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CCP 2016 Awards of Merit 

Editorial – Circulation Under 10,000

(Judge: Mark Bourrie)

First Place: Christian Courier

The Lord’s Hand of Forgiveness

As told to Bert Witvoet

by Betty Vanderburg

 

Rev. Francois Guillaume was arrested after he had prayed for the well-being of Queen Wilhelmina during a church service in the Netherlands while it was under  German occupation. Honouring the Dutch queen, who at that time was in exile in England, was considered a crime against the German Reich. One of his parishioners reported Guil­laume to the German authorities, and, because by praying for his Queen he had become an enemy of Hitler’s Nazi empire, he was arrested and sent to Dachau, one of the worst concentration camps that Hitler’s henchman Herman Goebels had devised.

During his imprisonment, Guillaume suffered from a blood clot in one of his legs and was hospitalized for that. This ailment helped him avoid hard physical labour for a while. But even in the hospital his life was always in danger because every morning the patients had to quickly stand at attention for roll call. Whoever was the slowest in getting out of bed and standing at attention was removed from the hospital and taken away to the gas chamber. Guil­laume made sure he got out of bed as quickly as possible. Because he had experience as a pastor, he figured out a way of making the guards less hostile to him. He always asked them how their wife and children were doing, and thus encouraged their human side to emerge, which was suppressed and compartmentalized during their work time in the camp.

Betty told me how various pastors and priests who were incarcerated in Dachau would agree to meet on Sunday evenings for worship near the fence, at the end ofthe camp field. They pretended to be looking at the stars and clouds. Since all Bibles had been confiscated, the pastors would take turns quoting passages they remembered from Scripture. One or two would comment on these passages, and they would take turns praying for each other and their families. For three years it never rained or snowed during that hour of worship. If it did rain or snow before, it would stop at the beginning of the hour and resume afterwards. God was clearly present in the concentration camp. This worship experience gave courage to the participants. It also helped Francois Guillaume become more ecumenical, so that later in life he could not understand how fellow Chris­tians could fight over minor theological issues during and after the war, causing unfortunate schisms.

Sometimes Guillaume was allowed to write a letter to his wife, but he had to write in German so the guards could censor the letter for forbidden information. He was not allowed to write about himself, for example. So Francois would write about a non-existent uncle who lived in a town in which they had spent their honeymoon, and he asked his wife to ask this unknown uncle ifhe had enough food because he might not get enough to eat. Somehow Mrs. Guillaume figured out hat he meant that he himself did not have enough to eat so she would send him a care package. And when he said that the cake did not taste as good as before, she knew that he wanted her to hide pictures of the children in the cake.

After the war

By God’s help and his own cunning, Francois managed to stay alive until his camp was liberated in 1945. He returned from the concentration camp, hollowed out and emaciated. His health had been damaged for the rest of his life. He spent the first few weeks in a hospice, gradu­ ally eating more food so his body could adjust and regain strength. Gradually he was able to resume his pastoral task in his church.

A few years later, someone knocked on the door of the parsonage and told him that the man who had betrayed him was dying and had asked if Rev. Guillaume could visit him and forgive him. Francois, who until that time did not know who had betrayed him to the German authorities, did not want to go. All the pain and suffering he had endured during those horrible years at Dachau came flooding back into his mind. But the Lord told him he had to go. So he went, but he told the Lord that the Lord had better do the forgiving because he himself could not do it.

When Francois met the man who was on his deathbed, the man confessed and asked him for forgiveness. The man held out his hand to him. Francois took his hand and said, “I am offering you the Lord’s hand of forgiveness.” He said that because he could not bring himself to offer his own hand of forgiveness. As he did so, Francois felt the power of God flowing from his body, through his hand, to the dying man. And then he knew that he also could forgive the man for all the pain he had caused him and his family.

Betty was two years old when her father had been taken away in 1942. When he returned she was five. When she saw her father, who looked like a walking skeleton, she ran away from him. For Francois, this was a very hurtful experience. For years afterwards, the children were told by their mother to cut out the best part of their meat or sandwich and put it on their father’s plate.

Rev. Francois Guillaume died in 1972 of heart failure. His concentration camp experience had caught up with him. His wife had gotten up in the morning and had told him to stay in bed for a bit longer. She would make him a cup oftea. When she returned to give him his cup of tea, she noticed that he was gone. The Lord had stretched out his loving hand and had taken him home.

Betty and Herman Vanderburg, who live in Calgary, Alberta, paid Alice and myself a visit at our son John and Doreen Witvoet s home in Calgary on April 8, 2013. It was then that Betty told us about her father, Rev. Francois Guil­laume. Both Alica and I had known rev. Guillaume during the 1960s when he was a pastor at Rehoboth CRC in To­ronto, and knew about his concentration camp experience.

 

 

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CCP 2016 Awards Of Merit

Published on August 4, 2016 by in News

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At the 2016 Canadian Church Press Conference & Awards ceremony held earlier this year in Toronto, the following publications were recognized for their outstanding achievements. we congratulate them all on a job well done!

 

 

CCP 2016 Awards of Merit 

 

 

Editorial – Circulation Under 10,000

(Judge: Mark Bourrie)

Third Place: Western Catholic Reporter

True Satire Defends What is Sacred, Rather than Belittling it

Author: Glen Argan

Second Place: Spiritan

Rich in Mercy

Author: Fr. Patrick Fitzpatrick, C.S.Sp.

First Place: Christian Courier

The Lord’s Hand of Forgiveness

Author: Bert Witvoet

 

 

Editorial – Circulation Above 10,000

(Judge: Mark Bourrie)

Third Place: Anglican Journal

What Do They Want Now?

Author: Marites N. Sison

Second Place: Indian Life

Why We Can’t “Just Get Over It”

Editor: Jim Uttley

First Place: The Catholic Register

Give Him A Chance

Author: Jim O’Leary

 

 

Letter From The Editor – Magazine

(Judge: Mark Bourrie)

Third Place: Canada Lutheran

This Issue: Liberated by God’s Grace

Editor: Rev. Kenn Ward

Second Place: The Canadian Lutheran

Lord, to Whom Shall We Go?

Author: Mathew Block

First Place: The United Church Observer

Observations: Feeling Squeamish?

Author: David Wilson

 

 

News Story – Magazine

Judge: Richard Landau

Third Place: Salvationist

Open to Question

Author: Kristin Ostensen

Second Place: Faith Today

The House that Redemption Built

Author: Alex Newman

First Place: The United Church Observer

Confronting the Sixties Scoop

Author: Anne Bokma

 

 

 News Story Newspaper/Newsletter

Judge: Richard Landau

Third Place: Anglican Journal

Bishops Apologize for Priest’s History of Abuse

Author: Diana Swift

Second Place: The Catholic Register

Action Demanded on Refugees

Author: Michael Swan

First Place: Western Catholic Reporter

Edmonton Parish Mobilizes to Offer Refuge to Refugees

Author: Thandiwe Konguavi

 

 

In-Depth Treatment of a News Event – Magazine

Judge: Richard Landau

Third Place: Presbyterian Record

Religious Freedom, Secular Values

Authors: Andrew Faiz and Amy MacLachlan

Second Place: The United Church Observer

Atheist Ministers

Authors: Observer Staff

First Place: Salvationist

Boundless 150

Authors: Boundless 2015 Media Team

 

 

In-Depth Treatment of a News Event – Newspaper

Judge: Richard Landau

Third Place: Anglican Journal

Profile of a Diocese: Eastern Newfoundland and Labrador

Author: André Forget

Second Place: Western Catholic Reporter

Coverage of Papal Encyclical Laudato Si’

Authors: Glen Argan and Ramon Gonzalez

First Place: The Catholic Register

Africa: Refugees

Author: Michael Swan

 

 

Features (Non Fiction) – Magazine

Judge: Cynthia Shannon

Third Place: Canada Lutheran

The Spirituality of Aging

Author: The Reverend Vida Jaugelis

Second Place: The United Church Observer

Confronting the Sixties Scoop

Author: Anne Bokma

First Place: Faith & Friends

A Recipe for Recovery

Author: Kristin Ostensen

 

 

