Member News and Convention Registration Opens

October 5, 2015 Update

Religion has been a highly promoted, visible part of the news scene recently. We hope RCC’s focus on religious literacy has been helpful as our members were involved in, covered or witnessed the visit of Pope Francis to the United States. The visit – and accompanying coverage – were a great reminder of our tagline: Religion is part of everything, RCC helps you talk about it.

Now to RCC’s more local news...

New Members (Welcome!)

Jerlen Young-Nelson

Jerlen Young-Nelson

Jerlen Young-Nelson, Director of Media and Press Relations for National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc., is based in Jackson, MS and will be a Member-at-Large (MAL). (Editor’s note: Jerlen is a former scholarship student for RCC).

Anthony Wright, Ph.D., a producer for KWMR, based in Point Reyes Station, CA, joins as Member-at-Large.

Devon Nassif, a free-lance graphic designer working primarily with faith-based and non-profit groups, joins and is affiliating with the Dallas - Ft. Worth Chapter.

Laura Timmel, an editorial assistant at American Baptist International Ministries, joins as a Member-at-Large. She is based in King of Prussia, PA.

Tim Palmer Curl, Director of Communications at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, will be part of the New York Chapter. Both he and the church are located in New York City.

Aimee Thunberg, who serves Auburn Theological Seminary as Vice President of Communications, joins RCC and will be part of the New York Chapter. She is based in New York.

Member News

Paul Brink, long-time retired member from the former Philadelphia chapter, is enjoying life in a retirement center in Media, PA. Via phone conversation he says “hi” to all those who remember him. He is 88 years old now and was off to enjoy some fun with family “at the shore” in Bethany Beach, DE.

Everett C. Parker

Everett C. Parker

Rev. Dr. Everett C. Parker, Life Member of RCC, passed away early in the morning of Sept. 17 at the age of 102. He was the first Director of Communications in 1957 for the newly-formed United Church of Christ. In that role he founded the United Church of Christ, Office of Communication, Inc., a media reform and accountability ministry with a civil rights agenda, which worked to improve the coverage and employment of women and people of color in broadcasting and other media. “Dr. Parker was a giant in the media world,” said RCC Executive Director Shirley Struchen. Read more about Everett C. Parker on the RCC web site.

Burton Buller (MAL) served as one of the judges for the Ecumenical Jury for the recent Montreal World Film Festival. The winner: “The Midnight Orchestra” from Morocco.

Susan Gotshall (MAL) is working on the public relations and publicity for the upcoming “Space for Grace” meeting in California Nov 4-7. Space for Grace is a national gathering focused on providing opportunities for dialogue and discussion about living a life of faith, becoming a guerilla of grace, in the midst of modern-day divisive issues of race, class and culture. The event is sponsored by American Baptist Home Mission Societies where Susan is Associate Director of Communications. For more information including registration deadlines for the Los Angeles gathering contact her at [email protected].

Selby Ewing (NY Chapter), Project Director for ON Scripture – The Bible at Odyssey Networks, is seeking photos to share as an ON Scripture’s Instagram. “We will be asking people around the country to take photos of how they work in their communities to improve the lives of people on the margins and share them on Instagram with #onscripture. We'll push them out through Facebook and Twitter.” Contact Selby for additional details: [email protected]. (This is a great opportunity for some cross promotion as they will lift up RCC members’ participation with RCC.)

Yvette Moore (NY Chapter) has been selected to fill the position of Director of Communications for the Women’s Division for the United Methodist Women (UMW) of the UMC. She had been serving as interim director. “Yvette has been instrumental in telling the story of United Methodist women through various channels of communications over the past 26 (+) years including her significant contributions as editor of response magazine. Her leadership skills and journalistic talents will continue to be utilized in the Director of Communication position,” said the announcement from UMW Human Resources.

