Briefs: Top Award, Youth Supporting Kenyans

Smietana Earns Award For Best Religion Story

DURHAM, NC (September 22, 2011) – The Religion Newswriters Association has honored Covenanter Bob Smietana with its Cornell Religion Report of the Year award for mid-sized newspapers.

Smietana is the religion writer for The Tennessean in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a former features editor for The Covenant Companion. Smietana earned the award for his story on opposition by communities to the construction and expansion of mosques.

The Cornell Award was introduced in 1995. George Cornell was a religion reporter for the Associated Press for 43 years. When he began on the religion beat in 1951, his columns were the first to be carried regularly by a news wire service. In 1987, he won the former Templeton Reporter of the Year Award. Members recall Cornell as “able to take the most complex events and the most arcane religious topics and reduce them to readable, intelligent stories.”

Youth Group Attempts World Record with Pennies

GIG HARBOR, WA (September 22, 2011) – The youth group at Harbor Covenant Church recently attempted to set a world record for being the fastest group of individuals to lay down a mile-long string of pennies.

Eight members at a time got down on their hands and knees at a local park to lay the 84,480 pennies. They needed to beat the previous record of two hours, 16 minutes and nine seconds.

The zany activity was a fundraiser to help pay for a mission trip to California. The pennies came from donations. Jen Easton, Harbor Covenant’s director of middle school ministries, came up with the idea.

It’s not the first time the youth group has attempted to set a world record. Some of the other records the group has tackled included catching pennies after lining them up on the elbow, and measuring their eyebrows to see if they can beat the record for the longest, which is 3 ½ inches.

Easton had to make certain the group followed a variety of guidelines set by the Guinness Book of World Records. The guidelines included using only eight people at a time and getting media to document the event.

The group didn’t break the record, but they had a great time making the attempt. Click here for more information.

12-Year-Old Creates, Sells Steak Rub to Benefit Kenyans

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, KS (September 22, 2011) Twelve-year-old entrepreneur Danny Tapp is selling a steak rub he created and using the revenue to benefit the Africa Water Project, a development organization supported by his church, Hillcrest Covenant Church.

Several years ago at his school’s holiday mart, Tapp sold brownies and the steak rub he created using spices from his mom’s kitchen. He never imagined the steak rub would be more popular than the brownies. The sweet and spicy mixture contains mesquite, steak seasoning, parsley, brown sugar, basil and cayenne.

A four-ounce glass jar of the rub costs $3.50. He is selling them at the Learning Tree toy store in Prairie Village.

Tapp will contribute 10 percent of the price to the $78,000 the church already has raised to drill three deep-water wells in Korr, Kenya. Currently, the Rendille Tribe, which lives in the area, must walk more than a mile to retrieve water from shallow wells.

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