Posts Tagged ‘security’

Robert Schuller is rumored to leave his empty Crystal Cathedral

Pretty, ain't it? Pretty empty. (Crickets)

What began as a messy divorce between father and son, debt at Crystal Cathedral causing the lights to get cut off and then Dad thinking his son can do his own power thing and Girl Schuller can do it, has now led to this:

Dad is “retiring”. Or is he?

The entire drama, which is sure to be Made-for-Lifetime movie, began with an AP article (seen here in the New York Times) announcing the silver-haired preacher hanging up the robe.

Mr. Schuller, 83, told his congregation that his daughter, Sheila Schuller Coleman, will become the lead pastor, after sharing that role with him for the last year.

So, basically this is code for “My ministry is in the toilet, ratings are bad and I’m no longer relevant so… here you go baby girl, enjoy keeping the lights on.”

And yes, note there is no word from Junior Schuller in this article who is still channel surfing at the American Life Network. (Anyone? Anything? Yeah, me neither. Heck, DISH network hasn’t even heard of it. Good on ya’, bubba.)

Back to the story.

After this story traveled like a debt collectors calls throughout the indebted Crystal Cathedral across the ecumenical media, Girl Schuller decided to put the kibosh on this kerfuffle with her own release to the Los Angeles Times:

Crystal Cathedral’s senior pastor Sheila Coleman expressed outrage in an interview Sunday after rumors spread across the media and Internet that her father, famed televangelist Robert H. Schuller, was stepping down. “Dad is not retiring,” she said. “I told [the congregation] that Dad’s role would not be changing and mine would not be changing.”

Doh! Now what? Granted, this was the first megachurch, the trendsetter. And Elder Schuller, while not so much in the Dear Ol’ Dad department is iconic in the church world. But why stay at 83? Keep him in charge of the fledgling ministry for what reason again?

“It’s irresponsible journalism that nobody asked me to clarify,” Coleman said. “It’s troubling because we have a lot of viewers all over the world thinking: ‘My pastor’s leaving.'”

Sure you do… if you mean, one person in New Guinea, a family of four in Madagascar and a clan of vagabonds who traveled to the church to hear him in speak back in 1984 that live in Duluth, Minnesota… then, yes, all over the world. (Wink. Wink.)

Because, last I heard, you were $65 million in debt and fighting off law suits from creditors like attendants at the World Cup fighting off going to the ENT doctor. (Those Vuvuzelas will be the cause of at least 18 people going deaf this year alone. Oy!)

Relic or real need. Robert Schuller is not retiring.

Don't call it a comeback!

But meh? There could be many reasons for the drop off in ratings, viewers and donations, right?

According to the story, church officials blame some of their troubles on an aging congregation and sluggish economy. They insist that a survey of members showed that the departure of the younger Schuller had no effect on their offering.

Uh, yeah. Is that so? Let’s ask your famed pianist, Roger Williams (from the Orange County Register):

“His children had no history of success making it on their own… Bob and Arvella (Schuller) went through tough times and built this church one brick at a time. To me, it’s those tough times you had to endure by yourself that make you great. Bob did not give that privilege to his children.”

Williams, who has recorded 21 gold and platinum albums, quit his pianist post last fall after 35 years, saying he had grown weary of “church confrontations” and “bitter family fights.”

“I had a hard time dealing with the (Schuller) kids,” Williams said in June. “All I wanted to do was play the piano. When people with no experience tell me how to play the piano – I just couldn’t deal with it.”

But yes, the economy should have some blame in there too.

Coleman, 59, said Sunday that the church’s economic situation had improved significantly in recent months and that she was determined to restore solid financial footing to the church her father built.

“My role is to help him finish strong and hold him up so he can preach till the day he dies,” she said.

If he can’t make up his mind about retiring and not trusting you to keep the lights on, madame, that may come sooner than you think. (Somewhere, Junior Schuller is yukking it up and calling Dish Network about getting listed.)

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Statistics have shown church attendance is on the decline. People are disengaged with religion. And evagnelism just ain’t what it used to be.

Something has got to be done, but what?

DogsGoToHeaven

Evidently Woof N' Worship is catching on

If you’re the Rev. Tom Eggebeen of Covenant Presbyterian Church, you realize church attendance is going to the dogs. So if you can’t beat it, join it.

So Eggebeen came up with a hair-raising idea: He would turn God’s house into a doghouse by offering a 30-minute service complete with individual doggie beds, canine prayers and an offering of dog treats.

He hopes it will reinvigorate the church’s connection with the community, provide solace to elderly members and, possibly, attract new worshippers who are as crazy about God as they are about their four-legged friends.

Really? Can you imagine. I suppose this helped most of the octogenarians that attend church, but was it really uplifting? And did we discover if all dogs really go to heaven?

Traditionally, conventional Christians believe that only humans have redeemable souls, said Laura Hobgood-Oster, a religion professor at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.

“It’s the changing family structure, where pets are really central and religious communities are starting to recognize that people need various kinds of rituals that include their pets,” she said. “More and more people in mainline Christianity are considering them to have some kind of soul.”

There are many people who believe dearly departed puppies will be at the golden gates when they arrive, but don’t we need to jump start the two-legged folk in church first?

Emma Sczesniak came to Covenant for the first time, lured by the promise that she could worship with her black Lab, Midnight, and her wire-haired Dachshund-terrier mix, Marley.“I don’t have any kids, so my pets have always been my children, so it does mean a lot,” she said of the dog-inclusive service. “I haven’t been to church in a long time and this may push me into it. I’m getting older and I’ve been thinking about those things again.”

