An Episcopal priest for more than 50 years and the Planned Giving Officer at the Cathedral of the Incarnation, Baltimore, Maryland, the Rev. Charles Cloughen Jr. ’64 [Micronesia 1966–68] lends his insights on giving to his new book, One Minute Stewardship, Creative Ways to Talk about Money in Church.
With both practical wisdom and theological insight into how churches can increase their financial resources, Cloughen has collected meditations from faith leaders around the country to create a year-round resource for rectors, pastors, ministers, worship leaders and anyone concerned about their churches’ stewardship.
At the heart of the Reverend’s theology of stewardship, he says, are six key words: thank you, thank you, thank you. “It’s all about personal relationships,” Cloughen says. “Generosity and gratitude grows. People who are generous become more generous.” Inspired by the story of the widow’s mite from the Gospel of Mark, Cloughen’s theology of stewardship also includes the mantra, “No gift is too large. And all gifts are appreciated.” The New Testament parable tells the story of the “largest gift” in the Gospels, in which a widow donates everything she has, two copper coins (a penny).
Cloughen’s book was praised by a fellow Hobart and William Smith Colleges graduate and the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, The Most Rev. Michael B Curry ’75, D.D. ’20. “The way of love is a way of life centered not on self alone or primarily, but on God, others and the world that belongs to God and that has been greatly placed into our care. Charles Cloughen’s new book offers some practical ways to live out that truth, with powerful and inspiring contributions from leaders throughout the Church,” Curry writes.
Additional praise of the book comes from the Anglican Theological Review. Rev. Gail Cafferata writes, “This book is a treasure-chest for congregations… when the coronavirus threatens the sustainability of many houses of worship, reading this book now can be especially helpful.” In a recent newsletter distributed by the Episcopal News Service, Cloughen’s book was listed as a resource for Episcopal congregations experimenting with alternative ways of receiving offerings and pledge payments from parishioners, due to the suspension of in-person worship services in the pandemic.
Charles Cloughen Jr. has served in parishes in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Texas and Maryland. At the Colleges, Cloughen majored in economics. He was a member of the Hobart football team. After spending two years at the Berkley Divinity School, Cloughen entered the Peace Corps, where he served in Truk, Micronesia alongside author and fellow Hobert and William Smith Colleges graduate, Eric Lax (Micronesia 1966-68).
One-Minute Stewardship: Creative Ways to Talk about Money in Church
Charles Cloughen, Jr. (Micronesia 1966–68)
$17.95 (paperback), $10.49 (Kindle)