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: Is my life predetermined?
Rev. Dr. Rock Schuler: There is a movie that I like a lot called Donnie Darko and in that great spiritual movie there is a couple of scenes where a path of destiny is set out for the main character. This character sees spiritually emanating from himself, a path coming right from the very gut of his being that shows him the direction that he should travel, that shows him what God wants him to do. He however, has the opportunity to follow that path or to reject it. He is not forced to take the path that is shown to him. He has the freedom of will. So God will not predetermine our choices, but he does ask us to follow the path that he sets before us. The way of love. In order to do that we need God's help. We need his presence with us, we need his assistance and his grace. So the way to follow God's path for our life is first of all to ask God to show us like he showed Donnie Darko that spiritual path to illuminate our eyes so that we can see the way in which he would have us walk and then we ask God to give us the strength and the ability to walk on that path, to choose his way of love freely.