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Crystal Cathedral email asks for food donations for Arvella Schuller

November 3, 2011 |  6:34 pm

Arvella schuller

Officials at the Crystal Cathedral told elders and other congregants that they could help founder Robert H. Schuller's wife, who is recovering from pneumonia, with food donations in lieu of cards and notes.

An email sent by Pastor Jim Kok said that Arvella Schuller has been "very weak," but that church staff and the Schullers wish to keep her situation "under the radar," so they don’t want get well cards.

"However they would appreciate meals over the next 3-4 weeks," the e-mail reads.

It also specifies food guidelines such as no salt, fruit plates, meals with protein, no sweets and specifies that egg dishes such as quiche "would be good."

The email asks that the food be delivered to the Tower Lobby of the church, and said that the food would be delivered by a limo driver.

Some congregants took issue with the fact that a limo driver would deliver the meals.

Bob Canfield, 73, of Yorba Linda said that the action is another example of wasteful spending by the church administration.

"We’re just tired of it," said Canfield, a congregant who was involved with an online petition to rid the church's board of Schuller family members. "We’re just tired of them taking advantage of us."

Recently, the creditors committee in the church's bankruptcy filed a lawsuit claiming that the Crystal Cathedral Ministry took money from an endowment fund and that family members benefited while the church struggled.

Church spokesman John Charles said the meals are a way for the church to reach out.

"It’s a way of giving back, that’s what churches do," he said.

He added that Arvella Schuller is recovering well at home.


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Photo: Arvella Schuller, pictured here with her husband during a memorial service a few years ago, has been battling back from a case of pneumonia. Credit: Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times