Religion Communicators Convention to explore faith communications and presence

CHICAGO — The omnipresence of faith communications “here, there and everywhere” and mastering the channels for communicating those messages will serve as the theme of the Religion Communicators Council’s (RCC) annual convention, March 30-April 1, 2017 in Chicago.

The three-day event, “Virtually Here, There and Everywhere: Faith Communications and Presence,” will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Chicago O’Hare. The convention is a multi-faith forum intended to enrich, engage, educate and empower professional communicators of religion and faith-based issues.

Plenary presentations will include a discussion of violence and the role of faith communities; tips for covering Christianity and using theatre as a communicator. Workshops include podcast and Facebook techniques; creating materials by and for children and adolescents; communications lessons from hosting the Pope in the U.S.; crisis communications; and advancing ministry through Accreditation in Public Relations.

Among the featured speakers, panelists and workshop leaders confirmed:

  • Dr. Angela R. Cowser, associate professor of the sociology of religion at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • David Dault, president and CEO of the Chicago Sunday Evening Club (founded 1908), a nonprofit media company
  • Father Manuel Dorantes, served as the spokesperson for the Vatican to the Spanish-language media during the visit of Pope Francis to the United States
  • Joyce Duriga, editor of Catholic New World, Archdiocese of Chicago
  • Mark Galli, editor-chief of Christianity Today
  • Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County (Illinois) Board President
  • Rev. Steven D. Martin, director of communications and development for the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
  • Rev. Dr. Myron F. McCoy, senior pastor at First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple

A full list of plenaries and workshop presenters with their bios is available at on the RCC convention web page.

Bud Heckman, a member of the RCC Board of Governors who serves on the planning committee for the conference, expressed his excitement about the event.

“More than 150 faith communicators will descend on Chicago to examine violence and faith, the latest advancements in communications technology, and advancing religious literacy,” Heckman said. “The Religion Communicators Council has been fostering faith communicators in their professional development for nearly a century.  Its annual convention features keynotes, field trips, how-to workshops, awards galas, exhibits and networking.”

As part of the convention each year, RCC recognizes excellence through two award ceremonies, the DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards and the Wilbur Awards.

The DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards are given annually to active RCC members who demonstrate excellence in religious communications and public relations. For more information, see the DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards web page.

The Wilbur Awards, which recognize excellence in the communication of religious issues, values and themes in secular media, have been presented annually since 1949. Basic criteria include content, creativity, execution and results, but the ultimate criterion is excellence in the communication of religious values. For more information, see the Wilbur Awards web page.

For more information on the convention, including hotel information and registration, please visit the convention registration web site. Full registration is $395, and includes all presentations, workshops, scheduled meals, and awards banquets. Spouses or partners may attend for $295. Students can attend for $200. Individual event tickets will also be available from the event registration site.


RCC logoAbout the Religion Communicators Council

The Religion Communicators Council (RCC), founded in 1929, is an association of communications professionals who work for and with a diverse group of faith-based organizations in the areas of communications, public relations, marketing and development.