Friday, November 18, 2011

Crystal Cathedral Goes To The Diocese of Orange

Hello Friends,
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and my ways are not your ways, declares the Lord"
I promised many of you that I would post something about the sale of the church as soon as I had something to post.   
Judge approves Crystal Cathedral sale to diocese
A federal judge has approved the sale of the Crystal Cathedral to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange to help the financially struggling church emerge from bankruptcy.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert N. Kwan approved the sale at a hearing in Santa Ana on Thursday.
The decision came after a bidding war between the diocese and Orange County's Chapman University for the 40-acre property in Garden Grove.
The diocese plans to use the site for a countywide cathedral, which means Crystal Cathedral congregants will need to move to a new location.
Chapman had wanted to use the site to expand its health sciences offerings and possibly start a medical school.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
The board of directors of Crystal Cathedral Ministries announced Thursday that its preferred buyer for the megachurch's campus is the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.
The announcement came just before a bankruptcy court hearing at which a judge was expected to decide between competing offers from the diocese and Chapman University.
The Catholic diocese wants the property for a cathedral of its own, while the university would use it to expand educational programs.
A board statement said it preferred terms of the $57.5 million Catholic bid for the Orange County cathedral, longtime home of the "Hour of Power" broadcast.
"The Catholic plan allows Crystal Cathedral ministry full and exclusive use of the Crystal Cathedral and the majority of the property for three years," it said.
In addition, the Family Life Center would be available for 18 months while temporary solutions are found to house programs for children and youth.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert N. Kwan has said he believes the bids from Chapman University and the diocese are both feasible options, and asked the Crystal Cathedral's board to state its preferred buyer at Thursday's hearing. The board previously favored the university's bid, which was raised Wednesday to $59 million.
Some Crystal Cathedral members fear their church will dwindle if the 40-acre grounds are sold to the diocese and they must move to a new location. They noted that congregants emptied their pockets to help build the elaborate building and many planned to be buried in the nearby cemetery.
Others fear the broadcast that funds 70 percent of the church's revenue will lose viewers if moved to a different, less striking setting.
"That's our church -- the Crystal Cathedral. We bought and paid for it," said Bob Canfield, a 73-year-old general contractor who joined the church five years ago. "We feel like we've been raped of our ministry."
For many congregants at the Crystal Cathedral, the church building designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson and made up of 10,000 panes of glass has become intertwined with the church's identity.
"They're no different than any other business. They have to market themselves, and they have a particular branding and they've put all their eggs in that basket," said Richard Flory, director of research at University of Southern California's Center for Religion and Civic Culture. "That would be a difficult transition for them to make."
Rev. Robert H. Schuller started the Southern California ministry as a drive-in church in the 1950s under the auspices of the Reformed Church in America. Decades later, the church evolved into an international televangelism empire and erected its now-famous building.
In 2008, the church's revenues plummeted amid a decline in donations and ticket sales for holiday pageants due to the recession, (church officials said.) But some experts say the church failed to attract younger members while alienating older churchgoers with an ill-fated attempt to turn the church over to Schuller's son, ending in a bitter and public family feud.
The church laid off employees and cut salaries, but its debts surpassed $43 million, prompting the Crystal Cathedral to declare bankruptcy last year.   
Some congregants at the Crystal Cathedral said losing their church would be a sign of failure of the ministry's leadership and they wouldn't follow its leaders to a new site.   (end of article)