Features (Non Fiction) – Newspaper

Judge: Cynthia Shannon

Third Place: Western Catholic Reporter

Youth Find Life in the Bible

Author: Thandiwe Konguavi

Second Place: The Catholic Register

Africa: Hunger

Author: Michael Swan

First Place: Christian Courier

A Different Kind of White Christmas

Author: Monica deRegt

 

 

Opinion Piece – Circulation Under 10,000

Judge: Peter Kavanagh

Third Place: Mandate

The Cry of the Silent Prophet

Author: Debbie McMillan

Second Place: Christian Courier

This is How a Heart Breaks

Author: Lloyd Rang

First Place: Western Catholic Reporter

Ruling Will Increase Suicide Temptation for the Mentally Ill

Author: Austin Mardon

 

 

Opinion Piece – Circulation Above 10,000

Judge: Peter Kavanagh

Third Place: Salvationist

Final Exit

Authors: Colonel Bob Ward and Major Amy Reardon

Second Place: The Catholic Register

Canada is now a Lesser Nation

Author: Bob Brehl

First Place: Presbyterian Record

We All Benefit from Racism

Author: Brad Childs

 

 

Column – Circulation Under 10,000

Judge: Peter Kavanagh

Third Place: Western Catholic Reporter

Peacemaking Today

Author: Douglas Roche

Second Place: The Saskatchewan Anglican

What Ethical Questions Could There be in Using Titanium to Improve the Human Body?; Blame Them Less and Help Them More; Faith Means Believing God’s Justice Will Reign

Author: The Reverend Cheryl Toth

First Place: Christian Courier

From the Lab

Author: Rudy Eikelboom

 

 

Column – Circulation Above 10,000

Judge: Peter Kavanagh

Third Place: The Catholic Register

The Church of the Street

Author: Deacon Robert Kinghorn

Second Place: The United Church Observer

Spiritual but Secular

Author: Anne Bokma

First Place: Presbyterian Record

Pop Christianity

Author: Andrew Faiz

 

 

Department

Judge: Bruce Soderholm

Third Place: The United Church Observer

Quote Unquote

Authors: Mardi Tindal and David Giuliano

Second Place: Faith Today

Business Matters

Authors: Robert MacDonald, Elden Wiebe and Keith Brink

First Place: The Catholic Register

YouthSpeak News

Author: Jean Ko Din

 

 

Service Journalism

Judge: Janet Rowe

Third Place: Mandate

Why the Web?

Author: Pam Rocker

Second Place: Salvationist

The Autism Puzzle

Author: Lieutenant Kristen Gray

First Place: Presbyterian Record

It’s About Hospitality

Author: Amy MacLachlan

 

 

Media Review

Judge: Robert White

Third Place: Christian Courier

An Altar in the Ruins of a Church

Author: Brian Bork

Editor: Angela Reitsma Bick

Second Place: Faith & Friends

Encounter in the Desert

Author: Kristin Ostensen

Editors: Ken Ramstead and Geoff Moulton

First Place: Faith Today

Books and Culture

Authors: Marla Konrad, Violet Nesdoly, Dustin Resch and Deanna Smid

 

 

Theological Reflection

Judge: Juliet Huntly  

Third Place: Salvationist

Expecting Miracles

Author: Aimee Patterson

Second Place: The United Church Observer

A Wretch Like Me

Author: Trisha Elliott

First Place: Presbyterian Record

The Beginning of Life

Author: Tony Plomp

 

 

Biblical Interpretation

Judge: Rolf Pedersen

Third Place: Faith & Friends

Stooping to Greatness

Author: Fred Ash

Second Place: Salvationist

The Unlikely Disciples

Authors: Rob Jeffery, Major Wil Brown-Ratcliffe,

Major Isobel Wager, Jonathan Raymond and Colonel Eleanor Shepherd

First Place: Mandate

What’s That You Say?

Author: Judith H. Newman

 

 

Personal Reflection/First Person Account

Circulation Under 10,000

Judge: Peter Kavanagh

Third Place: Tapestry

Medicine for the Weak

Author: Leah Block

Second Place: The Saskatchewan Anglican

Resolutions Important for a Healthy Body and a Healthy Church

Author: Bishop Rob Hardwick

First Place: Live (formerly The Link & Visitor)

Anything Can Be ON FIRE

Author: Morgan Wolf

 

 

Personal Reflection/First Person Account

Circulation Above 10,000

Judge: Peter Kavanagh

Third Place: Presbyterian Record

The Beginning of Life

Author: Tony Plomp

Second Place: The Catholic Register

My Encounter with Dante

Author: Herman Goodden

First Place: Anglican Journal

Beyond the Bunting: Marriages get Better with Time

Author: Michelle Hauser

 

 

Interview

Judge: Stephen Heckbert 

Third Place: Anglican Journal

Church Can Help Open up Space for Dialogue

Author: Leigh Anne Williams

Second Place: The United Church Observer

Interview with Karen Armstrong

Author: John Suk

First Place: Faith Today

The Faith Today Interview with Margaret Somerville

Author: Karen Stiller

Editor: Bill Fledderus

 

 

Biographical Profile – Magazine

Judge: Patricia Phenix

Third Place: Faith & Friends

Jacob’s Journey

Author: Diane Stark

Second Place: The Canadian Lutheran

Martin Luther Father of the Reformation

Author: Edward G. Kettner

First Place: The United Church Observer

The Unlikely Ascent of Kathleen Wynne

Author: John Barber

 

 

Biographical Profile – Newspaper

Judge: Patricia Phenix

Third Place: Western Catholic Reporter

Herbert was Swept up with a Love of the Poor

Author: Ramon Gonzalez

Second Place: The Catholic Register

Serra’s Canonization Triggers Controversy

Author: Jean Ko Din

First Place: The Saskatchewan Anglican

Joan Ayres Served as a Christian Youth Worker

Authors: Joan Irving and Elaine Hrycenko

 

 

Display Writing – Circulation Under 10,000

Judge: Philip Lee

No Third Place or Second Place Awarded

First Place: Mandate

Combating Climate Change

Editor: Rebekah Chevalier

 

 

Display Writing – Circulation Above 10,000

Judge: Philip Lee

Third Place: Presbyterian Record

CAN WE TALK?

Author: Andrew Faiz

Second Place: The United Church Observer

AMUSING GRACE – Tales of Worship Gone Awry

Observer Staff

First Place: Faith & Friends

A Recipe for Recovery

Author: Kristin Ostensen

 

 

Humour

Judge: Phil Callaway

Third Place: The United Church Observer

AMUSING GRACE

Author: Trisha Elliott

Second Place: Presbyterian Record

Getting Sober

Author: Richard Lett

First Place: Anglican Journal

When Coffee Hour Gets Complicated

Author: Michelle Hauser

 

 

Table of Contents

Judge: Philip Lee

Third Place: Presbyterian Record

Table of Contents – January Issue

Designers: Caroline Bishop and Salina Vanderhorn

Second Place: Mandate

Table of Contents – May Issue

Editor: Rebekah Chevalier

First Place: The United Church Observer

Table of Contents – February Issue

Observer Staff

 

 

News Photo – Magazine

Judge: Miguel Vadillo

No Third Place Awarded

Second Place: Salvationist

Boundless 150 – Te Ope Whakaora Kapa Haka Dancer

Photographer: Boundless 150 Media Team

First Place: Presbyterian Record

On The Road

Photographer: Andrew Faiz

 

 

News Photo – Newspaper

Judge: Miguel Vadillo

No Third Place Awarded

Second Place: Anglican Journal

Evelyn Commanda

Photographer: Art Babych

First Place: The Catholic Register

Africa’s Forgotten Refugees

Photographer: Michael Swan

 

 

Feature Photo – Magazine

Judge: Miguel Vadillo     

No Third Place Awarded

Second Place: Mandate

Pilgrimages of the Heart

Photographer: Peter Williams

First Place: The United Church Observer

Forever Young

Photographer: Hugh Wesley

 

 

Feature Photo – Newspaper

Judge: Miguel Vadillo

No Third Place Awarded

Second Place: Anglican Journal

Wycliffe Indigenous Program

Photographer: Dhoui Chang

First Place: The Catholic Register

Africa: Hunger

Photographer: Michael Swan

 

 

Photo Essay – Magazine

Judge: Miguel Vadillo

No Third Place Awarded

Second Place: Salvationist

African Partners

Photographer: Matt Osmond

First Place: Geez Magazine

Mona Lisa Portraits

Photographer: Caroline Wintoniw

Creative Director: Aiden Enns

 

 

Photo Essay – Newspaper

Judge: Miguel Vadillo

No Third Place or Second Place Awarded

First Place: The Catholic Register

Mother’s Dedication to Children the Same Worldwide

Photographer: Moussa Faddad

 

Original Artwork – Magazine

Judge: Carson Samson

Third Place: Geez Magazine

Animal Being

Artist: Darryl Brown

Second Place: Presbyterian Record

Ministers as a Mission Project

Illustrator: Yevgenia Nayberg

First Place: Faith & Friends

Hidden Treasures

Artist: Dennis Jones

Designer: Brandon Laird

 

Original Artwork – Newspaper

Judge: Carson Samson

No Third Place Awarded

Original Artwork – Newspaper (Cont’d.)

