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 do I begin the process of listening to God?
Rev. Dr. Rock Schuler: When we believe that we have heard the voice of God, that voice will be consistent with God's revelation of himself throughout history particularly in sources that groups of people, communities of people, traditions of people are found to be authoritative over the centuries. The Bible, Great Spiritual Writings, Hymns, places where people have found the authentic voice of God. The voice of God, the message of God to us will often challenge us to live in a new and better way, but it will never be abusive of us. It will never undermine our fundamental dignity quite the contrary, the voice of God will always uphold our dignity, will always be lifting us to new heights, calling us to be the people God created us to be. One of the ways that we can understand the presence of God and know the message of God in our life is to check that message out with other spiritually mature Christians. When we believe that we have heard the voice of God, we can see if the message we think we have received is echoed in the Bible and is echoed in the advice of other Christians that we trust, other people of faith who are more mature than us. We can go to them, share with them the message that we think we have heard and see what their response is. So there are a number of ways that we can discern the message of God. It's going to be uplifting, it will often be challenging and it will be consistent with the message we find in history and from mature people of faith.