**If I were to re-write the highlighted pargraph it would read something like:   "On July 9, 2008 in an "emergency board meeting" called by Dr. Robert H. Schuller,  and with a few key board members "out-of-town or unavailable to attend", the Board of Directors for the Hour of Power decided to give control of the ministry to Jim Penner, husband of Dr. Robert H. Schuller's youngest daughter, Gretchen.   As a result, Mr. Penner, in a single-handed decision, separated Pastor Robert A. Schuller from the global congregation by taking him off the air of the Hour of Power telecast.  Even so, Pastor Schuller continued preaching to the local Crystal Cathedral congregation each Sunday through the beginning of the fall season.  Mr. Penner then told him he could no longer use the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral on Sunday mornings.  Once that happened there was little hope left for a significant relationship between pastor and parishioners.    After three months of trying to restore the church's local consistory board's authority,  and after dead-end negotiations with the family members, it became clear that Pastor Robert A.Schuller was left no other choice but to resign.   Unfortunately for the ministry Pastor Schuller's book, "Leaning Into God When Life Is Pushing You Away" was released about the same time as his departure and it had been slated as the major fundraising gift for the fall 2008  Hour of Power season.   This book was anxiously anticipated as it followed on the heels of his New York Times bestseller, "Walking In Your Own Shoes."   Key staff people, many of them adored pastors and mentors, or experts in financial accountability and leadership, including Dr. Jim Poit and his dedicated staff,  were let go without considering further serious ramifications.  Month after month the ministry continued it's rapid decline without ever once repenting of or correcting the mistakes being made.  Prior to the careless and foolish decisions of July 2008 the ministry had embraced a bright future as highly recognized and prepared for years, Pastor Robert A. Schuller continued his father's uplifting, hope-filled,  traditional, Christ-centered ministry which Dr. Robert H. Schuller had birthed over 50 years before.   Partnering with Dr. Jim Poit, a graduate of Princeton Seminary and St. Andrew's, Pastor Robert A. Schuller and Dr. Poit had been building an incredibly capable and wise staff worthy of their calling in so many ways.  Adding to the church's problems, Pastor Robert A. Schuller's  untimely removal from the televised church service happened suddenly, without any proper or formal announcement,  thus causing worldwide concern for Pastor Schuller's health.    Rumors circulated that he "must have cancer", or maybe "he had been unfaithful to his wife".   "Why else would a faithful congregation be left in the dark?"   The ministry's income plummeted as thousands of letters and emails began pouring into the ministry and into the media, week after week, month after month.   Still church "leadership" gave no answers as to why the people's pastor, Robert A. Schuller, had suddenly vanished from their screens after 32 continuous years on the Hour of Power;  the last two and a half years as their senior pastor.   Contributing to the confusion and to the ministry's downturn was that only a couple of years had passed since hundreds of dinners had been hosted nationwide where multiple generations of church members had given standing ovations of support as Dr. Robert H. Schuller asked the question, "would they would support his son as the new senior pastor?"   ...And then we experienced the worst economy in decades.  This proved to be too much for the un-experienced, "correspondence course pastors" and other leadership that was driving the ministry off a cliff, since that fateful day of July 9, 2008.    In October of 2009 the "leadership" filed for bankruptcy protection... and the rest is history.   

Still in all, God will restore what man has neglected and driven away.  God is in the restoration business!  I woke up with a heavy heart yesterday and I believe I was somehow divinely directed to these verses.  I have been pondering the whole idea of being a remnant lately and all the remnants in my life that have formed the whole.  A remnant is a leftover, a scrap of a bigger whole.  There is a lot left over so let's all do something great with our future.

Jeremiah 23:1-4
"Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture! declares the Lord.  Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people:  Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done.  I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture where they will be fruitful and increase in number.  I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing declares the Lord."

Remember to always count what you have left.  Never count what you have lost.  Be thankful this Thanksgiving.

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  1. Donna, Thank you for sharing your perspective on the transition in the Crystal Cathedral. As you mention, many people were very surprised when Robert A. was suddenly removed from the ministry, and I admit that I too wondered if there had been some grievous sin. Instead, apparently, it was a power struggle between siblings. Certainly Scripture tells us of many such events. Maybe it would have been better if the congregation had been informed, but all that is water under the bridge now. In the People's Catholic Church we believe in the priesthood of all believers and even the popehood of all believers -- "tutti uomini sono Pietri", as Pope Maurice said. As William James put it, "The Universe is a committee." The top-down governance of many institutions presumes a lack of wisdom and responsibility by those at ground level, and sometimes this is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    May God bless you and your family, and all those who read these words.

  2. Mrs. Schuller and Family:
    I feel so badly for the trials you and your family is going through. From what I understand, the entire Schuller clan is involved in the Lord's work through this ministry. Entire lives have been devoted to this, and for it to slip away must be heartbreaking.

    You and yours are in my prayers- and I'm not very religious, I'm afraid. Even so, it's undeniable the good your family has done so far (and I hope will continue to do so).

    God bless and keep you.

  3. Well said Donna! I pray for your family as always, and also to all of the CC congregation who will now be looking for a new beginning and a place and pastor they can call home. May God comfort them from the betrayal they are all feeling at this time.
    Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to all.

  4. My continued prayers for you and Robert, the CC congregation and for your whole family. Thank you for your comments to clear up some questions we had, and our loving support yor your future endeavors.

  5. Thanks for clearing that up Donna. I'm in Australia and I stopped giving to the ministry after Robert A. was let go. The broadcast hasn't been the same since, a mere shadow of its former self.