I suppose whatever works, so good on Eggebeen for thinking of it. My only prayer is that after these aloof church spectators are “pushed into it” they discover the real reason of why they should be there in the first place.

However, in case Eggebeen needs other ideas to trick up service, here’s some suggestions:

  • Announce to the Presbyterian Church that “dogma” is hereby redefined. (Where’s that rim shot?)
  • Present your illustrated sermon series about the Church going to the dogs. Or perhaps “The Stench of Sin.” I think it may be more convincing than you think.
  • Since you have a church full of older people, I’m sure one of the gentlemen in attendance battles a case of the holders during your message. Now, he can have someone to blame it on. (I know, kinda gets ya’ right in the heart, eh?)
  • Petition Pope Benedict for a new assortment of saints that’s sure to get some news: Canonize Lassie, Rin-Tin-Tin, Toto, Duke from the “Beverly Hillbillies”, Eddie from “Frasier” and of course Fang from “Harry Potter”. It is in L.A. after all.
  • Have Snoop Dogg be a guest speaker during a morning homily. It makes sense, and never mind the whole Muslim thing. You’ll diversify your church for sure, my nizzle.

Ever since 9-11, standards for airline security has been acclerated and enforced just a tad. Maybe you heard?

At least this guy was better prepared

At least this guy was better prepared

Well, one thing is for sure, a Bolivian pastor apparently didn’t get the news because he took more on board his flight to Cancun with more than just his carry-on bible.

Mexican investigators are evaluating a Bolivian pastor who hijacked a jetliner for possible mental illness, and trying to figure out how he managed to slip through Cancun Airport security with a fake bomb in his luggage.

Well, at least it was a fake. Just a “juice can with some lights on it.” I mean, he just wanted to put the “fear of God” in people. That’s evangelism, right? Yeah, not so much.

So, tell us Pastor Jose Flores, why the bomb? Numerology, of course.

Flores told authorities that [the recent date of] 9-9-09 is the satanic number 666 turned upside down. Speaking to reporters after he was detained, Flores smilingly told them: “Christ is coming soon.” He said he had received divine revelation that an enormous earthquake would soon strike Mexico and that he hijacked the plane to force a meeting with President Felipe Calderon.

Hey pastor, in lieu of the impending apocalypse, you may want to mix in one of those sandwich board signs telling everyone in Terminal A to repent and seek God’s face. That’s effective… and lawful under the U.S. Constitution.

But this? Suffice to say, I can think of better ways to do an illustrated sermon. Maybe I’ll carry a huge hammer to his jail cell, as an example. Given the fact this guy is a big tool, I think God will give him that revelation too.

(Masonry shout out to Crummy Church Signs for the well, crummy church sign.)

If you have to advertise it, will they still come?

If you have to advertise it, will they still come?

For any Wall Watcher that has ever dealt with the lowest common denomination… er, denominator and accepting someone as a result of “God giving them a second chance,” I give you the ultimate test of faith:

Meet Mark Hourigan of Louisville, Ky.

There was protest Thursday over a Louisville sex offender who will be ordained as a minister on Sunday. Mark Hourigan admits he sodomized a child, went to prison for it, and now wants to become a pastor. And members FOX 41 News spoke with say they’re okay with that.

Peter was an angry dude. Noah was a drunk. David had someone killed just so he could step that man’s wife. Paul killed Christians… for kicks. And I completely sucked growing up and didn’t meet the Lord until later in life.

Yet, somehow, God worked in all of our lives (and yes, I did just lump myself with those greats. Hey, if I don’t, who will, right?)

That said, would you go to this guy’s church? It’s not like his testimony is drugs or porn. It’s child abuse and sodomy, not quite the tandem you want to hear from a pastor during testimony time.

Imagine the folk at the church who say they accept their newly ordained pastor. It’s all good. He’s preaching the word and people are being edified. Then the announcements come, “Church, it’s time for Youth Camp!”

Since, this is a small church, guess who is camp counselor? Good ol’ Pastor. You still happy-go-lucky about your newest leader? GULP!

Oh yeah, and then there’s this… mind you, life after prison.

Hourigan says he was married but got divorced right before going to prison. Members of his small, pentecostal church say Hourigan has children and now also a gay partner.

That’s it. I’m out. I got nothing. Anyone? Bueller?

In Memoriam

In Memoriam... into perpetuity

It was one of those days when everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when the World Trade Center towers plummeted to the ground that fateful day on September 11, 2001.

I lost a few friends – both in working circles and a boy in blue. Maybe you did too?

So… have you forgotten?

Many people have opinions, and like a hole in your butt, most stink. Even more people have a story, grueling to tell and chilling to hear.

But do you know, or have your forgotten, the stark numbers behind the day known for only its own numbers?

New York Magazine created the rundown list, which quite honestly, should be the only math people do today.

That amazing list is a stark reminder of those we lost, the pain it caused and the grief that still exists to this day. Again, remember?

When you have time, Wall Watchers. pray – for our great country, our civil servants in uniform who sacrifice their lives daily, our president and leaders of state, and our holistic protection.

And in case, you – like so, so many in this country have forgot – this day shouldn’t spark political debate but moments of silence. Dispel of the pointing of fingers and decide to give someone a hand. Ignore those dolts who find pleasure in controversy and focus on those who are still dealing with the pain.

In other words, never forget. Never. God bless America. Remember?