Second Place: Anglican Journal

Solace for the Soul

Artist: Mouki K. Butt

First Place: Christian Courier

December

Artist: Hannah Mostert

 

 

Front Cover – Magazine – Circulation Under 10,000

Judge: Brian Morgan

Third Place: Spiritan

Remembering Fr. Michael Doyle, C.S.Sp.

Editor: Fr. Patrick Fitzpatrick, C.S.Sp.

Layout and Designer: Tim Faller

Second Place: Foi & Vie

Appelée à Danser

Designer: Brandon Laird

Editors: Ken Ramstead and Geoff Moulton

First Place: Mandate

Prophets in the House (May Issue)

Designer: Lisa Rebnord

 

 

Front Cover – Magazine – Circulation Above 10,000

Judge: Brian Morgan

Third Place: Presbyterian Record

The Kingdom of God is Like…

Designers: Caroline Bishop and Salina Vanderhorn

Illustrator: Barry Falls

Second Place: Faith Today

“It’s Time To Think”

Designer: Janice Van Eck

Photography Source: OLLYY/Shutterstock

First Place: The United Church Observer

Beyond Ferguson

Designer: Ross Woolford

 

 

Front Page – Newspaper

Judge: Jason Chiu

No Third Place Awarded

Second Place: Anglican Journal

November 2015

Designer: Saskia Rowley

First Place – The Catholic Register

Can Pope’s Plea Save the Planet?

Designer: Lucy Barco

 

 

Feature Layout and Design – Magazine – Circulation Under 10,000

Judge: Brian Morgan

Third Place: Canada Lutheran

The Spirituality of Aging

Designer: Catherine Crivici

Second Place: Spiritan

Beware the Holy Spirit!

Layout and Designer: Tim Faller

First Place: Mandate

Pilgrimages of the Heart

Designer: Lisa Rebnord

 

 

Feature Layout and Design – Magazine – Circulation Above 10,000

Judge: Brian Morgan

Third Place: The United Church Observer

Elephants in the Room

Designer: Ross Woolford

Second Place: Faith Today

The Canadian Guide to Urbana 15

Designer: Janice Van Eck

Second Place: Presbyterian Record

Print Is Dead

Designers: Caroline Bishop and Salina Vanderhorn

First Place: Salvationist

Boundless 150

Designer: Brandon Laird

 

Feature Layout and Design – Newspaper

Judge: Jason Chiu

No Third Place Awarded

Second Place: Anglican Journal

Profile of a Diocese – March

Designer: Saskia Rowley

First Place: The Catholic Register

Africa: Refugees

Designers: Lucy Barco and Mickey Conlon

 

 

Layout and Design Of An Edition – Magazine

Circulation Under 10,000

Judge: Brian Morgan

Third Place: Spiritan

Robert di Nardo – Our Newest Priest

Editor: Fr. Patrick Fitzpatrick, C.S.Sp., Layout and Designer: Tim Faller

Second Place: Mandate

February 2015

Editor: Rebekah Chevalier, Designer: Lisa Rebnord

First Place: Geez Magazine

Animal Being

Designer: Darryl Brown, Editor: Aiden Enns

 

 

Layout and Design of an Edition – Magazine

Circulation Above 10,000

Judge: Brian Morgan

Third Place: The United Church Observer

February Issue

Designer: Ross Woolford

Second Place – Salvationist

A Worldwide Army

Designers: Timothy Cheng and Brandon Laird

First Place: Faith Today

“It’s Time To Think”

Designer: Janice Van Eck

 

 

Layout and Design of an Edition – Newspaper

Judge: Jason Chiu

No Third Place Awarded

Second Place: Western Catholic Reporter

Issue of June 15, 2015

Designer: Glen Argan

First Place: Anglican Journal

November 2015 Edition

Designer: Saskia Rowley

 

 

Best Blog

Judge: Carson Samson

Third Place: The United Church Observer

The Short List

Author: Pieta Woolley

Second Place: Presbyterian Record

Matthew Ruttan

Writer: Matthew Ruttan

First Place: Salvationist.ca

http://salvationist.ca/tag/danielle-strickland

Author: Major Danielle Strickland

 

 

Best Use Of Multi-Media On A Website

Judge: Scott Refvik

Third Place: Salvationist.ca

http://salvationist.ca

Editors: Kristin Ostensen, Pamela Richardson and Geoff Moulton

Designer: Brandon Laird

Second Place: Anglican Journal

http://www.anglicanjournal.com/departments/special-report/trc

Anglican Journal

First Place: The United Church Observer

Observer Podcast: Episode 2

Kevin Spurgaitis

 

 

Publication Website

Judge: Scott Refvik

Third Place: Anglican Journal

http://www.anglicanjournal.com/departments/features

Anglican Journal

Second Place: The United Church Observer

http://ucobserver.org

Webmaster: Kevin Spurgaitis

First Place: Salvationist.ca

http://salvationist.ca

Editors: Kristin Ostensen, Giselle Randall, Ken Ramstead and Geoff Moulton

Designer: Brandon Laird

 

 

General Excellence – Website Design

Judge: Scott Refvik

Third Place: Anglican Journal

www.anglicanjournal.com

Anglican Journal

Second Place: The United Church Observer

www.ucobserver.org

Webmaster: Kevin Spurgaitis

First Place: Salvationist.ca

http://salvationist.ca

Designers: Carson Samson, Ryan Neudorf and Brandon Laird

 

 

General Excellence – Magazine

Judge: Leanne Larmondin

Third Place: Canada Lutheran

September, October/November, December 2015

Designer: Catherine Crivici

Editor: The Reverend Kenn Ward

Editorial Director: Trina Gallop Blank

Third Place: Presbyterian Record

October, November and December 2015

Editors: David Harris, Andrew Faiz, Amy MacLachlan and Connie Wardle

Designers: Caroline Bishop and Salina Vanderhorn

Second Place: The United Church Observer

March, April, May 2015

Editor: David Wilson

First Place: Geez Magazine

Spring, Summer and Fall 2015

Editors: Aiden Enns, Kyla Neufeld and Tim Runtz

Designer: Darryl Brown

 

 

General Excellence – National Newspaper

Judge: David Wilson

No Third Place or Second Place Awarded

First Place: Anglican Journal

October, November, December 2015

Anglican Journal Staff

 

General Excellence – Regional Newspaper

Judge: David Wilson

No Third Place or Second Place Awarded

First Place: Western Catholic Reporter

June 1, June 15 and June 29, 2015

Editor: Glen Argan

 

 

A.C. Forrest Memorial Award – Circulation Under 10,000

Judge: Joyce Smith     

Honourable Mention: Live (Formerly The Link & Visitor)

No Place to Go

Author: Esther Barnes

First Place: Mandate

Forging New Relationships

Author: Debbie Marshall

 

 

A.C. Forrest Memorial Award – Circulation Above 10,000

Judge: Joyce Smith

Honourable Mention: Presbyterian Record

On The Road

Author: Andrew Faiz

First Place: The United Church Observer

Confronting The Sixties Scoop

Author: Anne Bokma

 

 

 

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Preparing for a Beautiful End

Published on April 5, 2016 by in Features

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Click to view as PDF
Click to view as PDF

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by Josiah Neufeld

GEEZ magazine

original publication date: Winter 2014

Honourable Mention 2015

A.C. Forrest Memorial Award

for circulation up to 9,999

Sunlight streams through the second-floor windows of a duplex on a tree-lined residential street in Victoria. In the kitchen, Carmen Spagnola is simmering a pot of rabbit meat on the stove while her husband, Ruben Anderson, Googles techniques for making sauerkraut. Their home looks commonplace enough: bookshelves line the walls, a vase of lilies adorns the dining room table. Outside, the lawn is getting a little ragged around the edges, there’s a pile of chopped firewood in the driveway, and seven black, silky-haired rabbits nibble at the grass poking up into their chicken-wire runs. Nothing too far from ordinary. Nothing to signal to a visitor that Carmen and Ruben are busy preparing for the end of civilization.

