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Episcopal Communicators presents awards for professional excellence

Episcopal Communicators, an association of communications professionals across the Episcopal Church, announced the winners of the 2023 Polly Bond Awards for Excellence in Communications.

The awards recognize excellence in church communications across 19 categories for work completed in 2022 and are independently judged by communications professionals outside the organization’s membership.

All winning submissions – including Awards of Excellence, Awards of Merit, and Honorable Mentions in each category – are showcased on the Episcopal Communicators website to inspire ideas and foster excellence in Episcopal communications.

This year, a special award was presented for Saint Stephen’s Magazine, Fall 2022 Special Issue by Rebecca Bridges of Saint Stephen’s in Birmingham, Ala. The special issue was released to help parishioners and the wider community engage in remembrance, healing, and transformation following the shooting in the Parish Hall on June 16, 2022, which took the lives of three parishioners.

Recipients of the highest honor in each category, “Award of Excellence”, are as follows:
General Excellence
Best Website: Redesign of episcopalmaine.org | Teresa Pinney, Katie Clark, Landslide Creative | Episcopal Church of New Hampshire

Best Print Newsletter/Magazine for a Diocese or Organization: The Feast – Autumn 2022 | Katie Forsyth | The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan

Best Print Newsletter/Magazine for a Parish or Cathedral: Saint Stephen’s Magazine, Fall 2022 Special Issue | Rebecca Bridges | Saint Stephen’s, Vestavia Hills and The Rubric | Gregory Bloch, Adam Conley | Saint Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle, Wash.

Best Email/Digital Newsletter/Magazine for a Diocese or Organization: The Feast Online | Katie Forsyth, Michelle Ruiz | The Episcopal Dioceses of Eastern and Western Michigan

Best Email/Digital Newsletter/Magazine for a Parish or Cathedral: Trinity Connects | Ashley Eastham | Trinity Episcopal Church, New Orleans, La.

Best Campaign: Episcopal Ministries of Long Island’s 2022 “Celebration of Ministry” | Mary Grace Puszka | Episcopal Ministries of Long Island

Long-form Video (Contracted): Trail of Souls: A Journey from Truth to Transformation | Carrie Graves | Episcopal Diocese of Maryland
Long-form Video (In-house): Every Member Canvass Video Skit | Brant Mills, Karen Kraycirik, Cathedral Staff | Christ Church Cathedral, Houston
Short-form Video (Contracted):The Episcopal Church Welcomes You | Evans Ousley, Noble Bison Productions | Saint John’s Cathedral, Denver
Short-form Video (In-house): An Invitation to the Table | Sarah Bartenstein, Dillon Gwaltney | St. Stephen’s, Richmond, Va.

Podcast: The MatchUp | Jason Franklin, the Rev. Nancy Vaders, Mark Ardrey-Graves | St. Paul’s, Winston Salem, N.C.

News: “Want More Pandemic Money? It’s Complicated” | Kirk Petersen | The Living Church
Feature: “Northern California diocese encourages churches to cultivate land to benefit others” | Melodie Woerman | Episcopal News Service
Commentary/Reflection:“I come from a family of refugees. Now it’s my turn to help displaced persons.” | Rebecca Merrill, the Rev. Steven D. Paulikas | Episcopal Relief & Development

Visual Arts
Photography: River Baptism in the Texas Hill Country | Lauren Vereen | St. Peter’s, Kerrville, Texas
Graphic Design: 2022 Growing Conference | Alan Rellaford | Episcopal Diocese of Northern California
Layout (poster, one-page spread, etc.): Thanksgiving Food Drive and Assembly Poster | Karolina Gwiazda, Jessica Riels | Church of the Good Shepherd, Austin, Texas
Booklet: 2021 Annual Report | Gregory Bloch | Saint Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle

Social Media
Social Media Post: 2022 New Year’s Eve Labyrinth Walk | Gregory Bloch | Saint Mark’s Cathedral, Seattle

The Polly Bond Awards were established in the mid-1970s by Episcopal Communicators to acknowledge excellence and achievement in the ministry of church communications. They are named in honor of Polly Bond (1914-1979), former director of communications in the Diocese of Ohio. Bond was a skilled writer and a pioneer in the use of electronic media in the church.

The Polly Bond Awards ceremony is held each year in conjunction with the Episcopal Communicators annual conference, which was held this year April 25-27 at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas.

Episcopal Communicators is a self-supporting organization of communication professionals working in the Episcopal Church for dioceses, congregations, organizations, or as independent or freelance workers. Our mission is to foster a community that inspires and supports excellence in church communications.

Communications professionals serving the Episcopal Church in the United States are encouraged to become members of Episcopal Communicators and can learn more about becoming a member here.

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