Seeing Hope in New Ways: Possibilities and Perceptions

April 10-13, 2019
Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago

The Associated Church Press and Religion Communicators Council are pleased to announce the dates for their joint convention in 2019. We’ll meet together April 10-13, 2019 at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. Although we’ll have our own award ceremonies, the convention is being planned by a team from both organizations and we’ll share in workshops, keynote speakers, networking opportunities and faith expressions. ACP members will have the option to attend the RCC’s DeRose Hinkhouse awards and the Wilbur Awards, which honors the best in religious coverage in the secular press.

Registration is now open at Please select “Associated Church Press” as your affiliation. You can add the Wednesday DeRose-Hinkhouse awards dinner for a price of $60 and/or opt out of the RCC Wilbur Awards dinner for a discount of $70.

Plenary speakers include:

Judith Valente (@judithvalente) is an award-winning author and journalist and 2003 Wilbur Award winner. Her most recent book is How to Live: What The Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us About Happiness, Meaning, and Community.

She is a sought-after speaker and retreat leader on such subjects as living a more contemplative life, discovering inner wisdom through poetry, and finding meaning in your work. She is a lay associate of the Benedictine monastery Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas, which is the subject of her 2013 memoir, Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home and a Living Faith.

Ms. Valente is the senior correspondent for WGLT Radio, an NPR affiliate in central Illinois. She writes for U.S. Catholic and National Catholic Reporter, and is a former staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. She also worked as an on-air correspondent for Chicago Public Radio and Religion & Ethics Newsweekly on national PBS-TV.

The Rev. Jonathan E.L. Brooks (@PastahJ) serves as Senior Pastor at Canaan Community Church in West Englewood, Illinois and has taught elementary education and Arts in inner city Chicago for over a decade.

As a firm believer in investing in the community you grew up in, Rev. Brooks has a deep desire to impress this virtue on the students and young people in his congregation, classroom and community. Canaan provides youth development, holistic health options, college scholarships, music lessons and continual support to the incarcerated and their families living in Englewood and other Chicago communities.

He is the author of Church Forsaken: Practicing Presence in Neglected Neighborhoods, released in November 2018.

We’ll return to the incredible facilities at Fourth Presbyterian Church as our convention host. Located on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile — as close as you can get to the Windy City’s shopping, entertainment and the lakeshore district — the church is a beautiful landmark and a vibrant member of Chicago’s downtown community.

Our conference hotel will again be the Millennium Knickerbocker where we’ve negotiated the same room rate as last year – $139 / night + taxes! Reservations are available via a direct link to our discount block, using the promo code 1904ASSCHU, or by calling the hotel reservation line (800-621-8140) and mentioning you are part of the ACP/RCC Room Block. The promotional rate expires March 10, 2019.

Convention Parking
The 900-910 N. Lake Shore Drive Condominium (black steel and glass exterior) has the lowest parking rates in the neighborhood and is located at the corner of Lake Shore Drive and Delaware. Delaware is on the north side of Fourth Presbyterian Church.
The garage entrance is three blocks east of the church on the corner of DeWitt and Delaware. Drive down the ramp, leave the keys in the ignition, and the staff will valet your car. The garage is open 24-7. People can park for the entire convention or enter and leave as needed. When leaving the garage the standard tip is $2.00.
The full day rate is $38.00

Tentative 2019 RCC-ACP Convention Schedule

Wednesday, April 10

  • 9:00 a.m. — Registration and Exhibits Open
  • Noon to 1:30 p.m. — Lunch on your own with Affinity Groups
  • 1:30 p.m. — Greetings from the RCC and ACP Presidents, words of welcome Opening
  • 2:00 p.m. — Keynote speaker on theme “Seeing in New Ways: Possibilities and Perceptions”
  • 3:00 p.m. — Sponsored beverage break and newcomer welcome
  • 3:30 p.m. — Professional Development Workshops
  • 5:00 p.m. — Faith Expressions led by ACP
  • 5:30 p.m. — Break
  • 6:00 p.m. — RCC: DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards Banquet, Fourth Presbyterian Church
  • 6:00 p.m. — ACP: Reception with hor d’oeuvres

Thursday, April 11

  • 8:30 a.m. — Faith Expressions led by RCC
  • 9:00 a.m. — Plenary Session
  • 10:30 a.m. — Sponsored beverage break
  • 11:00 a.m. — Professional Development Workshops
  • 12:30 p.m. — Luncheon with keynoter
  • 2:00 p.m. — RCC and ACP separate business sessions
  • 3:00 p.m. — City tours
  • 5:00 p.m. — ACP pre-dinner reception at Fourth Presbyterian Church
  • 6:00 p.m. — Suggested dinner at Giordano’s (Chicago Deep Dish) Pizza on your own
  • 6:00-9:00 p.m. — ACP awards dinner at Fourth Presbyterian Church
  • 8:00-9:30 p.m. — RCC town hall style meeting

Friday, April 12

  • 8:30 a.m. — Faith Expressions led by ACP
  • 9:00 a.m. — Professional Development Workshops
  • 10:30 a.m. — Sponsored beverage break
  • 10:45 a.m. — Professional Development Workshops
  • Noon — Sponsored luncheon
  • 1:30 p.m. — Professional Development Workshops
  • 3:00 p.m. — Sponsored beverage break
  • 3:30 p.m. — Professional Development Workshops
  • 5:00 p.m. — Break
  • 6:00 p.m. — Wilbur Awards Reception at Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel
  • 7:00-10:00 p.m. — Wilbur Awards Banquet at Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel

Saturday, April 13

  • 7:30 a.m. — Faith Expressions led by RCC
  • 8:00 a.m. — Continental breakfast and interest groups: editors, marketers/public relations, photographers, publishers, social media specialists, videographers, web developers, and writers.
  • 9:00 a.m. — Additional city tours or continuation of interest groups
  • Noon — End of RCC convention at end of tours