PORTLAND – Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon announced this week it will give its annual Two Pauls Award to the Blue Mountain Eagle, Grant County’s newspaper.
The award recognizes the newspaper’s push for immediate action to create a community response and dialogue when an Aryan Nations member announced plans to create a headquarters in John Day. The Eagle published articles about the issue and sponsored two meetings to help inform the community, bringing in civil rights advocates from northern Idaho to share their experiences and advice.
The award is one of four that will be presented at a May 25 banquet and auction in Portland.
The other awards are Ecumenist of the Year, to Norene Goplen, public policy director of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Oregon Synod; Vollum Ecumenical Humanitarian Award, to Albina Ministerial Alliance, and the Ecumenical Service Award, to the Luis Palau Association’s Season of Service.
The Two Pauls Award was named to honor two significant Oregon clergymen, the Rev. Dr. Paul Wright and the Most Rev. Paul Waldschmidt, and is presented in recognition of outstanding promotion of ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, service and relations.
The award came as a surprise to the Eagle staff. Editor Scotta Callister said they weren’t even aware the organization was considering the newspaper.
“My sense is that we were just doing what a community newspaper can, and should, do in response to a significant challenge like the Aryan Nations’ proposal,” she said. “Still, the recognition is a terrific honor.”
Authorities say that Paul Mullet, who calls himself the Aryan Nations leader, hasn’t returned to Grant County since his mid-February visit and the community uproar it prompted.
For more information or tickets to the banquet, contact Ecumenical Ministries, 503-221-1054.