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Current Events
Now, let this be a lesson to you. Jay Lawlor was charged with assault for shoving an elderly parishioner last year at St. Luke Episcopal Church in Kalamazoo, MI.  This month, he was given a $468,000 severance payout by the bishop. The almost half million dollars was paid from the church’s funding reserves. Lawlor was cleared by a jury of the assault charge. He had served St. Luke’s for 21 months. Yep. 21 months. His severance was equal to three years of his salary and benefits. (Normally his compensation was $125k.  The church’s total annual budget was only $630k). Lawlor says that he will no longer be a priest, but will focus his time on writing and other projects. More here.   

Current Events
Wow… things are getting even more interesting in the Crystal Cathedral settlement. Last week, I did a post on churches and pastors that just don’t get it.  This could very well be part 2. Everything’s coming down to a judge’s determination this week (it was supposed to be yesterday, but has now been postponed until Thursday) as to what happens to the Cathedral.  It will either go with a local college or the Catholic Diocese.  It’s all up to the judge. But what was interesting to me yesterday was what was written about in the Orange Country Register. Evidently, Robert H. Schuller (the senior) says that the ministry infringed on the copyright of his books.  Between the copyright infringement and the termination of his contract, Robert wanted $6.5 MILLION dollars set aside to pay those claims. Schuller also said that he was promised, under a transition agreement, to be paid $300,000 a year for the rest of his life.  He wants that amount as well.  Carol Milner, the Schuller’s daughter, has said that they have not been receiving the payments promised to them, and that they are now being asked to give up the rights to their works. Milner is quoted as saying:
“My parents have given all their assets to the church,” she said. “They are paying a lot in attorney’s fees and have a huge mortgage on their home that they took out to keep the ministry alive. At their age, they cannot afford to take risks.”
In fact, Milner says that the ministry is right now inappropriately selling her father’s books online, and that her parents have absolutely no control. It’s sad… but in the end, it’s looking like it may all come down to money.  That’s many times the case. I have no idea what Robert Schuller’s personal finances are, nor do I care.  But at 80-some years old, I’m surprised he has a mortgage, or that he needs a severance package from the church in the amount of $300k a year for life. In the light of the bankruptcy, it seems a little ludicrous, don’t you think? I’d love, of course, to hear YOUR thoughts. Todd SOURCE