Diocesan Style Guide

Introduction

A key aspect of branding and recognition for any organization is consistency. Consistency in approach, and consistency in presentation. It is only by the application of standards that we can ensure that we present a consistent image to our members and the community at large. It also helps us create a brand image, making our communications and documents instantly recognizable.

This is the first online, and second iteration of the diocesan style and writing standards document. As with the previous version, it is a work in progress, and we anticipate that we will need to change this as we ask ourselves questions about who we are and how we wish to be seen.

Is it too formal? Does this present the image we want to portray?  These are two examples of questions we need to ask ourselves.

Standards and styles change and new templates and instructions will be made available from time to time. Please do not make arbitrary changes to the styles and standards provided without talking to the Communications Director first.

Beta warning – Draft Document

This page is currently being developed, it has been made publicly available in parallel for comment. A true “Beta.” However, if you follow the guidance set out here in your document writing and production, you will not go far wrong, and all will be well!

Scope of use

These guidelines are to be followed for all public documents, web pages, and other visual media.

Exceptions

Even in the following cases, due consideration should be given to using the fonts and colors included in this style guide.

  • Posters & Banners
  • Advertisements
  • Forms

Fonts

If you are having problems installing a font, or if for any reason these fonts are not suitable for your needs please contact the Communications Director, communications@diowestmo.org, to discuss solutions and alternatives.

Print & Artwork

FontUsage
ImpactATTENTION grabbing headings
Baskerville OldfaceHeadings, Bible & BCP Text
Franklin Gothic BookUse where Open sans may lack contrast. The condensed bold (Franklin Gothic Demi) may be useful for attention-grabbing headings where Impact is just too much.
OswaldCaptions and minor headings
Open SansBody text, Light preferred

Online

FontUsage
AntonATTENTION grabbing headings
Libre BaskervilleHeadings, Bible & BCP Text
Libre FranklinUse where Open sans may lack contrast. The Extra-bold 800 may be useful for attention-grabbing headings where Anton is just too much.
OswaldCaptions and minor headings, button text and links.
Open SansBody text, Light preferred

Color Palette

Key colors (preferred colors)

Hex:
RGB:
CMYK:
HSB
HSL:
#0063be
0 174 239
69 14 0 0
196 100 94
139 225 120
Royal Blue
The primary color for the diocesan revised branding and web-presence. It’s also the official color of the Saltare (The cross of St. Andrew).
Use: Headings, backgrounds & Links.
Color tint options
Hex:
RGB:
CMYK:
HSB
HSL:
#00aeef
0 174 239
69 14 0 0
196 100 94
139 225 120
Spirit Cyan
Use: Primary color of the Spirit website, and link and heading text on the Spirit site. Also used for links in advertisements, and callout background.
Color tint options
Hex:
RGB:
CMYK:
HSB
HSL:
#ffa500
225 165 0
0 41 100 0
39 100 100
27 255 128
Orange
Use: Attention grabbing in artwork, registration buttons.
Color tint options
Hex:
RGB:
CMYK:
HSB
HSL:
#415463
65 84 100
78 60 45 25
207 35 39
147 54 83
Green GreyColor tint options
Hex:
RGB:
CMYK:
HSB
HSL:
#424242
66 66 66
67 60 59 45
0 0 26
45 5 139
Web text BlackColor tint options

Episcopal Colors

Hex:
RGB:
CMYK:
HSB
HSL:
#407EC9
0 174 239
69 14 0 0
196 100 94
139 225 120
Episcopal Blue
Official color used in the Episcopal Shield
Color tint options
Hex:
RGB:
CMYK:
HSB
HSL:
#bf0d3e
191 13 62
18 100 73 7
343 93 75
27 255 128
Episcopal Red
Official color used in the Episcopal Shield
Use: Roll over/hover color on all links. Primary color of the current diocesan website.
Color tint options
Hex:
RGB:
CMYK:
HSB
HSL:
#888b8d
136 139 141
49 39 39 4
204 4 55
45 5 139
Cool Grey
Offical grey of The Episcopal Church
Color tint options

