2019 Australasian Religious Press Association (ARPA) annual awards conference was held in Christchurch.
These were the New Zealand 2019 ARPA ‘Gold’ awards and one young writer Bronze.
CATEGORY 4 Best News Story - GOLD “Helping Out Those in Debt” by Jade Reidy in SPANZ, Spring 2018 Jade Reidy examines the experience of local churches helping vulnerable people deal with debt, manage money and achieve ﬁnancial independence. This report is realistic and informative without feeling didactic. Over the course of the story, the reader develops empathy and understanding; a powerful combination.
CATEGORY 5 Best Feature, Single Author GOLD “‘Us not Them’: the church and homophobia” by Ingrid Barra in The War Cry, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, (Samoa Territory) A most worthy and outstanding winner out of 22 entrants in this category. Using as its basis a personal story, this is a courageous and confronting article on a vexing issue within the church. Balanced, contextual, and with appropriate sources, the structure, ﬂow and writing are near-impeccable. The ﬁnal, three-sentence paragraph is especially superbly crafted in a way that is both thought-provoking and challenging
CATEGORY 10 Best Faith Reﬂection - GOLD “Live your best ordinary life” by Greg Liston, NZ Baptist (Baptist Churches of New Zealand) “Live your best ordinary life” is an extraordinary article that well and truly deserves ﬁrst place. It is thought provoking, well-written, balanced, and deeply relevant to all – especially to those of us who are faithful plodders.
Category 11 Best Theological Article GOLD “Who is this Man” By Ingrid Barra9 in War Cry, NZ, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa Territory This is one of the most eﬀective articles I have read on the theology of the incarnation. It thoroughly places Jesus as a human being as well as giving a believable divine dimension without taking away from the humanity. It rightly has an inclusive element showing Jesus as accessible to all cultures and types of humanity.
New Young Writer - Bronze - the Press Service International young writer Matthew Thornton from Auckland who was awarded BRONZE in the category of ‘New Best Writer’ – the judges said of his article which was titled “Overcoming Shame” - “This article has a message from which many in times of doubt and trouble could find strength. Don’t give up on yourself, with faith find strength and hope”.
ARPA President - New Zealand’s Sophia Sinclair was elected President of ARPA. See full remarkable story – https://christiantoday.com.au/news/sophia-sinclair.html
Next year ARPA is being held in Perth, Western Australia 4-6 September, 2020.
Hailing from North Auckland, Blake Gardiner sounds American, looks Swedish, but grew up in Laos. As an introvert, Blake lives life on the edge by socialising. When he isn’t putting his life at such risk, he enjoys reading theology and debating whether Interstellar is truly the greatest movie of all time. Blake is married to fellow young writer Jessica Gardiner.