Why it's important that our articles keep winning awards.
[Original post from May 4 has been updated with results from June 14 Word Awards.]
Several articles published in Faith Today during 2018 have recently won awards from the Canadian Church Press and from The Word Guild.
"That's nice," you might say, "but what difference does that make to me?"
We believe it does make a difference. Let us tell you why.
But first give us a moment to tell you what. Join us in celebrating special recognition given by professional judges to the following publications.
- Our column series by EFC President Bruce Clemenger, which you can browse at FaithToday.ca/TheGatheringPlace. The column Competing Views on State Neutrality won best magazine editorial (CCP). The column Accommodating Religious Difference was on the shortlist for best single column (TWG). And the series made the shortlist for best column series (TWG).
- Our column series by Carolyn Arends, which you can browse at FaithToday.ca/GoWithGod, won best magazine column (CCP) and best column series (TWG), where it had been shortlisted alongside the series by Bruce Clemenger.
- Your Theology is Changing – Is That Okay? by Rod J. K. Wilson won best opinion piece (CCP).
- The Shame of Sexual Harassment in the Church by Alex Newman. It won a first for best long feature (TWG). Weeks earlier it was also awarded a second place in the magazine feature category (CCP), and an honourable mention in the A.C. Forrest Memorial Award for socially conscious religious journalism.
- Let the Sermon be Interrupted: The Church, First Nations, and Reconciliation by Mark Buchanan. It was awarded first in a personal experience category (TWG), and weeks earlier placed second in a similar category (CCP).
- Die Hard Believers by Doug Koop made the shortlist for best long feature (general market) from TWG.
- The FT Interview With Sharon Ramsay by senior editor Karen Stiller was awarded third place in the interview category (CCP).
- Our Jan/Feb 2018 issue on Reconcilation won a best magazine cover design (CCP), and our Nov/Dec 2018 issue on When People Walk Away won for best layout and design of an entire issue. Designer Janice Van Eck is the creative genius responsible for these.
- Photography by Caroline Ryan in the article The Healing Plate: Food Is Central in Scripture, Community and Restoration was awarded third place in the photo essay category (CCP).
- In the CCP general excellence category for magazines, Faith Today was awarded second place.
So, why should readers care that this recognition was awarded to the writers, photographers, editors and designers at Faith Today? Maybe some of our social media friends will click "like" and tomorrow it will be forgotten, right?
We believe these awards can remind us to think about excellence in a variety of ways. We'd like our paying subscribers and advertisers to feel they are getting excellent value. We'd like our readers to feel Faith Today continues to offer excellent articles that help connect, equip and inform the broader Canadian Church.
Most importantly we want to serve God with our best effort – "let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds" (Hebrews 10:24), to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength" (Deuteronomy 6:5).
None of us, magazine contributors and Christian believers of all kinds, should be complacent because of some past ministry success. We are called to keep striving and learning from our mistakes and pausing to celebrate good fruit.
That's not to say that we're trying to earn God's approval. Instead we are trying to cooperate with what God is doing. Together we thank God for using us. May Faith Today continue to tell the stories of what God is doing through His people in Canada, and tell them lovingly, as the verses above remind us, and tell them with excellence.
If feedback from contest judges and feedback from readers can help us toward those goals, we can only be grateful.
Photos: Above top shows senior editor Bill Fledderus receiving one of Faith Today's awards from Sue Newbery, executive assistant of the Canadian Church Press, at a Winnipeg ceremony held May 1, 2019. Photo by Angela Reitsma Bick.
Middle right photo shows Fledderus with Paul Boge, winner of the Debra Fieguth Award for writing on social justice, named after a former Faith Today senior writer, at the Word Awards 2019 in Hamilton, Ont. This year the award was sponsored by Faith Today. Photo by Rebecca O'Hara.
Bottom right photo shows Fledderus with Fazal Karim of the Christian Herald, sponsor of the long feature category at the Word Awards 2019. This award was won by Alex Newman, a Faith Today senior writer who was not able to attend the June 14 ceremony. Photo by Rebecca O'Hara.