Conference communicators receive eight awards

March 11, 2021

The Minnesota Conference’s communicators received eight awards from the United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC)—mostly in the categories of writing and video production.
Christa Meland, director of communications, and Karla Hovde, communications specialist, were recognized at the organization’s virtual awards celebration March 10. Four of the awards were shared with Dakotas Conference communicators Doreen Gosmire and David Stucke. For the past nine years, the four communicators have worked closely to maximize their collective and complementary skill sets and more effectively tell the stories across the Dakotas-Minnesota Area.
Members of the secular media served as judges for the contest and selected the winners from hundreds of submissions—many of which this year told stories of ministry during COVID-19 and highlighted anti-racism and racial justice efforts. The awards recognized the achievements of communicators within annual conferences, general agencies, and local churches for materials completed between Nov. 1, 2019 and Oct. 31, 2020. Their entries bore witness to the passion and dedication each UMAC member brings to the ministry of communication. This most unusual past year resulted in especially intense competition, and the Minnesota Conference communications team is one of the smallest among annual conferences.  
Work was submitted across 10 classes of communications, with a best in class for each, as well as first, second, and third place winners selected for each category. The Minnesota communicators received the following awards in the annual conference/local church division:
• 1st place display table: General Conference 2020 Host Team Display Table for pre-General Conference Briefing
• 2nd place video production costing $500 to $2,000: Standing Against Racism video series
• 2nd place multi-media: 2020 Lenten study series, “Reckless Love” featuring members of the Dakotas and Minnesota Appointive Cabinets
• 2nd place news article: Churches on front lines feed, clean up, offer space
• 2nd place motion graphics: Dakotas Conference’s Annual Conference 2020 bumpers (co-created by Hovde)
• 3rd place news article: Clergy march for justice, stand in solidarity
• 3rd place feature article: Small group offers support, spiritual growth, deep friendship
• 3rd place video production costing less than $500: Deacons heal a broken world
The Dakotas Conference communicators also took first place in live streaming for its 2020 Annual Conference.
View all of the award winners here.
“It is such an honor and a privilege to be entrusted with telling stories of Minnesota United Methodists making a difference and sharing Jesus in and beyond their communities,” said Meland. “It is deeply humbling for us to receive this recognition from within The United Methodist connection, which includes many talented communicators. I’m especially grateful to Karla Hovde, who does phenomenal graphic design work that’s used throughout our conference, and Doreen Gosmire and Dave Stucke from the Dakotas, whose partnership has been invaluable.”

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