Each year the Evangelical Press Association recognizes members for achievements in design and editorial work, usually part of its annual convention. The 2021 convention was presented digitally with attendees gathering by video conference. In an online live video ceremony April 30, The Banner received the Award of Excellence for denominational (print) publication and six Higher Goals awards for work published in 2020.
In evaluating The Banner’s submission for the Award of Excellence, the judge gave a score of 49/50 and commented, “A wealth of great articles covering a wide range of topics with individual voices and POVs ... well done! … From the Table of Contents to the Still column, The Banner delivers with excellence! Congratulations to a hard-working and highly talented staff.”
Higher Goals Awards:
- The feature article “Death Without a Funeral,” by Gayla Postma (July 2020) received first place in the first-person article category.
Judge’s comment: “This outstanding account of how one mom lived in the ambiguity of faith and daily life as she and her husband cared for their severely disabled son wields power because of its heart-wrenching honesty. No easy answers are served up here, and the narrative is exceptionally well-crafted. Outstanding, unpredictable piece on being mother to a 35-year-old son with the cognitive ability of a toddler. Brutally honest and tautly written. No Christian platitudes here.”
- The “very clean, well-crafted” art of Chad Thompson in the Our Shared Ministry graphic-narrative treatment (May 2020, pp. 23-27) achieved third place in the cartoon category.
- Editor-in-chief Shiao Chong’s biblical exposition “Model Kingdom Disciples,” (2020) achieved fourth place in that category.
Judge’s comment: “A nice opening to reveal the lack of attention or importance given to the Beatitudes. You made a strong case for the importance while offering deeper meaning.”
- Vincent Bacote’s “Applying Discipleship to our Political Lives,” part of The Banner’s “Hope for the Politically Homeless” series produced in collaboration with the Center for Public Justice, achieved fourth place in the Cause of the Year Article - Christian Citizenship category.
Judge’s comment: “A well-reasoned and accessible overview of the Christian's political responsibilities.”
- In the Student Writer of the Year category Adeline Larsen’s “very timely” “Christian Love Must Include Each Other” (Aug. 12, 2020) received fourth place.
- Dean Heetderks and Pete Euwema received fifth place in the Two-Page Spread Design category, for “10 Things to Give Up for Lent That Aren't Diet Coke” (March 2020, pp.11-12).
Judge’s comment: “This is a quality layout. Very striking and leads the viewer into the content in a non-threatening, comfortable way”