Policies and Guidelines

The following Policies and Guidelines have been prepared for the information of our readers and potential contributors. They are intended to keep The Church Messenger consistent with the standards expected of Orthodox Christian newspapers. The policies are also meant to serve as a helpful aid to parishes when preparing material to send for publication. If any of the policies or guidelines needs further explanation, please write or e-mail Fr. Matthew Stagon, fatherstagon@yahoo.com editor of The Church Messenger. We are always looking for ways to improve the quality of our newspaper while maintaining professional standards.


Announcements for upcoming activities should be mailed at least six weeks before the event will take place for the best opportunity to be included in the issue prior to the event. Use the issue date and copy deadline schedule as a guide.


Currently The Church Messenger only accepts paid advertisements of a church-related nature (liturgical articles, publications, vestments, etc.) but will publish notices and/or announcements of upcoming events and special items offered for sale by Orthodox parishes and organizations with first preference for available space given to those within the Diocese.

Feature Articles:

Feature articles are always welcome as long as they are knowledgeably written and deal with a topic that would be of interest to readers. Anyone who wants to submit a feature article may call the editor of The Church Messenger to discuss and refine the topic or to inquire about submitting the completed work.

Guest Sermons:

Clergy will be contacted periodically to submit a writing for the Guest Sermon section of The Church Messenger. Ideally the submitted sermon should be 3 double-spaced pages in length, 12 point Times New Roman font.

Graduations, Special Academic Achievements, Awards:

Articles regarding college graduations and post-graduate degrees of parishioners are welcome for publication. Please include a photo and brief biography including career intentions or future plans. Individual photos and/or articles of elementary and high school graduation will not be accepted for publication unless they have received special recognition (e.g., valedictorian). Also eligible for publication are news articles about individual awards given for special service or achievements in academic, civic or business fields, such as volunteerism, Eagle Scout, etc.


Generally, the only obituaries that are printed are those of the clergy, their wives and parents and, depending on tenure, parish cantors. Please include an accurate account of the parastas and funeral services. Only list the main celebrant, concelebrants and homilist (when applicable). Any personal achievements should be included with the biography. A recent photo also should be submitted.


The Church Messenger does not print letters to the editor or unsolicited op-ed commentaries.

Parish News:

Parish news includes parish-sponsored activities such as summer picnics, bazaars, anniversary celebrations, church or community service projects and pilgrimages. Also, consider reporting on outstanding professional, academic, civic or personal achievements by parishioners or those who have received special recognition by religious or civic organizations. Please note that the election of new officers for parish or school organizations, the appointment of special parish committees or simple participation of parishioners in local activities may not be of general interest to our readership and, therefore, will not be printed. Be creative with ideas. Many items are newsworthy with the appropriate perspective and focus. If in doubt, mail the article and let The Church Messenger staff decide. The pastor or designated parish representative must approve all parish news items sent to this office.


Photographs add interest to articles; try to include them if possible. Photographs should be of good quality, ideally action or candid shots, and be accompanied by key identifying information, such as the date and location of the event, sponsoring organization, names and positions/titles of individuals, highlights of the event and any interesting information about the activity. Please note that photos cannot be returned. You may submit prints or electronic photo files on computer diskette or CD-R or in jpeg format (see "Submissions" for preferred standards.)


Materials must be received as soon as possible: ideally, no later than 6 weeks before an event, and no later than three weeks after an event and no later than three week after an event.  Old news is stale news.  We will endeavor to tell our readers about your events, but timeliness is important.

An article about an event or activity that has already been covered in this publication will not be printed again  Generally, the first article received is the one that will be printed.

All material submitted is subject to the editing process, to conform to our publishing style, industry standards and the space limitations of each issue.

Typewritten material is accepted, although computer-generated type is preferred and if possible, either e-mailed to fr.mal@comcast.net or saved to a 3.5" diskette or CD-R in a PC-compatible world processing format (Microsoft Word is preferred) and postal-mailed along with a hard copy to the editor of the Church Messenger.  As with all materials, these articles are subject to approval and editing and may not be returned.

Electronic submissions are preferred and acceptable in the following formats:

For text use standard word processing programs such as Word Perfect or MS Word with a Times New Roman Font in 12-point  size when sending attachments.  Or, "cut and paste"  the article directly into the body of the email.  Please refrain from formatting--it is much easier  for the editorial staff to do this.

For electronic photo submissions, set digital camera to the highest quality or scan the photo at 400 dpi. Save images and scans as JPEG files (yields a compressed file size), with a width of no less than 3  inches for single subject images and no less than 5 inches for group shots.  Photo files may be sent to Very Rev. Protopresbyter Mark Leasure on diskette or CD-R or emailed to Rev. Fr. 
fatherstagon@yahoo.com. If emailing multiple images, limit each email to no more than 2 MB (megabytes ) of information (e.g. if sending 6 image at 1MB each, send two images in three separate emails.)