079 – Edmundo Reyes – Missionary & Entrepreneur

In this Happy Hour podcast, we’re chatting with Edmundo Reyes about two of his projects, Revive Parishes and Real + True.


  • (11:13) Who is Edmundo Reyes?
  • (28:10) Real + True.
  • (54:35) Producing high quality Catholic content.
  • (59:54) Preparing kids to make their own choice.
  • (1:14:45) Two truths and a lie.


Ryan Freng 4:11
Hello and welcome back to another let’s backflips show happy hour. I’m Ryan Freng, co creative director here at flip and as you can see, I’m not in any of the US nations because I’m in the true north northern lower Michigan visiting family but we got this guest to come in and I didn’t want to reschedule. So we’re making do we’ve got Luke, kind of on the mixing board here streaming from the backflip office, but as always, I’ve got Mr. John Shoemaker, other co creative director joining me say Hey, John.

Edmundo Reyes 4:47
Hey, John. I’m Anna. I’m here I’m here in the, in the Southern northern part of the United States.

Ryan Freng 4:59
In The that’s very specific. I like

Edmundo Reyes 5:02
it. In the in the West. West east of the Midwest.

Ryan Freng 5:09
S N W E. Yeah. Is that your cardinal direction? Yeah. Nice. I love it. Cool. So today, we’ve got our friend and pow Edmondo. Ray is joining us. Let me click on that I can bring him in theory is what’s up at Buno? Hey, what’s up, guys? How you doing? Man?

Edmundo Reyes 5:29
I’m very, very excited to be here a little bit intimidated by by the persona, at least to interacting with but that’s good as you should be.

Ryan Freng 5:44
And it’ll be great.

Edmundo Reyes 5:46
I’m excited to be here. Thank you guys.

Ryan Freng 5:48
Yeah, I’m so excited. We were able to get you on when we had a brainstorming session a couple of weeks ago, just thinking about like, who would be really interesting people to have on, we kind of went on our like Catholic side and Catholic client list. Like, oh, my gosh, we haven’t even tapped this whole section over here. And you are at the top of the list. So I’m glad we were able to coordinate schedules and, and time zones, because apparently that’s very confusing to me. And we made it work.

Edmundo Reyes 6:16
Well, that’s very honoring. But they say there’s these business. Yeah, just theories or camps that nothing good comes out of brainstorming session. So just want to put it out there.

Ryan Freng 6:27
It’s true. I do. I do all my work separately. And then I tell everyone, this is what we’re doing. So this is a happy hour. So we’re gonna share our drinks here. And I’m going to do this real quick. Let’s see. Luke, can you make me big, I don’t have to actually do it. I was looking for a Michigan beer. But there’s none in the house, there was only what we brought, you just drag my video over. Normally, I’m doing this, it’s great that I’m not. So they didn’t have any Michigan beer. But we have the beer that we brought. And this is actually really cool a priest, prophet and king. So this, this is a barrel aged barley wine from our friends at carbon four. And this is the 20 to 2022 edition, which they want to make it a thing every year. And this is kind of like their attempt at bringing elements of the faith into their beer and also kind of taken over like the rock and roll style of year can you know typically, it’s more demonic, but you know, we’ve got images of the Trinity here. You know, priest prophet and king Ppk is the first liquid to pass through our brew house and age in a vintage collection of barrel, you know, kind of a normal beer description, but it’s it’s very Catholic, because these guys are great Catholic guy. So that’s what, that’s what I brought to the party. Yeah, let’s see. All right, John, what do you got?

Edmundo Reyes 7:54
Okay, well, I’m continuing I’m still doing it. I’m, I’m, I’m doing slackers dry January. January, well, I’m kind of doing dry January, but I told somebody in a previous one of these I’m like, I’m not treating it like Lent. Like, come on. It’s not Lent. I’m just like, yeah, that’d be a nice little reset a little bit of a detox month.

Ryan Freng 8:24
Take control your body. keeping it going. I’ve

Edmundo Reyes 8:27
got I have the Monday brand gin that I stole from Ryan’s office. It’s not I mean, do you call it gin still, it’s, it’s you know, juniper, and it’s an aromatic liquid. And it’s quite good. And some tonic. So gin and tonic basically it doesn’t have that like that bite you know that you’re if you like it, that’s what you’re looking for. If you don’t like it, maybe you like that better. Anyway, Monday gin and tonic on a Friday and things get really wild things get real wild maybe we’ll just that was an impulse buy and like you know 16 year old me showed up. I was like at the Menards checkout there was like there’s the random case of drinks and I was like, Yeah, sure. Monster

Ryan Freng 9:24
that’s gonna be awesome. You got to drink it during the show so that we can see kind of the transformation you go through?

Edmundo Reyes 9:30
Yeah, you wouldn’t you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

Ryan Freng 9:34
I like it good reference. All right. Now I’d moved to I did see you you run out you ran away right before we went live are you taking with us

Edmundo Reyes 9:43
i Two things so the first one that I had, which I wasn’t going to disclose but now that dawn came clean with monster I’m drinking these water with one of those capsules noon that has Oh yeah, fine. Stay healthy. Nice. And I have an upcoming trip and just want to make sure that I get on a plane. But then I went and grabbed one of these all reliable Lagunitas IPA, here in Michigan, I’m probably going to be disappointed that I chose something out of state, given the wealth and the breadth of our our local beers here, but this is a good one that I liked a lot.

Ryan Freng 10:23
Yeah, no, that’s, that’s okay. We like to, you know, we’re equal opportunity drinkers as it as it were. And I mean, that’s kind of a thing. You’re, you’re in Michigan, you drink some of the Michigan and you’re like, Okay, I want to try something. Well, for instance, from Madison, you know, you want to try something from somewhere else. But when we go, we’re going down to Lansing tomorrow. So my, my brother in law is probably going to have, I don’t know, 10 or 12 Different Michigan beers. So that only a delight.

Edmundo Reyes 10:53
It’s the craft capital of the world, right. Like, now, is it your capital? No, like, I think Grand Rapids area not so much Lansing, but that area has like, like all those micro breweries that now have been bought by the big, big breweries.

Ryan Freng 11:09
It seems like breweries too. And alcohol in general, I don’t know if this is a good thing or bad thing have fared decently well through COVID. You know, I know carbon for that some of their sales of some of their beer went up through COVID. You know, it’s good for a business. You think about a society like, is that good for our society? I don’t know.

Edmundo Reyes 11:30
I just wonder if it’s because we’re wearing going to bars, right? Like, maybe not so much the overall drinking it has maybe has probably asked, but also like, like, consumer brands that are out there? I don’t know.

Ryan Freng 11:42
Yeah, I hadn’t I hadn’t thought of that. Because yeah, you couldn’t go to restaurants and cake sales went way down. So maybe it’s just commensurate amount. So all right. We got through the drink part. Now. We are live. So if people have questions, throw them in the chat. We’re on YouTube and Facebook. We can throw them up and answer them here. To refresh. We’re joined by Edmondo. Ray is director of communications over the Archdiocese of Detroit. And entrepreneur always, always have other things going. But why don’t you go ahead and give us kind of your pitch. Who are you? And what do you do?

