How do I find a healthy religious community?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,086
    Rev. Rock Schuler discusses how to find a healthy religious community.

    Rock Schuler

    Rock Schuler is the Rector (Pastor) of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Olney, Maryland. He has served as an ordained minister of the Episcopal Church since 1990 after studying for the priesthood at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He was awarded a Doctorate of Ministry in Congregational Development in 2002. In the course of his ministry, Rock has served on an Indian Reservation, in rural Wyoming, and in major suburban areas. In addition to pastoring the people of his congregation, he has been involved in community service projects to serve the homeless, refugees, and the addicted. He’s also been involved in international outreach projects in Latin America and Africa. Rock’s spiritual roots lie in the early Christian Church, in Native American spirituality, in the liturgical worship and traditions of the Episcopal Church, and most especially in his own personal relationship with the living Lord Jesus Christ. He appreciates the mystery and mysticism of the Christian faith while offering thanks for a lifelong and joyous love of Jesus. Rock, born in 1965, is from Wyoming, where he served his first two churches. He is married to Jennifer, whom he met while serving a parish outside of Philadelphia, and has two beautiful daughters, Leia and Rebecca. Rock is into science fiction and fantasy (especially "Battlestar Galactica," "Star Trek," "Lost," and "The Lord of the Rings"), movies, reading, kayaking/canoeing, hiking, and running.

    Speaker: How do I find a healthy religious community?

    Rock Schuler: The way to find a healthy religious community is to do a lot of exploring; go around from Church to Church or Synagogue to Synagogue, from community to community. Check them out and give yourself the time that is needed to check them out.

    A healthy religious community is not going to try to force you into some decisions quickly. They are not going to ask you to make haste about joining them. They are going to give you the kind of time and space that you need to make a decision. A healthy religious community is going to be one that loves you and cares about you; that tries to help you find God s dream for you and live out that dream.

    A healthy religious community is one where people come and go freely as per their need, according to where they are and their spiritual journey. In fact, a healthy religious community is going to be one that is more concerned about the journey of the spiritual life than about the end goal itself. They want to help everybody journey at their own pace along the path into God.

    So, take some time, explore the communities, look at what is their core value, see how they are trying to ennoble and enrich your life. Make sure, they give you the space and also make sure that they are asking you to accompany them on a journey; a journey, where you serve other people; a journey, where you find the presence of God in the journey itself.