Book Look: Faith and Finances
Administration and finance! Those were the top responses of administrators attending CPG’s Episcopal Business Administration Conference in September when we asked them which Church Publishing Incorporated (CPI) resources they found most useful in their work.
More than three dozen CPI books, including the titles presented below, tackle the topic of finance and stewardship from a faith-filled perspective.
A Comprehensive Vestry Resource
Due to be published in January, the latest edition of Christopher L. Webber’s The Vestry Handbook covers everything from parish finances, tax considerations, and building maintenance to leadership roles, organizational structure, and the spiritual lives of those who oversee the operation of their parishes. This fourth edition responds to the changing needs of Episcopal churches.
Talking about money can be difficult for church leaders, but Creating Financially Sustainable Congregations, by James L. Elrod Jr., makes a compelling case for starting the conversation—or risk putting a church’s mission in jeopardy. James B. Jordan’s Financial Management for Episcopal Parishes delivers concrete guidance for bringing financial transparency to churches and includes cautionary tales of what happens when financial controls are weak. In The Church Administration and Financial Manual, authors Otto F. Crumroy, Jr., Stan Kukawka, Frank M. Witman, and Paul Witman give clergy common sense direction on managing finances, and many other aspects of effectively running a church.
A Stable Foundation
Several titles promote long-term giving campaigns to create financially stable congregations. A Manual for Stewardship Development Programs in the Congregation, Revised Edition, by Thomas R. Gossen, walks readers through the steps for starting year-round stewardship programs. Faithful Giving, by James W. Murphy, Fearless Major Gifts, by Charles LaFond, and Legacy of a Lifetime, by Robert L. Sessum and L. Pendleton Armistead, explain how religious organizations can create a foundation of permanent capital through planned gifts.
The short, down-to-earth reflections in One-Minute Stewardship, by Charles Cloughen Jr., may ease difficult discussions around money by tying theology to church support.
Peruse this book and other resources on administration, money, and faithful giving available at churchpublishing.org.