March 2019 Update

2019 Convention approaching quickly – Mayor issues welcome

Rahm Emanuel

Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago

“As Mayor, and on behalf of the City of Chicago, I am pleased and proud to welcome all those gathered for the 2019 Religion Communicators Council - Associated Church Press Convention.” This is the opening paragraph of a letter from the office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, acknowledging our upcoming presence in a letter of greeting.

With the theme “Seeing in New Ways: Possibilities and Perceptions,” RCC and ACP will meet April 10-13 in a joint convention in Chicago.

Registration is still open. Monday, March 25 (until midnight) is the last day for the early bird $395 rate. After that the rate is a still reasonable $425. Go online today and sign up. The Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel will be our venue. Both RCC and ACP will have award ceremonies as well as sharing keynote speakers, workshop, fellowship, networking and other professional development opportunities. Check those out on the convention web page. Invite your Chicago area friends to the Wilbur banquet Friday, April 12. Tickets available online. Come and meet the Wilbur winners!

Celebrate 90 years! Join or renew your membership for $90!

Consider these things that are 90 years old:

  • Wall Street crash that started the Great Depression
  • Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)
  • Academy Awards
  • 7-Up
  • Car radios
  • Religion Communicators Council

Information and Membership Applications or Membership Renewal forms are available on the Join RCC web page. From now until December 31, 2019 take advantage of this special price to access and enjoy all the benefits of RCC membership for only $90.

Religion Communicators Council is 90 years old! Happy Birthday RCC!

Renew your membership. Send to a friend. Help someone join RCC.

Support RCC

Besides your gifts and donations in honor or memory of someone, or to acknowledge and celebrate RCC’s 90th Anniversary another way to support the organization is via AMAZON Smile.

Many of us find Amazon a convenient way to shop. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of any eligible AmazonSmile purchase back to the charitable organization of your choice – in this case RCC.

Religion Communicators Council is a registered charity on Amazon Smile. Simply shop on and choose Religion Communicators Council as the charitable organization that you would like to support, and Amazon will send quarterly donations to RCC!

Member News

Dan Gangler (Member-at-Large) was honored recently by The United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC) when he was inducted into the UMAC Hall of Fame. Selection is based on a record of excellence in the communication of the ministry of the church, work experience and time retired. Gangler, a gifted journalist, has told the stories of both The United Methodist Church and The Disciples of Christ. In 1996 he was named Communicator of the Year by UMAC.

Eric Shafer (Member-at-Large), senior pastor at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Santa Monica, CA will be honored by the Rotary Club of Santa Monica with its annual Four-Way Test Award on Friday, March 29. This 70-year-old award from Rotary International is part of the group’s core values and focuses on truth, fairness, building goodwill, better friendships, and benefiting all concerned.

Vicki Garlock (Member-at-Large) wrote an article featured in a recent issue of The Interfaith Observer, an online publication that explores interreligious relations and interfaith culture. The overall theme is using art to help create and interfaith community. Her article, titled “Collaborating to Build Interfaith Bridges,” tells the story of using art to tell the story of a Bulgarian-based interfaith and cultural exchange camp.

Andy Rawls (Member-at-Large) is RCC’s skilled, veteran producer of the Wilbur Awards. He sent an update on activities he and his wife, Malinda (a true friend of RCC), were enjoying just prior to his beginning the video editing work for this year’s Wilbur Awards celebration. “Malinda and I spent last weekend at the Florida state square dance festival, but it looks like I’ll be editing video this weekend and several more to follow.”

Friends of RCC

Tim Tanton (former RCC member and leader) was one of two journalists named Communicator of the Year for 2019 by the United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC) that met in late February.

2018 Wilbur Award winner, Carole St. Laurent reports, “I have exciting news! I'm moving to the Democratic Republic of Congo to tell the stories of the children World Vision is helping. Please pray that I can share their stories well to raise awareness, funds, and peace.” She was presented her Wilbur Award in the Digital Communication/Faith-based Blogs category for work done in 2017 at the 2018 Wilbur Awards banquet.


World Association for Christian Communication (WACC) has published an e-book of compelling editorials about the role of communications in creating more just societies worldwide. “Creating Openness, Building Trust” highlights the role of WACC's journal Media Development in exploring, probing and helping to raise the voices of those who might otherwise remain unheard. Philip Lee is the General Secretary of WACC and an RCC Member-at-Large.

In July 2019, the Religious Freedom Center will host a Summer Bootcamp for Interns in the Washington, D.C. area. This three-session program (Fridays only, July 12, 19, 26) will provide an opportunity to learn about the role of religion in public life while exploring our three areas of competency: religious liberty, religious literacy, and civil dialogue. This program is for undergraduate and graduate interns. More information can be found on RCC’s Job Openings page.

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