The Lutheran has received three accolades in the 2020 Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) awards.
Our churchwide magazine took out the gold award in the Best Feature Multiple Author category and a bronze award in the Best Headline category. The Lutheran was also highly commended in the Publication of the Year category, which was won by NZ Catholic newspaper. Also highly commended was the non-denominational Eternity news service and magazine, published by Bible Society of Australia, which took out ARPA’s premier annual honour, The Gutenberg Award. The Lutheran won The Gutenberg Award in 2011.
The Lutheran received its gold award for a feature package published in the December 2019 edition under the theme ‘A God of Second Chances’. The features included the at-times incredible and always inspiring stories of six members of the LCA/NZ.
The judges said: ‘The vulnerability of these features demonstrates the high degree of trust the subjects of each story have in The Lutheran. These are stories of broken lives transformed by God’s love and their intersection with the community outreach services of the Lutheran Church. The stories engage and move the readers, reminding us of our own brokenness and the power of a church in action at the coal face.
‘This feature is honest, vulnerable, raw and invitational’, they said. ‘God is alive today, intervening in individual lives, enabling people no matter what their past, to be reconciled and look to a new beginning.’ The judges congratulated editor Lisa McIntosh for framing the feature in her ‘wonderful opening letter’.
The bronze award was received for Lisa’s clever headline ‘Taking hay while the sun shines’, which was published in March 2019 on a story about Lutheran farmers making hay runs to help others doing it tough during times of drought.
Linda Macqueen, LCA Communications Manager and former editor of The Lutheran, is delighted to see our church’s magazine continuing to thrive and to serve the people of the LCA/NZ under Lisa’s editorship.
‘Lisa’s extensive talents and sheer hard work combine to create a gift of grace and excellence for our church every month. I’m so very glad to see her efforts recognised by the ARPA community’, she says.
‘It’s a huge accolade to win the top award in the hotly contested category of Feature Package. To also be one of only two magazines to be highly commended for Publication of Year is something we can all be proud of.’
ARPA is an ecumenical Christian communication network for Australian and New Zealand print and online publications and their editors, journalists, designers and contributors. With origins dating back to 1960, it now has a membership of more than 80 publications, as well as individual members and publication staff members.
Due to the annual ARPA conference being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the first time the awards were announced online, posted on the ARPA website on 30 October.