Apel will receive the Louise Hunderup Religious Education Award, presented at the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregonâ€™s annual community awards and celebration dinner on Tuesday, May 6, at the Governor Hotel in Portland.
Apel, former Linfield chaplain and member of the faculty since 1975, has devoted his life to pursuing peace, social justice and interfaith understanding. He organized two major international peace conferences at Linfield and was the driving force behind the founding of the Oregon Nobel Laureate Symposium, also at Linfield. His passion for social justice extends beyond Linfield and Oregon. He advocated nationally for women in ministry and for the full inclusion of gay and lesbian Christians in the American Baptist Churches, USA. He led a Baptist peace delegation to the former Soviet Union and traveled to Israel with Catholic, Protestant and Jewish university chaplains to study social conflict in Israel.
Apel is ordained in the United Methodist Church and is also recognized by the American Baptist Churches, USA. He is a member of the International Bonhoeffer Society and the International Thomas Merton Society, by which he was named a 2007-08 Shannon Fellow. He is the author of several books and numerous articles including â€œSigns of Peace: The Interfaith Letters of Thomas Merton,â€ â€œWitnesses Before Dawnâ€ and â€œSilent Conversations.â€
Other award recipients include Thomas P. Oâ€™Connor, religious services administrator, Oregon Department of Corrections, Ecumenist of the Year; Mercy Corps, Vollum Ecumenical Humanitarian Award; Oregon Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster, Ecumenical Service Award; and Saints Peter and Paul Episcopal Church in Portland, Ecumenical Service Award.
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon is a statewide association of Christian denominationsâ€”including Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox bodiesâ€”congregations, ecumenical organizations and interfaith partners working together to improve the lives of Oregonians through community ministry programs, ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, environmental ministry and public policy advocacy.