Aloha from Sky

by Sky St. John on August 16, 2009

I can’t tell you why I’ve felt compelled to begin this blog (I mean, don’t I have enough to do?). But I have. Maybe it’s because I believe that the internet is like the central nervous system for the whole planet, and I am trying to live in a way that at least gives the illusion of connectedness… So, I’m connecting.

As a minister, there were some important decisions I had to make about this mode of connection—mostly deciding what I didn’t want to happen. I didn’t want to assume the mantle of “enlightened leader” and expound on spiritual topics in some pseudo-academic fashion. I also didn’t want to be an ambassador for my church and use the forum as a way to advertise upcoming events and plug my special interest causes. So, a little clear about what I didn’t want, what did I want?

Well, three things jumped out for me: honestly, integrity and authenticity. Like all people, I just want to be real and known for who I am.

I get it that people tend to put ministers on a pedestal—a very dangerous and lonely place to be—and this might be a disillusionment for them. I’m sorry; I really am. But I really don’t belong up there, so let’s just try and be comfortable with me down here, with you, on the virtual patio.

So what’s this about? I guess it’s about a man who is passionate about his life calling, who loves what he does, is deemed successful and yet still has to deal with the everyday challenges of existence. I suppose this blog is for those who might be interested in seeing how I cope with life–for those who might want to feel somehow “closer” to me. I truly honor that. Ultimately, I guess that’s why I’m setting aside time every day to make this electronic “share.” Deep down, I want to be closer to you, too.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Sheri Donaldson August 19, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Hello Rev. Sky,

It’s great that you’re doing this blog! You’re busy, so please don’t put the pressure on yourself that you have to add to this every day. It’s going to be great to hear from you, whenever you have the time to post.

You’re absolutely right…it’s easy for us in the pews to put ministers up on that pedestal–and when–not if–you fall off (in anyone’s eyes), those same folks in the pews turn on you so fast. I hate to say it, but it’s true. I’ve seen it happen…I worked at a church, as the secretary to the senior pastor. He and his wife decided to end their marriage, and the congregation dismissed him. It was a really sad time for me…

It will be interesting to read what you have to say here. Again, whenever you can post…I know you’re busy, busy, busy…take care!

All the best,

Sheri Donaldson, a seeker in Illinois

Carol Epp August 20, 2009 at 8:11 am

Hi Rev. Sky,

I too am grateful for this blog and the time you are investing in it. Being a virtual member of your church is so abstract, but your website, the live stream I recently figured out, and now the blog, has really helped in making me feel more a part of the congregation.

Thanks so much.

Carol Epp, California

Barbara Eberhrt August 20, 2009 at 9:41 am

Dear Rev. Sky

What a Gift you are! And continue more and more and more. Yes, you got that right – we DO want to just
feel closer to you. Feeling Separate is the #1 problem in the world, and this blog/you in general, help to
heal that. Your ministry at Unity Diamond Head helps heal that. Without putting you on a pedestal, I
just like to say Thank You from the bottom of my heart. The Course in Miracles says our Function is to
Love, Forgive, and Be Happy. You help that to happen. My Sunday mornings at Unity light up my whole week. For that I am truly grateful!

Barbara Eberhart, Kailua

Sally Schornstheimer August 20, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Rev. Sky,
I am so glad that you are making the time for this blog! I have never really participated in a blog myself before, but HAD to respond and tell you that I think it’s wonderful. Many of us DO want to know you better and know the man and not just the minister (as fabulous as that is, and it is fabulous).
I don’t really know how you have the time. I often wonder how you have time to do all you already do. Preparation for the service and your talk each week seems as if it would take enormous chunks of time. ANYWAY, thank you for doing it at all. I echo the others that say we hope you don’t feel pressure to add to it on any particular time schedule. We don’t want this to add stress to your life!
Thanks again. Hopefully we’ll all reveal more our authentic selves in a honest way as this process unfolds.
Sally (Chapel Hill, NC)

