When Naperville's Compass Church planned to have Alan Robertson from A&E's reality series "Duck Dynasty," kick off its series about the Bible and family dynamics, it didn't count on having to duck questions about a recent controversy involving the Robertson family.
But Darcy Ruscitti, executive director of ministry at the church, located at 1551 E. Hobson Road, said this has nothing to do with comments recently made by family patriarch Phil Robertson, about gays.
The focus, she said, will be on family
At 6 p.m. on Saturday, and at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sunday at the Hobson Campus, Robertson will share his story of "Faith, Family and Ducks," kicking off a monthlong sermon series titled "Who's Your Tribe: Faith, Family and Friends.
The premise of the series is that families today are more diverse than ever. There are many facets to a family's make up -- including in-laws, adoption, remarriage and differences in education and culture. The series explores what the Bible has to say about these family dynamics. And Robertson, who was a senior pastor for 20 years and recently left ministry to join the cast, has often spoken about faith and families.
In addition, Ruscitti said, the Robertsons are known for their ability as a family to stick together.
Ruscitti said, "This (topic) is one he's done before, so we're excited to have him here for that."
She emphasized that his appearance has been months in the works. And the church has no intention of altering its plans in the wake of some rather unexpected family dynamics on the part of the patriarch of the Robertson family, which became wealthy from their family-operated business, Duck Commander.
"I've been asked if we've considered canceling," she said. "We're honestly prepping for large numbers of people," preparing for a possible onslaught of 8,000 attendees.
She sees it as a "great opportunity to outreach to our community."
As for the controversy, "The statements were made by his dad," she said, adding, "We brought him here to talk about families."
Robertson's appearance is the beginning of a four-week series.
None of the other speakers is as high-profile as Robertson.
She said Naperville police will be helping with crowd control. She added that there will be overflow parking at nearby Benedictine University in Lisle.
And for those who want a quiet service, you can still attend services at the 95th Street Campus.