1441 Sixth Avenue, Downtown San Diego
Pastor: John Poleski
Born: Buffalo, NY
Formation: Emerson Theological Institute; Centers for Spiritual Living, Golden, CO
Ordained: December 2012
San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?
Pastor John Poleski: On any given day, I’m preparing and writing several Sunday sermons simultaneously. Every day I prepare and do my research for future Sunday messages. It varies. Every beginning of the year I have an overarching theme for the year. I may hear something in the news or a story and write it in my notebook. So, I’m always writing my sermons because there is always something to draw from. I’m continually adding notes. Saturdays, I sit down and type up my notes. So, maybe eight hours on a Saturday I pull it all together and then Sunday morning around 5 a.m. I go over my notes and write some more in the margins. It’s a creative process always at work as I write my sermons.
SDR: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?
PP: The oneness and unity of all life. The living spirit of God resides within each and every one of us, and we could have personal relationship with this divine essence which makes all things possible. There is a saying we use: There is one life and that life is God’s — that life is perfect — that life is my life now. I begin every Sunday service with an affirmation; there is one power, one presence, one infinite intelligence which flows through all creation.
SDR: Why did you become a minister in the first place?
PP: It was a call — and I answered the call. It was an unfolding in my beliefs that there was something greater than I was, which was God the living spirit almighty within me. I was raised Polish National Catholic; my grandparents were part of a movement which broke away from the Catholic Church. My ancestors wanted to have Mass and their rituals in Polish and not in Latin. They didn’t believe the pope was infallible and they didn’t want to be ruled by Rome. So they founded the Polish National Catholic Church. As an altar boy, I got a sense of sacredness and religious ethics. I remember my pastor at the time said, “Watch that Poleski boy — he’s going to be a priest someday!” Even though I’m not a minister in the Catholic tradition, it gave me a sense that Jesus loved me and that the Bible was the word of God and life was good.
SDR: What is your church’s mission?
PP: To allow everyone to claim their divinity and recognize and realize they are loved...by their creator, and they have the power and presence to change their lives if there’s anything that needs attending to — health, prosperity, or employment.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PP: No one knows for certain what happens when we leave this earthly plane of existence. But I do believe the kingdom of heaven is within me. Heaven and hell are states of mind and I have this sacred responsibility to live my life in the most positive and loving way…. What that looks like, I don’t know if anyone can prove. My consciousness carries on after death, but it might not be a place we consider heaven or hell. But I trust that there is a life everlasting and I am immortal in consciousness.