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WNC Churches, Conference, and Agencies Shine Bright During the 2022 Annual Meeting of the United Methodist Association of Communicators

Thursday, March 31, 2022
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The United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC) held its annual meeting this week on March 30th and 31st. During this two-day virtual gathering, several staff members of Western NC local churches, church agencies, and the conference office were recognized for their many gifts, talents, and contributions in the field of church communications.

During the professional organization’s business session held on Wednesday, March 30th Aimee Yeager, WNCC Associate Director of Communications, and Doug Peninger, Director of Communications for Centenary UMC in Winston-Salem, were both nominated and elected to serve on the Leadership Team for UMAC. The UMAC Leadership Team is tasked with carrying out the direction and administration of the UMAC body between annual meetings. Congratulations and prayers go out to Aimee and Doug as they prepare to serve the communicators of The United Methodist Church on this team!

“Each year, the United Methodist Association of Communicators recognizes excellence in communication through an awards program, the United Methodist Association of Communicators Awards Contest. The contest recognizes excellence in print publications, digital publications, writing, internet communications, video production, audio, photography, visual design, publicity/advertising and media presentations.” (The Executive Leadership Team for the UMAC) Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s awards gala was held virtually on Thursday, March 31st.
 
We are proud to announce the following award recipients from Western North Carolina:

Matt Garfield, A.J. Thomas, and Susan Cothern of the United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina won The Robert F. Storey Award of Excellence, Best in Class for Print Publications for RISE: 2020 Annual Report. UMFWNC also took 1st place in the Special Publication category for a General Church Agency for the same publication. The annual report celebrates the stories of the United Methodist churches and ministries in Western NC and how, together with the Foundation, they not only survived the challenges of the pandemic but continued to grow and thrive
 
The United Methodist Foundation of Western North Carolina also won 1st place in the Video News Story Category for a General Church Agency for the video story, Once Struggling, Methodist Camp Sees Bright Future, by Matt Garfield. 

Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center staff won 1st place in the Magazine Category for a General Church Agency for their 2021 edition of Discover Lake Junaluska. “This issue of Discover magazine explores the many ways people recharge and renew themselves at scenic Lake Junaluska.” (Discover Lake Junaluska, 2021)
 
Stories of Faith, the Annual Conference magazine of the Western North Carolina Conference, won 3rd place in Special Publication for an Annual Conference or Local Church. Stories of Faith is a magazine published by the WNCC, which tells the stories of everyday faith-bearers in our local congregations.
 
Doug Peninger, Centenary UMC, Winston-Salem, won 2nd place in the Electonic Publication Category for an Annual Conference or Local Church for the September-October 2021 and November-December 2021 editions of Centenary Every Day Magazine. The church’s bi-monthly magazine highlights not only the happenings of the church, but more importantly, the lived expression of the congregation’s faith through mission and ministry in their local church, community, and around the world.
 
Means of Grace, a podcast of the Western North Carolina Conference, won 2nd place for the episode titled, “Q&A with Bishop Ken Carter,” hosted by Melissa McGill, produced by Andy Goh of Gohjo Studios, with promotional graphics by Aimee Yeager. In this episode, Director of Communications Melissa McGill talks to Bishop Ken Carter about leading the Church in this season, his own calling, his encouragement for church leaders, how he takes his coffee, and much more.

WNCC staff members Chris Hampton, Director of IT Services, Aimee Yeager, Associate Director of Communications, and the team at BrickRiver, a web software service for mission-driven organizations, won 2nd place for the Western NC Conference Website Redesign in the Print or Electronic Design Category for an Annual Conference or Local Church.
 
Amie Newsome, Marketing Coordinator at Lake Junaluksa Conference & Retreat Center, won 1st and 2nd place in Photojournalism for a General Church Agency for “Festival of Wisdom & Grace,” and “Sunrise Over Lake Junaluska,” respectively.
 
The staff of Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center also won:

  • 2nd place for the Lake Junaluska Facebook Page in the Social Media Online Content Category for a General Church Agency. They also placed as one of the top scorers in the overall Internet Communications category.
     
  • 3rd place in the Video Production Category: Costing more than $2,000 for a General Church Agency for their video Lake Junaluska Annual Donor Celebration 2021. This video by Ryan Hipps was coordinated by Rebecca Mathis with filming by Amie Newsome.
 
“Those honored at the Awards Gala are the best of the best,” says the Executive Leadership Team. “Competition is fierce, and we are grateful for the excellent work of so many writers, photographers, videographers, and other communications professionals who dedicate their lives and their work to the Lord.”
 
Congratulations to all this year’s winners! To read more about the awards ceremony and a full list of this year’s winners, visit The United Methodist Association of Communicators website.

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The United Methodist Association of Communicators is a voluntary, professional organization designed to provide recognition, fellowship, and vocational enrichment for professional and volunteer communicators of the church; plan, participate in and support training and continuing education events; develop standards and seek to enhance the professional quality of the work by United Methodist communicators; and assist in keeping members informed about developments in the communications industry and in promoting dialogue and discussion on technology and communication advocacy issues.
 

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