Workshop materials from Leadership Institute on March 23, 2019

A ‘Parish Legacy Society’ as Planned Giving
How to create and nurture a Legacy Society, honoring those who name your church in an estate, a will or trust. Hear success stories about this and learn some innovative approaches to planned giving.

Click here for Planned Giving and other resources

Vestry 101
So … you are a new member of the vestry! What ARE your responsibilities related to the vision, leadership and fiduciary health of your church? Get support and training to become wise and empowered leaders, with practical nuts and bolts to make your vestry experience effective – and even fun!

Episcopal Church Foundation- Vital Practices

Roles and Responsibilities of Elected Leaders

_Vestry_101 Vestry Papers Issue

Improving your church’s online presence
What are prospective visitors looking for when they check out your church online? Learn about current best practices for your congregation’s Facebook page and website, and some things to avoid.  We’ll evaluate examples of great and not-so great websites in other parts of the country.

Wellness check for your church’s online presence

Online assets ownership worksheet

Resources for enhancing your online presence

A sample media and video policy with release form

Copyright Guidelines for Churches

Photo Release Template

Wardens Face Time with Bishop Knisely
Senior and Junior wardens, receive guidance and support about this crucial lay leadership office in our changing churches. What IS your role – as chief ecclesiastical officers – with the congregation, clergy and staff?

Show Me the Money: Old and New Guidelines for Treasurers
Church treasurers, you are not alone – so don’t do it alone! Money managers: Learn healthy practices of transparency and fiduciary responsibility essential to being a safe church. Also find out about potential sources of revenue — grants, loans and diocesan resources.

Click this link for Resources

HR: Hiring, Firing, Retiring … and Everything in Between
Hiring, firing and retiring can be done professionally and with grace. This session features education and troubleshooting for church leaders in the basics of personnel and human resource management for church staff.

Episcopal Church Foundation-Vital Practices

Employee Management Checklist

Model_Personnel_Handbook_for_Parishes — from the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts

Human Resources List

Community-Building in an Age of Isolation and Division
Now, more than ever, our church has something urgently-needed and beautiful to offer society. How might we build new forms of intentional community and fellowship to offer healing to a divided world? Learn some fun ideas to bring people together and have a ball!

All Our Children-Partnerships between Church and Schools

Community Garden Help – URI

Blessing Boxes

Pastoral Care for Baby-Boomers and More
Pastoral care, with appropriate training and guidance, is a ministry of all disciples of Christ. Learn how to create, nurture and equip healthy congregational care teams. Train lay leaders now to meet the needs of aging “boomers” – and all generations.

Lay Pastoral Care Resources

Starting a Lay Pastoral Care Ministry Team

Memory Cafes

Eucharistic Visitors  (NOTE: order this resource at, select “pay by check,” use in your church name and address — the staff will see that you are a RI church and will zero it out so you can just ignore the invoice. This only works for the Episcopal Churches in RI. Call 800-941-2218 if you have questions or concerns.

Publicizing and organizing events in the digital age
What’s the difference between digital and paper-based approaches to publicizing events, and how can they work together? What determines what events get publicized in diocesan publications?  Bring examples of particularly successful and creative strategies you’ve used to add to our discussion.

Church event publicity

Episcopal Church Media Guide

The Episcopal Church has a guide that provides you with the font name, shield, colors and other communications norms that are helpful in preparing materials about the denomination, writing about the Presiding Bishop, etc.

DOWNLOAD TEC Visual Identity Guide

Diocesan Logo

The diocesan logo can be used by congregations which may also wish to use the colors in their communications. PMS 300 and 299 are the identification colors for Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island. The following guide gives more detailed information:

DOWNLOAD the Logo Use Guidelines


The diocesan logo (right click to download or open in another tab)








The official diocesan seal:



Episcopal Church Style Guide

The following information is designed to help those who write about the Episcopal Church, its clergy and ministries.

The official name of the church is The Episcopal Church.

