May Update

2015 Convention wrapped up, rounded out, settled, complete. 2016 is in the works

A few, quick highlights from RCC’s 2015 National Convention:

  • More than 100 professional communicators attended
  • Religious Literacy highlighted in keynote addresses
  • Numerous RCC members accepted peer awards, DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards
  • One of the many workshops included “Research on a Dime” as topic
  • Casey Tom was elected President for the next 2 years
  • 22 Wilbur Awards were presented to secular communicators
  • El Hibri Foundation sponsored evening reception at their DC location

I just wanted to whet your appetite or perhaps tease you a bit, if you were unable to attend and stir happy memories if you were there. Many more details, photos, news stories and videos are available at Please check it out and make plans now to join us March 31-April 2, 2016 in New York City.

Religious Literacy: RCC priority for 2015-2016

No matter what any group or organization has as a vision, a mission, or stated goals, success requires a more specific focus. RCC’s Board of Governors settled on the topic of Religious Literacy as a focus for our organization. Beginning with the recent national convention in Washington DC, RCC will encourage its interfaith membership to help secular media understand different faith group dynamics and at the same time provide resources to RCC members to help them better understand other faith traditions. Here’s a tagline to help you remember:

Religion is part of everything, RCC helps you talk about it.

You will hear and see more about Religious Literacy and RCC!

A word from the RCC President….

Casey Tom

Greetings RCC Members,

At our 2015 convention, our Keynote Speaker Stephen Prothero discussed the importance of Religious Literacy. He talked about distributing a quiz to his students at Boston University to see how they fared in the realm of religious literacy. As a religion communicator, I was surprised how I did…how do you compare? Here is a link to his religious literacy quiz (PDF).

Religion is part of everything, RCC helps you talk about!

Casey Tom
National President

Chapter News

Nashville Chapter’s April meeting featured a presentation at the American Center for Outreach (ACO). ACO is a non-profit organization founded by Nashville area Muslim leaders to address attacks that come from the political stage, in particular biased legislation proposed in the state of Tennessee. Speaker was Paul Galloway from ACO.

New York chapter in May will watch a multi-media presentation on “Media and Religion: People of the Book” created by Allen Palmer as he helps explore the shared roots of Christians, Jews and Muslims. Palmer, a university professor for 35 years, focuses his academic work on international communications, mass media and society, and the cultural history of communications.

Washington, D.C. chapter met in March for a program that examined the intersection between development (fund raising) and communications. Directors from three non-profits discussed how fund raisers use communications tools to reach out and need strong communications strategies to be successful. Daphne Price from Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Kari Let from Bread for the World and Taryn Deaton from the Baptist Joint Committee were joint presenters.

Member news

Royya James (Nashville Chapter & Secretary of Board of Governors) celebrated her 10th “Work-iversary” at United Methodist Communications in May.

Cherrie Graham (Dallas-Ft. Worth Chapter) is opening a new chapter in her life as she moves “home” from the Dallas area to Wisconsin. She stepped down as President of the Dallas-Ft. Worth chapter (a position she held for many years) and is assuming Member-at-Large status in RCC, at least until she gets settled and can think about organizing a chapter in the Green Bay – Sturgeon Bay area.

Roger L Burgess, long time RCC member and retired General Secretary for United Methodist Communications died May 10. Read more...

Kurt Gwartney, took advantage of RCC’s recent offer to join at reduced cost and is a new member. He is on staff at Phillips Theological Seminary in Oklahoma City.

M.E. Clary, also took advantage of the reduced cost for membership and is a new member. M.E. is Director of Media and Church Relations at Northpark Presbyterian Church in Dallas

Casey Tom, (Member-at-Large and national president) reported that Faith for Today, with its flagship TV show Lifestyle Magazine for the Seventh Day Adventist Church was awarded the Wordfest-Houston Gold Remi award for excellence in the Health & Fitness category for their “True Strength” episode, featuring actor Kevin Sorbo. Lifestyle Magazine won two other awards, also. Casey is the General Manager.

See your name and organization in the RCC Monthly Update; contribute stories and ideas, too!

How, you ask? Simple! Just send the information about what’s happening in your life, story suggestions, links to helpful communication sites, ideas for religious literacy emphasis or any professional helps or tips that we can distribute and share with RCC members to [email protected]. We’ll appreciate it and use as much as we can in the Update. We are always looking for fresh content for RCC’s face book page or web site, too.

Deb Christian
Chair, RCC Communications Task Force

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