Optional colors

Hex:
RGB:
CMYK:
HSB
HSL:
#a43c8b
164 60 139
39 91 9 0
314 63 64
223 118 112
Bishop PurpleColor tint options
Hex:
RGB:
CMYK:
HSB
HSL:
#f270ea
242 112 234
18 62 0 0
304 54 95
216 213 177
EA’s PinkColor tint options
Hex:
RGB:
CMYK:
HSB
HSL:
#E10B0B
225 11 11
5 100 100 1
0 95 98
0 231 118
RedColor tint options
Hex:
RGB:
CMYK:
HSB
HSL:
#84db00
132 219 0
51 0 100 0
84 100 86
60 255 110
GreenColor tint options
Hex:
RGB:
CMYK:
HSB
HSL:
#551ab2
164 60 139
39 91 9 0
314 63 64
223 118 112
Lent PurpleColor tint options
Hex:
RGB:
CMYK:
HSB
HSL:
#ffa500
225 165 0
0 41 100 0
39 100 100
27 255 128
Lent Gold
(This is the standard diocesan orange)
Color tint options

General Font & Color Use

General Information & Documents, Primary Website

  • Headings: Baskerville, Royal Blue
  • Links & buttons: Oswald, Royal Blue
  • Registration buttons: Oswald, Orange
  • Captions: Oswald, 100% Black
  • Hover: Episcopal Red
  • Body text: Open Sans Light, Web Text Black
  • Bible & BCP Text: Baskerville, 100% Black

News & Events

  • Headings: Baskerville, Spirit Cyan
  • Links & buttons: Oswald, Spirit Cyan
  • Registration buttons: Oswald, Orange
  • Captions: Oswald, 100% Black
  • Hover: Episcopal Red
  • Body text: Open Sans Light, Web Text Black
  • Bible & BCP Text: Baskerville, 100% Black

Office – Admin (This site)

  • Headings: Baskerville, Web Text Black
  • Links & buttons: Oswald, Royal Blue
  • Registration buttons: Oswald, Orange
  • Captions: Oswald, 100% Black
  • Hover: Episcopal Red
  • Body text: Open Sans Light, Web Text Black
  • Bible & BCP Text: Baskerville, 100% Black

Visual Branding

There are five basic visual branding layouts

  • Simple – preferred branding option for all uses. Good for use in round profile images.
  • Square – includes diocesan identity, more formal.
  • Wide – Header or footer branding.
  • Ultra-wide – wide and short.
  • Address block – For diocesan staff email and letter stock.

Simple

Square

Wide

Ultra-wide

Address block

Colors, sizes, and layout

The above logos can be produced in any color combination taken from the standard diocesan palette. The images include the necessary padding for color fill backgrounds.

Please do not cramp the branding. With a color-filled background leave a minimum of 1EN space to the left and right and a ½ line space above and below.

For color/size variants not available in the provided folder, please contact the communications director, at communications@diowestmo.org.

Document Templates

This section has yet to be completed.

Diocesan boiler plate text

The Diocese of West Missouri is home to over 9,000 Episcopalians in 47 congregations. It serves a diverse mix of communities from the major urban areas of Kansas City and Springfield to suburbs, small towns, and rural areas. West Missouri is one of four sponsoring dioceses of the Bishop Kemper School for Ministry (BKSM), a unique, regional, collaborative venture of the dioceses of West Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Western Kansas. BKSM was founded in 2013 to support leadership formation and to strengthen bonds of community and mutual mission.  Additionally, BKSM offers programs to serve members of the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

Writing style

  • Language: Friendly and engaging, open and inclusive. Not colloquial, but conversational and not formal.
  • Avoid jargon and technical terms. If you do use them explain what they are for people who might be unfamiliar with ‘Episcopalese’.
  • Length: For the New Spirit, anything above around 300 words is welcome.

Writing guidelines for article submission and document production

When we edit text we try to ensure the following guidelines are adhered to. If you can write your material with this in mind it saves us a lot of time editing.

Key Points

Please get the name of the diocese and The Episcopal Church right

We are The Diocese of West Missouri and we are part of The Episcopal Church. Note the capitalization of ‘the’ in both cases.

Clergy

Refer to clergy as the Rev. Jane Doe, Father John, Fr. John or Mother Jane. Deacons can be referred to as Deacon Jane, or the Rev. Jane. Vocational deacons may be referred to as the Rev. Deacon Jane. Please note ‘the’ is not capitalized, except at the start of a sentence.

