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Podcasting, Maranatha Hosting, and Spamming

Podcasting, Maranatha Hosting, and Spamming

by The Reverend Dr. Roman D. Roldan on September 06, 2023

TLDR: Important information regarding various issues, please read this one. If you don’t, you might be the only one without the keys to the kingdom!

A few weeks ago, I did a whole hour show on “Aliento de Dios Radio” on the relationship between mental health and spirituality. The question posed by the host was, “In what ways does faith help us lead a more emotionally healthy lifestyle.” I took about an hour to prepare and started the program with a fifteen (15) minute presentation, after which I opened the floor for questions. I was not prepared for what happened next. The switchboard lit up and we had questions from all over the place. By the end of the hour, I had only answered two questions, one from Canada and one from Mexico City. That afternoon, I received a message from one of the producers telling me that this was the highest audience they had in over a year. Tens of thousands of people listened throughout the world and the radio received dozens of questions about the speaker, the topic, and when I would be back on. Tomorrow, I will be the guest again and this time I will talk about hopelessness:  how it starts, how it develops, and the effects it has on a person’s emotional and physical health. The best part of this whole experience so far is the fact that I had fun sharing some of my experiences with all sorts of common people who listen to the station while working, caring for their families, or engaging in hundreds of diverse experiences. Since that first program about a month ago, I have been thinking about starting a Saint Dunstan’s Podcast. Short episodes (15 to 20 minutes) followed by a question or two from the audience. No more than 30 minutes per episode, once a week, on a variety of topics. Eventually, I will have guests join me for conversations on a variety of topics. We will also have a podcast by Fr. Alvaro in Spanish and one by Deacon Portia Sweet on “Aging with Grace” topics of her choosing. These three podcasts will be carried on Spotify, our website, and shared links on Bits and Bytes. We expect to drop a new episode every Friday by the end of business day during the program year. More information coming soon.

Now, on to Revelación Maranatha! We have begun to gather a list of hosts for Monday, September 25th and Tuesday, September 26th. It has taken us a while to begin to gather this list because we are sharing the responsibility with Saint Mary’s, Cypress, and we hadn’t yet met with them to discuss logistics. Now, we know that we need to lodge 23 young men, ages 18-26, and their promoter, who is a dear friend of our mission organizers and an administrator at El Buen Samaritano Mission Agency in la Romana. The following is the list of expectations:

  1. You will decide how many people you can host (one, two, or three).
  2. You will send an email to with your decision. We will accept the first emails we receive until we get to the total count of hosts for 23 guests.
  3. On Thursday, September 21st at 6:30pm, you will attend a brief orientation on Zoom (link will be sent to those who volunteer). The meeting will be no more than 30 minutes.
  4. On Monday, September 25th, you will pick up your guest at Saint Dunstan’s in the afternoon (more specific information about the time will be given on the 22nd.)
  5. Dinner on Monday the 25th is your responsibility, and although we encourage a home-cooked meal, we know of people who are planning to take their guest to a local restaurant to eat with the family. It is your choice. They will gladly eat whatever you provide!
  6. On Tuesday the 26th, you will drop your guest back at Saint Dunstan’s by no later than 8:00am. We will provide breakfast at the church for the entire group at 8:30am, after which we will drive your guest to Eisland Elementary for a 10:00am concert and program at the school. You are welcome to come with us to the school or go back home. We will have enough vehicles here to drive everyone to the school and back to us.
  7. Lunch on the 26th will be Pizza at the Church around 12:30pm, after which the band will set up their instruments in the church and do a 2:00pm rehearsal.
  8. An early Dinner at 5:00pm at Las Flores Mexican Restaurant will precede the concert at 7:00pm in the church. We hope all host families will be able to join us for dinner and the concert, but if you are unable, just let us know. Donations to pay for this dinner are also welcome (Write Check to Saint Dunstan’s with MEMO: Maranatha.)
  9. You will pick up your guest from the concert at 9:00pm and may want to have some form of snack ready for them when they get home, since dinner will be rather early. They love Ice-cream, but this is just an idea.
  10. On Wednesday the 27th, you will provide your guest a breakfast and drop them back at Saint Dunstan’s by no later than 9:00am. We have vehicles for an airport run and do not need you to drive to the airport. You will say goodbye to your guest at the church that morning.
  11. If you would like to host, but can’t drive your guest back and forth between your home and our church in the mornings, please let us know and we will arrange for a pickup on both mornings for your guest. If you can’t host, but would like to contribute towards a hotel night or two, please let us know, because we might have to rent several rooms if we don’t get enough hosts. If you told me in passing, “I will host,” please send me an email to confirm because I may have forgotten who promised. If you have any other questions, please send me an email or call me at the church.

Finally, SPAM! I love Spam and pineapple sandwiches. If you haven’t tried them, run to the nearest Hawaiian restaurant. You will thank me later. Anyway, this is not the type of SPAM I am talking about. A number of clergy have been attacked by malicious emails and texts over the last few weeks. This is how this spamming works: You get a text or email saying, “This is Fr. Roman Roldan, can you please text me back, I have a favor to ask you.” When you text back, you get a message that reads, “Hey, thanks for texting. I am currently in a meeting, but I need you to buy a few Apple cards to help me care for a few unwed mothers (abused children, homeless families…) Please text me when you get the cards and I will tell you what to do.” Then, when you text back, they will instruct you to scratch off the strip at the back of the card and text the number to them. And just like that, you have been scammed! Many of you have received either a text or an email with people impersonating me over the last several months. Yesterday alone, I received 34 texts and 3 telephone calls from many of you asking if this was me. If you notice carefully, it wasn’t my telephone number, my email address, my full name, and (worst of all) the spelling was outright awful. We have written a clear statement at the bottom of all my emails, but I will repeat it here: (1) I WILL NEVER solicit gift cars, cheque by phone, debit card numbers or any such gifts via text or email. (2) If I ever ask for money, I will do it in the church or in person, and the donation WILL ALWAYS be made to Saint Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, not to me personally and not to a third party like “Unwed Clowns of Uganda or Unemployed Mimes of Colombia.” (3) Please check the telephone number and email carefully. If it isn’t my mobile number, the church number, or the church email, please delete and report as SPAM. (4) When in doubt, disregard the request and talk to me on Sunday at church or during the week at the office. I love hearing from you, I really, really do, but maybe not 34 of you at once on my day off. I hope you understand.

Lastly, thanks for all your support during this transition time. Switching service times has been easier than we thought, and all of this is due to your understanding and generosity of spirit.

Blessings to all,

Fr. Roman+

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