PHILADELPHIA — More than 80 nationwide communicators from the United Methodist Church gathered in Philadelphia for the annual United Methodist Association of Communicators Conference and Banquet, Oct. 31 – Nov. 1. Seventeen awards of excellence were presented during the banquet, honoring those who served the UMC through the communications field.
The highest honor, “Communicator of the Year,” was presented to Jackie Vaughan, the television-advertising director who was with the United Methodist Communications for nearly two decades. The award recognizes those who have shown “exemplary religious communications United Methodist Church.”
Vaughan, who began her career with the denomination in 1986 as a communications education and resources staff, is currently the director of the “Igniting Ministry” matching grants program. She administers $1 million in grants allotted to congregations and conferences for purchasing television-advertising time. During most of the past 17 years, she has served with television ministries, including "Catch the Spirit."
"It’s very special to me," Vaughan said as she accepted the award. Vaughan honored the agency and the teams she worked with, thanking them for constant support and assistance.
The “Hall of Fame” induction, which recognizes the significant contributions to religion communications of retired or deceased individuals, was jointly presented to Ron Council the Rev. James M. Wall.
Council established and directed the communications department of the North Alabama Conference from 1994 to 2000. During his tenure, Council not only developed strong relations with the public media, but also led to the creation of “The Voice” – one of the first annual conference magazine publications for the UMC.
"In honoring me, you honor communicators throughout the United Methodist Church who achieve miraculous results with sometimes-modest resources," Council said.
Council thanked the UMAC members and staff for contributing to the success of the North Alabama communications office.
The Rev. Wall, most noted for his role in the publishing of the “Christian Century” magazine, is an adjunct professor of religion and culture at the Claremont School of Theology, as well as the representative of the National Council of Churches to the motion picture industry. Wall began his service in 1972, as a staff member for the “Christian Century.” He continues to serve as a senior contributing editor for the ecumenical publication.
Expressing gratitude for the honor, Wall said he was glad to "join many of my colleagues for whom I have continued admiration and appreciation."
Other awards of excellence presented during the banquet are as follows:
Newspaper: Wesleyan Christian Advocate, Alice M. Smith, Sybil Fletcher Davidson and Anne Dukes, North and South Georgia annual conferences.
Newsletter: Horizon, Kimberly Pace and Carolyn Dandridge, United Methodist Board of Discipleship.
Magazine: Interpreter, Garlinda Burton, Gwendolyn Colvin, Joey Butler, Mike Dubose, Tanya Simmons and Suzanne Story, United Methodist Communications.
Brochures and Promotional Material: "Camping in the Wesleyan Spirit," Cindy Feldman, Iowa Annual Conference.
Special Publications: [the] re: source, Kimberly Pace and Carolyn Dandridge, United Methodist Board of Discipleship.
Videos Costing More than $10,000: "Repair the Breach, Restore God’s Community," John Coleman, Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference.
Videos Costing Less than $10,000: "Change of Heart," Dan Moore and the North Central New York Conference Resource Ministries Team, North Central New York Annual Conference.
Television/Cable: "Duct Tape" television spot, Steve Horswill-Johnston, "Igniting Ministry," United Methodist Communications.
Radio: "The United Methodist Hour," Connie Shelton, The United Methodist Hour of Mississippi, Inc.
Internet: www.ngumc.org, Mark Nugent, North Georgia Annual Conference.
Writing: "Surviving Child Trust Offers Hope to Africa’s AIDS Orphans," Linda Green, United Methodist News Service, United Methodist Communications.
Photography: "Mission to Zimbabwe," Cindy Feldman, Iowa Annual Conference.
Artwork: Commemorative Issue Cover: Kristin Del Mul, United Methodist Reporter.
Language Communications: "United As One" Korean television spot, Steve Horswill-Johnston, "Igniting Ministry," United Methodist Communications.
Publicity and Advertising: Conference Promotion, Cindy Feldman, Iowa Annual Conference.
Special Section or Supplement: "John Wesley—300 Years," Cynthia B. Astle, Susan Barton, Michael Clements, William Fentum, Don Mayer, Vijay Michael, Steve Smith and Kristin Del Mul, United Methodist Reporter.
Work from Church-Related Institution, Local Church, District, Other Denomination, Secular: www.akronbugle.com, Ken and Marilyn Kasperek, Tim Finucane and Karlyn Kasperek, Akron (NY) Bugle.