  6. Thank you for sharing the full behind the scenes story of the underhanded take over of the ministry by Jim P and his band of thugs.

    We are devastated by the news of the decision to give the Cathedral to the Catholic Church. We can't begin to imagine what the members of the CC Congregation must be going through in trying to deal with the betrayal that has been has taken place.

    We were Eagles Club & Golden Eagles club members for many many years and helped build the Cathedral and the HOP ministry...

    You and Robert A. brought renewed Hope, Light and Life back into the ministry when you took over, but since the day of your departure, the down hill slide of the HOP and the Cathedral has been a heart wrenching journey to watch.

    We pray the Lord will help everyone involved to find a place of reconciliation, forgiveness, healing and renewed faith and vision, as we arise from the ashes of this tragic event.

  7. It saddens me to read this account but it has all the marks of credibility and integrity. Thank you Donna for your heartfelt honesty in the midst of such great pain. The Lord will weigh all this in His balance and in the Day of Christ He will make clear what is His and what is not. We can trust Him to do right.

    I realize the congregants are saddened to see this historic building go to the Catholic diocese but I see this decision as one that allows the building to still be dedicated to the glory of King Jesus. I think we should pray that the name of Jesus will always be lifted up in this place and we should pray for the leaders of the diocese of Orange. The healthy ecumenism of Dr. Schuller seems to be honored in this way, or so I am inclined to think based upon what little bit I know about his views on the matter. Soli Deo Gloria.

  8. Thank you so much Donna for these explanations. I miss you and your husband so much! I never understood why he has left - it's such a lost for the ministry. I cry each time when I have to see these new services. Before sunday morningwithlut HOP on tv wasn't sunday morning, but now I assist only if they show the "old" registrations with Dr R.H. Schuller. Your husband's and his father's messages gave me so much during years and I thank them so much. - I wish you all the best for you and your family - may God reveal his plans for the cathedrale. May he bless you abundantly. Glorified be his holy name in Jesus' name Amen

  9. I was among those on One Community looking for some sort of answers to all the gaping holes full of questions those actions left. Robert A was doing such a fine job as pastor. I'm Catholic, and my cousin's Uncle did some of the art work that stands on the grounds. I'll feel at home there, if I visit, I guess, but I morn for the great ministry it was for all the world, and am sad for your Father in Law that the great ministry he built has come into bankruptcy.

    My prayers will be for healing for the family relationships that are strained, due to all that's gone on over these past 3 years, and for the health and well being of all and the success of your ministries and those of your son.

    God bless the Schuller family greatly, because once I was reeling in the pain of divorce, and despair, and those positive messages along with the many great stories on the 700 Club were two keys to my survival.

    Dallas Anderson's artwork will sit on church grounds anyway, or at least I hope it will stay there.

  10. Dear Donna and Robert, We love you and miss you!
    The past at the CC is over and we cannot go back. We have many wonderful memories of the church we became involved with as we could not find one where we live. We are told to forget the past and forge on to the future. We have been blessed by finding a church recently to fill our needs...a Bible based church where we feel really comfortable. God knew ahead of all of us what was going to happen, and His plans are perfect. We are so happy to be involved with Robby and the St Patrick's Project. Your darling grandchild Haven has been a blessing from afar! We were glad to know that Robert H was involved in Christina's wedding. That gives us a great deal of comfort and joy! Some day you need to visit our part of the world in Door County, WI where your friend Mary has a connection. That would be an awesome day! Dave and Carol

  11. The leadership by the current uneducated pastors will have to answer soon, Donna. I have been been praying that RAS would be returned to the CC, their greed and showboating got in the way. It's a sad day, but I know God has something very special for you and your husband - and I just hope it's on nationwide television!

  12. Dear Donna,

    Thank you for sharing this. I love you and miss you. I pray that this tragic event will give us all a chance to finally heal and reunite. The ministry division is breaking my heart more than the loss of our buildings. For 22 years, your family has shown me what faith in God is all about, and that is more valuable to me than $57.5 million dollars. Without God, money and property are worthless. God will rebuild. Please know that I love you all, and even if we all have to sit in tents, I pray that God will fill our hearts with love, and bring us all back together again.

  13. Dear God, You know what is happening in regards to the CC You know how many people are
    upset about this around the world as well as in
    California and other states of the USA. I pray
    dear Lord that somehow, and in someway
    reconciliation will be brought about Al this
    that is happening at the moment is in your
    Hands Amen God bless all people who read
    this message particularly Donna and Robert A

  14. My heart hurts for you. I do think you may have missed one aspect of the story. When someone calls an emergency meeting it is because it IS an emergency to them.