Edmundo Reyes 12:17
Yeah. Well, the first is, I’m a husband and father. I’m married and have four children. My oldest daughter is now an adult, which is crazy. That’s just feels like I’m ancient though. She turned 18. Last year. She’s getting ready to go to college is here. So that’s very exciting. And then I have a three teenagers, technically one, the youngest is 12. But he behaves like he’s 15. So I think of like, three teenagers and one adult, you lucky. I know. Right? And then I’m very blessed. We live here in I live outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan, little town called Dexter and my mom also lives with also we’re really blessed that for a number of years, my children have grown up with another adult in the house and more a wiser and more gentle adult. So that kind of balances all the all the bad parenting from coming from me. Yeah, I was born in Mexico, Mexico City. And I have a sister and you know, back then in Mexico, you know, it was like, it was all these thing about like, small families live better? No, have you ever heard of that, but like back in the 70s, he pushed too hard. So most of my friends, they are like one or 211 sibling or no siblings, right, like, but it’s it was the four of us growing up in Mexico City. Then when we were 13, we moved to North East Mexico city called Monterey. So that’s like the industrial kind of capital of Mexico a lot of a lot of good things there. And, yeah, I mean, that’s a little bit of my kind of, like background background. Like my real story really, I think begins when I was 17. And I was a freshman in college was a young freshman, but they didn’t know what life was about and what I wanted to but I kinda want it to be a studying economics. A lot of the leaders especially political leaders, study me at that time. And yeah, I was just in college got invited to these retreat by these kind of kept campus ministry type of situation. And I had a powerful encounter with with Jesus with Jesus Christ and kind of like my life changed everything. So grew up kind of like very much connected to my faith. Like I knew the Bible. I knew the Catholic teaching, but nothing was real or alive. And these kind of powerfully then when I was 17, and just kind of changed everything. And I felt really a special calling to. I thought that what the church Doors and what the church is, it’s about the message of the gospel. Right? This is good news. And I wanted to become a professional, helping church communicators. And

Ryan Freng 15:14
and that’s where I could jump in there real quick, what was? What was that experience? What did what did you go through that, you know, set you on this different path?

Edmundo Reyes 15:24
You know, it’s hard to explain all of it, but I’ll tell you the most important part. It’s these realization that all that I knew was real, like, I was a really good student, right? I was a good student throughout, like, I was, like, you know, top of the class all the time. So I knew, because I went to Catholic school, I knew all these religions stuff, right. But it was always like, like, outside of the US always like something to study the way that you study history, or biology or whatever. And what does retreat change to means? Like, why did these things that I know the story that he’s been told, this person that I knew about is real, like, it just never occurred to me that it was actually real. And if it’s real, like it changed everything, right? Like, everything from that moment on was completely different, right? Because nothing else mattered at that point. And, you know, you’re young and idealistic, you know, and I just, I just thought that I was invited into a great adventure, I thought that my life had meaning and purpose that He was higher than anything that I’ve ever experienced, that I was placed in the world for something, a unique mission that has been given to me that I can only accomplish so, so a sense of meaning and purpose and origin, and identity that I never had before. So it was just very exciting.

Ryan Freng 16:45
That’s, that’s, it seems like a lot like you’re 17 I’m trying to think back to 17 when I was 17, besides being an idiot, and just having unrealistic expectations about the world, like, what, what was that like, for you kind of seeing? You know, you could say, seeing that reality, seeing what is real and true. In such a powerful way?

Edmundo Reyes 17:11
Yeah. You know, I was, I mean, I would say, some of the things that were very, very important, right, that, uh, from that time was kind of, like feeling that I was, I knowing that I was part of a bigger story than my story. And I think that, you know, regardless on on your faith, you know, different different people of faith, have a little bit of that, but especially in the Catholic worldview, right? Once you understand that there’s these cosmic story, right? These this foyer from the beginning of times to now and they’ll continue on that you play a role in in when you were able to see that it’s just very exciting, right? And I think I was, I was a pretty nerdy kid. And I remember right, like, from right now, it’s very common for people to love comics, and superheroes and all that, right. We live in the age of a dominate that. But that wasn’t the case when I was growing up. But I was so attracted to those stories, right, the stories of heroic sacrifice, so of saving something, or someone, like I always had that in me, and I never knew where that those feelings were those that motivation came from. And obviously, when you see yourself in this in this big, bigger story, these bigger narrative, like, you’ll realize, oh, this is why it has these desires, right? This is why I want to do these great things, because that’s what I was created for.

Ryan Freng 18:41
Yeah, I know, I resonate with that as well. Because I was in the comics before. Before it was cool, I guess. Yeah, super dorky. But I, I really, that resonates with me. Just that idea of giving up yourself. And I think I think there was a combination growing up because I like you grew up close to the faith, because of my family. But I think that really resonated and I always desired like, yeah, when I see the superhero give all they’ve got even their life for something that that speaks to me. And I think subconsciously until I had a similar similar kind of experience in college, subconsciously, there was a connection with the faith that I didn’t really realize. Oh, that’s fun. My watch in the background there. Woohoo. Yeah, yeah, no, I’m totally like a, like a dog like a squirrel. And I think it resonated in and it makes a lot of sense, because we build up these these mythos. And we tell these stories, and I think part of the point of fiction is to help us see these fantastical stories or worlds or things and be able to turn around and look look at reality and see the wonder and mystery You have reality? And that’s I think that’s also part of why this great book, we have this the Bible as different styles of storytelling. You know, how do you teach someone a mystery that we can’t really comprehend? Well, we can help you kind of see the headspace that you can get closer to understanding or you know, through the stories that you can relate to, you might not fully get it, but that’s okay. Because we’ll internalize some parts of it. And those parts that we internalize, then come out later, like, giving myself up, like, what does it mean, to take on, you know, take on the sins of the world, and die for everyone at all time? You know, ever. What does that mean to me? I don’t know. But But sacrifice, you know, giving, giving up my desires and my wants, and myself for someone else. Like, I can kind of relate a little bit more to that.

Edmundo Reyes 20:53
Ya know, and I think I think you’re, you’re spot on, right? Like some of the most effective storytelling tools that we have, or frameworks that we have our work because of who we are as human beings, right? Because we are, we are created for these stories while we eat them off. You know, I’ll tell you something I was reflecting about these the other day. So I’m a bit older than you guys, they think. And but so when I did that switch from studying economics to communications, so I decided that communications was going to be that I was going to be a professional event. But it was an exciting time we started like the mid 90s, where we were just starting to have email and we were just starting to have the internet so so there was this amazing hope and talk about these like global village and, and what the world would be right or no passport, and we live in now we are in like, this was a, like the birth early. And for a person like me, right? It was just these excitement. But Right, right. In that time, too. It was also like these very kind of postmodern idea that there’s no story that there’s no purpose and you know, a little bit of that kind of grungy sound like, the music was a little bit like despair. Oh, yeah, you see that, even within that time, from the 90s, to now what has really worked in our society in terms of like, massive appeal, like, again, Marvel movies is the more basic story, right? The fight of good versus evil, the idea of coming together, Avengers Assemble, right? Doing something with others, living for a greater purpose, you see how that is really more? It’s more effective, because it’s more basic, because it’s rooted in who we are. All of us as much as the people of faith are Catholics, I think we all kind of like him to, to, to respond well, to those types of things.

Yeah, I the storytelling aspect, you know, for meaning is important, because I think it kind of combats relativism, you know, like, there’s, there’s no motivational force and a story if, if nothing matters, or if it could be free. Or the other way, it doesn’t matter who wins, who dies, who loses who, you know, the kind of like, keeps you rooted in like, well, there’s a reality to something at that base level. And I think we kind of have seen the way that the sorry, there’s, there’s a story happening on the other side of the wall

over here. Good versus evil and fight happening.

Yeah, sort of saw that the I mean, the experiment, failed or has been failing, you know, the experiment of like, oh, there’s nothing, nothing matters. There’s no, you know, roundedness, like, who you see, and a whole generation of people that are like, I’m real, I’m connecting dots that are maybe a little far apart. But I’m thinking about, like, you know, the world of millennials and the millennial workforce and stuff and how something that came to my mind was that idea that like, a lot of younger people are choosing careers and jobs, not just based on like, the money, but they’re looking for something that has meaning. Like they they want to do something that has meaning or that that’s real. Yeah. Probably because we, you know, have that experiment of nothing, right? That wasn’t good.

