planning for Rapid Website Redesign

Workshop Participants Learn Benefits, Process of Achieving APR Public Relations Credential

Convention Kicks Off with Film Screening, Discussion on Change in a Rural Community

RCC 2015 to be held in Washington, D.C., April 9-11

Religion Communicators Council Marks 85 Years at Annual Convention

CBS wins 4 Wilbur Awards

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