    When a person who is about to generate a large revenue flow is fired it IS because they do not WANT the revenue.

    When a highly competent financial staff IS fired it is because they do not WANT to see what the financial situation is. They already know.

    When a person is put into leadership has no skills or training for the position it IS because you WANT poor leadership.

    What occurs in our lives IS what we WANT. It is NOT a mistake. It may make no sense to an outsider, but it IS what the individual WANTS.

    I spent many years in bewilderment and questioning actions that made no sense. Then, one day I learned these lessons. I pray this helps you through your journey.

    Why don't you re-read what you wrote from this perspective.

  15. Yeah, yeah Donna that's life, poor life!!! When people are to stubborn and always think what I'm doing is right and all others are mistaken it can lead to disaster. Here we see it. I have the same in my family with my parents. My mum is sick and the hospital has difficulty to find out with many tests what is wrong with her. I can't anymore, when I see how uncontent she is. Her appartment has to look like a museum, everything has to be more then acceptably and no vist they have can see that really 2 persons are living in this apartment. The cleaning lady once a week can't doing it right. She has always to complain. That leads to sickness when we let the devil reigen! - What has that do do with CC? I see that RHS has a similair stubborness and thinks I'm the best and I know it better as my son. He is to bad to know what is good or not. Have it with my Dad too. So, I really can see how your Robert must feel and you too as his wife, Donna. Chin up and God is blessing you abundantly my dears. Swiss Rose

  16. Dear readers, even it belongs not to this important subject. Why I disabled access to my profile here. Because of the many, many anonymous people here. My opinion, if you cant't even say if you are mail or female I feel unconfortable and think you have to hide something. But God is seeing it and makes his own comment to it!!!Sad I feeel!!!- God's Blessings, Swiss Rose

  17. In reading about how this whole thing happened, I came across a video of Robert A.'s interview as shown on ABC - he quoted Ecclesiastes - "a time for every purpose...a time to be born, a time to die" - in this case, the life cycle applies to the congregation and organization created by the ministry of Robert H. - the building will live on as a Catholic Cathedral, so C.C. will still be apt.

    I also saw an interview with the famous pianist Roger Williams, who passed away quite recently - he basically said that Papa Schuller treated his children too indulgently.

    Combining this with the mistake of treating the church as a family business, the rest followed from the all-too-human weaknesses of the people involved.

    The way I understand the comments of Anonymous at November 18, 2011 8:18 PM - this person is saying that those who fired Robert A. not only wanted to do it THEIR way, they really WANTED to fail. They were not just foolish, but committed to a bad result - in Scott Peck's phrase from his famous book, they were/are "People of the Lie." They have been operating in bad faith, and one of the sad consequences is the recent sorry spectacle of the old man Robert H. repeatedly pleading for a $50 million dollar miracle donation campaign to save the Crystal Cathedral that only got $200,000.

    I now have a greater appreciation of the human pain that has flowed from all this - and it is sad, isn't it, that "church" is the occasion for all this? But so it has been for a long, long time - my ancestors came to the New World in part to get away from ecclesiastic disagreements that had gotten to the point of people organizing into factions to kill each other.

    In any case, the Crystal Cathedral is being saved after all - saved by becoming the seat of a Catholic bishop. Who knows if it's good or bad? In some ways, bad - there are People of the Lie in charge of the Church of Rome, who preferred to hide the rapists of children, rather than turn them over to the civil authorities - even the current Pope did this in his earlier positions. But in other ways, and I think preponderantly so, good - the Gospel is taught, even if sometimes by hypocrites, and the people in the pews are much less corrupt than their leadership - there are so many there, as elsewhere in our mixed-up world, who do their best to love God with all their heart and mind, and their neighbors as themselves.

    May the Peace of the Lord be with us all.

  18. Donna, my wife and I are very saddened at what we perceive as the implosion of what was once a successful ministry due to strife, division, pride and perhaps even jealousy (James 3:16). I believe with all my heart that Robert A. was and is called, anointed and appointed to pastor the Crystal Cathedral, and when he wanted to make several excellent changes to increase accountability and transparency he was ousted by Board/ Family Members that did not want to remain accountable to anyone. What the Penners’ and the Colemans’ don’t yet understand is that it is God who anoints and appoints who is to be the pastor of a Church, not man (Eph. 4:11-12), and when they ousted Robert A. they went against what God had decreed. In all due respect, Sheila Schuller Coleman is clearly trying to fulfill a position that she is not called to, and for 3 ½ years they have been trying to fit a square peg in a round hole & wonder why it is not working. 1 Peter 5:5 says that God resists the proud & gives grace to the humble, and it’s time for the Penner’s and the Coleman’s to humble themselves before God & make things right with you, Robert & your family, and step down from their respective positions. And Donna, your and Robert A.’s stance of walking in love and forgiveness in the midst of this is very admirable— thank you both for being such a blessing to the Body of Christ!