On the morning I first visited Ruben and Carmen, standing in their sunlit kitchen, I mentioned somewhat glibly that I was writing an article about the end of the world. Carmen’s response was matter-of-fact. “Everything comes to an end,” she said as she poured herself a glass of water. “It’s mysterious, but it’s also so completely ordinary. Of course it’s going to end.”

Ruben made us each an espresso using an ancient chrome-handled machine salvaged from a restaurant he used to own. The coffee was bitter on my tongue, but also rich, layered with complexity.

Last fall, Carmen watched an old friend die of cancer. She was struck by the dignity with which he encountered his death. He called it the next great adventure. Carmen would like to bear witness to the unraveling of our society with the same unflinching gaze. “Rather than trying to preserve or escape or even prolong, we have to meet it,” she said. “And right now we’re actually making it worse by not meeting the moment the way that we need to. And that is undignified. It hurts our sensibility as humans, because I think most of us know on some level that this is not working.”

As I drank my coffee and looked out the window at the quiet street and the maroon leaves of the ornamental plum trees casting their patterned shade on the sidewalk, I found it difficult to envision this pleasant reality coming to an end. But isn’t that always how it is? We all know we’re going to die; we just don’t quite believe it.

Ruben and Carmen are among a growing number of people who have become convinced that our species has wrecked its natural habitat beyond repair. They believe human civilization is entering the first stages of a collapse from which no valiant activism, alternative energy, or utopian technology can ultimately save it. Earlier this year, a New York Times Magazine profile of longtime environmentalist Paul Kingsnorth stirred some heated debate around the question many activists have been quietly asking themselves for a while: what if we’re fucked? Kingsnorth has publicly given up trying to rescue civilization and is turning his energy towards grieving its imminent death. Even green movements with the popular support of Bill McKibben’s 350.org don’t stand a chance of stopping climate change and only peddle false hope, Kingsnorth told the Times. Ruben finds no fault with Kingsnorth’s reasoning. “I think almost everyone who puts serious effort into criticizing him is being defensive because his words cut so close to the bone,” he told me.

There does seem to be some fairly ominous handwriting on the wall. Homo sapiens have degraded the planet’s soil (half the earth’s topsoil has been lost in the past 50 years), heated its atmosphere past the tipping point (scientists say the melting polar ice caps are now irreversible), acidified its oceans (some ecologists predict saltwater fish will be gone by 2048), and ushered in the greatest mass extinction since dinosaurs were wiped out (environmental writer J. B. MacKinnon estimates humans have reduced the natural variety and abundance of life on the planet to one tenth of what it once was). This March, a NASA-funded team of mathematicians projected that unless humanity manages to employ drastic reductions to inequality and population growth in coming decades, the collapse of human civilization will be “difficult to avoid.”

Our current civilization wouldn’t be the first to engineer its own downfall, but it might be the last. Sumer, Rome, the Maya, and Easter Island all continued to destroy their ecological foundations, even when they could see what they were doing. Each successive civilization on this planet falls harder and pays more dearly
for its mistakes, observed historian and archeologist Ronald Wright in his 2004 Massey Lectures. Globalization has now tied all seven billion of us together in one giant experiment. “As we climbed the rungs of progress, we kicked out the rungs below,” Wright warned. “There is no going back without catastrophe.”

Speak too freely of apocalypse and you’ll be called a survivalist or a rapture-ready Christian. Carmen and Ruben’s friends jokingly call them doomsday preppers. But they aren’t stockpiling weapons or hoarding goods for a future barter economy. Instead they’re learning how to grow, raise, slaughter, harvest, and preserve as much of their food as they can while cultivating the spiritual tools they believe will be needed in a time of crisis.

“We’re trying to figure out how we can take this understanding of the collapse of the world as we know it and express it as something that is joyful and abundant and richly connected,” Ruben said to me as we sat down to a lunch of Reuben sandwiches – aptly named, since Ruben himself had fermented the sauerkraut, cured the bacon, and baked the dark rye loaf from which we sawed generous slices. “The crust explodes beautifully in your mouth,” he pointed out.

“We try to take an inventory every meal,” Carmen said. “What here was produced by us? There’s always a few things that aren’t.”

“The cheese,” said Ruben. “This is crappy store cheese.” His parmesan had turned out hard as rock.

It was evident to me as we relished our food, washed down with glasses of home-brewed Belgian ale and chocolate stout, that these collapseniks weren’t going to spend the twilight of our civilization feeling sorry for themselves. Instead they were savoring every bite of their homegrown food with an attention that verged on reverence.

After lunch, Ruben took me down to the cellar. It was crammed to the corners with bottles, jars, pressure cookers, a cider press built from a truck jack and two-by-fours, and two glass, bulb-shaped carboys containing of 30 gallons of apple cider. Lining the pantry shelves were rank upon rank of canning jars full of tomatoes, beans, sauerkraut, squash, pears, blackberries, rabbit rillettes (similar to pâté), and several varieties of beer and cider. At peak stock they’d had about 700 jars of food. A quick inventory revealed they were down to around 100. “Seeing this gives me a panicky feeling,” Ruben said.

Ten years ago Ruben was among the evangelical voices chorusing for electric cars, recycling, and green energy. Ultimately, it was his study of human
behaviour that caused him to give up preaching and start preserving.

Ruben is tall and lithe in his mid-40s, with a neatly trimmed salt-and-pepper beard, grey-blue eyes, and small silver hoops in his earlobes. His mental capacity for accumulating and ordering data enables him to quickly envision interconnected systems where others may see only a few isolated strands. Carmen calls it “intuiting logic.”

Throughout university – he has degrees in theatre and sculpture from the University of Victoria, and industrial design from Emily Carr University – Ruben educated himself on topics he was curious about. He read books on ecology, psychology, and economics – including a “horribly boring” book on rural electrification – always flipping to the bibliographies at the end to find new sources of knowledge. Evidence of his wide-ranging reading habits can be found crammed into his living room bookshelf. Volumes on eco-design, human decision-making, biomimicry, and psychology rub covers the sci-fi novels of Isaac Asimov and Ursula Le Guin, and manuals on making cider, cheese, bread, and sausage.

Ruben graduated from design school eager to create beautiful, durable, products from recycled materials. Instead, he found himself designing picture frames and vases that would be manufactured in China and sold to middle-class Vancouverites. From his reading he knew that 80 per cent of manufactured goods end up in landfills within six weeks of being purchased. So he quit his job and managed to finagle a position with the City of Vancouver’s sustainability department. During his tenure at the city, and later at Metro Vancouver,

Ruben helped design systems to encourage recycling and reduce waste. He also did a lot of reading about human behaviour change. But the grind of city bureaucracy began to wear him down. He was also becoming increasingly convinced that even a green-minded city like Vancouver wasn’t going to change fast enough to head off an ecological disaster.

Last year, Ruben wrote a post on his blog explaining why appealing to people’s consciences to use less water or recycle or give up their cars will never save our planet. That’s because 95 to 99 per cent of the decisions we make aren’t the result of conscious choice but of socialization and the systems that surround us.

