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Wow.  News that Robert H. Schuller has been voted off the board at the Crystal Cathedral.  His wife voted for him to stay, but the rest of the board voted him off, at least as a voting member, of the CC board. According to the church:  “This will free up Dr. Schuller’s time for more speaking engagements and a writing project he has wanted to tackle. He will also continue to speak in the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral and on the Hour of Power, and meet with staff in creative and vision-casting meetings.” But according to Schuller’s son, Robert A., who himself was voted off the board three years ago, Dad’s ouster came because he wanted more people to sit on the board (which, I believe, is made up of mostly family members).  Robert A.:  “They kicked him off. … I feel bad for him because he’s had to watch his life’s work go down the toilet the last three years,” Here’s the article… Another thing that really interested me:  a quote from a current CC staffer of 28 years about the current leadership and Robert H.: “They weren’t letting him do anything anyway. Those of us here see it as symbolically awful,” said Pastor James Kok, who has been on staff with Crystal Cathedral Ministries for 28 years. “They had effectively stopped listening to him two or three years ago. It’s symbolic, not functional. He was mostly put on the shelf by his daughters.” About the leadership style of the sisters, Kok said, “They just do things. They don’t ask anybody.” Somebody’s gonna be called into the main office this morning, I fear. What a mess. What do you think will ultimately happen with the CC?  Will they be able to make it out of bankruptcy?  And if not, what ultimately will happen to the church, and to the iconic building we currently know as the Crystal Cathedral? Todd

Current Events
How does a church get $43 million in debt?  This ABC news segment attempts to explain how the Crystal Cathedral got into the mess it’s in.  It includes an interview with Robert A. Schuller (the son), and Angie Schuller (Robert H. Schuller’s granddaughter). A couple of interesting quotes:  Robert A. Schuller:  “I think if I were still the leader there it would be a different story today.” Angie Schuller Wyatt (Robert H. Schuller’s granddaughter) said, “When you mix faith, family and fame, it’s a toxic combination . . . when people start vying for positions of power and I think that’s what led to the Crystal Cathedral’s crumbling.” Here’s the ABC video: What do you think? Source

Current Events
Group Sects and the OC Register is reporting that Crystal Cathedral founder Robert H. Schuller will take a 50% pay cut for the next four pay periods.  So will his wife Avella.  So will current Senior Pastor daughter Sheila Schuller Coleman. But more suprisingly…  so will Robert A. Schuller and his wife, Donna (who left after a family feud in 2008) and Schuller’s daughter, Jeanne Schuller Dunn (who lives in Hawaii). No more church payroll checks for the daughter that lives in Hawaii?  Wow, that’s radical. Also announced:  Other Cathedral employees, depending on their salaries, will also face a pay cut of between 5-10%. According to the OC register story, the CC has seen more than a 30% drop in revenues; been selling properties like crazy to make up a $55 to $70 million budget deficit; and has laid off at least 100 employees over the ‘last year or so’. OBSERVATIONS: Watch this one.  What happens when a once financially viable ministry like the CC hits hard times like this?  Once you start selling assets to cover multi-million dollar shortages, it becomes a game of monopoly.  We all know what usually happens when you have to start cashing in your hotels.  Are there other large ministries that will see the same fate in the future?  Promise Keepers and Focus on the Family are a couple that come to mind… but what happens when its an actual church that fails.  (And yes, this case can prove that no church can be ‘too big to fail’) Does your church have anyone on the regular payroll that isn’t local?  Or as an extreme, is the founding pastor’s daughter that lives across the ocean?  (Could be that she contributes some kind of signifant work from Hawaii though).  If so, how do you lay off a hundred employees with good conscience? I don’t wish for the demise of the CC.  But the truth is, their support base is dying (literally).  The day of big money from that segment is quickly coming to an end.  That’s a tough position to be in, but not unlike thousands of churches here in the US that are just on a much smaller scale. Is it ok for a church to die this kind of slow, agonizing death? What would you do to revitalize or turn around a place like the Crystal Cathedral?  Is there really anything that CAN be done? Todd

In an unprecedented move, it was announced today that has purchased the Crystal Cathedral for an undisclosed amount.  The purchase brings a strong presence to the Southern California area and helps alleviate many financial pressures of the cash-strapped cathedral.  The new church will be named As part of the agreement, (and to help ease the transition), pastor Craig Groeschel has agreed to wear a pastoral robe for the first six months of the transition; and to ‘think positively’ as he prepares and delivers his sermons. According to spokesperson Ima Lyiar, ownership will take effective immediately, and that Easter Sunday will feature a combination of both traditional Crystal Cathedral and contemporary worship.  Highlights will include Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus performed by the worship band; A Steve Fee/Chris Tomlin duet (accompanied by the massive Crystal Cathedral pipe organ); and “Christ Arose” as performed by The Statler Brothers. Easter Services will begin at 9, 11, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 10:15.

Current Events
According to the LA Times: The Crystal Cathedral, the Garden Grove megachurch, is laying off 50 workers, selling surplus property and may pull its “Hour of Power” television show in up to eight markets because of a precipitous drop in contributions. The 7,000-member church also has canceled its “Glory of Easter” pageant, a popular reenactment of the life and death of Jesus Christ, which sold tens of thousands of tickets each year. “This cuts to the heart of our ministry,” said spokesman John Charles. “It is sad news.” harles said the church’s revenue sank 27% from roughly $30 million in 2008 to $22 million in 2009. Anticipating a drop in 2010 revenue, he added, “If it maintains, that would be fine, but we don’t have a crystal ball, so we are cutting.” The church, founded by the Rev. Robert H. Schuller more than 50 years ago, lost members in the wake of a family feud after he retired. His son, the Rev. Robert A. Schuller, succeeded his father, but stepped down in 2008 after disagreements. His sister, is now the church’s leader. Charles said the church surveyed its members last fall to see if the dispute had caused a drop in contributions. “We found out it had no effect. It is the economy. We have a lot of older, retired people,” he said. You can read more here… Thought:  What stuck out to me was the “We have a lot of older, retired people”.  That should be a wake up call.  If the economy doesn’t sink you, the old people dying will, unfortunately ‘bury’ you.  It’s only a matter of time. What do you think? Todd

OK… more specifically, In Touch Ministries has sold the TV Network they acquired just two years ago from the Southern Baptist Convention to ComStar Media that is owned, in part, by Robert A. Schuller, son of TV preacher Robert Schuller. I would think this would have to honk off some diehard SBC and NAMB (which actually sold the network) back in October of 2007. According to a press release from In Touch:  “In Touch took FamilyNet as far as possible with our available resources. Its growth and success occurred with a swiftness we never could have expected. When this opportunity with ComStar Media presented itself, we understood it was God taking FamilyNet to the next level.” A program hosted by Robert A. Schuller, “Everyday Life,” will be a cornerstone program on the widened AmericanLife Television Network. What do YOU think? SOURCE