200th Anniversary of Foundry UMC

The Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli, left, Senior Pastor of Foundry UMC in Washington, D.C., offers the benediction during the church’s bicentennial homecoming service on Sept. 13. To her left stand Chelsea Clinton, her mother, Hillary Clinton, and her father, former President Bill Clinton. At the far right is the church’s Executive Pastor, the Rev. Dawn Hand. Photo by Erik Alsgaard.

Rev. Dawn Hand, a former RCC member who worked as a director of communications within the United Methodist Church prior to her ordination, was part of the celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Foundry UMC in Washington, D.C. Former President Bill Clinton, his wife, Hillary Clinton and their daughter, Chelsea, attended and spoke at the celebration. Rev. Hand is Executive Pastor at Foundry. She is pictured at right. To learn more, see Former First Family visits, speaks, at Foundry UMC’s 200th Anniversary Celebration on the Baltimore-Washington Conference web site.

Anuttama Dasa (Washington, D.C. chapter) and Fr. Jim Gardiner (Washington. D.C. chapter) were both seen on camera during coverage of Pope Francis’ recent visit. Anuttama, international communication director for the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, shook the Pope's hand at the interfaith prayer event. (We understand Anuttama tried to invite His Holiness to keynote at the next RCC convention, but the Swiss Guard security detail whisked the Pope away.) Jim, Director of Special Projects at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America, was interviewed about the papal visit on ABC evening news.

Leigh Rogers (NY Chapter/member Board of Governors) recently traveled to Canterbury, England. No, it wasn’t for work to cover an event or for vacation, rather it was to celebrate her marriage on September 26. After the ceremony and appropriate festivities, it will be back to life, residence, and jobs in New York.

Philip Poole (MAL) announces a second grandchild: “Anne Willson Kirby was born at 8:23 a.m. (Monday, Sept. 28). She has met her big sister and all 4 grandparents.” Philip serves as Executive Director for University Communications at Samford University in Birmingham, AL.

From left: Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., Rev. Denise Honeycutt, and Dr. Larry Hygh, Jr.

Dr. Larry Hygh, Jr. (MAL), Director of Communications in the California-Nevada Conference of the United Methodist Church, recently toured some of the fire devastation in Northern California with Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., and the Rev. Denise Honeycutt, head of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). The Conference and UMCOR are actively involved in the immediate response fire efforts with several local churches, and will be involved with long-term recovery. Hygh is covering the relief efforts for the Conference, writing and producing videos. To learn more, see Bishop Brown and UMCOR Leader Visit Fire Relief Efforts in Lake County on the California-Nevada Conference web site.

Christina Dillabough (MAL), Phoenix, AZ,  has a new title: Communications Designer / Editor for the Desert Southwest Conference of UMC.

Katy Gibenhain (MAL), Associate Director of Communication for Gettysburg Seminary, placed an ad for RCC’s 2016 convention in Seminary Ridge Review, a biannual print journal published by the seminary. Check out the Convention page on the RCC web site to see the ad and get ideas about how you can promote the 2016 convention.

Speaking of the convention…

2016 Convention: Faith-based Communications: Bridges, Avenues, and Intersections

Registration is now open!

Dates and place: March 31-April 2, 2016 in New York City.

The Convention page on the RCC web site lists some of the areas for our “moving feast convention.” Friday, April 1 events will be on Manhattan’s west side in the Lincoln Center area. On Saturday, April 2, convention meetings will be on the east side of Manhattan across the street from the United Nations at the Church Center for the UN.

The Church Center for the United Nations page on the New York City Chapter of The American Guild of Organists' web site has more information about the Center's Tillman Chapel and organ.

Also, keep going to the RCC Convention page for updates on workshops, speakers and sites.

Speaking of open…

The DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards competition is also open for submissions. Enter any of the 10 classes with categories for more than 90 total possibilities to win peer validation.

DeRose-Hinkhouse is the perfect way to gain recognition for your work this year. Deadline for entry is January 21, 2016.

For more information, visit the DeRose-Hinkhouse page on the RCC web site.

Share your news

Send your news to [email protected].

Deb Christian, Editor

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