Join Columbia Faith & Values for the Downtown Worship Walking Tour

Ad_House_COL_Tour_092013Columbia, Mo. — Columbia Faith & Values (ColumbiaFAVS.com) will hold its second walking tour of downtown houses of worship Oct. 12 and Oct. 19, 2013. The new tour includes an expanded list of venues, including First Christian Church, Second Baptist Church and the Islamic Center of Central Missouri.

Come and learn about a diverse group of buildings, each with its own distinct history, art and architecture. Editor Kellie Kotraba will be your guide, and at each stop, you’ll hear from an expert – someone who attends that particular house of worship and can share an insider’s perspective on its significance.

VIDEO: Watch a 2 1/2 minute video with highlights from our first tour.

Tours will be held Saturday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 19. The doors will open at 12:45 p.m., and tours will start promptly at 1. Tours will end between 3 and 3:30 p.m.

We suggest a $10 donation per ticket. All proceeds benefit Columbia Faith & Values. Your generous support will help us continue to provide the faith and values news that matters to you.

Reserve your spot today – email Kellie.Kotraba@ReligionNews.com, or call 573-356-2200.

Here’s the list of which locations will be featured each week (places marked with an asterick are featured only one weekend).

Oct. 12

  • First Christian Church
  • *Sacred Heart Catholic Church
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • *Calvary Episcopal Church
  • Islamic Center of Central Missouri
  • *Second Baptist Church

Oct. 19

  • First Christian Church
  • *First Baptist Church
  • First Presbyterian Church
  • *Missouri United Methodist Church
  • Islamic Center of Central Missouri

Please join us – learn about your community, meet new people and support your local nonprofit religion news website.

Schedule subject to change based on location availability.

About ColumbiaFAVS.com:
Columbia Faith & Values is one of five news websites for Religion News LLC’s three-year community religion news project, funded through the generosity of the Lilly Endowment. The nonprofit news site officially launched in summer 2012 as a gathering place for nonsectarian coverage of faith and values news from Mid-Missouri. It is affiliated with the national Religion News Service.

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Faith & Values team takes home honors at 64th Religion Newswriters Association Awards for Religion Reporting Excellence

Austin, Texas — Two Faith & Values (FAVS) websites were honored Saturday, Sept. 29 at the 2013 Religion Newswriters Association Awards banquet. The contest honors religion reporting excellence in the mainstream media.

Spokane Faith & Values (SpokaneFAVS.com) won third place in the Schachern Award for Online Section of the Year, and Wilmington Faith & Values (WilmingtonFAVS.com) won an honorable mention in the RNA Radio or Podcast Religion Report of the Year Award. Editors Tracy Simmons and Amanda Greene oversee the Spokane and Wilmington sites respectively.

Columbia Faith & Values (ColumbiaFAVS.com) former writer Catherine (Newhouse) Knarr was also recognized with a second-place finish in the Chandler Award for Student Religion Reporter of the Year. Knarr’s entry included stories that appeared on ColumbiaFAVS.com while she was a student at the University of Missouri. Kellie Kotraba serves as editor of ColumbiaFAVS.com.

In the Schachern Award honoring online religion sections, SpokaneFAVS.com finished behind first-place winner Reuters and second-place winner CNN.

“The site had a simple yet compelling layout that featured excellent pieces on Buddhists and Sikhs, especially after the shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin,” judges said about Spokane Faith & Values. This is Editor Tracy Simmons’ second honor in the Schachern Award category. In 2011 she won first place for her Connecticut-based website at the time, Creedible.com (now called HartfordFAVS.com).

First place in the Radio or Podcast Religion Report of the Year contest went to Taki Telonidis of Western Folklife Center. Second place went to Tony Ganzer of World Radio Switzerland, and third place was awarded to Sarah Richards.

Judges complimented honorable mention recipient and Wilmington Faith & Values Editor Amanda Greene on a “Job well done” for her submission of a radio series called “Amendment One: Examining Marriage,” done in partnership with local NPR affiliate WHQR 91.3 FM. The judges said she “did a good job of telling a complex story in a short amount of time. She chose good characters and knew what to include in the story and what to leave out.”