Ecclesiastical Authority

The Rt. Rev. Martin S. Field:

  • Bishop Marty (preferred)
  • Bishop Field
  • The Rt. Rev. Martin S. Field
  • The Rt. Rev. Martin S. Field, eighth bishop of West Missouri
  • The Rt. Rev. Martin S. Field, bishop of West Missouri

After September 13, 2021, the correct official title for Bishop Marty is:

  • The Rt. Rev. Martin S. Field, bishop of West Missouri (resigned)

For clarity, the Standing Committee when acting as the ecclesiastical authority may be referred to as:

  • The Standing Committee, serving as the ecclesiastical authority of West Missouri

The nominee for bishop provisional is:

  • Bishop Bruce (preferred)
  • The Rt. Rev Diane M. Jardine Bruce
  • Bishop Bruce, nominee for Bishop Provisional of West Missouri
  • The Rt. Rev. Diane M. Jardine Bruce, nominee for Bishop Provisional of West Missouri

Please note ‘the’ in any of the above is not capitalized, except at the start of a sentence. Nominee is the preferred qualifier if one is required.

Lay people

To encourage a friendly style avoid the use of Mr. / Mrs. Introduce people as (for example) “New church member John Smith…” and later use Christian names only – “John said…” Acceptable exceptions to this practice are when referring to the authors of books and learned papers or state and federal officials.

Church

Only capitalize church when referring to a church in a part of a name, or when referring to the collective Church, often referred to as “the Church.”

Examples.

  • “The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd.”
  • “On Sunday we went to church.”
  • “Come visit us at Christ Church.”
  • “This particular variant of the liturgy has been adopted by the Church.”
  • “This particular variant of the liturgy has been adopted by our church.”

Parishes, congregations and members, oh my!

  • Churches with rectors are parishes.
  • Churches without rectors (mission churches etc) are congregations.
  • Churches have members (due to official hair splitting in the canons of the diocese only mission and unformed churches have congregations).

Dates

Use June 20, 2021, and not June 20th., 2021. While AP style allows for shortening month names longer than five characters, this is not a practice we follow. In technical lists, such as the update list at the foot of this page, dates can be rendered in numbers only as in, 06-20-2021.

Time

Render times as follows. 9 a.m. for whole hours, 9:15 p.m., noon, not 12 p.m., and midnight not 12 a.m.

Phone numbers

Please render US phone numbers as follows (417) 522-5151.

Photo captions

Watch this space. We’ll come up with some advice on consistent photo captioning.

Titles and headings

Watch this space. We’ll come up with some advice on consistent text for titles and headings.

US States

Spell out the names of states, except in full postal addresses. Commas should set apart the name of the city and the state: “She was from Tonganoxie, Kansas, and rode a big black Harley.”

Layout – for submitted articles

Please do not attempt to layout your text, use single-line spacing between paragraphs, do not use tabs, and avoid using double spacing after a period. If you want to use bullet points please use your Word Processor’s bullet point feature. Please do not use plain text characters such as ‘*’ ‘o’ or ‘+’ and tabs for bullet points as it takes ages to edit them out…

When in doubt we consult the Associated Press style guide.

Useful articles on writing style

  • Save the shift key: Read More
  • Space Invaders Why you should never, ever use two spaces after a period. Read More
  • The full Episcopal Church Style Guide is here (Warning for the serious writer and not for the faint-hearted): Read More

Writing style guide (an A-Z)

The following text is mainly taken from the 2014 publication, Style Guidelines for The Episcopal Church, which is sadly no longer generally available. I have no idea who we have to thank for this text, but I am deeply indebted to them. To bring the text up-to-date I have edited a few entries and added text relevant to our specific ways of doing things here in West Missouri. Any errors are mine – Gary Allman, Communication Director. May 26, 2021.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Note: Press Ctrl f to search within this page.

abbreviations and acronyms: In general, avoid acronyms. If it is necessary to use an acronym, spell it out on first usage and supply the acronym in parentheses after: the Episcopal Youth Event (EYE). Never use ERD as an acronym for Episcopal Relief & Development.

clerical abbreviations. Father, Fr. Mother, Mtr. Bishops, deacons, cannons to the ordinary, please don’t abbreviate.

accommodation: Not accommodations. Unless you are referring to making allowances for behavior or situations. “We will be making the necessary accommodations in our schedule for Father Fred’s illness.” And even then it is better reworded as “We will be accommodating Father Fred’s illness by changing the schedule.” or “We are changing the schedule to accommodate Father Fred’s illness.”

a.m., p.m.: Lowercase, with periods.

amid: Not amidst.