  19. Robert H. and Robert A literally brought me up from the dead. Such losses I had suffered through left me mentally crippled. After losing many licenses, assets, nearly my life through a heart attack, and a year in prison, I feared going either one way or the other. Then, one Sunday I, with my heart aching, heard Robert A. speaking to me through the TV. His kind words pulled me up, brought me back to life, gave me days with no angina pain, led me to a better understanding that I could be redeemed through Christ. You see, Robert H. that Sunday interviewed a man who had fallen off his boat traveling past Catalina Island. After fighting cold currents, nature, sea lions and fatigue, this man was saved by a watchful brother. I analogized that I, too, had fallen off my "boat", was suffering from the cold, the ill currents of life, the fatigue of failure. Then came Robert A.'s sermon preaching the love of Christ. After some time coming to Crystal Cathedral I became an Elder. My wife, who for reasons fully understandable had rejected organized religion, was most difficult to bring around, to come with me. But, finally she did. I felt as though we two were united in a Christ-like relationship after 35 years of marriage. It was really, really good. Then Robert A. disappeared from our life and the life of millions. How could this be? How could this happen? Donna, your explanation is helpful but I am not sure it is complete. Will the full story ever unfold? I wish Christ's blessings upon you and Robert and your children and hope that the future will again call Robert A. back to the pulpit. Many of us see him as the brother who saved his drowning sibling.

  20. That assessment from Richard Flory, director of research at University of Southern California's Center for Religion and Civic Culture, seems bluntly accurate :

    "They're no different than any other business. They have to market themselves, and they have a particular branding and they've put all their eggs in that basket ..."

    I wonder what Jesus would say ?

    Would the man who threw money changers out of the temple understand why a church in his name needed a Board of Directors or a "local consistory board" (whatever that is) ?

    Would a man scourged and crucified two millennia ago recognize that "branding" has a new meaning ? Would he consider it any less painful than the old one ?

    What would the man who embraced the poor and the sick have to say about the bankruptcy of a business empire that profited from his name ? Especially now, at a time when so many small businesses are failing and families are losing their homes ?

    It seems pretty clear from what the Bible says about him that only when cathedrals and TV ministries using his name donate every cent of their vast takings to improving the conditions of this world will they be truly spreading the message of Jesus Christ.

  21. Donna, thanks for clarification on this matter. Your husband Robert was treated so horribly by this church, it defies comprehension that these were family members. I love the way the two of you have always handled any trials that came your way. Robert is a wonderful man of God and will continue to bless the Christian community...

  22. As my church may go through something almost exactly like what has been described above, but on a micro level, I fear for our ministry, and mine as well. Thanks for posting the rest of the story.

  23. Dear Donna,
    Thank you for clarifying what really happened at the CC at the time that you and Robert left. It saddens me to know that family members were involved in the changes that were made. You and Robert have shown great strength during this difficult time. God will continue to bless both of you in your ministry.

  24. Donna,
    We all love you and Robert A. and your kids. You have been the greatest blessing to so many people. Just remember what Joseph told his brothers so many years ago. "You meant evil against me but God meant it for good." Our Lord works all things together for good for those who love him, and we who know you, know that you surely do love him. Something wonderful will come from this as God gives beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning to those who have been faithful. He will restore all that has been taken from you and then some. Until then, wait on the Lord and keep praising him for what he has done and what he will do.
    Love in Christ,
    An OC friend

  25. Donna,

    I wrote to you and Robert on Facebook from Japan about a week ago. Thank you very much for sharing this post and your rewrite of the paragraph.

    It helps me so much in understanding the profound sense of sadness which I have been experiencing, about a church I knew little about (Crystal Cathedral) and people I do not know (Schullers, and more specifically Robert A). Also helpful in understanding was to watch your husbands sermon on pain at your son's new church. I hope some Sunday when I return to OC, to attend.

    It is my prayer that God bless you and continue to help and guide you through this experience.

