Connections is the official e-newsletter of Spiritual Directors International, and is published in May, August, and November. Connections focuses on stories and reflections relating directly to spiritual companionship. Each issue of Connections has a common thread or theme. If you are interested in submitting an article, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss what the topics are for upcoming issues.
Connections is an international and multi-faith publication. Authors need to keep in mind that terms and ideas not familiar to nationalities or faiths other than their own, need to be explained in the text. Christians from the United States need to pay particular attention to explaining familiar texts and places. Because of the majority status of Christian North American writers, there is a risk, however unintentional, of rendering invisible readers who live outside the United States or who are not Christian. So, for example, it is helpful to avoid jargon and abbreviations known to residents of the United States, but perhaps not in other countries. Examples include: ATM, CEO, 9/11, dotcom, and TV. Likewise, a Christian writer can be more inclusive by using phrases such as: "From a Christian point of view ...” or "In Christian terms ...”
All names of actual persons must be changed to fictitious names to protect their privacy. If the description of the person would make their identity obvious, even with a fictitious name, the author must obtain permission for inclusion in the article from the person referenced.
Articles in Connections are fewer than five hundred words (about one typed page) and provide insights for spiritual directors everywhere. Feel free to look through a past issue of Connections to see what has already appeared online.
Spiritual Directors International complies with The Chicago Manual of Style. We strongly recommend that you examine the suggestions found on the website: How to Write in Plain English. For more helpful guidelines on writing style see: How to Write More Clearly, Think More Clearly, and Learn Complex Material More Easily" by Michael A. Covington
- Never abbreviate Spiritual Directors International.
- Do not use periods in PhD, MD, or initials of religious orders (SJ, OP).
- Spell out USA state names and Canadian provinces. Do not use postal abbreviations except in full postal addresses. Include "USA" after a state name and "Canada" after a province name.
- Spell out Saint with the names of saints and in place names; with personal names, spell it out or abbreviate it according to the preference of the individual if that is known, or spell it out if the person’s preference is not known.
- Use abbreviations such as e.g., i.e., and etc. in parentheses.
- Where necessary, alternate he or she and she or he by paragraph. Also generally alternate the gender in specific examples by paragraph.
- Generally prefer gender-neutral terms for God, but allow masculine pronouns to be used with Father, Son, Jesus, Christ, and Lord when those terms are necessary, and feminine pronouns to be used with Goddess, Mother, Sophia, Shekinah, etc. when those terms are necessary.
- Christian writers should generally use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation.
- Other faith traditions will use the scripture translation commonly accepted in their tradition.
- When citing scripture from the Christian Bible, use the two-letter abbreviation for the book, followed by the chapter in numerical notation, a colon, and then the verse numbers. Consecutive verse numbers are separated by a "–" and non-consecutive verse numbers by a ",": 1 Pt 2:10–14; Mt 5:3, 6, 8–9; Nm 12:3–10.
- Capitalize all proper nouns referring to God: God, Father, Mother, Goddess, Sophia, Shekinah, Creator, Son, Redeemer, Holy Spirit, Spirit, Jesus, Christ, Allah, Abba, Amma, etc. Pronouns referring to God remain in the lower case.
- Bible is capitalized, and scripture is lowercased.
- Lowercase church unless it is part of a name of a denomination or an actual parish (Sacred Heart Church; The United Methodist Church; a Methodist church).
- Capitalize Internet.
Names and titles
- Do not use courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs., Ms.).
- On first reference, use first and last name of a person. On subsequent reference, use last name only.
- Exception: Use last name alone even on first cites to a reference list;
- Exception: Use first and last names on subsequent references if necessary for clarity or parallelism.
- Do not use the honorific title Saint.
Numbers and dates
- Do not abbreviate years (’96, the ’90s.) Instead, use the entire year (The class of 1996, the 1990s).
- Abbreviate a month when it is used in a specific date, such as Dec. 21, 2002, but spell out just a month and a year: December 2002.
- Possessive forms of words ending in “s” get an apostrophe and an "s" (Jesus’s, Moses's).
- Generally, do not use a slash (e.g., use "and" instead of "and/or" or "him and her" instead of "him/her").
- Run in short quotations (less than 100 words or 8 lines).
Spelling and distinctive treatment
- Prefer USA style spelling, but British, Canadian, and Australian spellings are accepted from authors in those countries.
- Hyphenate e-mail.
- We encourage the use of subheadings, especially in articles that are medium length and longer (see above). Subheadings should be in capital and lowercase letters, bold, flush left.
- The Holy Spirit may be referred to as “it.”
- Allow “since” to be used as a synonym for because.
- Always use “spiritual director” in place of “director” and “spiritual directee” in place of “directee.”
Connections maintains first rights only. This is also called Rights Reversal. This means that you guarantee that the article has not appeared in its present form elsewhere and we grant you fair use of the article in any way once we have published it. Should the article be reprinted elsewhere, we ask the author to acknowledge that the article was first published in Connections.