CHICAGO, IL (April 24, 2013) – The Covenant Companion has been honored with nine top awards by the Associated Church Press (ACP) in its annual competition for the best in Christian press.
The awards for content published during 2012 were announced during the ACP’s recent annual convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. ACP is the oldest religious press association in North America representing a broad spectrum of Christian print and online publications.
Jane Swanson-Nystrom, the magazine’s managing editor said, “It’s always a great honor – and a lot of fun – to be recognized by the ACP. These awards support what we already know – we have great resources in the people who write for us.”
Click on the linked title to download and read each award-winning article. Judges comments are italicized.
A first-place award went to Jelani Greenidge in the Theological Reflection/Short Format category for “Manna in the Margin.” Comments: There is no doubt what this piece is about and brings it home with clarity and power. The points about margins not being “empty” brought hope and understanding to this reader, and, I’m sure, to many others. Greenidge does an excellent job of reminding of us in the “gotcha” closing paragraph. This piece grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go.
The ACP awarded five second-place honors:
News Story – “Faith in Karawa” by Stan Friedman. Comments: Powerfully written, lots of telling details, excellent lead. Moving, well written, paints a vivid picture of the place and the circumstances.
Personal Experience/Short Format – “Walking in a New Direction” by Bob Smietana. Comments: The opening paragraph is so strong that it immediately draws the reader in. Its chronology makes sense, and its detail brings the story to life. The piece teaches an important lesson through a personal experience and backs it up with Scripture, yet it’s never preachy.
Biblical Interpretation/Short Format – “All Glory, Leiros, and Honor” by Lindsay Small. Comments: A humble and honest treatment of discipleship. Engaging and inviting article.
Seasonal Article -“I’m Dreaming of a White Space Christmas” by Rachel Hamann. Comments: Wonderful, lively and vivid writing that immediately draws the reader into the story. The writer has a gift for imagery. I love such pictures as the “chocolate fondue pots strewn throughout the month of December,” and the “candy cane induced stupor.” The author deftly shifts to a more thoughtful and even practical tone without losing her unique voice.
Theological Reflection: Long Format – “New Birth and the Realities of Race” by Brian Bantum. Comments: The article both invites and challenges the reader to understand being “born again” not as a one-time event, but as a way of life and as a fruitful approach to the real issues of racial and cultural separation within the church. The insights shared in the article have transformative power not only for individual Christians, but for the whole Body of Christ.
Three third-place honors were awarded:
Personal Experience/First-Person Account, Long Form -“Scars of Hospitality” by Devyn Chambers Johnson. Comments: Very personal story. Compelling narrative. Well done.
Personal Experience/First-Person Account, Long Form – “Exposed” by Alex Macias. Comments: Compelling story. Great details. Strong narrative. I enjoyed reading this.
Bible Resource – “Witnesses of the Word,” by Ginny Olson, Paul H. De Neui, Boaz Johnson, Scot McKnight, Klyne Snodgrass, Greg Clark, and Joel Willitts. Comments: Strong writing and engaging content. Solid but accessible scholarship. Helpful integration with everyday life. Unexpected explorations of biblical characters.
“The recognition by peers of the Companion’s high-quality content is affirming and appreciated,” said editor Don Meyer of the awards. “The awards also recognize the excellent work of the Companion staff. But, perhaps the greatest award of all are the readers who each month continue to welcome the Companion into their homes and congregations. That vote of confidence and appreciation for the rich content is what really matters.”