among, between: “Between” introduces two items, and “among” introduces more than two: The cookies were divided among Billy, Sally, and Tiffany.

ampersand (&): Use the ampersand when it is part of a company’s formal name or composition title: Episcopal Relief & Development, Bed Bath & Beyond. In general use, do not use the ampersand in place of “and.”

apostrophe (’): Use ’s to indicate the possessive of nouns not ending in s: Timothy’s. Use just an apostrophe (’) for nouns ending in s: Jesus’, James’. For parishes named after a saint, the saint’s name takes an apostrophe: St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, St. James’ Episcopal Church, All Angels’ Episcopal Church. Note. Some of our churches have elected to drop the apostrophe from their official names. Please try and honor these.

  • St. James, Springfield.
  • St. Peter & All Saints (Note the ampersand too)

baby boomer: Lowercase, two words, no hyphen unless being used as an adjective before a noun: The baby boomers were not interested in listening to anything except baby-boomer music.

backward: Not backwards.

baptist: A person who baptizes is a baptist (lowercase). A Baptist (uppercase) is a member of the Baptist Church. John the Baptist is capitalized since it is a proper noun.

the Bible: Lowercase “the,” capital “B,” without italics. He reads the Bible every day. Lowercase bible as a nonreligious term: My style book is my bible.

biblical: Lowercase in all uses.

the Book of Common Prayer: Like the Bible, lowercase “the” and title case Book of Common Prayer, no italics. In citations, spell out: (Book of Common Prayer, p. 207), not (BCP, p. 207). See also “page numbers.”

books: When citing a book, list the title of the book in italics followed by the publisher and year published in parentheses. In his book The Feast of the World’s Redemption (Trinity Press, 2000), the Rev. John T. Koenig discusses the importance of the Eucharist.

books of the Bible: Do not abbreviate individual books of the Bible. Capitalize the names of the books, but do not capitalize “the”: She quoted from the Book of Ruth and the Gospel of John. Gospel is lowercase when not part of the name of a particular book in the Bible: He read the gospel to the crowd every week, and this week he read from the Gospel of John.

biannual, biennial: Biannual means twice a year and is a synonym for the word semiannual. Biennial means every two years.

bishop: Capitalize when part of a proper name, but lowercase in all other uses. Bishop John Doe was the bishop of that diocese for seven years.

Bishop Marty:

  • Bishop Marty (preferred)
  • Bishop Field
  • The Rt. Rev. Martin S. Field
  • The Rt. Rev. Martin S. Field, eighth bishop of West Missouri
  • The Rt. Rev. Martin S. Field, bishop of West Missouri

capitalization: Avoid unnecessary capitals. Arbitrary and insupportable capitalization is especially prevalent in religious writing, where capital letters are often misused to convey a sense of importance. Use a capital letter only if you can justify it by one of
the principles listed below:

  • Proper nouns: John the Baptist
  • Proper Names: the Republican Party; but lowercase for the Democratic and Republican parties. Lake Erie, but lakes Erie and Superior.
  • Popular Names: the Badlands (of South Dakota), the Derby (for the Kentucky Derby).
  • Derivatives: Shakespearean, Christian, Edwardian. Once words have been in usage long enough that they no longer depend on their proper nouns for meaning, use lowercase: french fries, herculean effort, pasteurize, quixotic, venetian blind.
  • Sentences: Capitalize the first word in a statement that stands as a sentence.
  • Compositions: Capitalize the principal words in the names of books, movies, plays, poems, operas, songs, radio and television programs, and works of art.
  • Titles: Capitalize formal titles when used immediately before a name. Use lowercase for terms that are job descriptions rather than formal titles: To the president’s chagrin, the Senate Republicans blocked a vote to nominate Chuck Hagel as defense secretary. Hagel is President Barack Obama’s pick for Secretary of Defense.
  • Article titles: the modern trend is to use a sentence as an article title (in case that’s all the reader sees), so we now adopt Sentence case for all article & post titles.
  • Holy concepts: Some flexibility in capitalization is given in religious writing when talking about concepts such as the Word of God, the Kingdom of God, and Jesus being “the Light, the Truth, and the Way.” Please do not go overboard with this; this editorial license should be used with great moderation and restraint.
  • chapter: Capitalize Chapter 1, Chapter 2, but lowercase for “the second chapter.”
  • the church: Lowercase. The Episcopal Church. An Episcopal church. Only capitalize church when referring to church in part of a name, or when referring to the collective Church, often referred to as ‘the Church’. Examples. The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. On Sunday we went to church. Come visit us at Christ Church. This particular variant of the liturgy has been adopted by the Church. This particular variant of the liturgy has been adopted by our church.
  • churchwide: One word, lowercase.

