Is there any tangible “this-world” benefits to religious involvement?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,088
    Rock Schuler talks about how people who are a part of a healthy religious community tend to live longer lives.

    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: Are there any tangible, this-world benefits to religious involvement?

    Rock Schuler: Well, it is interesting, when you start taking a look at the many studies that are done about healthy living, way of living, that people who are connected spiritually to their spiritual core; people, who are a part of a healthy religious community, tend to live longer lives. They tend to be happier people; they tend to be healthier people.

    There are real benefits to living in a spiritual community and yet, as tangible as some of those benefits are, we never want to loose side that the real benefit to being involved in a healthy religious community is spiritual; learning how to love, learning how to serve, learning how to make the world a better place, learning who we are as the children of God and what God dreams for us.