The Crystal Cathedral lost another Schuller in January, when grandson Bobby announced that The Gathering Community, an emergent church that was a part of the Cathedral ministry, would be re-locating.
WASHINGTON (Catholic Online) - Robert V. (Bobby) Schuller, grandson of the founder of the Crystal Cathedral, is a pastor in his own right. The Gathering Community, a ministry expression of his grandfather's Crystal Cathedral, was located on the campus until January, 2009.
The Gathering is described as "a little church within a big church." According to their website, the purpose of the group is to be "a ministry of the Crystal Cathedral, intending to communicate to people who have been hurt by institutional religion and who seek an organic relationship with God.
"This community is made of a mosaic of people from many different walks of life, races, ages, and classes all journeying toward a better Christian life through life-long friendships, the celebration of the arts, and intentional social action- helping the poor and the disenfranchised. Many people call this grass roots movement 'church for the rest of us.'"
The Gathering is a part of a movement called Emerging or Emergent Churches. Emerging churches are defined in many ways, but primarily can be described as places where the multiple expressions of Christianity come together.
According to Scot McKnight, in an article in Christianity Today, these churches are
1)Prophetic, declaring the need for radical change in the church.
2)Post-modern, recognizing the values present in society and utilizing them for ministry.
3)Praxis-oriented, involving practical Christian living. Their worship is a blend of contemporary and ancient worship styles.
4)Post-evangelical, emphasizing that the evangelical culture is shifting and becoming more inclusive.
5)Political, becoming involved in the political and social issues of the day.
The ministry style, direction and vision of Bobby Schuller's father seemed to be heading in a different direction from the elder Schuller, which reportedly caused the rift. Bobby's own ministry, again, shows a departure from the family heritage within the Reformed Christian tradition.
The fact that all three have the same last name obviously is no guarantee that there would be a consistency in the faith, doctrine, or ministry.
Bobby Schuller is a graduate of Oral Roberts University with a Master of Divinity Degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. He worked for the Channel of Hope, a Christian television network. Stationed for a time in Germany, he was host of the show Frequency X. In 2004 he was named as Pastor of Emergent Ministries for the Crystal Cathedral. He also served as a panelist on the reality show, The Messengers, for The Learning Channel.
Randy Sly was baptized into the Episcopal Church. After having wandered from the faith, he experienced a genuine conversion as an adult and became a Wesleyman Minister. His journey through the early fathers led him to his time as an Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church. He and his wife Sandy were received into the full communion of the Catholic Church three years ago.
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