the church: Only capitalize church when referring to church in part of a name, or when referring to the collective Church, often referred to as ‘the Church’. Examples. The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd. On Sunday we went to church. Come visit us at Christ Church. This particular variant of the liturgy has been adopted by the Church. This particular variant of the liturgy has been adopted by our church.

clergy: Refer to clergy as the Rev. Jane Doe, Father John, Fr. John or Mother Jane. Deacons can be referred to as Deacon Jane, or the Rev. Jane. Vocational deacons may be referred to as the Rev. Deacon Jane. Please note ‘the’ is not capitalized, except at the start of a sentence.

congregations: According to the canons of The Diocese of West Missouri, only churches without rectors (e.g., mission churches) are congregations.

commas: Use a serial (Oxford) comma to separate items in a list. He bought apples, oranges, and bananas. Use a comma to offset additional information about something or someone: “My sister, Alison” implies you have one sister and her name is Alison. Without the comma, “my sister Alison” implies you have other sisters as well.

COVID-19: always write as COVID-19. Uppercase only.

dashes: Use an en dash with a space on either side when a dash is required in the body of the text. Please use the en dash sparingly, using instead commas and semicolons when possible. An em dash is used for citations, following a quote in an epigraph: “All shall be well.” — St. Julian of Norwich

dates: A comma should separate the day of the week, the day of the month, and year: Tuesday, May 21, 2013, was the due date. If an exact day of the month is not supplied, a comma is not needed: April 2013 was a rainy month. Likewise: spring 2013. Do not
use ordinal numbers such as 1st, 2nd, 3rd when writing a day of the month. While AP style allows for shortening month names longer than five characters, this is not a practice we follow. In technical lists, such as the Updates list at the foot of this page, dates can be rendered in numbers only as in, 06-20-2021. Please use leading 0s on both the month and day for single-digit months and days — it makes the lists much easier to read.

dates in filenames: should be written in a manner that aids sorting. The format yyyy-mm-dd should be used. e.g. 2021-06-20

different: Different from, not different than.

diocese: Capitalize as part of a proper name, such as the Diocese of Rochester, but lowercase in all other instances: He was the fifth bishop of that diocese. Note: We are The Diocese of West Missouri, not, the Diocese of West Missouri.

directions and regions: Lowercase south when used as a direction: Austin is south of Dallas. But capitalize when referring to the region: She spoke with a Southern accent and was sure the South would rise again. The Near East, the Middle East, the West Coast, the Upper East Side. Note that western Texas has a different meaning from West Texas, which is a specific region.

e.g.: When using exempli gratia (e.g.), which means “for example,” always follow with a comma and separate from the sentence with parentheses. He was not a fan of sarcasm (e.g., his older brother saying, “Oh, I’m so scared,” to taunt him). Do not confuse with id est (i.e.), which means “in other words” and is used to clarify a sentence instead of providing an example. See ‘i.e.’ entry below.

etc.: Avoid using this at the end of lists. Supply as many specific examples as possible and then stop.

email: Not e-mail.

ellipses: Use sparingly to indicate a trailing thought or statement… When used to indicate omitted text insert a space before and after the ellipses except when the text preceding the omission ends in a period.

Episcopal, Episcopalian: Episcopal is the adjective; use Episcopalian only as a noun referring to a member of The Episcopal Church: She is an Episcopalian and she is also an Episcopal priest.

The Episcopal Church: The T in “the” before Episcopal Church is capitalized. Please do not use the acronyms TEC or ECUSA. The corporate headquarters of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society staff offices should not be referred to as “815.”

foreign words: These should be written in italics: The word “mission” comes from the Latin verb mittere, “to be sent out.”

gentile: Lowercase.

