The Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is pleased to announce the addition of Gregg Brekke to its staff as the editor for Presbyterian News Service. Brekke previously served as the news director and editor at the United Church of Christ in their Cleveland, Ohio, headquarters and most recently as the owner of SixView Studios, a communications company in Portland, Ore.
Brekke, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, has worked in ecumenical religious communications for over a decade. Through SixView Studios he’s provided communication services for the National Council of Churches, the World Council of Churches, the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, the World YWCA and Living the Questions among others. Brekke has traveled extensively with these organizations covering human rights, immigration, health care and disaster response efforts in the US and around the world. Additionally, he’s written for many US publications including Sojourners Magazine, The Christian Century, Religion News Service and Presbyterian News Service. Brekke also produced the video story “Transitional Housing for the Homeless” for the PBS program Religion & Ethics Newsweekly.
“I’m excited to join Presbyterian News Service and continue the tradition of denominational journalism that’s been established here,” says Brekke. “As many denominations cut communication staff drastically I’m pleased to be part of an organization investing in communications, especially news. With the wide array of communicators at the PC(USA) one of my goals will be to collaborate with and cultivate inspiring stories about the church living out its mission from a variety of sources in addition to providing the reporting that’s expected of PNS.”
Kathy Francis, senior director of communications for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, is working with colleagues to reimagine and improve the overall communications strategy for the mission agency. Long term goals include resource sharing for editorial and design staff as well as bringing representatives from across the church into a shared vision for communications.
“We’re fortunate to have Gregg here,” says Francis. “His experience and passion for religious communications uniquely qualifies him to serve the PC(USA) and Presbyterian News Service. As we start living into our new communications plan, Gregg will play a prominent role in helping to shape the way we share news with a broad group of constituents using a wide range of media. Objective reporting for the Presbyterian Mission Agency has been and will continue to be important for PNS, specifically reporting on events of the mission agency and the church and we trust Gregg will uphold those journalistic values.”
One area of collaboration already underway is the cooperation of editorial oversight across the spectrum of PC(USA) publications, including Presbyterians Today.
“Since former PNS editor Jerry [Van Marter] retired, some wonderful people in the Presbyterian Mission Agency have stepped up to carry the mantel, and now I see Gregg poised to do far more than preserve,” says Patrick Heery, editor of Presbyterians Today. “He will, I believe, help expand the reach, relevance and impact of the News Service, bringing to bear the full force of his digital media experience, theological training, journalistic integrity and pastoral sensitivities. Like Jerry, he is both a journalist and a pastor. And he knows what it takes to compete for air time in this new wave of media.”
Brekke is currently president of the Associated Church Press and a member of the World Association for Christian Communication (WACC). He represented WACC, through their partnership with Interfilm, as a jurist at the 2015 Berlin International Film Festival
Brekke relocated to Louisville from Portland, Ore. His wife, Lindsay Ross-Hunt, is a postulant for ordination in the Episcopal Church and will begin attending Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in the fall of 2015.