Ryan Freng 24:42
Right? Yeah. Simon Sinek talks a little bit about that, too. Whether he’s right or not, it seems to make sense where, you know, millennials are the first generation where, I don’t know not the first generation but a recent generation where this overparenting on or discipline type of attitude was kind of taken on. And so you get these participation trophies. So you might have gotten last plate place, but you get a participation trophy, and that devalues doing well. And he was even saying that, that can add shame, you know, or cause shame because somebody realizes they don’t deserve a trophy. And so if if nothing is meaningful, right, then you’re going to look for meaning in everything. And then there’s the imbalance of, okay, it doesn’t matter if I’m going to be able to pay rent, I need to do something meaningful, you know, at all times. And it’s actually interesting, because John, and I think we’re, we’re technically millennials, we like to think of ourselves as elder or like, millennials, Gen X split. Because we graduated before the 2008. Crash. And I think the difference was, we could go out and get a regular job. And so we’re like, No, we need to find a job that will pay us a living wage so that we can do work. And for us, it wasn’t like, I am going to come out of college and get ultimate fulfillment in this job. You know, it’s like, well,

Edmundo Reyes 26:10
still work is work in place play, right?

Ryan Freng 26:12
Yeah. Yeah. You know, in a framework. Yeah. Yeah, very, very much. So. And, obviously, there’s a balance. And work was made for us. So there’s something to reflect on there. But the fact is that we came out with a different mindset. And while we’re busting our butts and working, we’re also developing like our business. And this other side that started heavily Catholic, because it was the Catholic organizations that we were a part of, they needed work. And we were there we were students. And so we started doing that. And then we got a bank account. And then other non Catholic saw our Catholic work. And we’re like, hey, that’s really good. Which is, I think that’s really unique. Because a lot of over the years, Catholic work has been not great, because it’s just the people who volunteer. And now like what we do, and actually what you do, this is kind of a good segue as well, is like, hey, no, we should do this the best way, you know, we have what is real and true and beautiful. We have access to that we see that. Let’s also make sure that these other efforts, efforts are, you know, similar, that work like that, instead of always being behind.

Edmundo Reyes 27:25
I think, and you guys are not paying me to be here and throwing compliments to you guys. But when I first engaged with you, it was precisely what you’re saying, there, Ryan, that I saw in the work that you did a couple of things that were so exciting, and so new, right? So I’m here, I heard about you from a friend from Dan Rogers, you guys know him. And and they he said, these guys are the best, you could check them out and go to your website. And I saw that you guys had joy in what you were doing. And you kind of you felt like you had purpose. I remember going to your about page and you have like use curl over and you were playful. But beyond the playfulness, what it was just, it just looks so good. Like everything that you were doing looks so good. And I felt like this is why I made that decision. When I I was 17. Because I thought and I continue to think that the work that we do in the church, the service events, right like that, you know, we should not only try our best, but get get the best work out there for the church because the message is so important. And people may disagree with that. But the point is here, I think of of, of, of elevating your work, elevating the type of storytelling and execution to be able to tell these great stories, great story that has changed many, many lives, that will make a difference in people’s lives. So that’s so since I was 17 to Now one way or another I’ve been involved in either ministry like like actually doing work with people and sharing the story, kind of like on a one on one basis, or now that I get to do it through communications and digital projects like so we just launched last year, a project about that we’ve launched this project called real and true or real plus true. And we’ve got we were inspired by another project that some of you may know the digital sorry, the Bible project. And I came across them about seven, eight years ago. And I remember looking at the beautiful work these guys were doing. They were based in Portland, I ended up visiting them. And they invited me to see a little bit of their studio on their process. I talked to them and loved that they had these very, very tight mission statement. We believe the Bible is a unified story from beginning to end that leads to Jesus and has wisdom for the modern world. And I remember hearing that and their videos and seeing it on their way Absolutely talking to them about it. And I always said, man, like, that’s how I want to live, I want to have these focus of, of what it should be that I’m doing. And in a way that impacts the world, right? It’s not only what I want to do, but also how that’s going to impact the world. So and seven, eight years ago, like they started doing that, and they created this beautiful library of resources to help people read the Bible and understand the Bible. So last year, a couple of friends, Emily mentored. And Edmund Mitchell and I, we got together and he was the pandemic, we’re actually this was before then. But anyways, during the pandemic, we got together and we, we talked about this project idea of, of doing something similar for, for the Catholic faith, and moving it away from concepts that you need to know or rules that you need to follow to discover what’s beautiful and true. In this message, that is the gospel message, right. And, and we did it around the Catechism. So those that don’t know, the Catechism is the official summary of what the Church teaches. So it’s not opinion. It’s not what once your cheer or their teach, but it’s actually what we believe, you know, as Catholics so, so it’s so exciting to be able to bring that excellence, the storytelling, trying to connect these truths to our core identity as human beings, right and, and try to connect with individuals at that level. So it has been very, very exciting. But anyways, to close to connect it to the first thing that I said, I see in the type of work, you do this, the same kind of craft and effort and excellence, and the ability to connect with individuals, because you are connecting at the most intimate level, right?

Ryan Freng 31:41
On what is real and true, like, like, the name of your new initiative? Yeah, well, and it seems like this is like in your DNA to, were you a part of revive the parish with Aaron Rodgers, that, that that whole thing, which is amazing, as well. And it seems like this is again, like a part of your DNA of, hey, we got to get this really great content out there in a way that that works for, you know, for the church. And I think that was a big thing of like, Hey, we’re gonna go free, or I think it’s free. Right. Yeah. So.

Edmundo Reyes 32:19
So revive parishes. It’s really, Dan Rhodes, your brainchild. And, you know, he’s been very passionate about education and helping parishes and so parishes in the Catholic world, right, our churches, and that’s the place where people come together to live out their faith, right. So it’s more than just a building supposed to be people, right relationships, and people, you know, journey together. Right. And, and, and the state of our churches and our parishes, not just here in the US, but around the world sometimes is not the greatest and without those vibrant communities, those vibrant places where people come together and journey together, it’s very hard to live out the faith. So so we thought of what you were saying is how do we bring excellence? How do we bring the tools that are available to us? How do we how do we tell powerful stories and help parish leaders in this case, up their game, so level up, that was always at work with Dan and the other founder team Quinn kowski and I talked about it is how do we how do we help them level up? Right? How do we teach them basic skills that they’re lacking to be able to, to serve better their communities. So we use use, like simple things for people like AWS are in this kind of work, but that they have and try to put it in a way that people can go through these courses. This is a course based like both of these are free courses right on different topics that people can go through them and then learn acquire a skill. Some demand so so these are similar to real and true right? If you think of it the old way has has been at least in the church, I have something to share something to communicate I’m going to write a book I’m going to ask people to read it and I’m gonna speakers circuit right like to just to talk about the book right or talk about what I what I know Nick can only impact so many people right? But if the digital communications right with digital efforts, I mean the whole you can change the game right? You see this this you know, amazing average with this podcast from Bible in a year happening right now. Right? You see the ability to go to places that you normally couldn’t go so unreal and true. For example, one of the things that I’m most proud of is these are shorter videos, right? Here are six, six minute video videos about different parts of the Catechism or what we teach in our faith. And I got an email we got an email from this youth group in Romania. They were watching this video, and I thought that’s brilliant. That’s That’s what why we were doing these people are more likely to watch a video either together or individually and talk about it than to read a book, right? Like we’re in this age, because that’s mostly effect, one of the most effective ways of communicating. You guys know these, because you’re a video production Video Studio company. And so trying to get the church in our outreach in our ministries to see that advantage and do it in a high quality way.