God: Capitalize when referring to the one God. Lowercase when referring to the deities of polytheistic religions and in words such as god-awful, godlike, godliness, and godsend.

gospel: Lowercase unless referring to a specific book in the Bible: Today’s gospel reading comes from the Gospel According to Saint Luke.

i.e.: Use id est (i.e.), which means “in other words,” to clarify the sentence. He was not a fan of sarcasm (i.e., he preferred straight shooters). Do not confuse with e.g., which is used to provide a specific example. See ‘e.g.’ entry above.

internet: Is no longer capitalized.

italics: Avoid using italics for emphasis. Write clearly and give readers credit for being able to discern the important words. Italicize for emphasis only when drawing attention to a word within a quotation. Foreign words that are not commonly used in English should be italicized. The titles of books, plays, papers, and movies, should also be in italics. If you must emphasize part of your text, use bold.

it’s, its: “It’s” is a contraction for “it is.” “Its” is a possessive pronoun: It’s easy to admire its beauty. (Tip: When in doubt, substitute another possessive pronoun, such as “her”; if the sentence works, then use “its.”)

lay people: To encourage a friendly style avoid the use of Mr. / Mrs. Introduce people as (for example) ‘New church member John Smith…’ and later use Christian names only – ‘John said…’ Acceptable exceptions to this practice are when referring to the authors of books and learned papers, or state and federal officials.

like: Avoid using ‘like’ to mean ‘such as.’ Like implies that it is similar to but not part of. “He enjoys movies like Jaws,” means that he did not enjoy Jaws, but enjoys other movies with qualities similar to Jaws.

numbers: 1950s or the ’50s (Note that the apostrophe before the 5 is a left-facing apostrophe.) $1 million. A hundred bucks. $100 (no decimal point).

If a number is the first word of a sentence, it must be spelled out, with the exception of dates and years: Twenty-five years ago, he could ride a skateboard without breaking any bones. He hasn’t been on a skateboard in 25 years. 1988 was when he quit.

Numbers less than 10 should be spelled out, numbers 10 and greater should be written as numerals. For centuries, spell out numbers less than 10: Table manners in the fifth century foreshadowed many of the practices of the 21st century.

online: One word, lowercase.

page numbers: In citations, abbreviate “page” as p., and “pages” as pp.: (Book of Common Prayer, pp. 206-207).

parenthesis, parentheses: If a parenthetical clause is a complete sentence and falls at the end of the sentence, it stands alone as a separate sentence: He didn’t know the gorilla was hungry (despite all the warning signs) and so he ate a banana in front of
him. (He won’t do that again.)

Parish: According to the canons of The Diocese of West Missouri, only churches with rectors are parishes.

phone numbers: Area code in parentheses: (212) 111-1111, ext. 1111. (If used within parentheses, use a hyphen after the area code: 212-111-1111, ext. 1111.)

provinces: Use Roman numerals when referring to provinces within The Episcopal Church: The Episcopal Church’s most recent province is Province IX.

religious references:

Capitalize God, Allah, the Father, the Son, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Redeemer, the Holy Spirit. Use lowercase pronouns referring to the deity: he, him, his, thee, thou, who, whose, thy.

Capitalize major events in the life of Jesus Christ: the Last Supper, the Crucifixion, The Resurrection, and the Ascension. But use lowercase when the words are used with his name: The ascension of Jesus into heaven took place 40 days after his resurrection from the dead.

Capitalize proper names for rites that commemorate the Last Supper or signify a belief in Christ’s presence: the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, Holy Eucharist. Use lowercase for the names of other sacraments.

Capitalize the names of holy days and feast days.

Lowercase heaven, hell, devil, angel, cherub, an apostle, a priest. Capitalize Hades and Satan.

Apostles should be capitalized, as found in the Book of Common Prayer, when used as part of the name of an apostle.

religious titles: The first reference to a clergyman or clergywoman normally should include a capitalized title before the individual’s name. On second reference to members of the clergy outside of the diocese, use only a last name: the Rev. Billy Graham on the first reference, Graham on second. For clergy within the diocese, use the more familiar form, Fr. John, Mtr. Joan on second and subsequent references.

Bishops are “the Rt. Rev.” Only the Presiding Bishop is “the Most Rev.” Please refer to Guide to Rules of Address (Church Pension Group, 2007).

rector: A priest who leads a parish.

RSS: a Rich Site Summary feed (nicknamed a Really Simple Syndication feed) is a web feed format used to publish frequently updated material on websites, such as news headlines and blogs.

sacraments: Capitalize the proper names used for a sacramental rite that commemorates the life of Jesus Christ or signifies a belief in his presence: the Lord’s Supper, Holy Communion, Holy Eucharist. Use lowercase for the names of other sacraments: baptism, confirmation, penance (sacrament of reconciliation), matrimony, holy orders, and the sacrament of anointing the sick (formerly extreme unction).

saint: In a title or as a proper noun, the abbreviation “St.” is preferred.

seasons: Lowercase: spring, fall, winter, summer.


scripture: Lowercase.


states: Spell out the names of states except in full postal addresses. Commas should set apart the name of the city and the state: “She was from Tonganoxie, Kansas, and rode a big black Harley.”

