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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
According to an article in the LA Times, lines start forming about 9 a.m. outside the Crystal Cathedral.  But not for the 9:30 service or the 11:00 service.  According to the paper, those two services are so sparse that the television cameras have a hard time finding a crowd shot. No no.  The line that starts at 9:00 is for the 1:00 Spanish service.  The Cathedral is packed every Sunday morning.  In fact, the spanish service has grown from 300 to 3,000 people in 2 years. The pastor would like to add another service to continue the growth.  In fact, the goal is to reach 10,000 people by January of next year.  (Yes, you read that right). The story the LA Times tells is kinda strange. The charismatic leader of the spanish service is Pastor Dante Gebel, an Argentinean native, who is not an employee, but rather an independent contractor. He is seen on television in 70 countries, and has 800,000 fans on Facebook. But Gebel says he really has no great attachment to the church itself and he could leave at any time.  He told the LA Times, “I haven’t been called to save the Crystal Cathedral, so that isn’t my goal.” The Times also reports that the Spanish ministry brings in only about $500,000 a year at this point.  CC’s total budget is around $30 million. Up in the air at this point:  Would the CC give up either their 9:30 or 11:00 regular service to allow for a good time for another latino service?  It would be difficult, they say, because the Hour of Power depends on two services for editing purposes. I thought the article was interesting.  You can read it here. Any thoughts? 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
It was an emotional Sunday at the Crystal Cathedral.  84 year old founder Robert H. Schuller, in a tearful address, asked his congregation for help in turning around the church’s massive debt that led to last week’s declaration for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Here is some of what Schuller said: “I need more help from you… If you are a tither, become a double-tither. If you are not a tither, become a tither. This ministry has earned your trust. This ministry has earned your help.” “I learned from my father that tough times never last… Tough people do.” Earlier last week, creditors declined to go along with the CC’s repayment plan.  Creditors had been working for months to work out a plan, but when negotiations broke down, CC ministries had no choice but to file for bankruptcy. According to a church representative:  “A few [of the vendors] didn’t want to play ball…They tried to get ahead of the others. It became difficult for us to hold the coalition of vendors together.” Sources:  OC Register / LA Times QUESTION:  What should a church do when it can’t pay it’s bills?  Have you ever been involved with a church that had NO money?  How did you deal with it?

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