Ryan Freng 35:26
Yeah, well, and I think, you know, the interesting part of real and true and revive and all these efforts, is there’s, you know, there’s great people and great hearts, all across the church. And a lot of times organizationally, you know, somebody might be in a position for 20 years or 30 years. So when communication changes, there’s not a skill set, or any skill set that’s available there. So to be able to have a resource that can help them with that, I think, I think is genius. And we’re never gonna get away from it’s not nepotism by definition, but it’s that idea of like, oh, this person is good. They should do this role. Well, do they have any skill? No, but they’re good. And we want we want to support them. You know, one of the

Edmundo Reyes 36:11
times he’s not even, they’re good. They’re very nice people. Yeah,

Ryan Freng 36:15
they’re, they’re a person, they’re a person who will come and do this thing. And maybe like, one of the, I don’t know, most problematic feedback I’ve ever received, or we’ve ever received, was doing a project with a great Catholic organization. And I think the people managing the project just didn’t really have the vision or understanding of what they were doing. And they were more or less literally, they felt like they were just throwing us a bone like, oh, yeah, let’s just hire them, and they can do some work. And then it’s kind of that rolling scope of, okay, well, we want more, we want more, we want more. And then you talk about scope. And you’re like, well, it’s outside of scope, we can do that. Let’s let’s up the scope. And then at some point, there’s a discussion of, Okay, we’re gonna stop the project, you know, we’re good here. But we really feel like this was really good for your families. So, you know, that’s, that’s why we think this was a good thing. And professionally, I was like, oh, no, that was a terrible choice. Like if that’s what you’re doing with that money. And then personally, too, it’s like, okay, well, that’s a nice sentiment, but again, personally and professionally, that’s, that’s not a great perspective to have on anything. Like, that’s, that’s not a great business decision. And it could have been done differently. And I think you can run into that a lot. And so having resources, and we need this for priests too. So my buddy, Father, Scott Jablonski out here is in charge of priestly formation. And one thing that he’s always said is, you know, we just kind of get thrown to the wolves. When we come out of seminary, like, okay, run a multimillion dollar business. And they don’t have a lot of experience in that. And certainly, being an associate pastor can help. A little bit, but just with our priest shortage, you’re an associate for one year, and then you’re a pastor. Again, yeah. So you, you apprentice for one year with your business, and then you go run a multi million dollar company with people who are like, okay, father, we’ve done it this way, for many years, and you’re coming in, you know, your board is not a it’s not a board of the best people in the industry, your board is it people have great community members who might have been there for a while. So you’re also dealing with that dynamic. So I think there’s just a lot of challenges and the work that you’re doing, I, I, it makes my heart just so full to see that good work done well, and providing those resources to, to our organizations that, you know, at the end of the day, the battle is one, but it’s our job to move the needle as much as we can. And I think efforts like what you’re doing can can really move the needle.

Edmundo Reyes 39:01
Yeah, no, I appreciate you saying that. You know, one of the things that I’ve seen working in the church and it’s possible that it’s also another nonprofit kind of world work outside I’d set up just the Catholic Church, but um, sometimes he’s not knowing how what good looks like, you know, sometimes sometimes it’s that the standards have been or are so low and have been for so long, that people have these very low expectations on what church experience or church communications or you know, should look like. So when, when people I are like, Yeah, they just, you know, like, like, almost like nothing, nothing. Nothing good is gonna come from the diocese, right. So I work in an archdiocese and for those that do not know like the diocese are the way that the Catholic Church is organized. So, you know, the the territorial its territory, and then that’s called a diocese. And then there’s a bishop, in theory, a successor of the apostles, right of the 12 apostles of Jesus, all the way back that he’s like the shepherd of that territory, right. So I work for the, for the successor of the 12 apostles, a nice Bishop and archdiocese. And when I arrived there, so I’ve been there for quite a while, the last four years as communications director, you could see that things were in as professional, we’re in that good, good people, right working there. And, and, but not not that drive that urgency and but also knowing what it looks like. So I, I feel very, very grateful and blessed that within our team, like my bishop, my boss has given me a lot of resources to bring really good people and transform our Department of Communications to be very professional. Well, we do, so we could elevate the game and by doing so, you know, showing our diocese but also other diocese, what you could actually do for these mission that is so important to all of us. Right. And, and maybe one more thing that I would like to share with you guys is when you think of communications, right and God like the work that I do marketing, we don’t use the word marketing in churches, but communication marketing are two functions, right that we form is that it is not meant to support the mission is not meant to be like, Okay, you have HR and then you have finances and you have here, technology. But the way that we think of in the Archdiocese of Detroit is that communications is part of the mission. It’s, it’s the way that we present ourselves to others, right, in a company communications is how you interact with your brand and communications, think of it is who you are in the minds of the people that you’re trying to serve. Right. So that is actually what we do our mission, right? Like, how do people from the outside perceive us? How do we ourselves perceive us? How do we think about what the church is? What stories that we tell what type of inspiration, excitement can we bring, and we you know, we’re fighting for limited attention, right? Limited Time, and people are getting all these messages from all over the place. And unless our messages are of certain quality, they’re gonna get drowned, they’re not going to be they’re not gonna they’re not gonna be memorable, they’re not gonna people aren’t gonna pay attention to them because all these companies are investing millions in in content writing putting up their messages, putting out there their mission, converting people into loyalists right of their product or service or brand. And we need to enter that feel right? We Pope Benedict would call it a digital continent and be missionaries there. We the type of content that captures people’s imaginations, you know, you want less things like, I just went to Europe last year, and I’ve been there a few times. And you look at these cathedrals right on the work of Ireland, they’ve gone and it elevates your spirit, right? It just, it just they’re so beautiful that there’s no other emotion than awe and amazement, and it just lifts you up. And we have to do the same in the digital content. We need to have people watch one of those videos and lift up their spirits and, and capture their imaginations and lead them to this journey of finding who they are and what they were made for.

Ryan Freng 43:33
That. Yeah, I love that too. Because that’s something that Catholics really understand and resonate with, you know, to a large degree of like, why do we guilt things? Why do we put gold on things? Why do we build them tall? So you can see them? Why do we have loud bells? It’s so that you know, first firstly literally elevates your your eyes and then can elevate your heart as well to this, this beauty that is real and true. But then thinking of our marketing efforts, like yeah, that is core to the mission. And so what does that mean? Because you know, and people don’t like the word evangelization in maybe more secular worlds, but that’s a part of the mission. And that’s what marketing is marketing is evangelization. But Evangelization is just, you know, typically a religious term that’s used, but thinking about gilding our spaces, you know, we’re going to spend millions of dollars and we’re going to redo the murals and this and it’s going to be there for years to come. I think part of the challenge, then is like, Okay, well just, you know, slap some digital up, I know somebody who can, who can do some video who can do some web work, and so they’ll just, they’ll just be good enough. But it’s interesting because he’s turned that around and you’re like, Okay, well, I also know someone who could maybe do some window work or some mural work, but you’re bringing in somebody from Italy to make this grand, beautiful thing. Like let’s have that same mindset, you know, the budgets are going to be different, but let’s have that same mindset where our digital Our video, our communications are a fundamental part of the mission, like our spaces. So, you know, we have to make sure that it elevates.

Edmundo Reyes 45:09
Yeah, if you think about, like some of the beautiful theaters in, in Europe they took, took forever to be built, right. And these were generations that were investing into this space that was going to help people encounter Jesus right, in the case of our faith, right? Find meaning of their lives, like they were this commitment to the mission that was carried out over time, and made requiring an investment of believing that this was effectively going to advance his mission. But this is done. Like, let me just put it like this is Evangelization is, is done all the time with all the brands Right? Like I, you guys are from Wisconsin, right? So Harley Davidson, I always think of like, when I started out your choice of Detroit, I always use that as a, as a lifestyle brand, right? It’s not just a motorcycle, you’re buying, you’re biking to these, these lifestyles into this way of thinking, almost way of, of acting. And they built, they’ve spent so much money to try to create that for you. So you can enter in it connects with you, right? So they attract people that are connected to that lifestyle, and then they buy the product. The church is not that different in that sense, right? We have a message, we have a way of life. And we want to invite people into it, how much are we willing to invest on sharing that we always?