    God Bless,

  26. Donna,
    Thank you for sharing this information as I really needed to know. For over 30 years I would drive to CC from San diego every 5 or 6 weeks. I would walk on campus feeling the anticipation of the morning and feeling God's spirit with the many smiles of the people. The music and the positive Christian message I could hardly contain myself. Several years after Robert A. was removed from his ordained calling from God, I decided to visit CC again. My heart broke literally on campus while at this church. Few times later the choir was absent later a beautiful organ dedicated to the highest form of praise was empty..quiet! The preaching became something similiar to when I was a little boy in Iowa at my small Baptist church. The music which was first class was turned into just ordinary. This became a very sad experience coming back to this church. I prayed so much for Robert A's return as the pastor of CC where God had called him. This is where God wanted him!! I believe the ministry of CC is finished or will be in a few years. Donna you mentioned your remnants the part of a whole. The scraps which will be used in the future. I had been thinking of this as dust to dust. Literally death! Well, now I have a more Biblical insight which is positive. We are not dust yet but a living remnant with new experience with God at the "helm".
    You and Pastor Robert are in my prayers. Thank you for that part of your remnant which you have both passed on to me.
    God's richest blessings.

  27. Thank you for posting Donna, particularly in these difficult times. I expect the CCM final resolution is not entirely complete, but I do pray there is an opportunity now/soon for healing in the community and particularly in the Schuller family! It has been a long hard road and a dark tunnel at times but I see a light at the end for you all as I am hopeful you see a "light" too even if the road lit, is not the one you would have taken 3 years back. Your blogs still inspire as does Robert's and your Christian efforts around the world; at Peace Conferences and on Robert's TV/Radio/and new YouToo sites.

    I was really hoping Chapman Christian College would acquire the CCM property and Cathedral which would have ensured the most positive future and inspiration to students and the community so I felt.

    I hope to sense a good resolution to the concerns for the congregants and those of us who still admire the "Walk of Faith" at CCM and CCM's open welcome to all at least in the times of RHS and Arvella and RAS and you Donna.

    He is Blessing all always

  28. Family Schuller, diged their own grave!!! – Only exception I see is evt. (I do not know, Arvella), Bobby, Angie, Anthony, Christina, Donna as wife from you dear Robert A. and yourself, RA. All others, sorry saying me this, all others are guilty and are real sinners! I tell it all because nobody is free of sins. I’m not an exception, not at all!!! – Blessings Rose
    The same I have written in Angie's blog.

  29. Happy Thanksgiving Day to all celebrating in USA!

    Dance! Dance! Wherever you may be….
    Thank the Lord who has truly Blessed thee!

  30. Thank you everyone for writing some truly heart-felt and heart-wrenching comments.
    To all of my friends in the USA, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.
    God is blessing you always. Donna

  31. Happy Thanksgiving to you and the entire Schuller family. Robert is truly one of this generation's most anointed pastors. When I was struggling I listened him him - and he often talked about the vitality of Christ - and that REALLY HELPED ME A LOT!

    God truly does hold you all in His hands, and may He lift you all up. I am sure God has tremendous plans for Robert and your entire family.

    Happy Thanksgiving to each of you - and God Bless. Robert A., you have the most class of anyone in your entire family - thanks for always staying faithful.

  32. Recently, at the Catholic church my wife and I attend, as part of a memorial for a deceased member, the text of the following prayer was distributed to us. The author is the 20th century monk and author Thomas Merton.

    MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
    I do not see the road ahead of me.
    I cannot know for certain where it will end.
    Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
    But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You.
    And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
    I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
    And I know that if I do this You will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
    Therefore will I trust You always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
    I will not fear, for You are ever with me, and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.
    - Thomas Merton, “Thoughts in Solitude”

    I wish a Happy Thanksgiving and a blessed holiday season to all.

  33. Mitch Album "Have a Little Faith" movie Sunday Nov 27 trailer copy and paste.

  34. Hi Donna - I served on the Management Team with Robert from 2006-2001 as the Senior Controller for the Ministry. In fact, it was only after a positive phone call with Robert in 1996 that I decided that it was God's will for my family and I to move 3,000 miles from Pennsylvania to SoCal to take the position. It is so hard to believe what has transpired these past 9 years after working side-by-side with Robert, Jim Penner, Jim Coleman, Dr. and Mrs. Schuller as well as Fred, Larry and Pastor Glenn. Please give Robert my regards and let him know that I will never forget those 5 years, even as the ministry comes to an abrupt end.