A complete list of RNA Award winners and their stories is available at RNA.org. (MP3 of RNA Awards Banquet)

About Faith & Values
SpokaneFAVS.com and WilmingtonFAVS.com are part of a network of five Faith & Values (FAVS) community news websites across the country. The sites, which launched in 2012, are part of a three-year initiative from Religion News LLC, made possible by a grant from the Lilly Endowment. Their national partner is the award-winning Religion News Service.

New Religious Art Walking Tours coming to downtown Wilmington Oct. 12 and Oct. 19

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Amanda Greene, editor
Wilmington Faith & Values
P.O. Box 1517
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
Phone: 910-520-3958
Email: Amanda.Greene@ReligionNews.com
Website: http://wilmingtonfavs.com

(Wilmington, N.C.) — Wilmington Faith & Values expands its roster of fabulous tours of downtown worship spaces this fall.

The Religious Art Tours of African-American Churches will be 9-11 a.m. Oct. 12 and Oct. 19 and will feature the beauty and artistic expressions of five downtown churches.

The tour will start at St. Stephen A.M.E. Church and continue on to First Missionary Baptist Church, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Chestnut Street Presbyterian Church and St. Luke A.M.E. Zion Church. The Wilmington Trolley Company will provide transportation between Chestnut Street Presbyterian and St. Luke. The trolley will then take tour participants back to their cars near Fifth and Red Cross streets.

NEW this season: the tour will include multimedia presentations of the music and choirs in the life of each congregation.

The Religious Art Tours of African-American Churches has a suggested donation of $15 per person and is a fundraiser for the nonprofit Wilmington Faith & Values, the area’s largest source for faith and values news. Reserve your tickets now!

Details: 910-520-3958 or email Amanda Greene.

Spaces for these tours go fast!

About WilmingtonFAVS.com:

Wilmington Faith & Values is one of five news websites for Religion News LLC’s three-year community religion news project, funded through the generosity of the Lilly Endowment. The nonprofit news site officially launched in spring 2012 as a gathering place for nonsectarian coverage of faith and values news from the Wilmington, N.C./Cape Fear region. It is affiliated with the national Religion News Service.

We look forward to seeing you on the tour!

Contact
Amanda Greene
910-520-3958

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Greene honored for work with Wilmington Faith & Values (WilmingtonFAVS.com)

May 23, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Tiffany McCallen

Wilmington, N.C. — In the last month, Wilmington Faith & Values (WilmingtonFAVS.com) Editor Amanda Greene has been honored twice for her work with the new website — first as a recipient of the 28th Annual YWCA Lower Cape Fear Women of Achievement Awards and also as a finalist in the 2013 Religion Newswriters Association Awards for Religion Reporting Excellence.

Both awards commend her work with WilmingtonFAVS.com, a project Greene launched in April 2012. The site is one of five community faith news sites Religion News LLC launched in the last year, in partnership with Religion News Service, through the generosity of a grant from the Lilly Endowment.

YWCA Women of Achievement Awards

Sixty-seven nominees in nine categories — arts, business, communications, education, environmental, health & wellness, public service, volunteer and the Rachel Freeman Unsung Hero Award — comprised the field in this year’s YWCA Lower Cape Fear Women of Achievement Awards. Greene took home the prize for the communications category. The awards celebrate women from North Carolina’s Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties, who through their accomplishments and leadership, make an impact on the region.

The Lower Cape Fear YWCA and Wilma Magazine sponsor the annual awards, which have celebrated area women for the last 27 years.

RNA Awards for Religion Reporting Excellence

Greene was also announced as a finalist for the 2013 RNA Awards for Religion Reporting Excellence in the radio/podcast category for her audio series “Love Stories,” which included stories of people affected by North Carolina’s Amendment One. The 2012 legislation defined marriage as between a man and a woman and passed by a 61 to 39 percent margin. Greene’s series aired on the NPR affiliate WHQR 93.1 FM and is posted on her site.

The RNA Awards have honored reporters and publications for more than half a century for excellence in faith coverage. More than $10,000 will be dispersed Sept. 28 when the winners are announced at RNA’s 64th Annual Conference in Austin, Texas.