Yeah, I think there’s, there’s a level of complexity that is challenging with, you know, church marketing communications, because I think we also know, in our own personal spiritual lives, and in the challenges that we’re facing day to day, that there’s a side of like, digital and media that is unhealthy, you know, that that we, you know, we want to be grounded in personal relationships, and we want to take time without those distractions, and, you know, meditate on a physical mural on a wall. And we know that and I, I wonder, I guess, I don’t have a conclusion, but I wonder if that bleeds into the ideas that people have about using the media. And sort of like, well, we need to, we need to, because everything in life, anything that we have can be twisted and can be used in the wrong way. I mean, before that, I often have conversations with people about music, who are like, Oh, this, this kind of music isn’t good for a church setting in for a mass or whatever. I’m like, did you know that using you know, chords used to be pretty scandalous and like,

Ryan Freng 48:06
using using what chords I lost you, I don’t know if that was just me.

Edmundo Reyes 48:11
A major major thirds and seventh chords like, Oh,

Ryan Freng 48:15
why used to be?

Edmundo Reyes 48:18
It used to be scandalous mash, like, yeah, that’s like that bar music, that’s, you know, whatever. So it’s tricky. There’s like a lot of stuff to fill in there. And then also, I also sort of wanted, I’m curious, I’d love to hear from you and moonta on how you tackle this too, because it’s also we know the reality that like, it’s not just another thing, it’s not just another brand amidst brands that we want to like, compete with them and compete for attention. Like, it is the thing. It is the only thing it is the most important thing. And so I think again, there are two maybe that’s the pitfall people are like, well, it’s it’s the most important thing. It’s not like that. So we don’t need to do what they’re doing. But it’s like, well, we kind of got to enter the space to get some attention and then hopefully you can eventually convert people to have that realize those realities.

Yeah, I think the ancient ancient were all thought differently, right? Like, I mean, even think about the Old Testament. There’s these beautiful passage, one of my favorite ones where you know, they’re about this offering, right? It’s King. Pretty sure it’s King David saying I’m gonna put all these money from my personal treasure from from the treasure of our people, but from my personal treasure to deal, build the temple, right, this place where God’s presence was going to manifest Right? the dwelling of God on earth why? And he calls out and those that that external kind of like saying, I’m going to do these because I believe in these, and then everybody else joins in this effort, right? So you read in that scripture verses that everybody came in. And you could see that in different expressions. So the idea of understanding that this is the most important thing that we do these ease the most beautiful message that exists, and it’s worth our effort and attention and some and financial resources. You know, about what you’re saying about digital versus in person. For me, I think, and I’m talking, I’m talking about real and true just for a moment, how we think about it, but the true evangelization, true communication of the gospel message needs to lead to Christ to an encounter with a person, right. So when it’s done well, similar as a church is not supposed to just leave you like, Oh, that was a cool, that’s a cool building. Right? But it’s supposed to lead you into a deeper reality. Right? And then that reality is one of communion communion with Christ. Right, like relationship friendship with with someone and with others, right. So I think that the role of digital communications, these are like the top of the finally, if you will, right is of capturing people’s attention and imagination, but leading them into the deeper mystery, right, the mystery of relationship with someone and with others. Because that’s what our faith is about, right? You cannot just just have it all in your head, you need to enter into communion with others. And so when we do evangelization well, like, and that’s our hope with real and true, it, it touches people when they are curious about the big questions in life, and leave cert into these paths of communion, right? Like that is not going to be it’s not the end solution. It’s not like you do these, you watch these done, but it’s going to lead you into these deeper discovery of who you are, and what you were made of, and this encounter with with these one that created you and loves you. So that’s, that’s where I think that that digital communications plays that role is that encountering people where they are bringing this message to them, inspiring them, elevating their spirit and leading them to where they ultimately need to get to. Um, so it’s fishing, right? I mean, yeah, we were supposed to do a fishing

well, and meeting them where they are, you know, you just kind of put the image in my mind of like, it would be like, the comparison of, well, don’t go preach in that neighborhood. Because that neighborhood, you know, has these other things in it. You know, and that, well, that was what the Pharisees were always accusing Jesus of is like, well, he goes and hangs out with the sinners. Yeah, these people like, right, so it’s that discussion about like, Should you enter a space to share a message? You know, is this problematic? Well, no, I just, there’s just people that hang out there. You know, you’re saying, like, just be where they are. Like, that’s, that’s the thing. It’s like, yeah, you got to be where they are. So

yeah. And people need to hear this message. I’ll tell you one quick thing here. This happened many years ago. So this is the beginning of Facebook. So things have gotten ugly, but when it started was full of hope and connecting people. And back in the day, I was actually working for a publisher, the word among those, and you know, I pitched to them. Like a there’s this thing called Facebook, like, Could we do something with one of our books, right? And this book was about length and the practices of length of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. And we said, Could we do something around prayer? Right? And they were like, yeah, yes, you were like, as long as you don’t get distracted with your main job, go ahead and do it. So here I am, I’m not a I’m more of a I’m more strategic or more like a like, like here’s a plan versus an executor. But I here I am with a camera DSLR recording these videos and we put together what at that time was the largest Bible study in the world, right. So we launched it on Facebook, and every week we’re posting a video on reflection engaging with people and it was huge when I time this is early days of the of social media. But but the one thing that I’ll never forget is this comment from this one person. So these are real person. This is not just like, like something, it’s someone at post and said, I’ve never heard this message shared with me. This is the first time that I’ve heard that God loves me. Thank you so much for posting this. Wow. It just blew me away. I don’t know where he was from like, I’ve never met this person. But the fact that these through these videos, you know, this person was encountering entering to these other reality I was through my efforts, the bridge to that, like, it just just filled my heart it confirmed my vocation is, this is why I’m doing it, it is the only thing that comes out of it. I’ve done my job. So So I think that we shouldn’t lose hope on social media or on online communications, digital communications, which we need to bring hope and excellence and elevate spirits there because that’s where people are at. And then eventually, though, if it’s everything is unwell, they should, it should lead them into the more deeper you know, communion, meaning that this we’re truly designed for

Ryan Freng 55:34
well, and something you guys are doing to with real and true and in revive and your AOD efforts that that’s so awesome and refreshing is dude my lighting right now like I have a window right here. I’m just getting burned up by the sun here.

Edmundo Reyes 55:55
I thought you had a lightsaber.

Ryan Freng 55:57
Yes. I love it. It’s so refreshing is your you’re meeting the medium where it’s at. And you’re doing it really, really well. Like the I was watching through some of the real and true videos that are on the website. And it’s it’s like the entertaining things that vloggers tried to put out there. But it’s it’s good content and true content. And it’s funny because my first thought when I started watching, I was like, I’d love this on tick tock. I don’t know if you guys are there. But just the style and the message I was like, because that’s maybe the only social media app that I’m on regularly. Like I got the bug, I get comedians and magicians and I get some, like Catholic comedians to like doing just crazy goofy stuff, which is really great. But again, you’re elevating what you’re doing. You’re meeting meeting the media, where it’s at, you’re, you know, in pushing the medium to. And that’s kind of I think, John’s point of which which we say in the world, but not of the world. Yeah, right. So we’re there. We’re in those spaces. We’re not letting them drive us or become the core, the reason why we do it, but we’re using those tools and being in those worlds and bringing hopefully, a little bit of light.

Edmundo Reyes 57:22
I’ll tell you the biggest compliment we’ve gotten with real and true, real true. My son, my 15 year old son watch a video and said, Dad, that looks just like Vox media. Like yeah, well, we went for a yes. Thank you. So good. Yeah, well to match that quality for what we think it’s a better message. News’s our first video was about why we have these desired of making maps. Why are we so obsessed with math making, and then we leave them at the end? I’m spoiling it for you. But at the end, it flips the question and says, What is the heavens? Like the first maps were of heaven of the stars that were in the earth? Where are the stars? What is the heavens had a map for us? And it’s this idea that there’s actually a plan for your life, right? And he watched it, and he was like, just look like looks at you? And I just like, yeah, like, thank you. This was exciting. Yeah.

