Rock SchulerRock 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.
Host: How does God speak to me?
Rev. Dr. Rock Schuler: At my Church when we do Baptisms, I gather all of the children around the Baptism font and I have them participate with me in the blessing of the water and I tell them that God is going to use us to make this water holy, to make it special and then he is going to use that water to pour out his spirit upon the child that we Baptize. God is speaking through me to those children to help them understand God's experience, their experience of God. God speaks through Pastors, God speaks through ordinary human beings, God speaks through our spouse and our children. We can find the presence of God in every relationship, in every person we encounter if we look hard enough and know what we are looking for. The Bible has a long history of God speaking to us through different people and in many different ways. There is something that we call Holy Coincidence meaning that the voices of different people in our life, the circumstances of our life, the rational reasoning process of our own brain and our own inner feelings will align in a way that shows us God's will. In other words, we can pray to God and ask God to speak to us about a particular matter, asking for direction, asking for answers to questions, asking for guidance in life and then we begin to listen to people around us. They may not even be intending to offer us spiritual advice and yet their words could well end up being spiritual guidance. We think about how we are feeling about particular options that are available to us. We use our intellect to discern what might be the best course of action for us. We look to authoritative sources like the Bible to help, guide and direct us. We ask spiritually mature people in our lives to give us their opinion and when all of these line up or when we see several of these lining up in one direction, when we feel good about something that makes sense to us and others are affirming our choice, there is a good chance that is God speaking to us.