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: Why make the effort of be somewhere on a Sunday when I can enjoy a lazy morning?
Rock Schuler: Well, that is a good question. Sometimes, when I am off; I am not working; I go to the gym on Sunday morning. So, I go out running on Sunday morning, so I see the number of people that are out there and I think, wow! It would be nice to have Sunday morning free. And yet, I know at my deepest level, how important it is to be connected with this group of fellow spiritual travelers.
It is important because they help me love better. That is the core reason for getting up on Sunday morning. That is the reason to be a part of a religious community. They show us how to love, they enable love, they help us direct love. Healthy religious communities are loving communities. They are communities that are reaching out beyond themselves.
Unhealthy communities are always concerned about their own well being and you will never find one that is concerned about people outside their boundaries. Healthy religious communities are always looking for ways to be at service to people who are not a part of the community; as Archbishop William Temple once said, the Christian Church is the one organization in the world that exists for people who are not a part of it.
So, I get up on Sunday morning, so that I can be a part of a community that shows me how to love others and through that love, I am able to make the world a better place. I am able to be a part of a community that helps to make the world a better place.