Ryan Freng 58:17
Yeah, the message is coming in the way that it needs to it’s matching the quality of the context. Or the importance of the context. Yeah, and you go,

Edmundo Reyes 58:27
go watch some guys. Like if you’re watching this video, like, I think you’re gonna be excited about them. And yeah, we’d love to hear your feedback. So you could always leave your feedback there on YouTube or on social media where you find it.

Ryan Freng 58:38
There we go. Yeah, and what we’ll do that plug now I put the website right here, I put it in the chats real true.org Make sure you just hit all the things subscribe, like hit the bell, that that’s all helpful because we’re on those tools. So you got to you got to function in those tools. You did. So you mentioned your son and a question or your child. I don’t know if it was your son. When you said earlier, you have an adult now you have an 18 year old. And then you said you had your experience when you were 17. I think about this constantly. Like for me I had a an experience I had maybe kind of two experiences just growing up Catholic. It’s kind of like this is a lot of the non radical stories, non non radical conversion and revision stories of I grew up Catholic faith was part of my life. But then it wasn’t until a confirmation retreat that I was like, Ooh, this Jesus thing. There’s something here but then I kind of put it aside and then it wasn’t till college and I got involved at the university Catholic center here, St. Paul, which they just built a huge beautiful building and some people are like why spend all that money? And then you hear stories regularly about people just walking in like this is beautiful. What is this space? Me like? You go this this is a Catholic church like who are you? What’s your name? Let’s have a relationship. You know, so I had another experience in college that really convicted me and sent me down this path. reversion as it were, so I’m always thinking of like, what’s what’s that going to be for the kids because like, now my kids probably experienced the faith at an elevated level, try to teach that personal relationship, try to try to focus on that. I don’t know, as kids that they have that connection until something happens. And they do have that realization. But at least you can fake it till you make it, right. So they can practice these things, practice certain steps to or modes of prayer, and scripture or reflection and just virtuous living that hopefully get them close enough to then themselves be able to make that next important leap or step. So 18 year old, you got some older children? How do you think about that? Like, are you like, yeah, go to that retreat, go to World Youth Day, like, you’re just trying to get them close? And just trying to give them that experience? Or what do you you know,

Edmundo Reyes 1:01:06
you know, I’ll say maybe two, three things. But, you know, back when I was in ministry, we had the saying that God does not have grandchildren, God only has children. This idea that faith is a personal response, right? Like, your parents cannot make that response for you. Right? You at one point in your life are going to have to make a decision about these part part of our job as parents, right. And just as people of faith is to present that, to the faith to others, right, introduce them to that, but the response needs to be from them individually. Now. In fact, our last video for real truth speaks about faith, right? As a response, it’s a response to God. So God always initiates it. So. So if you think about that, like, this gift should give parents peace, right? Like God is more interested, than I am, of them entering into this relationship with him, right, like silky, he’s a lot more interested, he loves them more than I love them. And I know that he will, he will reach out to them. So I need to prepare them for that response. And hearing Kim, I see my children different. So responding to faith is a response, it has to do with relationship, right. And so my children are more prone to trust people. Therefore, when they translate that to God, right there, they have less like, it’s just gonna make sense. And they’re gonna, they’re gonna respond to that invitation, where one of my my sons doesn’t have that just because he doesn’t have it with anything. He’s just a lot more skeptical and an analytical and questions things. And I could see that he does his struggle a lot more with his faith. So my point is to encourage him, and I always tell him, like, look, you know, go find the answers to the questions that you have, I promise you, there is an answer for those. And telling him that he will have to find those answers on his own right. I mean, I set up different things for him, but, but this idea that if he continues to search, we’ll get there. So that’s a little bit of a high level, but we pray with them. And you could see how that’s helpful to them to hear. So they can hear parents talk about their faith and their own journey and what they see. So I think that the witness of the parents, and then this, the freedom that comes from knowing that God wants them more than you want them to be with God, like, it’s a bit freeing. We’re blessed with really good kids, the four of them are good kids or a lot of people, they have good kind of good moral compass. So I’m hoping that their own feature and lives in there, I do tell them the story, we have this funny thing, maybe I’m talking too much, but because when I turned 17 is when I had this powerful experience. So now I call it the walkabouts. I die with my first child and I’m going to do it with my second child to try to kind of tell them my own personal story so they see the importance that faith had in who I am and and that I’m so grateful for for having that encounter at such a young age, but I cannot assume that they’re going to have the same experience at the same right like it’s gonna be up to them and on their own journey.

I think it’s interesting there’s there’s many different ways to go after it but I’m I’m always intrigued by how am I going to phrase this Okay, so the, the real and true example you gave about the maps it was really cool. I actually did see that one. Loved it video was very well done. I was you know, locked in the whole time because the world The and and the predominant non Christian culture is often against us against the church. When you are blatantly coming from the church, or the church’s view, the church’s standpoint, there are people that you will lose in the in the discussion immediately right then, because they’ve been trained to put up a wall right then. And, like I said, there’s many ways to go at this there are there’s value in, you know, just presenting the gospel as the gospel from the church from, you know, from that view. But I’m always very intrigued by the messages that come come in and a sort of side door and get around the walls that people put up, that start discussing things that connect to them. Because it was it was from your point about encouraging your, your son or your children to search for the answers that they seek. Because there’s so many people that don’t do that? Well. A lot of talk about people who, you know, you bring a fifth grade level of catechesis in your own faith. And that’s where you stop for a lot of people. And then you go into your adulthood, and then you read the you read about quantum physics, and then you read about, you know, other religions and eat about, you know, read from Nietzsche, and you read from like, and then you’re like, well, these things right here. You know, these make more sense. It’s like, it’s so hard to have discussions with people. It’s like, Yeah, but you’re putting that up against your you’re putting that book up against a fifth grader, like, yes. Why don’t you go ahead and like, you know, open, you don’t put those walls up and like, seek to learn more?

Ryan Freng 1:07:01
Yeah, your your kids are reading more difficult books than my kids. My kids

Edmundo Reyes 1:07:08
are gonna Yeah, yeah, I think I think you bring up a very good point. And I think that the question that I would pose for us, right, not so much for the people that we’re hoping to share this message with? would be do we believe that our faith is reasonable or not? Because if we believe ourselves, that our faith is reasonable, that is not unreasonable, that you actually, if you sit down and think about it, it will make sense. If you believe that, then you’re better prepared to help others with that, if the way that you were brought up, the way that you approach your own faith is thinking that it’s unreasonable, I just need to believe that I just need to kind of like, you know, I guess this is what I do. And like, I better not question it. Because I may not find good answers, then I think you communicate that to others, right? But if you know where you stand, I mean, you understand that our faith is reasonable, you can approach that conversation a different way, assuming we’re not assuming but hoping that the other person is actually seeking truth, right? If they are not, it’s not, it’s not gonna go anywhere, not because of your not being able to communicate your faith, but just because a person is not willing to be honest, intellectually. So that’s important, right? Because there’s a wealth of, of ways of teachings or wisdom on how to how to go about just understanding our faith from a reasonable perspective. And that’s the the natural part. But then there’s a supernatural part right? There is the knowing that God can make Himself known to others that bypasses our rational part. So there’s that element to that there’s, there’s got to something else needs to happen. But I’ll say the most effective thing for me was what happened to me I was a very skeptical person when I was 17, a little bit like my son, who is struggling a bit with some of these questions, and but I went to this retreat. And what I couldn’t deny is that these people had a joy, and a love for one another that I did not have in my life. And I want to, like no matter what I thought about it, there was something they had that I couldn’t explain that it was different. So this is I think, goes through what you see in the Bible, what Jesus tells that they’ll know they’re my disciples, by the way, they love one another, right? Like, I think are powerful witness, our witness becomes powerful when we truly act the way that we believe when we truly love people, when we’re generous to the point that people don’t understand it. Why, you know, when we give ourselves when we, when we become those heroes that we were talking about very beginning, when we become those heroes right to others, then people believe right so I think that that’s not on the rational plan, but it is on the, on the relationship, experiencing the law of experiencing the joy They see that, you know, Pope Francis is big on to gotta be more joyful guy. So otherwise nobody’s gonna, you know, we lose all of our cred.