About Amanda Greene & Wilmington Faith & Values

Greene_Amanda_headshot 2013Amanda Greene has worked as a newspaper journalist in North Carolina for the past 13 years — the last decade writing about faith in the Cape Fear region. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Greene has won journalism awards from the American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors (now the Society for Features Journalism) and The New York Times. Her work has been published nationally in the Christian Science Monitor, The Washington Post, Sojourner’s, The Huffington Post, Christian Century, Religion News Service and The Salt Lake Tribune.

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Hartford Faith & Values announces June 15 walking tour of New Haven’s historic Grove Street Cemetery

Somma

Somma


For Immediate Release
May 15, 2013

Contact: Ann Marie Somma
Editor & Community Manager, Hartford Faith & Values
203-217-9510   |   AnnMarie.Somma@ReligionNews.com
(Hartford, Conn.) Hartford Faith & Values (HartfordFAVS.com), Connecticut’s nonsectarian, nonprofit religion news website, will host “Rest in Peace: a Walking Tour of the Historical Grove Street Cemetery” from 2 to 3 p.m. June 15, 2013.

Ad_HAR_cemetery-tour-051513Situated adjacent to Yale University, Grove Street Cemetery is recognized as a cultural, historical and religious landmark. Incorporated in 1797, the cemetery is the final resting place for several ministers, theologians and Connecticut notables, including cotton gin inventor Eli Whitney and the inventor of vulcanized rubber, Charles Goodyear.

Sarah L. Woodford, a Yale Divinity School graduate and HartfordFAVS contributor, will lead the hour-long tour of one of the earliest burial grounds in the nation to have a planned layout. The tour will feature many of the cemetery’s famous residents, along with Victorian-era rituals surrounding death, funerals, burial and mourning. Water will be provided.

Tickets are a $10 suggested donation (cash or checks made payable to Religion News LLC accepted). The event is a fundraiser for Hartford Faith & Values.

Editor Ann Marie Somma is available for interviews about the tour. Call her at 203-217-9510 or email her at AnnMarie.Somma@ReligionNews.com.

About Hartford Faith & Values
Hartford Faith & Values is one of five sites for Religion News LLC’s three-year community religion news project, funded through the generosity of the Lilly Endowment. The nonprofit site, an affiliate of the award-winning Religion News Service, launched in September 2012.

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Columbia Faith & Values twice honored for Joplin mosque burning report

Radio Television Digital News Association, Missouri Broadcasters Association recognize Editor Kellie Kotraba

Kellie Kotraba

Kellie Kotraba

Columbia, Mo., April 30, 2013— Mid-Missouri’s leading source for comprehensive faith news coverage — Columbia Faith & Values (ColumbiaFAVS.com) — was recently honored twice for an audio report about a Joplin, Mo., mosque that burned. The report was aired through ColumbiaFAVS’ local partner, NPR affiliate KBIA 91.3 FM.

Editor Kellie Kotraba won the Radio Television Digital News Association’s 2013 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards in the “Reporting: Hard News” category for region five’s small market radio entries. The regional awards, which according to RTDNA’s website “recognize work of the highest quality produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world,” honor local newsrooms. Recipients of the RTDNA’s regional awards are automatically entered in the national Edward R. Murrow Awards, the winners of which will be announced on Columbus Day this fall in New York City.

The same audio report was also announced last week as a finalist in the Missouri Broadcasters Association Awards for the feature reporting category. Winners of the MBA Awards will be announced June 1 during an awards banquet at the association’s annual convention.

Kotraba’s report details the interfaith support a Joplin, Mo., mosque received after it suffered a devastating fire. Though the FBI hadn’t officially determined the cause of the fire at the time of the story, community members suspected the burn was the result of anti-Islamic sentiments. In response, churches rallied around the mosque and its members to help raise money to rebuild the structure. Sojourners, a national Christian social justice organization, even purchased a billboard in the area to show its support. It read: “Love your Muslim neighbors.”