T

that, which: “That” introduces a restrictive clause, and “which” introduces a non-restrictive or parenthetical clause. When in doubt, “which” always takes a comma before it, and “that” does not take a comma: I drove a rental car that was left for me by the agency. I drove a rental car, which was left for me by the agency.

their, his, her: “Their” is plural, “his” and “her” are singular. A common error is to start a sentence with a singular subject and then follow with a plural pronoun in an attempt to avoid assigning gender. The writer worried about her sexist pronouns. The writers were greatly relieved to have their neutrality restored.

they’re, their: “They’re” is a contraction for “they are”; “their” is a possessive pronoun: They’re admired for their generosity.

title case: Capitalize the principal words in a title, leaving lowercase all articles and prepositions with three letters or less: With, After, Through, That, the, an, a, of, in, on, for. The first word of a title is always capitalized. The subsequent parts of a hyphenated word may also be capitalized. The first word in a title after a full colon is capitalized: The Adventures of Rambo the Cat: A Not-for-the-Faint-of-Heart Love Story.

titles (articles and posts): Modern practice to not use title case. Titles are now generally written as complete sentences and should be capitalized accordingly. Do not include the final period in an article title.

titles (people): Capitalize and spell out formal titles when they precede a name but lowercase elsewhere: The librarian found the book, and the presiding bishop made an announcement. The announcement was made by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. It was met with enthusiasm by Bishop John Doe from the Diocese of the Central Northwestern Gulf, the fifth bishop of that diocese. Refer to both men and women by first and last name, with titles, on first reference: the Rev. Canon Susan Smith or the Very Rev. Robert Smith. Refer to both men and women by last name only, without titles, in subsequent references. Please note that contact information given at the conclusion of the piece does not count as a subsequent reference; for contact information, please include the person’s full name and title. See Guide to Rules of Address (Church Pension Group, 2007).

toward: Not towards.

training: Not trainings. Adjust the sentence structure, do not pluralize.

URLs: When writing out a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or link, include the full address, beginning with ‘https://’ when space permits. Do not include the trailing slash at the end of the URL. For example, https://www.episcopalchurch.org is preferred; avoid www.episcopalchurch.org/. Please note that when a URL ends a sentence, a period is required. Omit the ‘www’ is the site can be accessed without it.

verse: lowercase and not abbreviated when using in citation: (verse 2).

Veterans Day: Capitalize, no apostrophe. Veterans Day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, isn’t spelled with an apostrophe before or after the “s” because it’s not a day that belongs to veterans; it’s a day to honor them.

who, whom: “Who” is a pronoun used as the subject of a sentence; “whom” is a pronoun used as the object of a sentence. When in doubt, substitute “he” for “who,” or “him” for “whom,” then see if the sentence works: Who was that masked man? (“He was that masked man,” not “Him was that masked man.”) Mr. Softee is the mascot to whom I am most loyal. (“I am loyal to him,” not “I am loyal to he.”)

World Wide Web: Three words, capitalized, but lowercase when using only “web.”

WWW: Leave it out if the website you are referring to works without it.

yuletide: one word, lowercase, no hyphen.

Z

ZIP code: an acronym standing for Zoning Improvement Plan. Use all caps as with other acronyms.

Updates

  • 09-08-2021. Added reference for the correct official title for Bishop Marty.
  • 08-18-2021. Adjusted text regarding the Bishop Provisional. The term nominee is the preferred qualifier. Place holders added for text regarding photo captions and Titles and headings.
  • 08-09-2021. Minor update to clarify/tidy up the language in the Diocesan Bolierplate text regarding Bishop Kemper School for Ministry.
  • 08-05-2021. A New section containing the standard diocesan boiler-plate text has been added. Clerical abbreviations text added, and the notes on referring to clergy within text updated.
  • 07-29-2021. Clarification on the format of ‘technical dates,’ and additional text setting out the format for dates in filenames added.
  • 07-28-2021. Belated addition of COVID-19 to the Writing style guide (A-Z).
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