Written by J. Bennett Guess
The annual awards program is sponsored by the interfaith Religion Communicators Council and honors the best in religion communications in print, video and electronic media.
United Church News has more than 185,000 subscribers nationwide, making it the largest U.S. denominational publication in terms of readership. Its staff includes the Rev. Robert Chase, publisher; the Rev. J. Bennett Guess, editor; Randy Varcho, art director; and Connie Larkman, advertising manager.
Guess also will receive first-place honors for best editorial for his June-July 2006 column, Easy analysis never captures full story of churchs challenge.
United Church News will share the first-place award of excellencewith the United Methodist Reporter, which ironically prints and distributes the UCCs newspaper fromUMR&'s offices in Dallas, Texas. United Church News&' editorial and design offices are housed at the UCC&'snational Church Housein Cleveland, Ohio.
The UCCs top-place honor represents the first time the denomination has received the newspaper-division award since 2003, when the Rev. W. Evan Golder was United Church News retiring editor. Golder is now editor emeritus.
Guess also will be presented a second-placecertificate of merit for best newspaper feature story for The Invisible, Protestant Mary, United Church News cover/centerstage article in December 2006.
Second-place awards also will go to "UCC @50," the UCC&'s 50th anniversary commemorative book,for best overall publication design (Robert Chase, publisher; W. Evan Golder and J. Martin Bailey, editors; and Randy Varcho, art director, and Robyn Nordstrom, designer) and to the UCCs Troubled Waters documentary for ABC-TV stations (Robert Chase, Jean Robinson and Wally Ryan Kuroiwa, executive producers).