Charles LaFond is a stewardship leader within the Episcopal Church. His most recent book is entitled, Fearless Church Fundraising, The Practical and Spiritual Approach to Stewardship, Call Number 254.8 Laf 2012. The author states that his book “attempts to provide a basic, no- frills, fool-proof path for raising an annual budget through pledges to a program or church.” See p. xvi. He argues that his combination of practical and spiritual considerations has been tested in “hundreds of churches,” both small rural congregations and large urban churches. St. Michael’s is somewhere in between these extremes, but LaFond’s book may well be worth considering.
Elesha J. Coffman’s The Christian Century and the Rise of the Protestant Mainline, Call Number 280.409 Cof 2013, is a history of the influential liberal Protestant publication of the early twentieth century, known as The Christian Century. Coffman argues that this publication was designed to create a united non-sectarian Christian theology which emphasized the historical interpretation of the Bible and social activism. The author claims that the movement was doomed to failure because the liberal clergy failed to connect with a more conservative laity, and the goal of Protestant unity proved to be unattainable. It is interesting that Coffman lists the seven liberal Protestant churches as the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), northern Baptists, the Congregational Church (part of the United Church of Christ), the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the Disciples of Christ. See p. 4. Because she sees modern Christianity as fundamentalist and/or authoritarian, Coffman may have underestimated the influence of liberal Christian theology on the laity and on the modern Roman Catholic Church. These early twentieth century guys may have had more influence on us than we think.
A number of new books are in the collection, especially regarding Navajo and Native American spirituality.
We have also received some generous donations of works in theology and church history from retired clergy.