The fourth annual Excellence in Communication Ministry Award for 2022 was presented to Elder Ron Carlson, president of the Kansas-Nebraska Conference, during the Mid-America Union Conference Year-End meetings.

Ron Carlson has served as president of the Kansas-Nebraska for 16 years. He graduated from Union College in 1977 with a theology degree and pastored several churches including the Lodi Fairmont California congregation for eight years before working as a vice president for six years in the Iowa-Missouri Conference.

Since becoming president at Kansas-Nebraska in 2006, Carlson has been sending out a weekly enewsletter called the Cutting Edge. It started as news only for pastors and teachers, but now it has grown to include members, with about 2,700 subscribers all around the conference. Each week Carlson sends a request to pastors and teachers asking for their news. Then he compiles the stories and photos and sends them out on Friday.

Carlson could have assigned someone else to take on the newsletter, but he says he realizes how important communication is, and he enjoys doing it. He is motivated to continue by the fact that people are blessed to see the many things taking place each week. His philosophy is that “good news is always best and people need affirmation for the ordinary tasks they do.

“Stories get attention,” says Carlson. “And if we don’t intentionally get the good stuff out, the negative will find a way in.”

He also believes that transparency and truth are vital components of church communication. That’s why at the end of the newsletter he lists what the conference office team members will be doing each week.

Carlson has also been involved with the printed conference newsletter, The Communique, that is mailed quarterly to members. In addition, he stepped up during the months that the conference did not have a communication leader and he sent in stories and photos for the OUTLOOK.

Brenda Dickerson, Mid-America Union communication director, said, “Ron has definitely shown that he values excellence in communication by facilitating the hiring of a skilled full-time communication director for the Kansas-Nebraska Conference last spring: Saul Dominguez. In hiring Saul, Ron showed that he realizes the value of communication and is committed to having a skilled and experienced communicator on their team. Saul is already working closely with administration and making a positive impact for the conference.”

Even though the word “communication” is not in Ron’s job title, he is exemplifying the ministry of communication through his example and initiatives.