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

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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.



Sexual Misconduct Policies

Safe Church Training

The General Convention Task Force to Update Sexual Misconduct Policies has updated the Safe Church Policies for the Episcopal Church to help and enable clergy, congregations, volunteers, and individuals understand and live into the importance of this training. The Task Force looked at the current Safe Church Policies, and recommended updated models, policies, and practices that address updated issues, including bullying, social media, mission trips, overnight events, and LGBTQ experiences. The purpose of these policies is to create safe and welcoming space for the minors, elders, and people with disabilities in and those engaged in ministry with them, in all of the congregations, institutions, organizations, schools and agencies of each diocese. Theological foundations, behavioral standards, and guidelines for social media and electronic communication are also included.


Model Policy for the Protection of Children and Youth 2018

Model Policy for the Protection of Vulnerable Adults 2018



What are they?

An updated and expanded set of policies, recommended practices and resources designed to foster healthy and sustainable ministry with vulnerable people in The Episcopal Church (TEC). The purpose of these policies is to create safe and welcoming space for the minors, elders, and people with disabilities in and those engaged in ministry with them, in all of the congregations, institutions, organizations, schools and agencies of each diocese.

Why are they needed?

In response to the mandates of 2015 General Convention resolutions A073 and A074, these policies reflect what The Episcopal Church (TEC) has learned from using the 2004 Model Policies and Safeguarding training materials. In addition, they include updates reflecting contemporary concerns such as social media, mission trips, pilgrimages, camp and conference center programs, and other overnight events, as well as experiences of LGBTQ+ and non-binary persons.

Who needs to read, mark and inwardly digest the Model Policies?

All clergy, and lay people who minister with minors and vulnerable adults need to know the model policies and comply with their screening and training requirements; parents, caregivers and vestry members are encouraged to understand the policies and exercise leadership in their implementation.

What’s in them for me?

Look for a concise statement of theological and ethical foundations for safe church practices, useful definitions, behavioral standards designed to ensure that vulnerable people and all who engage in ministry with them are treated with dignity and respect in all settings, standards for screening, training and monitoring lay and ordained ministers working with vulnerable people, processes for responding to concerns, expectations for local (diocesan) policy implementation and audit. In addition, these model policies include entirely new practices and guidelines for the use of social media and electronic communication.


When do the Model Policies take effect?

They are available for your use right now, and all dioceses need to adopt the policies by January 2019. Be sure to confer with your diocesan leadership about local adaptation and implementation.

Peace and Justice Policies

The Episcopal Church adopts policies on a range of issues related to justice and peace through its triennial General Convention. The Church then lives out these policy positions through a variety of means, including the direct engagement of government officials by the Presiding Bishop and other elected leaders of the Church; the witness of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society through the Church’s Office of Government Relations in Washington, DC and its Office of Global Relations at the United Nations in New York City; the leadership of dioceses and congregations in each of the 16 sovereign nations in which The Episcopal Church is present; and, most fundamentally, through the grassroots witness of individual Episcopalians around the world. Though the shape and form of our advocacy may vary based on our national or community context, we are united in our understanding that, to be a people rooted in mission, we must work tirelessly for justice and peace.

The following compendium of the social policies of The Episcopal Church reflects the breadth of our Church’s witness on a variety of subjects local and global. Each has been adopted through the deliberation of the triennial General Convention or the Executive Council, the interim legislative authority of The Episcopal Church between Conventions. The policies that follow are grouped by subject area and listed with the most recent first. The full text of resolutions is available online through The Episcopal Church’s Archives at

DOWNLOAD Policy for Action



By-Laws are developed by each congregation and approved by the Standing Committee. In working towards having a standardized template that all churches of the diocese use, we offer three documents to assist you in your review and update of your by-laws: the Revised By-laws Template, Steps for By-laws Changes and a By-laws Checklist. We ask you to use these documents as a guide as you move forward in this important process.

Technically a church doesn’t have by-laws because it isn’t an independent corporation — all churches are held in trust for the Episcopal Church as a whole and are subject to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church in general and of their diocese in particular.