Ryan Freng 1:10:08
Yeah, we have a good friend to who I think about a lot. And he, he’s talked about how he struggled with his faith, but just being around that man, I feel like you experience the love of God and the love of God through this person. And I often think of that, and that’s maybe the highest praise I’ve ever received, like, once is, is the question of like, you’re so joyful, why are you so joyful? And I’m very combative in discussion, like, I love to get critical and logical and discuss. So like, in a discourse like that, I’m often not super charitable, something I know about myself and try to work with. But there’s the other side where, you know, when I am close to God, I feel like, I do a better job of getting out of the way and just being a joyful person and enjoy as in like, capital J, not happiness, but joy, like True, true love. And somebody, a secular client of mine said that, and I was just blown away and like, you know, I got goosebumps, I was like, Whoa, God, like, this, this like, this is how do we do more of this? And that that resonates? Because kinda like you’re saying, there’s the intellectual like, we can understand. God exists on an intellectual level. But yeah, there is there is that mystery there? Is that that element of faith that we are, we’re even given it, right, we’re given faith, and we turn away from it. And so I always ruminate with the kids like, where are they at? And I think you was something you said, is something I reflect upon, but need to do more of, is that idea of being real with them and sharing your own faith journey? Like that’s probably something I haven’t done enough of, of like, Hey, guys, you know, you see me pray, you see me go do this. I lead prayer. I’m struggling right now. You know, I don’t I don’t feel a lot of consolation. I don’t feel a lot of love. But, you know, I think that might be because of this because I’m so caught up in this other thing, and I’m working towards this work thing, and I’m not focusing on my faith and focusing, you know, my heart I’m Christ and having them see that reality, I think might be the the best chance that they have. And I love that quote, I’ve never heard that of God doesn’t have grandchildren, he only has children. Like, oof, man. There’s there’s a lot there.

Edmundo Reyes 1:12:51
It’s a lot harder than making car commercials.

No, no kid. It’s more it’s more fun to I there’s this awesome quote from Henry now. And so this spiritual writer, that I just remember reading it and and it’s always in part of the way that I think that the most intimate thing that we have is the most universal thing, right? Like when we’re able to speak to the heart right like heart speaks to heart right from St. John every human right, like this idea that when we are able to connect with at the deepest level, it’s the most universal level because we’re all created by God. Right? We’re all part of the same family so so for you guys in Lawson, everybody that is in kind of media, communications, storytelling, marketing, I mean, we’re all trying to hit those intimate things, right, intimate messages, because those are the universal and that’s where people are gonna, are gonna respond to whatever we’re offering. Right? So. And it’s because of that shared reality of we’re all created for by God and our destinies he’s got, you know.

Ryan Freng 1:14:04
So we we’ve been talking for about a little over an hour, you’ve kind of helped me to, to realize that. In many cases, we need to have longer conversations. So I’m now ruminating on like, happy hour after dark, but that’s the wrong connotation. But I would love like, I feel like we’re getting to a point now where we can really start digging in, but we typically start wrapping it up now. So thank you so much for the conversation. And if you are interested, whenever this comes, you know, whenever we figured out the best way to do this, I’d love to have you on for a much longer conversation, mostly so that I could just pick your brain and get get the wisdom from you that we’re we’re getting out of you right now.

Edmundo Reyes 1:14:53
I would I would love that. Maybe Maybe that’s like a cameo on your Christmas video one of these days.

Ryan Freng 1:14:59
Oh my gosh. Should you say that and we’re gonna make that call this year? That would be amazing. This is, this is how things happen to just, you know, ruminating on ideas and like, that would be really fun. People who are friends or we’ve worked with or you know, think could be really great in the video, we should totally bring them in this year. Mark that write that down. John, are We are Luke, somebody write that down? That would be so much fun. Yeah, no, I don’t believe you. So, I, you know, as much as I hate to cut the conversation off, I want to respect everybody’s time, especially yours in Muno. And now we’re going to do something that we do every week.

I’m on this janky connection. I hope that all played for everyone. I played it twice on accident. It’s now time for two truths and a lie. Edmundo has prepared I believe, right. Yes, I think the format of our of our earlier one of our Connecting emails now has that in there just to give people a heads up. Sometimes it’s fun. We don’t give them a heads up. Like, oh, my gosh, what am I going to do? So well, we’ll just have you do this, John. And I will guess and everyone who’s watching can guess as well, if you’re listening as the podcast, so this gets turned into a podcast eventually as well. You can totally throw your comments in or send us your answers are getting right. We’ll send you some swag. I don’t have any of our happy hour swag here. But oh, no. Can you hear me? Yes. I can i Okay, I can hear somebody. Can you see me? Okay. Yeah, we pay froze. Right now I’m tethering on my wife’s phone like this is my internet connection right here. I’m trying to use her data so

Edmundo Reyes 1:17:03
it’s right shout it anything’s exciting.

Ryan Freng 1:17:07
Isn’t isn’t that like the technology we have like from our gaming like mirror like telephone modems, all the way to Yeah, I can be wherever and use the internet. It’s, it’s amazing and frightening. Well,

Edmundo Reyes 1:17:22
I mean, you didn’t even go that far back in technology. Because right before that, we picked up a can. And there was a woman sitting there on the wagon connect Europe can do another can and then we can

Ryan Freng 1:17:34
you know, my, my kids still do creative things and, you know, entertain themselves. But like, I love telling my kids stories about things that we used to do, like we would sleep in our closets. We’ve cleared our closets, put our sleeping bags in there and sleep in there. And then we would figure out how to run can a string with a can from a closet to closet so that you could actually talk like we were creating our own communication systems. While we were doing this separate sleepover type thing like,

Edmundo Reyes 1:18:03
Hey, watch it in the unit for it real true. We actually use the that image of like connection. So you guys gotta watch it.

Ryan Freng 1:18:13
Yeah. Awesome way to bring it home. All right, so you heard you guys heard the audio. We’re going to play the game. Edmundo has got two truths, one lie. He’s going to tell us these stories in any order he would like and we’re going to guess what’s the lie? This is a way to just learn a little bit more about it. moonbow and maybe hear some cool story where he? I don’t know met Adam Sandler. We had that last last week actually so nice. You have to pick a different celebrity.

Edmundo Reyes 1:18:44
Okay, so I’m gonna cheat a bit because I wrote them so I’m gonna read the article. It’s great. Yeah, straight face. First one, my grandparents were political refugees that came to Mexico escaping Spanish persecution. Number two, I’m a safe driver. But I’ve crashed my car 12 times give or take. Oh my gosh. My third statement. My first bungee jump was when I was 15 during spring break trip in South Padre Island, Texas.

Ryan Freng 1:19:19
Give me that third one again. I’m writing these down because I have trouble my

Edmundo Reyes 1:19:23
first bungee jump. was when I was 15 years old during a spring break trip in South Padre Island, Texas. Wow.

Ryan Freng 1:19:35
See, you said you weren’t good, but these are good. Like nothing is nothing stands out right away as clearly not true. Awesome. Yeah, that was a good mix.

Edmundo Reyes 1:19:46
Yeah, I love it when when people don’t prepare and they’re like, Okay, number one. My name is Ed moonbot. Number two. I’m the Communications Director in Detroit. And number three, me and your life Like

Ryan Freng 1:20:06
yeah, why don’t you go ahead John, you guess first

Edmundo Reyes 1:20:08
okay. Okay, well, Emily guessed it to ya reckon one I mean I mean they’re there’s there’s a logical inconsistency a logical fallacy in the statement in itself but I I don’t know that your definition of safe driver let’s see

Ryan Freng 1:20:44
man I thought your your parents are political refugees. Yeah. From you said parents right? political refugees from Spain. Oh, grandparents. Okay. And then the third one first bungee jumping 15 Spring Break in South something Texas

Edmundo Reyes 1:21:05
man, they’re good. He’s good.

