United Methodist Association of Communicators Holds Annual Awards Ceremony

( [email protected] ) Oct 20, 2004 02:58 PM EDT

Some 24 United Methodists communicators across all forms of media were awarded for their dedication and service to the denomination, during the United Methodist Association of Communicators’ annual banquet, on Oct. 15, 2004.

About 70 people from across the nation attended the banquet, which lasted from Oct. 14-16, at the Alexis Park Resort hotel in Las Vegas. Nearly a third of those in attendance were awarded for their service to 17 different categorical forms of communications in the United Methodist Church. Recognition included certificates of merit, Best of Division honors and Awards of Excellence.

The highest award, however, was given to Dawn Hand, communications director for the United Methodist Church’s Charlotte (N.C.) Area. Hand, who served the United Methodist Church (UMC)’s communication’s department for more than 13 years, was named the church’s “2004 Communicator of the Year”.

"I believe with all my heart that … one of the most special ministries that we can do is to tell the awesome story of Jesus," Hand said in her acceptance speech.

Meanwhile, two renowned Methodist communicators, Rev. Judith Weidman and Roger Sadler, were inducted into the UMAC Hall of Fame.

Weidman, who died in December 2000 of cancer, “had a career that stretched across several prominent communications agencies,” according to the UMC news service. She served as a communications executive with the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry; assistant editor at the United Methodist Publishing House; associate editor for the forerunner of the United Methodist Reporter; head of Religion News Service for 10 years; and finally general secretary of UMCom.

During her 1994-99 tenure at UMCom, she guided the formation of the denomination’s successful advertising and welcoming campaign, Igniting Ministry. She was UMAC’s 1987 Communicator of the Year and was the 1999 Duke Divinity School Distinguished Alumna.

Sadler was art director of New World Outlook for 30 years. He began his career as art director for the American Gas Association, and then served at the National Council of Churches for 11 years.