All Issues, Big and Small


It seems that Jonathan brings on people who are smart so that he does not have to act like he is. For this episode author, pastor, and tuba player Doug Avilesbernal joins Jonathan to be smart and let Jonathan just coast through. Doug is the pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Norristown, PA.

Riliage –

Jonathan is angry about small things – specifically flies, ants, and all sorts of insects. He has a weird way of saying “winged” as if to drive home how much he is bothered by our small, flying friends. We get it, bugs are no fun, but they are an important part of God’s creation, like it or now.

Doug, on the other hand is angry about large things. If you start a statement with, “I’m not racist, but…” then you probably are racist. You probably need to take a moment before talking and to do some serious self-reflection. The blinders we wear add so much more to the challenges that we all face. Maybe try saying, “I am a racist, but I am trying to recover”



Doug wrote a book which will be discussed in the next episode. The book is not scripture (far from it…), but Doug put in the beginning of the passage John 4:1-15. Jesus reaches out to, talks to, engages with a woman who was not supposed to be liked, who was not supposed to be a part of the community, and who Jesus was not supposed to minister to. There are a lot of “supposed to” that are dismantled in this passage!


Watcha’ Into

Jonathan is taking Doug’s riliage seriously and has watched the Oscar nominated documentary 13th, and read the book The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. Very important works on some of the major challenges that are facing our nation!

Doug has been spending time thinking and reading and reflecting on church leadership in various forms. As churches continue to change and adopt to a changing culture, it is good to be aware of what it means to be a leader in the religious community.


As always, thanks for listening. Check out the website: Send your comments and questions to, and don’t forget to rate the show on iTunes.

Next Episode – The Deep Conversation with Doug about diversity and community (and his book)