Barbara Eberhrt August 23, 2009 at 5:46 pm

Rev. Sky,
I just have to say: that Old Man that talked to us this morning was AMAZING! He was SO Wise and Wonderful! I Loved his wisdom, from such a profound perspective, being so OLD and all….. Thanks for the time travel – I sure won’t ever forget today’s message! What Talent you have ~
As an Artist, (and workaholic), I’ve often thought it helpful that my eyesight dims the older I get. I’m learning to FEEL more and Work less. To remember I’m a Spiritual being with Physical experiences. As
I slow down, I’m finally learning how to enjoy Life! wow
aloha, Barbara

Mary Snyder August 24, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Aloha, Sky (and everyone),

Having been a preachers daughter, I understand full well there are no 9-5 hours for ministers. I also appreciate the sensitive position a minister is in as their inner thoughts are shared in such a forum. But over and over you have proven your gift for creatively and freely sharing in order to help others grow. It is no surprise to me that you are starting this new way of connecting with others.
DESPITE my “PK” upbringing I tend to place you on a pedestal from time to time so I am looking forward to hearing about your struggles so I can get you down from there once and for all! :)
Looking forward to getting to know SKY…
An online UCOH member-in-training,
Mary in Delaware
P.S. You lift my husband and I to higher ground every Sunday as you lighten our load by gently reminding us who we really are. Sunday’s sermon hit us where we are…as we find ourselves looking aging in the eye. Mahalo nui loa.

Kevin Adams October 12, 2009 at 11:41 pm

Dear Rev.Sky,

I am an American living in Tokyo Japan. My name is Kevin Adams. I have just recently found your website of your church,well, actually I just found out about Unity Church in General. I had never heard of such a type of church,and like most first timers I was curious about ” What kind of church is this anyway? ”

I was raised from the time I was a young child of 3 or 4 in a typical protestant church all the way up to my later teen years,I attended church and Sunday school each week,not so much because I wanted too,but because dear old Mom was sitting there tugging on my ear…believe me,when that happens,the rest of the human body is going to follow where that ear is being tugged.

When I attended church each week, the Pastor at the church always stood behind a pulpit,which was on a stage which was raised considerably higher than the pews were,so the effect each time you sat in the pews is you were actually looking up at a ” Virtual Pedestal” so to speak,so you had to raise your head a little to look at the Pastor in the eye if you wanted.

The Parishioners sometimes had the feeling as if the Pastor was really “above” us ordinary people sitting in the pews,as though he were spiritually higher than us,or more powerful,or more intelligible than us,or if he was somehow more closely connected to God,than we were from his position behind the pulpit.

I remember,on the wall, behind the pastor there was a really large cross fixed to the wall, but from where we sat in the pews, and having to look up slightly at the pastor from such an angle, the Pulpit blocked out the cross and looked as if it were slightly imposed over the top of the cross so that the pastor looked larger than the cross behind him.

I never did like that too much,and my neck always got stiff from having to always look up to see ” eye to eye ” on things,so, needless to say, it’s quite a refreshing change to see a pastor who says very honestly and openly,that he doesn’t want to be put up on a pedestal by the worshipers in the pews.

Since, I do live in Tokyo,I also like the fact that you have online membership for people who are interested in joining and studying along with the rest of the congregation. I will tell you later,in another post why I am interested in Unity or more particular,your church.

I must admit,your church is absolutely one of the most unique churches I have ever seen before,but I can definitely feel a deep and resonating dynamic warmth and friendship and a bond between all the people who attend your service each week.

I really love listening to the podcasts on the site as well as the videos, and I am also interested in taking the online classes as well.

In Gods’ name

sincerely yours
from Tokyo Japan,

Kevin Adams

Katrina Knights October 24, 2009 at 4:19 am

Aloha Rev. Sky,

Glad to see that you are blogging-I always learn and grow through your sharings . This blog will be yet another way of connecting to God in our human forms. Just be yourself Sky-no one can ask for more than that.

Katrina-Fredericksburg, VA

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