December 18, 2018 Update

Awards, convention, and other important stuff...

Wilbur Award trophyHow many Wilburs do you know?

  • There is Wilbur the pig from the child’s book, Charlotte’s Web.

  • There is Wilbur (the Wildcat), mascot for the University of Arizona.

  • There is Wilbur Wright, brother of Orville, and inventor of the airplane.

  • And, consider the Wilbur Awards, presented annually by RCC since 1949 to recognize excellence in the communication of religious issues, values and themes in the secular media.

Entries in this competition are judged by media pros in a jury process, supervised by RCC members across the country.

You may have read a book, watched a movie, heard a radio broadcast, seen a photo done by secular media that you believe is worthy of a Wilbur Award. Encourage the author, producer, broadcaster, photographer to enter their work. Entry info, contact information can be found on the RCC Wilbur Awards page. The competition is open now! Entry deadline is Feb. 6, 2019.

We will celebrate 70 years of Wilbur Awards at a banquet celebration on Friday, April 12 for the RCC national convention in Chicago, April 10-13, 2019.

Editor’s Note: RCC’s Wilbur Award is named for Marvin Wilbur, long-time RCC member and a pioneer in the field of religious public relations. One more Wilbur.

Annual National Convention

 The Religion Communicators Council (RCC) will celebrate its 90th year of existence at our national convention set for April 10-13, 2019 in Chicago. Joining us for this valuable time of professional development, fellowship and networking will be the Associated Church Press (ACP). The convention is being planned by a team from both organizations and will share workshops, keynote speakers, networking opportunities and faith expressions.

The theme is Seeing in New Ways: Possibilities and Perceptions. When we consider the time in which we live, as religion communicators and journalists too often we see situations and experiences in the same old ways. During our 2019 RCC-ACP Convention, we will strive to see in new ways with new possibilities and perceptions to reach existing and new audiences with a refreshing message of truth, justice, freedom and hope.

Hosting us will be the Fourth Presbyterian Church in downtown Chicago on the Magnificent Mile. A beautiful landmark, the church has incredible facilities and is a vibrant member of the downtown community. Hotel arrangements are at the Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, also on the Magnificent Mile.

Registration is open. Cost is $395 and includes all presentations, workshops, scheduled meals, DeRose-Hinkhouse and Wilbur Awards banquets. Day rates and additional awards tickets are also available.

More details including some speakers and a tentative schedule can be found on the convention page.

RCC’s peer award competition – DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards

While the Wilbur Awards recognize excellence in religion coverage by secular media, the DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards are given annually to active RCC members who demonstrate excellence in religious communications and public relations. With 9 categories that cover a wide range of communication skills, please consider which of your excellent work you might want to enter. Keep in mind, you must be a member of RCC to enter, so this is one other reason to renew your membership.

The competition is open now. Entry deadline is January 24, 2019 for work done in 2018. Details, entry forms, more information are available on the DeRose-Hinkhouse Awards page.

Donate to support RCC

Make a gift in honor of memory of someone. It is a perfect way to “get” something for that hard-to-buy-for friend or relative. Got more stuff than you need? Put a gift to RCC on your holiday list. You can donate online on the RCC Donate page. RCC is a 501c3 non-profit organization and gifts to it are tax deductible.

MANY MANY THANKS to annual fund donors: Anuttama Dasa, Brian Gray, James Suggs, Susan Gottshall, Mike Maus and Deb Christian in honor of all past RCC National Presidents; Tom McAnally in memory of W.C. Fields; Monica McGInley in memory of W.C. Fields and Jere Wollack; and donors to RCC scholarship fund: Brian Gray and Philip Poole.

Renew your membership for 2019 (and tell a friend who should be a member!)

RCC membership has many benefits:

  • Job Openings

  • Professional Development

  • Access to APR Certification

  • Webinars and other training

  • Annual convention

  • Award Competitions

  • Fellowship, networking and more

Links to forms for new and renewing members are on the Join RCC page.

A bit of interfaith trivia...

Did you know there are about 29 holidays observed by 7 of the world’s major religions between November 1 and January 15? Happy Holidays!

Member News

RCC members Bee Moorhead (Member-at-Large) and Vick Garlock (Member-at-Large) both had articles published in the December issue of The Interfaith Observer (TIO) which is a free independent digital publication for those interested in advancing interfaith understanding and cooperation. The December issue is focused on interfaith responses to the environmental crisis. Go to The Interfaith Observer to read their contributions.

Eric Shafer (Member-at-Large) reports continuing coverage of a homeless college student ministry housed at his ELCA congregation, Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Santa Monica, CA. Latest coverage was on PBS SoCal / KOCE-TV. Check it out.


New job listings - Faithful America and Beth El Hebrew Congregation both have openings. Other positions are also listed on the Job Openings page.

RCC Update by Deb Christian, RCC Board Member and National Past President

Send your news to share with other RCC members to [email protected].

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