Columbia Faith and Values (ColumbiaFAVS.com) is one of five FAVS nonprofit news sites across the country that report exclusively on beliefs and ethics news within a single community. The Columbia site partners locally with the area’s NPR affiliate KBIA-91.3 FM, where Kotraba mans the religion desk, and the Columbia Missourian. Its national partner is the award-winning Religion News Service.

ColumbiaFAVS.com is made possible through a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment.

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CONTACT:
Tiffany McCallen
National Community Manager

Faith & Values, Religion News LLC

Connecticut-based HartfordFAVS.com marks fifth faith and values community news site launch for Religion News LLC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 12, 2012

Contact: Tiffany McCallen
TiffanyMcCallen@ReligionNews.com

 

(Hartford, Conn.) — The recent launch of HartfordFAVS.com marks the fifth faith and values (FĀVS) community news site for Religion News LLC, the parent company of Religion News Service. The Connecticut-based site is a unique combination of professional and community-driven, daily content that covers all faiths, values and ethics through stories, blogs, panel questions, multimedia storytelling, social media forums and more.

Hartford Courant alum and award-winning reporter Ann Marie Somma manages the site.

“I’m very excited about the launch of Hartford Faith and Values and the opportunity to share stories and viewpoints of the Hartford religious community,” Somma said.

In addition to engaging religion reports and dialogue, HartfordFAVS.com also provide tools to help community members explore beliefs within and outside their traditions, including:

The site takes over the former Creedible.com website, the first faith hyperlocal website in Connecticut, created by the current editor of SpokaneFAVS.com, Tracy Simmons. Content from Creedible, as well as some of its contributors, is part of Hartford Faith and Values.

HartfordFAVS.com was developed by Religion News LLC in an initiative to create local religion news sites in the U.S. where faith coverage is underreported or could be expanded. Its partners are the national Religion News Service, SpokaneFAVS.com (Wash.), WilmingtonFAVS.com (N.C.) ColumbiaFAVS.com (Mo.) and ToledoFAVS.com (Ohio).

RNLLC and RNS are headquartered at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. The community news sites are part of a $3.5 million grant from the Lilly Endowment.

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ToledoFAVS.com: faith and values community news site launches in Toledo, Ohio

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 4, 2012
Contact: Tiffany McCallen
TiffanyMcCallen@ReligionNews.com

(Toledo, Ohio) — Religion News LLC this week launched its fourth faith and values (FAVS) community news site — ToledoFAVS.com. The site is a unique combination of professional and community-driven, daily content that covers all faiths, values and ethics through stories, blogs, panel questions, multimedia storytelling, social media forums and more.

Managing the site is veteran religion editor and award-winning reporter David Yonke, formerly with The Toledo Blade.

“I have been working for daily newspapers for more than three decades, including the last 12 as religion editor for The Toledo Blade, and am excited to be making the transition to a web-based news site with ToledoFAVS.com,” Yonke said. “I share the vision of the Religion News Service and everyone involved in establishing FAVS sites around the nation that these informative, user-friendly and interactive websites will help people keep abreast of all matters pertaining to Faith & Values in their local community”

In addition to engaging religion reports and dialogue, ToledoFAVS.com also provide tools to help community members explore beliefs within and outside their traditions, including:

ToledoFAVS.com is the latest news site from Religion News LLC, the parent company of Religion News Service, to create local religion news sites in the U.S. where faith coverage is underreported or could be expanded. Its partners are the national Religion News Service, SpokaneFAVS.com, WilmingtonFAVS.com and ColumbiaFAVS.com.

RNLLC and RNS are headquartered at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. The community news sites are part of a $3.5 million grant from the Lilly Endowment.

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Religion News announces editors for Toledo, Hartford faith news websites

CONTACT                               
Tiffany McCallen

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 15, 2012

Columbia, Mo. — Former Toledo (Ohio) Blade Religion Editor David Yonke and Hartford (Conn.) Courant alum Ann Marie Somma were recently hired as editors and local community managers of Religion News LLC’s forthcoming ToledoFAVS.com and HartfordFAVS.com faith and values news sites. Their posts began in July.