“We think our mind controls our behaviour, but in fact we are social creatures, not rational,” Ruben wrote. “We have built a world – we have built our systems – for the rational person, not the real person, so we have built a world that hates us. We have built a world with infinite hot water, and then we are blamed for taking long showers. We have built a world with wide highways and fast cars, and then we are blamed for driving too much. We might as well blame the giraffe for eating leaves from the top of the tree.”

To deal with his anxiety about the future, Ruben started to can food. He’d buy boxes of tomatoes and peaches at farmer’s markets and boil them up them in his kitchen. “I know in many ways it doesn’t make sense. I know a closet full of canned goods isn’t going to get me through the apocalypse, I just felt like I had to do something on a smaller scale,” he said. It was around this time that he met Carmen. The two of them spent a lot of time canning and talking about what it would take for humans to survive on the planet. “No one had ever talked to me in my language before,” Ruben said. He didn’t know then that Carmen was just coming through her own dark night of the soul.

Carmen was in Grade 10 when she found out that the world as she knew it was going to end. Her stepdad – a rough, hard-drinking man who spent most of her childhood working on oil rigs in the Yukon – told her that oil would run out in her lifetime.

“That really scared me,” Carmen said. “Here’s a guy who I don’t think knows much, but he knows this secret.”

Now in her late 30s, Carmen has a clear, expressive face with fine eyebrows and high cheeks that colour easily. When she speaks of intense or emotional subjects, she interjects little bursts of laugh ter into the pauses between her sentences.

Carmen dreams big and then makes her dreams happen. At age 17 she left home, travelled to Europe and studied culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Afterwards, she found work cooking for millionaires on their private yachts. With her student debt paid off, she returned to Canada, took some classes in economics, and got into the wine and spirits business. Carmen was living in Vancouver with her young daughter when she experienced a series of lucid dreams in which she envisioned a business logo with the tagline: “Sustainable Merchandise and Responsible Trade.” She decided to launch her own business selling beautiful, locally made, eco-friendly furniture. Miraculously, it seemed, the financing she needed poured in. She built a devoted customer base and journalists started quoting her in articles about doing business with a conscience. Carmen had found her calling; everything about it seemed divinely ordained. So when her business collapsed, she refused to believe it. When the financial crisis of 2008 hit, customers stopped walking through her door. Within several months she was forced to shutter her store, but she didn’t file for bankruptcy until months later when she finally admitted to herself that her business had failed. She was emotionally devastated.

“I needed to go through my own experience of collapse to have what I now see as a sacred experience,” Carmen said. “I needed to become wise to what actually happens when things are collapsing: you can’t see it, and then you can’t believe it, and then you can’t accept it, and then you feel like you are unworthy. And after that you have to figure out how to love yourself in spite of your failure and to love your failure for the gift it has given you.”

Eventually Carmen recovered from her own personal collapse. She trained as a clinical hypnotherapist and studied transpersonal psychology. Recently she opened her own practice doing hypnotherapy and intuitive readings. She thinks about her failed business with both sadness and a twinge of embarrassment. “Part of me feels like a foolish child for having honoured such a superficial and excessive lifestyle as viable and desirable,” she says. Yet her experience of failure has helped her counsel others dealing with loss. “Rumi says we need to die before we die,” she says. “That’s how we live well.” Carmen believes that what makes life meaningful is not necessarily happiness, but a willingness to experience the entire depth and breadth of what life has to offer. Thus, when we experience small
deaths – “like failures, environmental collapse, or collapse of identity” – it gives us the opportunity to learn how to die so we can live better lives.

Ruben and Carmen hold out hope that the fall will happen over several generations, allowing human civilization to collapse into smaller, mutually supportive agrarian societies. But even the best case scenarios involve a lot of death. Small-scale organic farms can’t feed 7 billion people. Even though I was inspired by Ruben and Carmen’s “small and delicious life,” as they called it, I wasn’t sure they’d reckoned with the scale of suffering a global collapse would cause. Perhaps no one has. Still, I wanted the conversation to get more real. How do people talk about apocalypse in Kiribati, an island nation slowly being submerged by the rising Pacific? How do we talk about collapse when it affects the people we love—our own children, for instance?

Mirabella, Carmen’s daughter, is a quiet, darkhaired 10-year-old who thinks about things like how to get more allowance money and whether her friends at school think she’s weird because her parents raise rabbits for food. As the four of us sat down to a delicious dinner of rabbit hocks braised in herbs and beer, I asked Mirabella what she imagined would be different in the future.

“Hoverboards,” she suggested.

Was there anything she worried about?

“Less wilderness in which to go hiking.”

Later I asked Carmen and Ruben how you prepare your child for a future that might not involve hoverboards after all. Or antibiotics. Or electricity.

“I can’t give her safety,” said Ruben, “but I can give her skills.” He meant things like hunting, butchering, and canning. But Carman was thinking about another set of skills she wanted for her daughter: the ability to cultivate her own spirituality, to feel empathy for others, and to know the joy of working together with a community. “That’s what will keep her safe, I think,” said Carmen. “Not that she’ll necessarily be a survivor, but she’ll be someone who can handle – emotionally, spiritually, physically – whatever’s happening to her and recognize that when she feels despair, that’s okay and that’s natural, and here are the skills you have for that. And when she’s feeling inspired, that’s great, and she can carry other people.”

As Carmen talked about her daughter’s uncertain future, I saw tears shining in her eyes. “I do get sad and teary,” she said, without wiping them away. “Mirabella’s going to have so much pain. But at the same time, it’s like that pain-beauty when you see a great work of art and it catches your heart in a vice grip. The beauty of that is she’ll probably go through it so well because she will recognize that there’s a richness to experiencing life in every dimension.”

One name that came up in my conversations with Ruben and Carmen was that of Stephen Jenkinson, a Harvard-trained theologian who worked for years as the director of palliative care at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto before he started leading his own workshops on dying well. Jenkinson was the subject of a 2008 National Film Board documentary called Griefwalker.

“We don’t have to like death,” he said, “Who would? But we do have to befriend it.” Jenkinson challenges the Judeo-Christian notion of death as punishment. Instead he calls death a gift, “the cradle of our love of life.”

I wondered if Jenkinson would have something to say to a culture afraid to face its own end. I’d heard he was coming to Vancouver for a talk, so I sent him an email and asked if he’d meet me for coffee. We met at a sidewalk café in downtown Vancouver and talked about endings as boisterous sports fans streamed past us on their way to a Whitecaps soccer game.

Jenkinson speaks in aphorisms like a wilderness sage, and he dresses the part. On the afternoon we met he was wearing a black vest over a collared white shirt with billowy pleated sleeves gathered at the wrist. An iron-coloured braid hung down his back and a wide-brimmed hat shaded his grizzled chin from the late afternoon sun.

“I worked in the death trade for quite a long time,” he said, referring to palliative care, “and here’s what I saw people do. They thought their obligation when they were dying was to proceed in such a way that the dying was invisible. That this constituted strength.” That’s exactly how our culture is choosing to deal with its own death, by pretending nothing’s happening. “The antidote is this,” he said, fixing me with his sharp blue eyes. “The way you’re going to die well is you’re going to allow your dying to change every idea you ever had about ought to and supposed to, and who we are to each other, and what this time is for.”

Jenkinson believes the acts of maturity and wisdom called for in our time are not deeds of individual heroism, but a willingness to be faithful witnesses, to “live with the ending of things.” He doesn’t recommend trying to hasten the death of our culture – as some anarcho-primitivists would advocate – any more than we’d try to hasten the death of our mother if we were called to her deathbed. “Because our culture is our mother, in the mythic sense.” But we need to be willing to witness her death, grieve it, and allow it to change us.

How do we allow news of our death to change us? I asked Jenkinson for more specifics, but, like any sage, he wasn’t too prescriptive. But here’s something I do know: what we believe about ourselves in times of crisis matters. American writer Rebecca Solnit reported on Hurricane Katrina and researched numerous other disasters. She learned
that, contrary to popular belief, in the wake of a disaster “most people are altruistic, urgently engaged in caring for themselves and those around them, strangers and neighbours as well as friends and loved ones. The image of the selfish, panicky, or regressively savage human being in times of disaster has little truth to it.” Scholars who study disaster have found that the people who react violently in crises are most often elites who believe humans are “bestial and dangerous,” and who think they must protect themselves.