  35. Hello All,
    I have been in Korea taking part in a Global Peace Conference with people from 35 plus nations. Robert, our son Anthony, and I left the morning after Thanksgiving.
    I am just now able to read my emails and these comments which were made since my departure.
    I thank you for your continued words of encouragement and support. We all must keep in mind that through all of this God is still in charge and he knows what he is doing.
    God is blessing you, Donna

  36. Emilie in MinneapolisDecember 2, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    I just posted this to the Orange County Register online. I hope you will accept this with the spirit in which it was written
    -----------Me, quoting myself:
    When I was so deaf that I could not understand or participate in the service or sermon in my local brick and mortar church, I still could enjoy the Crystal Cathedral service on TV, because it was closed captioned. I am one of the "stupid" people who got a lot of comfort and theological guidance from Robert H., and watched as Robert A. grew into his role. I'm sorry that R.H. apparently overstepped himself financially, and was concerned about the ever increasing cost of construction on the C.C. campus, designed by "starchitects." I notice the strongest growth of the organization came when the Board was populated with business people, not family. Still, I am grateful that when I had no other place to "attend" services, I had the Crystal Cathedral. It was a comfort to me for over 20 years and I still miss it. The music was wonderful. I appreciated many of the interviews (and still read them online occasionally). The sermons were comforting and uplifting during several difficult times in my life. I was always willing to financially support the counselors who worked at the crisis phone lines in the Tower of Hope and thankful that I never needed to call there. The organization that is the CC has ended badly, led astray by may factors. It was not any one thing. Just because the CC failed to be self-sustaining in the end, however, is no reason to overlook all the good things the Schullers created over the years. I benefited greatly and I know I'm not alone.
    I am now a bilateral cochlear implant user (aka bionic ears) and can participate in brick and mortar services very well. Nevertheless, the CC on TV was the church I could attend best for about 20 years. I am grateful it was there; I appreciate the guidance offered by RHS when he was presiding; I miss the opportunity to watch RAS continue to grow in his ministry.

    I am very sad at the mudslinging that is going around and wanted to counter at least a little of that.

  37. Dear Donna,

    I know the news about the Crystal Cathedral must be difficult. Going back to his preaching in a drive-in movie park, I have watched and enjoyed Dr. Schuller's messages. I prize a couple of books that he signed for me a number of years ago. On my shelf there is a gift mirror/glass given out as a token when he was first building his wonderful church. Unlike so many other evangelists, his message was positive, hopeful and receptive to believers in other denominations. He was clear about his own faith, but recognized kindred souls, including Catholics as brothers and sisters in Christ. I was moved by the statue of Archbishop Fulton Sheen that he placed in the cathedral and his story about the time that he was invited to preach to his community. One could clearly sense that there was great admiration between these two Christian leaders. This is all by way of saying that while the ministry will change, the cathedral will remain a house of worship. Many of the Catholics who will come there may have been inspired and comforted by the Hour of Power messages. God's grace is sometimes very mysterious. As a boy I was very sickly and had serious respiratory problems, sometimes coughing up blood. Dr. Schuller's messages helped sustained me when I was too ill to go out. Eventually I went to seminary and watched him with other men in school. I have been a Catholic priest now for 25 years. Dr. Schuller's witness was an important element of my own faith calling. I hope that there will be a lasting tribute to Dr. Schuller in the cathedral after the transition. The great church will still reach out to many who are indebted to him and to his messages. I recall that when it was built there was some controversy about an altar. Dr. Schuller insisted that it be immoveable as a testimony to his faith. God bless him and you and his dear family. I will also keep very much in my prayers those who have called the Crystal Cathedral their faith home. Know that you are all in the heart and mind of this priest and so many other Catholics. The Catholic community will be gifted, not only with a wonderful house of prayer but by extension, our histories, struggles and love for the Gospel will be forever entwined.

    God bless!
    Father Joe Jenkins

  38. As with Emilie and Father Joe, I found Crystal Cathedral welcoming to all and a true "gift" when I was suddenly incapacitated by Multiple Sclerosis at age 50(April 1,2000), leaving me speechless literally but temporarily, then with low vision. But...

    though I have MS, it does not have me, thanks in great measure to the positive spirit of The Schuller family and congregation of Crystal Cathedral. The sermons music and openness to all God's people; so inspirational and a true Blessing for me!

    Surprisingly, in 2008 an opportunity was offered from a distant relative to rent a home for a month in Palm Desert, far from our home in Toronto, Canada but relatively close to Crystal Cathedral! Another true Blessing!

