Conference communicator honored with Epi Award


Paul BlackNASHVILLE (UMNews) -- Paul Black, Director of Communication Ministries for the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, has been named a 2020 recipient of United Methodist Communication’s Epi Award. The announcement was made during the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference’s virtual session  Aug. 15.

United Methodist Communications, the agency responsible for communication for the denomination, established the Epi award program in 2019 to honor communicators and recognize excellence in communication ministry. The award was named as the shortened form of the New Testament Greek word, epikoinonía, which translates to mean communication.

“Epikoinonía is about a deep, intimate connection to community and this award celebrates the embodiment of faith-based communication in action,” said the Rev. Gary Henderson, Chief Relationship Officer at United Methodist Communications.

Five recipients are selected annually, as recommended by staff within United Methodist Communications, based on proven commitment to the work of communication ministry throughout The United Methodist Church.

“Paul Black, as a representative of the Illinois Great Rivers Annual Conference, embodies with excellence the spirit of Christian communication,” said Rev. Henderson. “Thank God for communication ministry, for those who work tirelessly and tell the church’s story so faithfully!  Thank God, for Paul and all those who make communication ministry possible!”

Black directs the conference’s communications ministry while also serving as a Cabinet member, a lay General Conference delegate and delegation co-chair. His efforts contribute to the content of the monthly magazine The Current, articles and updates, communication materials and A/V production and distribution, maintaining a lending library, as well as training and equipping local churches. He is a member of the United Methodist Association of Communicators and Religion Communicators Council.

As the communications agency for The United Methodist Church, United Methodist Communications seeks to increase awareness and visibility of the denomination in communities and nations around the globe. United Methodist Communications also offers services, tools and resources for communications ministry.