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.
Speaker: What will a healthy religious community do for me?
Rock Schuler: A healthy religious community; being a part of a religious community gives us a sense of fellowship. We understand that there are other people on the spiritual journey. It is incredibly difficult to take the spiritual journey. It is almost impossible to have a fuller, richer sense of the spirit in life without sharing that journey with other people.
So, at the most basic level, a healthy religious community helps us draw strength from others who are like wise on the spiritual journey with us. We all know that it is easier to travel when there are two or more traveling together. So, a spiritual journey offers that companionship. They are going to give us some ways that help us on the spiritual journey, as well. They are going to nurture spirituality in our family. They are going to teach us, how to share our spirituality with children. Spiritual communities offer us the whole history of the experience of human beings in dealing with the spiritual; how do we pass on the faith to our children? How do we integrate spirituality into our daily home? How do we pray over meals? How do we find the presence of God at work?
Spiritual communities have at least the experience of previous generations as they have try to answer those questions. So, they bring us companionship, they bring us guidance and wisdom. They bring us strength for the journey.