COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – About 350 Christian journalists, reporters, and press workers have come from around the United States to attend the annual 2007 Evangelical Press Association (EPA) Convention.
The May 2-4 event, themed "Refresh, Renew, Recharge," has gathered some of the greatest writers and publications from the Christian community and kicked off everything with its welcoming reception and opening banquet on Wednesday night.
While at the conference, members will be able to gain some rest from their hectic schedules - which are usually packed from constant article deadlines and event coverage - as well as meet others in their field.
"EPA 2007 will be a great way to refresh your soul, renew your grip on the big picture, and recharge your spiritual batteries for another year of kingdom service," explained coordinators in the event's website. "It's also a great place to sharpen your skills and build relationships with industry colleagues."
Included within the daily activities will be a number of workshops for publications to hone their skills, a large assortment of prominent key speakers, as well as the EPA Contest Awards, a major highlight of the event.
Among the major speakers at the event include Mike Treneer, international president of the campus ministry The Navigators; Elisa Morgan, president and CEO of MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) International; Rod Dreher, writer and editor at the Dallas Morning News; and Richard Foster, founder of Renovare, an international Christian organization working for renewal of the church.
Foster was invited to speak at the opening banquet during which he shared his feelings about the priorities that Christian journalists need and the lives they live.
"This journalism world that you inhabit is truly amazing," explained the renewal expert during his talk. "There's this amazing part of journalism to stand at the historical points of time."
When talking about the state of periodicals today, he added, "You can bring to it honor, integrity, and courage again."
The 2007 EPA Contest Awards, which will take place on May 3, will hand out a variety of awards to a number of Christian publications. Some of the categories include Awards of Excellence for Christian Ministries, Newspapers, Online, and Denominational, among others. It will also give accolades to specific article categories such as Biblical Exposition, Cause of the Year, Editorial, Fiction, Interview, and so on.
The EPA was created in 1948 "to promote the cause of evangelical Christianity and to enhance the influence of Christian journalism," according to their mission statement.
It includes more than 375 periodicals, organizations, and individual members, and their members reach more than 20 million people.