When writing about the Episcopal Church, please follow these guidelines:


  • In the first reference, the full name of the church is preferred: The Episcopal Church.
  •  When referring to church members, the term “Episcopalian” is preferred.
We elect a Presiding Bishop, who is our chief pastor and primate of the church. Chosen by the House of Bishops from one of its members, the Presiding Bishop serves for nine years, or until normal retirement age, if that occurs first. In formal usage, he or she is known as “The Most Reverend,” usually abbreviated to “The Most Rev.” His or her first name (or preferred forename) is always used, together with an initial, if applicable (e.g., “The Most Rev. John A. Smith”, or “The Most Rev. A. John Smith”).


All other bishops should be addressed as above, but using the form “The Rt. Rev.”  Priests and deacons are referred to as “The Rev.”


Our church is organized into dioceses, and there is at least one diocese in each state. However, some states have two or more dioceses. For example, we have a Diocese of New Jersey, but in the northern part of the state there is a Diocese of Newark. Likewise, there is a Diocese of Texas, but there are several other dioceses in that state.


The bishop with jurisdiction of a diocese is usually known as the “diocesan bishop,” and is sometimes known as the “Ordinary.” He or she may have other bishops to assist, who are referred to as “bishops suffragan” and are elected in the same way that bishops are, by representatives of the members of the diocese. The bishops suffragan have no jurisdiction, however, they may be assigned responsibility of specific areas and be delegated some authority by the diocesan. For example, the Diocese of New York, which comprises 10 counties in the southern part of the state, has three bishops to assist the diocesan, and each is assigned a specific area of the diocese.


In addition to bishops suffragan, other bishops, usually those who have resigned or retired from dioceses in which they were first called to serve, may serve in a similar capacity to suffragans. These are sometimes called “assistant bishops” or “assisting bishops,” or even, “bishop assisting.” For example, the Bishop of California has four retired bishops with the title of “Assisting Bishop,” all of whom have retired, but who continue to work to a greater or lesser extent.


There are several honorary titles in use. Senior members of the staff at a cathedral are usually given the title of “Canon.” Most of these are priests, in which case they are known as “The Rev. Canon.” Occasionally, a lay person with special responsibilities is given the title of Canon, in which case they are properly addressed simply as “Canon.”


Each diocese has a cathedral, usually purpose-built, or a “pro-cathedral,” usually a fairly large church that serves as a cathedral in the absence of a full cathedral. A few dioceses have more than one cathedral. It is usual to have a dean, who acts as head of the “chapter” or governing body of the cathedral. Some bishops prefer to retain full authority in their cathedral, in which case they may appoint a provost.
How do I address clergy?


Title Written Salutation Spoken
Presiding Bishop The Most Rev. Dear Bishop Bishop
Bishop The Rt. Rev. Dear Bishop Bishop
Dean The Very Rev. Dear Dean Dean
Archdeacon The Venerable Dear Archdeacon Archdeacon
Canon Canon Dear Canon Canon
Priest The Rev. Dear Mr./Ms…
Dear Father/Mother
Deacon The Rev. Dear Mr./Ms…
Dear Deacon

Episcopal Church Structure and Organization

 The Episcopal Church is governed by a bicameral General Convention, which meets every three years, and by an Executive Council during interim years. The General Convention consists of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies.

The House of Bishops is composed of every bishop with jurisdiction (diocesan bishop), every bishop coadjutor, every suffragan bishop, every retired bishop, every bishop elected to an office created by General Convention, and every bishop who has resigned because of mission strategy – each of whom has a seat and vote. The House may also elect collegial members who are admitted with seat and voice, but no vote. Collegial members are bishops in the Anglican

The House of Deputies is composed of up to four lay and four clerical deputies from each of the jurisdictions, domestic and overseas, elected in the manner determined by each jurisdiction.


It is traditional for the House of Bishops to meet at least annually in interim sessions between General Conventions, when its agenda is limited by the Constitution and Canons to matters affecting the general state of the church and meeting the needs of contemporary society. When meeting in interim session, it does not have legislative power to initiate or

When the two houses meet concurrently in General Convention, legislation is enacted, church policy and programs are approved, and a budget for the next triennium is adopted.


