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Apr 26, 2016

Diocese of Texas Garners Awards at Communicators’ Conference

The Diocese of Texas fared well at the national Episcopal Communicators’ Conference in Portland, Oregon, April 18-21, garnering more than a dozen awards, including the most prestigious Award of Excellence in the General Excellence category for Diolog magazine, the diocesan quarterly periodical.


LaShane K. Eaglin, the diocesan webmaster, serves on the board of Episcopal Communicators and helped to plan the conference that featured Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and a number of continuing education workshops in addition to the annual awards ceremony. Paulette Martin, communication specialist for the Diocese of Texas, presented one of the workshops based on her experience at Telemundo and the marketing plan developed for Latino congregations in the Diocese. Martin also received an honorable mention for her news story about the Latino response to General Convention’s approval of same sex marriage last summer.


“We work continually to network with other communications people across the Church to share best practices and resources and to bring the best back home for our churches,” said Carol E. Barnwell, communication director for the Diocese of Texas. “We are delighted to have recognition for our good work from professional judges, it helps us continue to strive for the best we have to offer.”


Bishop Curry, in his inimitable and energetic style, was an encouraging presence to the more than 150 communicators gathered. He talked about the “Jesus Movement,” evangelism and communicators’ roles in the Church.


“The Jesus Movement is transformative for not only the Episcopal Church but for the world,” Bishop Curry said. “The more we live into that, the more we will find renewal.” Highlighting the Sharing Faith initiative as “a critical way forward,” he encouraged the group to continue to share stories of the Church. “Evangelism,” he said, “is sharing as much as listening to stories of others … journeying with [others] and then letting God do the rest. That is the heart of evangelism.”


Bishop Curry also said he believed that Christianity had been taken hostage and many times is portrayed in ways that “don’t reflect Jesus.”


“Your calling,” he admonished, “is not only to report the news of the Church, but to report the good news of Jesus [as it] gets lived out, and that news can change lives--both those who have already heard it and those for whom the good news is new news … Your job is to wake us up and to tell the story!”


The Diocese was also represented by communicators from Christ Church Cathedral and St. John the Divine, Houston as well as the Seminary of the Southwest.


Nancy Springer-Baldwin, SSW, took home the honorable mention for a short-form video “Curriculum” and the award of excellence for short-form video “The Center.” Springer-Baldwin also won the award of merit in the print periodical general excellence category for “Ratherview” as well as an honorable mention for the Seminary’s integrated social media presence.


Marilyn Gore and Andrea Meier represented St. John the Divine at the conference. Gore received an award of excellence for best digital periodical, “The Grapevine.” The team also took home the award of merit for SJD’s video “Foundations for Change: Stewardship 2016” as well as the award of excellence for the “Foundations for Change” marketing campaign. They received the award of merit for their Blessing of the Animals print ad, their Holy Week brochure and the award of excellence for a booklet: “Good Friday Children’s Experience.”


Christ Church Cathedral’s former communications director Jen Frazer’s work was recognized with several awards: honorable mention for a marketing ad for “Chill & Grill” and an award of merit for best print periodical for a parish or cathedral.


The Diocese of Texas won honorable mention for a renewed version of the General Convention informational booklet using illustrations by Carvel Glenn, layout by LaShane K. Eaglin as well as an award of excellence for the Sharing Faith Project cards.