Kealiiokamalu Church

Aug 28, 2019

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

Aloha Eloah,

Today was an exciting day on LaneSki’s Search for Church.

I planned everything out and was set on attending Harbor Northshore, but I ended getting there late and it was kind of hard to find parking. Actually, I tried to parallel park twice in a spot that I knew my car should fit into, drove around the neighborhood a few times wondering if I should park in front of the houses and eventually just decided that it was not meant to be so  I headed home.  I passed by New Hope Haleiwa and considered checking that out, but again, I was too late so I veered off the road into Kealiiokamalu Church because I saw someone there and the doors opened. They were just about to start the service which begins at 10am, so I went in. I have always wanted to check out this church, but never made it, so it was funny I ended up there today.

The outside of this church looks very old, but the inside is really quaint, quiet and serene. Funny, even though it’s by the road, you hear the birds echo and feel the cool breeze. Lili‘uokalani Protestant (also in Haleiwa) was like that too. When I used to attend that church, I always thought the Hawaiians must have been really akamai (smart) about the way they designed the church because of the way the wind moved so eloquently through the structure. This church has a similar feel. The plaque on the inside says HOOLAA IA 1939 which marks the year of its inception.

Kahu (pastor) Blane administered a very traditional form of Hawaiian service which calls for a series of formally prepared hymns and prayers in Hawaiian that are followed by a spirit- inspired selection of scripture. Today the passage was from Luke 7 when Jesus meets with John’s (the Baptist) disciples and asks them “What did you come to see”? This passage was a surprise to me because it is one that I treasure, and have done a lot of research on, actually, I  even wrote a term paper on it. It cross-references other literature of the time and therefore is full of deeper meanings. The congregation took turns reading it in Hawaiian and then in English before the kahu lead us in a discussion. The various interpretations mirrored the conclusion of last weeks Easter service which basically challenged the congregation not to be like the unbelievers, however, it was not fueled by the fear of condemnation, but rather more of an encouraging word to trust and have faith. I found it amazing that at the end of the discussion Kahu Blane uttered the word ho‘omanawanui which he translated as be patient, in the sense that things will come around. His final word had nothing much to do with his sermon but did kind of sum up my hours of research on the passage in Luke and ultimately spoke directly to my issues with the current state of the church.


It’s funny where the spirit will take you, if you are willing to follow the wind.

If you want to attend Kealiiokamalu, it is certainly worthwhile. The service starts at 10am on Sunday and there are different styles of services each Sunday of the week. Kahu knows a lot of history about Hawaiian church history and speaks Hawaiian so I learned a lot from him today. He suggested Daryl Iona’s thesis on Hawaiian church history for anyone who is interested. It should be able through the University of Hawai‘i library system.

LaneSki’s Search for Church


under water view of Lane Davey,surfing Ehukai Beach,11.22.05

April 28th, 2019

Aloha Eloah,

It’s funny how so many sermons drive me nuts, but somehow the spirit sends me a message amongst the madness. Last week, I was caught by the pastorʻs conclusion about the migration of Kolea birds who would return home within the upcoming week. When he petitioned if any of us were being called home this season, he had no idea how much this idea has plagued me throughout the past two and a half years. Itʻs as if each and every day of the Trump presidency has convinced me that my home at the church was nothing more than an illusion. I wish I could say it burned down or was destroyed because then there would always be the chance that it could be rebuilt, but it just never was. . .

Surely, my real spiritual home can be found at the various surf breaks that I frequent each morning. I worship the son as it shines on my face (יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ) with puffs of Peleʻs glow while the ocean below embraces me. The sea spray sings as it slings back and forth while I glide from side to side, attempting to harmonize with the tides of majestic waves. And there is no better fellowship than the diverse group of friends who come from all faiths, ethnicities, and walks of life to share the moment with me.

Yet, at the same time, I felt like I was being called home that Easter morning. I donʻt know where that home is or what it looks like and it might just be that I will learn to appreciate my surf home, because. . . well, it’s pretty good. But I donʻt think God would want me to study the Bible for ten years and not use my knowledge to help others so they can find a home that wonʻt end up leaving them stranded in illusion.

Welcome to LaneSkiʻs “Search For Church”


[May] Adonai bless you, and guard you –

יְבָרֶכְךָ יהוה, וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ
(Yevhārēkh-khā Adhōnāy veyishmerēkhā …)

[May] Adonai make His face shine unto you, and be gracious to you –

יָאֵר יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וִיחֻנֶּךָּ
(“Yāʾēr Adhōnāy pānāw ēlekhā viḥunnékkā …)

[May] Adonai lift up His face unto you, and give to you peace –

יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם
(“Yissā Adhōnāy pānāw ēlekhā viyāsēm lekhā shālōm.“)
Numbers 6:24–26:


“Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?”

April 21, 2019 Easter Sunday


Aloha Eloah (Dear God),

I miss the days when we used to have the big Easter Sonrise celebrations at Waimea Bay which were usually a collaboration of several churches here on O‘ahuʻs Northshore. Each pastor would give a short sermon followed by music and hula in between. Those were the days when you knew everybody at church because the Northshore was a close-knit community. It seemed like there were always waves on Easter because I donʻt remember sitting through a service without witnessing some small sets at Pinballs. At the same time, it was never good enough to make you feel like you were missing out on the surf.

Today, I attended a sunrise service at Ali‘i Beach Park which is actually where they used to hold the event before the inception of the Waimea celebration. Easter arrived really late this year so the sun rose well before the service which started at 7:30. I actually had two hours to surf before the service began, but unfortunately, the waves were flat.

The evangelical pastor engaged in the typical performance of cutting and pasting passages of random scriptures to affirm the message that Christ died to redeem our sins through his resurrection on the cross. As he explained Jesusʻ various vocabulary selections of Greek affections (eros, phileo, agape), I questioned, “Didnʻt Jesus speak Hebrew?” Then he clarified that neither doing good deeds nor having good intentions would prepare us for the path to eternal life. This could only be achieved through the public proclamation of pronouncing Jesus as LORD and savior.

But what did Jesus say when he was probed with this same specific question?

“And behold, one came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” 17 And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; 19 Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 22 But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieved; for he was one who owned much property.”  (Matt. 19:16-22) Mark 10:17-22 & Luke 18:18-23, (NIV)

Personally, I do not know any Christians who subscribe to this synoptic requirement for eternal life and perhaps its because the gospel of John offers up an alternative. When Jesus discusses this same issue with Nicodemus he says that:

”Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,  that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (John 3:16)

This is followed by the famous selection in John 3:16

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (NIV)

The discrepancy between the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) on this matter compared to the gospel of John is likely because of its later compilation or redaction which occurred 20-30 years after the Synoptics according to most scholars. When this discussion takes place in the Synoptics, it is constructed within a whole different context which was likely either just before, during or just after the temple destruction that Jesus himself predicted in 70CE. Followers of Jesus in this apocalyptic context would need to prove their complete commitment to the messianic movement which really only had one of two outcomes; they would have died in their resistance to the Romans or defeated them to reign once again as an independent Israel in Jerusalem. Thirty years later, the Jesus community that is compiling the gospel of John has likely relocated from Jerusalem where their temple has been burned to the ground and the majority of survivors sold as slaves to the Romans. It is from within this setting that Jesus becomes a substitute for the temple and a symbol of rebirth and hope for the next generation of disciples who dare to to believe.