Jenkinson’s last admonition was this: grief is not a burden for the individual to bear. These days too many people try to do the witnessing alone, sitting in their living rooms watching social justice documentaries. They end up immobilized by guilt or despair. “That’s not what’s called for,” he said. “If you’ve got a village, the village has got to carry the realization of what is so individuals are not paralyzed by it.”

 

I saw that village at work when I accompanied Carmen, Ruben, and Mirabella to the Quaker meeting they regularly attend. Carmen first encountered the Quakers when she and Ruben moved to Victoria three years ago. The first time she attended a meeting, she was struck by their practice of sitting together in silence, their communal decision-making, and their willingness to share deeply about their lives. Since then, Carmen has begun the process of becoming a member of the Victoria congregation. Although neither she nor Ruben call themselves Christian, what binds the Quakers together isn’t so much shared belief as shared practice.

“That’s Quaker witness,” Carmen said. “I feel that in times of collapse, that is the most humane way I can go through it: to witness other people and to know that I am being witnessed.”

When we arrived at the meeting house, a small circle of people were already sitting in silence. Inside, the 100-year-old building had the wooden smell of an old ship. Chairs scraped on the plank floor as the circle opened to include us. Everyone smiled; no one spoke. I noticed most of the hair around the circle was white or grey. We sat together while sunlight filtered greenly through oak leaves into the windows. The stillness of the room settled around me like a blanket. One woman was reading a book. There was no pretense, no expectation. I listened to the sounds of the outer world seep through the walls: birds chattering, the stutter of a nail gun, the drone of an airplane. After half an hour, each member of the circle reached out to briefly squeeze the hands of their neighbours.

I remembered Carmen and Ruben telling me about an experience they’d had bringing some friends with them to one of the Quaker meetings. During the service, a man had stood up and spoken about a phone call he’d received early that morning. He’d been expecting a call telling him that his brother had died. Instead it was his brother calling to wish him a happy father’s day and to let him know that he was ready to die.

“That’s a gift,” Carmen said afterwards, reflecting on her friends’ experience of the moment, “that somebody else stood up and shared that – that was a cathartic opening for them to touch some grief within themselves.”

Josiah Neufeld’s essays, journalism and short fiction have been published in The Walrus, Hazlitt and Prairie Fire. He’s a full-time, stay-at-home-writer-dad who lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He believes the crisis humanity is facing offers us an opportunity to learn to live with more compassion and less exploitation.

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Registration is underway for the 2016 Canadian Church Press Convention in Toronto. Click “Convention” to learn more about this year’s speakers, workshops and hotel information.

 

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Creative circle abstract vector logo design templateAt the Canadian Church Press Conference held last week in Toronto, the following magazines, newspapers and websites were recognized for their excellence. The Canadian Church Press includes representatives from 59 member publications, including mainline, Catholic and evangelical churches. The awards were judged by a panel of accomplished journalists and academics from the secular media.

Here are the winners. Over the coming weeks, the full articles will be posted along with the judges’ comments, with a link to the parent websites:

 

2015 Award Winners

1. Editorial – Circulation up to 9,999 (Judge: Stephen Heckbert)

First Place – Western Catholic Reporter
We must join with Aboriginal Women in Caravan of Solidarity
Author: Glen Argan

Second Place – Christian Courier
What the Olympics Reveal about Russia
Author: Angela Reitsma Bick

Third Place – Spiritan
In Weakness, Strength
Author: Father Patrick Fitzpatrick, C.S.Sp.
Designer: Tim Faller

2. Editorial – Circulation above 10,000 (Judge: Stephen Heckbert)

First Place – The United Church Observer
Observations (October 2014)
Author: David Wilson

Second Place – The Catholic Register
Principled Bill
Author: Jim O’Leary

Third Place – Faith Today
Where’s the Threat
Author: Bruce J. Clemenger

3. Letters from the Editor (Magazine) (Judge: Stephen Heckbert)

First Place – Mennonite Brethren Herald
Spun Around
Associate Editor: Karla Braun

Second Place – Faith & Friends
Moving On (June 2014)
Editors: Ken Ramstead and Geoff Moulton

Third Place – Salvationist
Love and Brokenness (October 2014)
Author: Geoff Moulton
Editors: Giselle Randall, Pamela Richardson, Kristin Ostensen and Geoff Moulton

4. News Story – Magazine (Judge: Richard Landau)

First Place – The United Church Observer
Exodus (October 2014)
Author: Vidya Kauri

Second Place – Faith Today
Coming to a Screen near You
Author: Jeff Dewsbury

Third Place – Presbyterian Record
Prayer and Action
Authors: Connie Wardle and Elizabeth Keith

5. News Story – Newspaper (Judge: Richard Landau)

First Place – The B.C. Catholic
Nuncio Hails New Saints as Church’s Treasure
Author: Alistair Burns

Second Place – ChristianWeek
From Sorrow to Salvation: “Chance” Encounter Leads Family
Grieving a Son’s Brutal Murder to Christ
Author: Craig Macartney
Editors: Kelly Rempel and Rob Horsley

Third Place – The Catholic Register
Refugee Backlogs ‘Unacceptable’
Author: Michael Swan

6. In-Depth Treatment of a News Event – Magazine (Judge: Richard Landau)

First Place – Salvationist
War and Peace
Author: Kristin Ostensen
Editors: Giselle Randall, Pamela Richardson, Kristin Ostensen and Geoff Moulton

Second Place – The United Church Observer
Playing God? (June 2014)
Author: John Barber

Third Place – Presbyterian Record
Coverage of LGBT Overtures
Author: Connie Wardle

7. In-Depth Treatment of a News Event – Newspaper (Judge: Richard Landau)

First Place – Western Catholic Reporter
Coverage of Truth and Reconciliation Commission National Event
Author: Glen Argan

Second Place – Anglican Journal
Sudan
Author: Marites N. Sison and Diana Swift

Third Place – The Catholic Register
Holy Land Christians
Author: Michael Swan

8. Features (Nonfiction) – Magazine (Judge: Cynthia Shannon)

First Place – The United Church Observer
Four Years, 9 Months: A Journey through Infertility (January 2014)
Author: Jocelyn Bell

Second Place – The Canadian Lutheran
Hands of Mercy
Author: L. Block

Third Place – Faith & Friends
Holy Hip Hop (November 2014)
Author: Jayne Thurber-Smith
Editors: Ken Ramstead and Geoff Moulton

9. Features (Nonfiction) – Newsletter/Newspaper (Judge: Cynthia Shannon)

First Place – Anglican Journal
Big Care on Campus
Author: Diana Swift

Second Place – The Catholic Register
L’Arche at 50 Half a Century of Kindness and Care
Author: Michael Swan

Third Place – The Catalyst
Income Splitting: A Contentious Debate within the Canadian Church
Author: Simon Lewchuk

10. Opinion Piece – Circulation up to 9,999 (Judge: Peter Kavanagh)

First Place – Western Catholic Reporter
Science, religion can walk hand in hand
Author: Austin Mardon

Second Place – Mandate
Let’s Break Some Lights
Author: Jonathan Reed

Third Place – The Catalyst
The State of Refugee Health: A Prognosis for Public Justice in Canada
Author: Dr. Doug Gruner

11. Opinion Piece – Circulation above 10,000 (Judge: Peter Kavanagh)

First Place – The B.C. Catholic
Pope Francis and Wicked Teach us to Defy Gravity
Author: C.S. Morrissey

Second Place – The Catholic Register
My Quebec is For All
Author: Peter Stockland

Third Place – Canadian Mennonite
MCC Manitoba Stands with Buffalo Gals
Author: Will Braun
Editor: Dick Benner; Managing Editor: Ross W. Muir

12. Column – Circulation up to 9,999 (Judge: Peter Kavanagh)

First Place – Christian Courier
Very Nice Pagans; Facing Forward; Holly Jolly Holy Night
Author: Emily Cramer
Editor: Angela Reitsma Bick