Somma

Somma

Somma has worked as a reporter for numerous media companies in Connecticut in the last 15 years, among them: The Waterbury-Republican American, The Danbury New Times, The Hartford Courant and most recently at WFSB-TV as a multi-media producer. While at the Courant, Somma dabbled in the faith beat, covering stories on Muslim burial rites, shocking revelations of the Legionaries of Christ’s founder fathering a child, billboards promoting Islam understanding and other reports.

Twice Somma has been honored for her work. In 2003 the Society of Professional Journalists awarded her first place in the breaking news story category, and in 2005, she won second place for her feature writing from the New England Associated Press News Executive Association.

“I’m very excited about the launch of HartfordFAVS and the opportunity to share stories and viewpoints of the Hartford religious community,” Somma said.

HartfordFAVS.com is expected to launch in early September.

Yonke is no stranger to the religion news community. He covered the faith beat for The Toledo (Ohio) Blade for more than a decade before leaving to create ToledoFAVS.com.

Yonke

Yonke

During his tenure at the Blade, Yonke won numerous awards for his faith coverage, including Religion Newswriters Association’s own Cornell Award for Religion Reporter of the Year for Mid-Sized Newspapers (honorable mention, 2011, second place, 2008), the 2008 SPJ Award for Best Religion Reporter in Ohio, and the 2003 Investigative Reporter of the Year Award from the Ohio Associated Press for a series on clerical sex abuse and cover-up in the Toledo Catholic Diocese.

“I have been working for daily newspapers for more than three decades, including the last 12 as religion editor for The Toledo Blade, and am excited to be making the transition to a web-based news site with ToledoFAVS.com,” said Yonke. “I share the vision of the Religion News Service and everyone involved in establishing FAVS sites around the nation that these informative, user-friendly and interactive websites will help people keep abreast of all matters pertaining to faith and values in their local community.”

ToledoFAVS.com will launch by the end of August.

ToledoFAVS.com and HartfordFAVS.com will mark the fourth and fifth FAVS (Faith And ValueS) sites to launch since April 2012. Preceding them are SpokaneFAVS.com (Editor Tracy Simmons), WilmingtonFAVS.com (Editor Amanda Greene) and ColumbiaFAVS.com (Editor Kellie Kotraba), which launched only weeks ago.

The sites are part of a three-year initiative through Religion News LLC and the project’s primary partner, Religion News Service, to create local religion news sites in the U.S. where faith coverage is underreported or could be expanded. The sites cover beliefs, ethics and ideas from a non-sectarian viewpoint and feature daily news and opinion content from professional and citizen journalists.

In addition to engaging religion reports and dialogue, the sites also help community members explore beliefs within and outside their traditions through tools such as a faith-based directory, a community calendar, press release listings and obituary notices.

Religion News LLC and Religion News Service are headquartered at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. The community news sites are part of a $3.5 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to RNLLC.

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Faith and values community news site, ColumbiaFAVS.com, launches

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 9, 2012

Contact: Tiffany McCallen
TiffanyMcCallen@ReligionNews.com

(Columbia, Mo.) — ColumbiaFAVS.com, a community online news publication that covers faith and values news for Columbia and mid-Missouri, is officially open for business.

In the two weeks since the URL went live, Editor Kellie Kotraba has already tackled stories on Missouri’s recently passed “Right to Pray” Amendment 2, Westboro Baptist Church’s protest of local soldier’s funeral, the Chick-fil-A gay marriage controversy, local reaction to the Sikh temple shootings, Ramadan, area Vacation Bible Schools and more.

In addition to engaging religion reports and dialogue, ColumbiaFAVS also provide tools to help community members explore beliefs within and outside their traditions, including:

ColumbiaFAVS.com is the third website in a three-year initiative of Religion News LLC, the parent company of Religion News Service, to create local religion news sites in the U.S. where faith coverage is underreported or could be expanded. The sites cover beliefs, ethics and ideas from a non-sectarian viewpoint and feature daily news and opinion content from professional and citizen journalists. Its partners are the national Religion News Service, SpokaneFAVS.com, WilmingtonFAVS.com and local NPR station KBIA-91.3 FM.

RNLLC and RNS are headquartered at the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. The community news sites are part of a $3.5 million grant from the Lilly Endowment.

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