Friends Journal Honored in Best of the Christian Press Contest

Friends Journal received three honors in the Associated Church Press’s annual Best of the Christian Press awards.

To celebrate, we’d like to share with you all of our winning entries. ¬†We hope you enjoy them and, if you’re not already a subscriber, that you’ll join us today.

The April 2012 issue on “Membership and the Generation Gap won an Award of Excellence (first place) in the Theme Issue category.

Emma Churchman’s¬†Quakers Are Way Cooler Than You Think¬†opens the issue with ways to equip and engage young adult Friends (it was one of the top-read online articles in 2012!). In Belonging: Quakers, Membership and the Need to Be Known, Emily Higgs asks if we can offer alternatives to the typical membership model. Isabel Penraeth talks about methods in Requesting Hospitality for Isolated Friends,¬†and Mary Klein tells how Pacific Yearly Meeting has been working to close the generation gap in Crossing the Monkey Bridge Together. Elsewhere in the issue, Mark Greenleaf Schlotterbeck shared his personal discernment over an concern of inclusion, James Kimmel Jr and Adam Kimmel crafted a Quaker Bar Mitzvah, and Madeline Schaefer¬†shared a poem entitled¬†Grandfather.

Here’s what the judge had to say:

The outstanding opening essay by Emma Churchman sets the tone for the entire issue. She challenges Friends to directly ASK what young adults need and want, then to INVITE them to participate in meaningful ways and finally be willing to CHANGE. I especially loved the motto: “If it’s not working, stop doing it.”

The conversational tone, honesty and focus on solutions is refreshing and powerful in all of the articles presented.

The questioning of “membership” and how the structure of the Religious Society of Friends can be alienating to some is honest and powerfully presented.

Each article explores a deep question such as inclusion, isolation, exclusion and membership with profound honesty and introspection. Excellent issue.

Click here to download and read the winning issue (PDF format).

Our 2012 website redesign (welcome, by the way!) won an honorable mention in the Website Redesign category. The judge called the new¬†Far more visual and inviting to users. And feels like a far more informative and robust site.”

And finally, Tony Martin’s poem “Fixing Nitrogen,” from the June/July 2012 issue, won an Award of Merit. ¬†Here it is:


How exactly do bacteria
living on the roots of my beans
fix nitrogen anyway?

Is it like fixing someone’s hair, or a leaky radiator, or a spaghetti dinner?
Is it like fixing a boxing match?
Or do they do it the way god fixed the stars in the firmament?

And what about this need we have to fix our lives?

As if we had a recipe
As if we had a clue what was going on under the hood
As if we could shave a few points and beat the odds
As if we¬†weren’t¬†already blazing away in the brilliant dark.

The judge had this to say about “Fixing Nitrogen”:

There is a delightful, conversational tone to this piece without losing its poetic form. A touch of humor lightens the seriousness of the topic. Great use of original imagery.  It feels like the author is voicing random thoughts but somehow, surprisingly, they form a focused point that goes right to the heart of the reader.

We thank all the staff, volunteers, writers, artists, poets, donors, partners and readers that make¬†Friends Journal possible. Thank you for helping us communicate Quaker experience in order to connect and deepen spiritual lives. We hope you’ll share¬†Friends Journal with anyone who might be interested.

The oldest interdenominational religious press association in North America, the Associated Church Press, founded in 1916, is an international community of communication professionals brought together by faithfulness to their craft and by a common task of reflecting, describing, and supporting the life of faith and the Christian community.


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