During the COVID-19 shutdown, the Pastors of the Auburn Adventist Academy Church saw the immense need within the community, and those reaching out to meet those needs. Recognizing the opportunity for connections, they launched the weekly podcast RAWtalk to offer a platform to highlight these stories and provide inspiration for others.
“We felt that people during this season needed motivation and inspiration. So we decided to create a platform where we can bring people in for the purpose of inspiring others,” said Associate Pastor Rome Ulia, RAWtalk co-host.
RAWtalk is hosted by Lead Pastor Angel Ogando, Associate Pastor Wilma Bing, and Ulia. “We named the podcast RAWtalk for two reasons,” said Ulia, “The first reason was we wanted to be authentic, unscripted, and raw, hence: “RAWtalk.” The second reason is that RAW is made up of the letters of our first names: R – Rome, A – Angel, W – Wilma.”
Though hosted by pastors, the focus of the podcast will be on Auburn. “These conversations are raw. The topics aren’t necessarily religious unless it’s relevant to our city, Auburn,” explained Ulia. “So, therefore, our topics will be about justice, family life, education, current situations, news, sports, etc. If it’s relevant to Auburn city, you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll be talking about it!”
RAWtalk launched May 20 with its first guest, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus. The hosts began with the city’s mayor because “we want to help make this city the best city to live. To achieve that, we want to speak with those who are in a position to make this a reality. And you can’t get any better than the mayor of the city!” said Ulia.
“We want people to know that it’s not centered on a church, but the city at large,” continued Ulia. “We want our city (and the mayor of our city) to know that we want to be in partnership in bringing about a positive change in Auburn.”
Since the first episode with Backus, the podcast has discussed the impact COVID-19 had on them and life as a student during COVID-19. Episodes four and five were a two-part series on “Community, Ministry, and Racism.”
“We’re three pastors that love our city, and we want to do life with the people in our city to help deal with any issues,” said Ulia. “We joined the peaceful protest [on June 2] to support our community in having their voices heard outside the mayor’s office. We are going to bring in Police Officers, Nancy, and many others in the next few weeks to talk about ways we can be proactive moving forward. This is what we’re about.”
Coming Up on RAWtalk
Tomorrow’s episode has Backus return to discuss the protest in Auburn and moving forward.
Future RAWtalk guests will include doctors, teachers, police officers, students, athletes, “and many others who are part of this city to bring their stories to the entire city,” said Ulia.
You can catch RAWtalk episodes Wednesday mornings at 6:00 am on the RAWtalk Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/RAWtalk7/).