Second Place – Western Catholic Reporter
Peacemaking Today
Author: Douglas Roche

Third Place – The Saskatchewan Anglican
Are Shopping and Sports more Fulfilling than Prayer and Worship?;
Wearing a Collar a ‘Missional’ Choice; Feeding Hungry Stomachs and Hungry Hearts
Author: The Reverend Dell Bornowsky

13. Column – Circulation above 10,000 (Judge: Peter Kavanagh)

First Place – The Catholic Register
A Call for the Prejudice of Love; Struggling between my two Worlds; I won’t Stand idly by as Atrocities are Committed
Author: Michael Coren

Second Place – Anglican Journal
Walking Together (March, May and June, 2014)
Author: Bishop Mark MacDonald

Third Place – Salvationist
Talking It Over: Greenwashing the Oil Sands (March 2014), Sex or Gender (May 2014),
Full Disclosure (September 2014)
Authors: Dr. James Read and Dr. Aimee Patterson
Editors: Melissa Yue Wallace, Pamela Richardson, Kristin Ostensen and Geoff Moulton

14. Department (Judge: Bruce Solderholm)

First Place – Canadian Mennonite
Young Voices
Authors: Various
Editors: Aaron Epp and Rachel Bergen

Second Place – Faith Today
Kingdom Matters (March/April, September/October, November/December, 2014)
Authors: Darryl Dash, Patricia Paddey, Kate Yantzi, et. al.
Editor: Karen Stiller

Third Place – The United Church Observer
Spirit Story (May, September and December 2014)
Authors: Bethany Van Lingen, Jocelyn Bell and Bill Millar

15. Service Journalism (Judge: Donna Paris)

First Place – The Catholic Register
The Human Tragedy of Hunger
Author: Michael Swan

Second Place – Presbyterian Record
The Best Is Yet To Come: Building a Successful Capital Campaign
Author: Seth Veenstra
Edited by: Andrew Faiz

Third Place – Mandate
The Ministry-Based Budget
Author: Susan Graham Walker

16. Media Review (Judge: Robert White)

First Place – The Saskatchewan Anglican
Heresy: A History of Defending the Truth
Author: The Reverend Canon Howard E. Green

Second Place – The Catholic Register
Doing no Justice to Edith Stein
Author: Maria Di Paolo

Third Place – Faith Today
Books & Culture (September/October 2014)
Authors: Burton Janes, A. Matthews, D. Smid, S. Van Beveren and B. Beldan-Thomson
Editor: Bill Fledderus

17. Theological Reflection (Judge: Betsy Anderson)

First Place – Canada Lutheran
Unwrapping the Gift of Reincarnation
Author: The Reverend Tim Wray
Editor: Kenn Ward; Editorial Director: Trina Gallop Blank

Second Place – Anglican Journal
Lent: Time to Take Heed
Author: The Venerable Michael Thompson

Third Place – The United Church Observer
Thanksgiving (October 2014)
Author: David Giuliano

18. Biblical Interpretation (Judge: Betsy Anderson)

First Place – The United Church Observer
Nothing can Separate us from God’s Love (April 2014)
Author: Gary Paterson

Second Place – Salvationist
From the Realms of Glory (December 2014)
Authors: Major Cathie Harris, Dr. Donald E. Burke, Major Danielle Strickland
and Nancy Turley
Editors: Giselle Randall, Pamela Richardson, Kristin Ostensen and Geoff Moulton

Third Place – The Catalyst
Defiance, Not Compliance: Turning the Other Cheek
Author: Leah Watkiss

19. Personal Experience/First Person Account – Circulation up to 9,999
(Judge: Peter Kavanagh)

First Place – Spiritan
My Beautiful, Quiet, Sleepy Country Parish (Summer 2014)
Author: Fr. Peter Wayow, C.S.Sp.
Editor: Father Patrick Fitzpatrick, C.S.Sp.; Designer: Tim Faller

Second Place – Christian Courier
The Courage to Lead
Author: Angela Reitsma Bick

Third Place – Tapestry
Just a Small Thing…but it made all the Difference!
Author: Judy Grande

20. Personal Experience/First Person Account – Circulation above 10,000
(Judge: Peter Kavanagh)

First Place – The United Church Observer
Four Years, 9 Months: A Journey through Infertility (January 2014)
Author: Jocelyn Bell

Second Place – Canadian Mennonite
I was in prison: The Story of a Farmer, a Sex Offender and the Choice of Friendship over Fear
Author: John Penner (Pseudonym)
Editor: Dick Benner; Managing Editor: Ross W. Muir

Third Place – Presbyterian Record
A Global Community
Author: Mona Scrivens

21. Interview (Judge: Alex Freedman)

First Place – Presbyterian Record
What Time Is It? An Interview with Douglas John Hall
Authors: Andrew Faiz, Barry Doner and Nick Athanasiadis

Second Place – Salvationist
The Gathering Storm (An Interview with Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, September 2014)
Author: Kristin Ostensen
Editors: Giselle Randall, Pamela Richardson, Kristin Ostensen and Geoff Moulton

Third Place – Christian Courier
Incarcerated Loved Ones, Prison Theatre and Jesus the Lawbreaker:
An interview with Ashley Lucas
Author: Angela Reitsma Bick

22. Biographical Profile (Living or Dead) – Magazine (Judge: Nancy Wood)

First Place – The United Church Observer
The Agitator (February 2014)
Author: Chantal Braganza

Second Place – The Canadian Lutheran
Woman of Faith – Katie Luther: Reformer’s Wife
Author: Peggy Pedersen

Third Place – Faith & Friends
In God’s Hands (October 2014)
Author: Diane Stark
Editors: Ken Ramstead and Geoff Moulton

23. Biographical Profile (Living or Dead) – Newspaper (Judge: Nancy Wood)

First Place – Western Catholic Reporter
He Fought the Lord and the Lord Won
Author: Ramon Gonzalez

Second Place – The Catholic Register
Two Popes, Two Saints
Author: Michael Swan

Third Place – The B.C. Catholic
Woman Triumphs over the Tragedies of her Past
Author: Alistair Burns

24. News Photo (B&W or Colour) – Magazine (Judge: Miguel Vadillo)

First Place – The United Church Observer
Bursting with Pride (September 2014)
Photographer: Merle Robillard

25. News Photo (B&W or Colour) – Newspaper (Judge: Miguel Vadillo)

First Place – The B.C. Catholic
VC’s Movember
Author: Alistair Burns

Second Place – Crosstalk
Honour on the Hill
Photographer: Art Babych

26. Feature Photo (B&W or Colour) – Magazine (Judge: Miguel Vadillo)

First Place – Salvationist
Mending Broken Hearts (March 2014)
Photographer: Pre-emptive Love Coalition – Cody Fisher/Kendelyn Ouellette
Designer: Timothy Cheng

Second Place – Mennonite Brethren Herald
Adoption Reflections: Big brother Caleb Shares an Affectionate Moment
with Sister Anaya, Adopted from Ethiopia

Third Place – Canadian Mennonite
Good Work
Photographer: Michael Swan

27. Feature Photo (B&W or Colour – Newspaper  (Judge: Miguel Vadillo)

First Place – The Saskatchewan Anglican
Harry Baldwin
Photographer: Jason Antonio

Second Place – Crosstalk
The Last Post
Photographer: Art Babych

28. Photo Essay (B&W or Colour) – Magazine (Judge: Miguel Vadillo)

First Place – Geez magazine
Failure Stories
Photographer: Colin Vandenberg
Editor: Kyla Neufeld

Second Place – Salvationist
An Open Door (October 2014)
Photographer: Warren Pot
Designer: Timothy Cheng

Third Place – Foi & Vie
Portraits du Pakistan (Septembre, 2014)
Designer: Brandon Laird
Photographer: Heidi Ram

(There were no awards given for Photo Essay – Newspaper)

29. Original Artwork – Magazine (Judge: Carson Samson)

First Place – Presbyterian Record
Portrait of Douglas John Hall
Illustration by: Montse Bernal

Second Place – Faith Today
Too Busy to be Faithful?
Artist: Jason Logan

Third Place – Salvationist
What Kind of Salvationist Are You? (June 2014)
Artist: Zack Rock
Designer: Timothy Cheng

(There were no awards given for Original Artwork – Newspaper)

