Friday Five: RNA lifetime winner, new Forward editor, funny obit, Jeffrey Epstein, Rob Moll tribute

The Religion News Association hit the jackpot with this selection.

Cathy Lynn Grossman — “one of the giants of the modern religion beat” — will receive the William A. Reed Lifetime Achievement Award on Sept. 22 at RNA’s 70th annual conference in Las Vegas.

The announcement was made this week.

“I'm thrilled, surprised and humbled! (but obviously not too humble to post it on social media. Ha!!),” Grossman, who is best known for her 24 years with USA Today, said in a public Facebook post.

Past recipients include GetReligion’s own Richard Ostling, retired longtime religion writer for Time magazine and The Associated Press.

In other Godbeat news, Religion News Service’s Yonat Shimron reports:

Jodi Rudoren, an associate managing editor at The New York Times, was named the new editor-in-chief of the revered Jewish publication the Forward on Tuesday (July 23), marking a new beginning for an organization that has weathered tough times.

Now, let’s dive into the Friday Five:

1. Religion story of the week: This is not the normal kind of religion story that I share in this space, but it’s too good not to include.

Dave Condren, who spent 20 years with the Buffalo News, including 14 as a religion reporter, wrote his own obituary.

This is just the first hint that it’s definitely worth your time:

"Hi. Here is an outline for my obit. Don't screw it up too badly." – Dave Condren, Sept. 25, 2013

Check it out.

2. Most popular GetReligion post: “I am waiting for some kind of religion shoe to drop, some angle linked to twisted religion or anti-religious convictions,” GetReligion editor Terry Mattingly writes about the Jeffrey Epstein case. “In my experience, great evil almost always involves twisted religion or blunt, demonic rejection of what is good, beautiful and true.”

That post — “Haunting words: What did Jeffrey Epstein mean when he used the term 'spiritual stimulation'?” — is our No. 1 most-clicked commentary of the week.

Read it all.

3. Guilt folder fodder (and more): Religion News Service editor-in-chief Bob Smietana wrote a moving piece about death and dying.

It’s a worthwhile tribute to Rob Moll, a 41-year-old editor and writer who died in a hiking accident at Mount Rainer — “his favorite place in the world,” as Smietana described it.

4. Shameless plug: My college-age daughter is a fan of “The Bachelorette,” so I forced myself to watch 10 minutes of one episode with her this summer. That was as much as I could take.

It turns out that there’s a religion angle to this season’s lots-of-guys-date-one-girl drama, and tmatt covers it in his nationally syndicated column.

5. Final thought: Funny stuff!

Hey, I’m old enough to remember Snopes before it became a parody of itself.

Happy Friday, everybody! Enjoy the weekend!

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