Who inspires you in our community? Who is a creative and courageous leader? What individual or congregation/organization has made a significant impact in the areas of racial justice and reconciliation, affordable housing and confronting homelessness, immigrant justice and accompaniment, and/or promoting economic justice?

The Church Council is accepting nominations for the 2017 Rev. Gertrude Apel Pioneering Spirit Award. We encourage you to nominate an individual and/or a congregation/organization. The awardees will be honored at the Weaving Our Strengths Conference on Saturday, September 30, at University Congregational Church, Seattle. Below is a list of former recipients. Please email the completed nomination form to aerickson@thechurchcouncil.org or mail to PO Box 18467, Seattle WA 98118, by Wednesday, July 12, 2017.

The Church Council created the Rev. Gertrude Apel Pioneering Spirit award to honor and remember her and to recognize an individual and a congregation/organization who embodies Rev. Apel’s spirit and lives out their faith in the social justice/community service area. In 1930, during a period of major economic depression, the Rev. Gertrude Apel was the first General Secretary of what would become the Church Council of Greater Seattle. In a time when women did not “lead” organizations, Rev. Apel was a tireless ecumenical leader and an amazing organizer. She had a talent for fostering cooperation and always getting things done.

Previous Recipients

Marty Hartman, Executive Director, Mary’s Place — Accompanying vulnerable women and children, transforming the continuum of care for people experiencing homelessness
First African Methodist Episcopal Church, Seattle, led by Senior Pastor Carey G. Anderson — Model of building bridges as a community of faith toward a just and equitable future for all

Killian Noe, Co-Founder, The Recovery Café — Creating space for healing & wholeness
St. Matthew / San Mateo Episcopal Church in Auburn — Bilingual, bicultural model of immigrant accompaniment

The Rev. Jan Bolerjack, Pastor, Riverton Park United Methodist Church — Risk-taker for economic justice
University Lutheran Church — Embodies service and justice as part of a faith-filled vision

The Rev. David Mesenbring — Life of justice across the continents in South Africa and through Oikocredit
Renton Ecumenical Association of Churches (REACH) — Model of ecumenical fellowship and service

Sr. Julie Codd, CSJP — Working from the heart with Native American communities
The Youth Chaplaincy Coalition, led by the Rev. Terri Stewart — Pioneering embrace of young people who experience detention

The Rev. Rich Lang, Pastor of University Temple United Methodist Church — Prophetic voice for social justice
Skyway United Methodist Church, led by the Rev. Steve Baber — Organizing for equity and justice for all

Fr. Tony Haycock, Pastor of St. Mary’s Church — Honoring the dignity of the Spanish-speaking community, seafarers, and all God’s people
Seattle Mennonite Church — Taking the church into the neighborhood and expanding the notion of neighbor

The Rev. Jon and Juni Nelson — Transforming forces for social change who bent the arc of justice

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