30. Magazine Front Cover – Circulation up to 9,999 (Judge: Brian Morgan)

First Place – Foi & Vie
Gardien des Valeurs Chrétiennes
Designer: Brandon Laird

Second Place – Mandate
God’s Mission Our Gifts
Designer: Lisa Rebnord
Photographer: Jim Hodgson

Third Place – The Catalyst
Winter 2014
Designer: Pao Quang Yeh

Third Place – Spiritan
What You Do For Them…You Do For Me (Fall 2014)
Editor: Father Patrick Fitzpatrick, C.S.Sp.
Designer: Tim Faller

31. Magazine Front Cover – Circulation above 10,000 (Judge: Brian Morgan)

First Place – Presbyterian Record
April 2014
Designers: Caroline Bishop and Salina Vanderhorn

Second Place – Faith Today
How to Disagree … Graciously
Designer: Janice Van Eck

Third Place – The United Church Observer
November 2014
Designer: Ross Woolford

32. Newspaper Front Page (Judge: Gordon Preece)

First Place – Western Catholic Reporter
October 20, 2014
Designer: Glen Argan

Second Place – Anglican Journal
February 2014
Designer: Saskia Rowley

Third Place – The Catholic Register
Canada Red-Flagged
Designer: Lucy Barco

33. Feature Layout and Design – Magazine – Circulation up to 9,999

(Judge: Brian Morgan)

First Place – Mandate
Training Leaders for the Church of Tomorrow
Designer: Lisa Rebnord

Second Place – Canada Lutheran
An Attitude of Gratitude
Designer: Catherine Crivici
Editor: Kenn Ward; Editorial Director: Trina Gallop Blank

Third Place – Spiritan
Spiritan Spirituality (Winter Issue 2014)
Editor: Father Patrick Fitzpatrick, C.S.Sp; Designer: Tim Faller

34. Feature Layout and Design – Magazine – Circulation above 10,000
(Judge: Brian Morgan)

First Place – Presbyterian Record
God’s Love in a Digital Age
Designers: Caroline Bishop and Salina Vanderhorn

Second Place – Canadian Mennonite
Good work: Tales of Disability, Interruption and Revolution
Designers: Ross W. Muir and Dan Johnson

Third Place – The United Church Observer
Four Years, 9 Months: A Journey through Infertility (January 2014)
Designer: Ross Woolford

35. Feature Layout and Design – Newspaper (Judge: Gordon Preece)

First Place – Anglican Journal
Big Care on Campus
Designer Saskia Rowley

Second Place – Western Catholic Reporter
Skaro’s Marian Pilgrimage draws Newcomers, Lifelong Devotees
Designer: Glen Argan

Third Place – The Catholic Register
Holy Land Christians: The Next Generation
Designers: Mickey Conlon and Lucy Barco

36. Edition Layout and Design – Magazine – Circulation up to 9,999
(Judge: Brian Morgan)

First Place – Geez magazine
Life Offline (Summer 2014)
Designer: Darryl Brown
Editor: Aiden Enns

Second Place – Mandate
November 2014
Designer: Lisa Rebnord

Third Place – Spiritan
Founders Wish Their Schools Farewell (Spring 2014)
Editor: Fr. Patrick Fitzpatrick, C.S.Sp.
Designer: Tim Faller

37. Edition Layout and Design – Magazine – Circulation above 10,000
(Judge: Brian Morgan)

First Place – Presbyterian Record
March 2014
Designers: Caroline Bishop and Salina Vanderhorn

Second Place – Faith Today
Too Busy to Be Faithful? (September/October 2014)
Designer: Janice Van Eck

Third Place – The United Church Observer
November 2014
Designer: Ross Woolford

38. Edition Layout and Design – Newspaper (Judge: Gordon Preece)

First Place – Western Catholic Reporter
November 3, 2014
Editor: Glen Argan

Second Place – Anglican Journal
February 2014
Designer: Saskia Rowley

Third Place – The Catholic Register
November 16, 2014
Designers: Mickey Conlon and Lucy Barco

39. Best Blog (Judge: Carson Samson)

First Place – Presbyterian Record
Matthew Ruttan – http://presbyterianrecord.ca/articles/blogs/matthewruttan

Second Place – Salvationist.ca
salvationist.ca/2014/08/the-day-laughter-died/, salvationist.ca/2014/08/family-ties-2/,
salvationist.ca/2014/07/are-we-there-yet-2/, salvationist.ca/2014/07/keep-the-fight-alive/
Author: Captain Scott Strissel
Designers: Carson Samson, Ryan Neudorf and Brandon Laird

Third Place – Faith Today
http://blog.faithtoday.ca
Editor: Karen Stiller

40. Best Use of Multi-Media on a Website (Judge: Scott Refvik)

First Place – Salvationist.ca
www.salvationist.ca
Editors: Pamela Richardson, Melissa Yue Wallace, Ken Ramstead
Kristin Ostensen and Geoff Moulton
Designers: Carson Samson and Ryan Neudorf

Second Place – The United Church Observer
First World War Centenary – http://www.ucobserver.org/video/2014/05/first_world_war/
Producer: Kevin Spurgaitis

Third Place – Anglican Journal
Journey to Jerusalem Sunday – http://www.anglicanjournal.com/departments/special-report/jerusalem
Anglican Journal Staff

41. Publication Website  (Judge: Scott Refvik)

First Place – Anglican Journal
www.anglicanjournal.com
Anglican Journal Staff

Second Place – Salvationist.ca
http://salvationist.ca/
Editors: Melissa Yue Wallace, Giselle Randall, Pamela Richardson, Kristin Ostensen,
Ken Ramstead and Geoff Moulton
Designers: Carson Samson, Ryan Neudorf and Brandon Laird

Third Place – Mennonite Brethren Herald
www.mbherald.com
Associate Editor: Karla Braun; Editor: Laura Kalmar

42. General Excellence – Magazine (Judge: Robert White)

First Place – Geez magazine
Summer Fall and Winter 2014
Editors: Aiden Enns, Tim Runtz, James Wilt and Kyla Neufeld
Designer: Darryl Brown

Second Place – The United Church Observer
September, October, November 2014
Editor: David Wilson

Third Place – Faith Today
July/August, September/October and November/December 2014
Editors: Bill Fledderus and Karen Stiller
Designers: Janice Van Eck and Robert Robotham

43. General Excellence – National Newspaper (Judge: Carol Goar)

First Place – Christian Courier
October 27, November 10 and November 24, 2014
Christian Courier Staff and Freelancers
Editor: Angela Reitsma Bick

44. General Excellence – Regional Newspaper (Judge: Carol Goar)

First Place – Western Catholic Reporter
February 17, March 3 and March 17, 2014
Editor: Glen Argan

Second Place – ChristianWeek (Eastern Edition)
September, October, November, 2014
Designer: Allison Barron
Editors: Kelly Rempel and Steve Sukkau

45. General Excellence – Website (Judge: Scott Refvik)

First Place – Salvationist.ca
http://salvationist.ca/
Designers: Carson Samson, Ryan Neudorf and Brandon Laird

Second Place – Anglican Journal
www.anglicanjournal.com
Anglican Journal Staff

 

The A.C. Forrest Memorial Award is presented annually in honour of A.C. Forrest who was Editor of the United Church Observer for 23 years. It is presented for excellence in socially conscious religious journalism. The A.C. Forrest Award Committee of the United Church Observer Board of Directors together with the Canadian Church Press sponsors this award.

A.C. Forrest Memorial Award – Circulation up to 9,999 (Judge: Stevie Cameron)
First Place – Christian Courier
Canadian Doctors and Nurses Fight for Refugees’ Right to Health Care
Author: Dena Nicolai
Editor: Angela Reitsma Bick

Honourable Mention – Geez magazine
Preparing for a Beautiful End
Author: Josiah Neufeld
Editor: Aiden Enns

A.C. Forrest Memorial Award – Circulation above 10,000 (Judge: Stevie Cameron)
First Place – The United Church Observer
Playing God? (June 2014)
Author: John Barber

Honourable Mention – Presbyterian Record
Canada’s Slave Trade
Author: Laurie Watt

 

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