    The focus of our 4 weeks in California became to finally attend Crystal Cathedral, Rancho Capistrano and circle around Salton Sea back to Palm Desert.

    The Sunday service we attended turned out to be the last sermon Rev Robert A. would deliver there. Though Robert H. read a scripture passage, Robert A. gave a wonderful sermon and Donna spoke inspiring words at the close, we had no idea it was the last time Robert A and Donna would be there.

    I feel Blessed to have been there that Sunday, to have taken the Walk of Faith, marveling at the statues and scripture paving stones. And in spite of the hard to fathom changes, I will never forget the Love of the guides, shop-keepers and attendants at at Crystal Cathedral.

    I too am hopeful a tribute will be placed at the Catholic Cathedral, recognizing the Schuller Family! I do regret that many non-Catholics will be unable to receive Holy Commumion at the Cathedral without special permission. Similarly the talk of having to move remains of loved ones at "rest" on the grounds hopefully will be resolved together, as Brothers and Sisters in Christ.

    Certainly, any hope of continuing a congregation and keeping a Crystal Cathedral as a Church somewhere, requires a non-Protestant congregation to acquire the property. Otherwise the current CCM congregation would stay at their "home" building, at Crystal Cathedral.

    However, the Roman Catholic Diocese will ensure the grounds are, in perpetuity, held as a place of God. Best wishes to everyone!

    He is Blessing all, always

  39. housesearch, I ask me what your comments have to do with the CC tragedy!!! For me it seems you only want to promote your business! - Blessings Swiss Rose

  40. So now Robert H Schuller and family and Non-Catholics will not be welcome at Holy Communion at Crystal Cathedral! And Only Catholics can now be buried on grounds! Roman Catholic Diocese offers to assist moving remains buried previously to off the premises if families need help. This just is so unchristian.... I guess the new CCM team needed to not sell to another Non-Catholic group so they could keep their tiny congregation of less than 500, even at a lower price (Chapman University would have kept Building for ALL to worship in and offered $2 million more. No wonder even bankruptsy judge was confused.

  41. From what I've seen and heard, Sheila and Gretchen are sin-sick souls, committed to a theology and a worship style that infantilizes people, and pulls the wool over their eyes, rather than strengthening them so they can "carry their cross daily". They are too full of themselves for the Holy Spirit to enter into them, despite all their talk to the contrary of "anointing" and so on. They are People of the Lie and wolves in sheep's clothing. I hope they will repent and be saved, but I don't expect it - the last person to repent is the one who thinks they are ALREADY saved. I might be wrong, but I feel a real sense of conviction about what I have just written. May God have mercy on all our souls. Just to give an example, a video I saw recently had RHS sitting on the stage while Sheila bleated about "Doesn't everyone feel indebted to this man? I know how much I owe to this man. He has given us all so much." And so on. This is a truly Satanic diversion of the attention and a reversal of the real situation. The fact is that the business operation set up by RHS, and run by his successors, has taken goods and services from people, promising to pay them, and then not done so. This is theft. At least one family, the people who supplied the pageant animals, has lost their home as a result. The Schullers should be ashamed.

  42. I do think we need to not judge all or any Schuller's. I do think RHS and RAS did wonders for many over the years. Sadly, and as a business person,I know the matters can be too large and others get control and get lost while lawyers and those seeking more control push themselves in and make profit at others expense. I feel badly for RAS and RHS but I think RAS has found a new life in positive TV and internet and helping Tree of Life of RVS (Bobby and Michael Community Church).

    My final thoughts I had yesterday are as follow
    as I embrace all Christian Churches:

    This Christmas morning I awoke and "saw" HIS garden flourishing! So filled with different flowers, each not detracting from the others but rather complimenting and enriching the Glory of the garden. And HE quietly invited all in to wonder at how He had filled the garden with new tiny blossoming corners and larger blossoms that had been many years growing. HE showed us all around. We, marveling at the variety I said "All are following the sun and leaning into the Light"! HE said "I planted all but you and your brothers and sisters are the real gardeners. All my garden plantings have leaves and roots but water all please, that they may together show I have many seeds and my plants are with many branches and all the fruits all good! Like my Father's house has many rooms, my garden has many wondrous plants. Love and care for all in my name". I felt His love for all the garden and all the gardeners like all reading this. I love you all and wish you a Merry Christmas....Jan-Michael

    Sadly the


Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. Please try to stay on the topic and remember also that there are many who are struggling through all kinds of challenges. Let's all be kind and thoughtful with our comments please! :D