The official Interim Bodies of The General Convention of the Episcopal Church are:



  • Board for Transition Ministry
  • Board of the Archives of the Episcopal Church
  • Board of Trustees for the Church Pension Fund
  • Episcopal Relief and Development Board of Directors
  • General Board of Examining Chaplains
  • United Thank Offering Board

Bishop Committee

  • House of Bishops
  • House of Bishops Committee on Pastoral Development
  • House of Bishops Committee on Theology
  • House of Bishops Planning Committee
  • Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice


  • Disciplinary Board for Bishops

Covenant Committee

  • A Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil
  • EDSJ Covenant Committee
  • Episcopal Church in the Philippines
  • La Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America
  • La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico
  • South Carolina Covenant Committee
  • The Episcopal Church in Liberia

Deputy Committee

  • House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church
  • President of the House of Deputies Council of Advice

Executive Council Committee or Commission

  • Assessment Review Committee
  • Commission on Impairment and Leadership
  • EDSJ Covenant Committee
  • Executive Council Committee on Anti-Racism
  • Executive Council Committee on Corporate and Social Responsibility
  • Executive Council Economic Justice Loan Committee
  • Executive Council Executive Committee
  • Executive Council Investment Committee
  • Executive Council Joint Standing Committee on Advocacy and Networking
  • Executive Council Joint Standing Committee on Finances for Mission
  • Executive Council Joint Standing Committee on Governance and Administration for Mission
  • Executive Council Joint Standing Committee on Local Ministry and Mission
  • Executive Council Joint Standing Committee on World Mission
  • Executive Council Subcommittee to Review Grants Processes
  • Joint Audit Committee of the Executive Council and the DFMS
  • South Carolina Covenant Committee

Joint Standing Committee

  • Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop
  • Joint Standing Committee on Nominations
  • Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Arrangements
  • Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance


  • Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue in the USA
  • Bishop for the Office of Pastoroal Development Search Committee
  • Committee to Study the Relationship of General Seminary & General Convention
  • COO Nomination Advisory Committee
  • House of Bishops Spouse/Partner Planning Group
  • Legal Review Committee
  • Lutheran Episcopal Coordinating Committee
  • Moravian Episcopal Coordinating Committee
  • Presbyterian Episcopal Dialogue Committee
  • Provincial Leadership Council
  • United Methodist Episcopal Committee

Standing Commission

  • Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music
  • Standing Commission on Structure, Governance, Constitution and Canons

Public Affairs Policies Toolkit

The Toolkit of the Public Affairs Office is designed for your use to help enhance your message, broaden your reach and offer tips for placements into regional, secular, and other media – both traditional and social.

Communication is evangelism – and the Office of Communication has many resources to help evangelize the Good News and engage communities in the work of the Episcopal Church. These resources include tools to assist with building awareness of your work, gaining a stronger voice on topics that you care most about, and enhancing perceptions among influential, highly-engaged groups inside and outside the Church.

Included are useful materials, such as forms to develop key messages and create local news media coverage, and a step-by-step guide on how to place your leaders on local opinion pages and websites to gain community leader buy-in on topics important to you. You’ll also find information about other tools, help and counsel available, often at no cost, through the Office of Communication. These will help enhance your message, broaden your reach and offer tips for placements into regional, secular, and other media – both traditional and social. The goal is to enable you to prepare your messages not only for your diocese but your regional area, your ecumenical partners, and beyond.

DOWNLOAD Topics Overview by Month

DOWNLOAD General Public Affairs Topics

You can subscribe to the Episcopal Church mailing list for the Public Affairs office:

A book recommended in the topics paper is: A Great Cloud of Witnesses

Church Publishing Incorporated published new (2018) and expanded volume of optional commemorations of significant figures in the history of the Episcopal Church. It replaces the popular Holy Women, Holy Men. By action of the 2015 General Convention, Great Cloud of Witnesses is being made available for devotional or catechetical use and for use in public worship throughout the Church. GCW reflects the lively experience of holiness, especially on the level of the local community.

GCW is accordingly a useful tool for learning about the history of the church and identifying those who have inspired and challenged us from the time of the New Testament to the present. Each entry includes a biographical narrative of the person or people, highlighting the significance of their lives and witness. A devotional collect is provided in both Rite I and Rite II language and a set of indexing tags suggests how the entry fits into the broader scope of Christian history and delineates the Christian gifts and virtues that may have inspired the persons ministries.