Okay, I’m gonna, I’m gonna go with the bungee jump. I don’t know why I don’t have a logical conclusion for that one. I’m just ooh, going with it.

Ryan Freng 1:21:26
You know, we were talking about this yesterday about soliciting reviews from former clients and or current clients on projects that are completed. And a way to incentivize it is saying, hey, when you when you do that, we will donate money to a nonprofit that we’ve selected for this quarter. I wonder if there’s a way we could do that with this to like, where if one of us gets right, we donate a little bit money and you know, people who get right in the chat, we could donate some money. That’d be a fun way to raise the stakes on this. Because at this point, we’re just like, oh, A, B or C. But hey, I’m taking.

Edmundo Reyes 1:22:04
I don’t know what you’re doing.

Ryan Freng 1:22:06
Yeah, yeah. For me, I need I needed to raise the stakes. So you and Emily said to crash your car. 12 times safe driver?

Edmundo Reyes 1:22:14
No, I’m going with the I’m going with number three, the bungee.

Ryan Freng 1:22:18
Oh, sorry. You pulled the audible while I wasn’t listening, I was writing. So your three Emily’s two. Let’s see. So number two kind of resonates because I’ve been in two or three accidents. And I’m a very safe driver. I’ve only gotten one ticket. And I was this was in college. And I was driving my friend’s car in northern Wisconsin, and had no idea of the speed limit. And I was like, apparently didn’t really know speed limits in general. And so I was driving. I don’t know. We don’t we don’t have as fast of speed limits as you guys do. We’re, we just got 70. Like within the last three years, we just got 70 in the state. So when we’re over here driving 70 or 75. You know, that’s the speed limit. We’re like, does the car even go that fast?

Edmundo Reyes 1:23:20
That’s that’s, I was

Ryan Freng 1:23:21
probably driving.

Edmundo Reyes 1:23:23
Like 85. Right. Go ahead, but my family’s? Yeah.

Ryan Freng 1:23:28
Yeah, well, when it’s just flat and straight, you know, it doesn’t really matter. But was I saying Oh, yeah, the speed limit. So I was probably going 17 over or something? Because I was like, I don’t know, it’s probably 65. So I was going 68 or something like that. 67 only time I’ve ever gotten a ticket. So number two kind of resonates with me. 12 seems a bit excessive, though. So that’s that’s hard. Like I can see a few. John picked number three. I do feel like I might have heard the story about your grandparents before. That would be a great lie, though. That’s that’s the period. Yeah. Yeah, that’s the way to trick us. Who was that there was somebody else who came on and and was talking about the immigration of their grandparents and we’re like, I don’t know that seems legit. And that was the lie. That’s always a good way to lie. Because you’re like, I don’t know. Sounds right. So going from Spain. I’m gonna go with number three as well, because I could buy number two, and your first bungee jumped at 15 Maybe it was 17. And maybe it wasn’t spring break in Texas. Maybe it was somewhere else.

Edmundo Reyes 1:24:56
Maybe it wasn’t system, you know? Yeah. Maybe it wasn’t attached. I don’t know.

Ryan Freng 1:25:04
It was skydiving. Yeah. Not bungee jumping. All right.

Edmundo Reyes 1:25:09
I can fly guys I start clean with with you guys.

Ryan Freng 1:25:14
You heard it here first. Yeah, so which one? What’s the lie? Good.

Edmundo Reyes 1:25:19
So the lie is the one about the grandparents.

Ryan Freng 1:25:23
Oh, he did it. We just were just like, any type of family or like ethnic heritage. We’re like, yep, by it.

Edmundo Reyes 1:25:33
So one of my my grandparents, my grandfather, he’s from, he was Italian and came, but he wasn’t a political refugee or anything. So it was a little bit of truth. They’re nice. But he I think he came with a political kind of mission or something. Anyways, but yeah, the the other the other two are true.

Ryan Freng 1:25:58
Yeah, you got to tell us the, I mean, both of those. You’ve crashed the car 12 times, but you, you’d say you’re a safe driver. Obviously, you get off, it’s not your fault.

Edmundo Reyes 1:26:10
So I would say I’m a safer driver now. I think I’ve only been, I’ve only got a ticket in the US since I live in the US. But I don’t know for some reason I just crashes happen to me and know my fault, right? Like basic stuff. And I started driving early and in Mexico is kind of chaotic. But I started driving. I was 13. And like, just I was driving and someone just ran a stop sign. And I just hit him like on that started my career. And my second one was like, it was like a rainy day and I and there was some sand and oil in the in the highway and just couldn’t stop and then like we hit a bunch of people and I mean, it’s just like that like very, very funky things.

Ryan Freng 1:26:57
Wait, what were you doing? There was sand and oil on the highway? Like it? Was there. banana peels? Oil.

Edmundo Reyes 1:27:05
There you go. Mario Kart driver. I compete in the Miramar? Yeah,

Ryan Freng 1:27:09
somebody’s shooting them behind them.

Edmundo Reyes 1:27:12
I was avoiding a shale. Yeah, I just lost my anyways. Yeah. But I think since I’ve been here in the US I I’ve been pretty, pretty good. And trying to keep safe. So yeah. And then the

Ryan Freng 1:27:29
bigger vehicles you just like we drive a Ford Transit a 15 passenger on I feel like I’m in a bus when I’m in that and I’m like, you know, someone’s gonna get out of our way. Otherwise, you know, hopefully they’re okay.

Edmundo Reyes 1:27:42
Yeah, you want a bigger vehicle and you want your vehicle to be older than the one next to you. Yes, more measure like, hey, well, you’re really good and a lot less concern I have about getting little dents and scrapes. Yeah.

Yeah, it’s your problem, not mine. Yeah. And the first one, I It’s crazy to think about that. Because now I have a 15 year old and I cannot imagine letting my 15 year old going on spring break to a different country. So we’re living in Mexico. And it was, and then for my 15 year old to find a way to sign the forms to allow them to jump like I mean, it’s just

Ryan Freng 1:28:20
to me that Yeah, neither

Edmundo Reyes 1:28:23
say that is that I am actually afraid of heights. So like he was like a pretty stupid thing to do, of like going on a bungee jump on my own when I was 15. Without my parents.

Ryan Freng 1:28:36
I’m terrified of heights as well. But I would love to do that. I I’ve always wanted to skydive as well. But I don’t know, maybe maybe driving a car is more dangerous than skydiving. But I don’t know, I don’t know if I’d have to sign away my life insurance or something. Like, if I, whenever I die. If I die early, I’d love my family to still get my life insurance. That would be a feeling

Edmundo Reyes 1:28:58
it’s gotta be, it’s gotta be pretty equal to like bungee jumping, you know?

Ryan Freng 1:29:04
Well, it’s probably better than driving a car. Honestly, it’s like the whole idea of like, if you

Edmundo Reyes 1:29:08
get crushed 12 times,

Ryan Freng 1:29:11
if you crash 12 times, dude, that’s not John’s dad just has all these great, you know, little nuggets of wisdom that I love hearing and one of them is like, if you die tomorrow, it’ll probably be in a car accident or, you know, the next day a car accident or, you know, statistically it’s probably like heart disease, heart disease, car accident, heart disease, heart disease or whatever. But that, you know, in relation to flying, you know, because a lot of people are afraid of flying. So I wonder, I wonder where bungee would be in there. You know, maybe 30 days. I’ll tell

Edmundo Reyes 1:29:40
you what’s scary. So we were driving, I was doing ministry and we were in one of those huge 1215 passenger vans with a trailer. It was a bunch of Oz going on mission. And we were driving from Minnesota to actually to the East Coast, and we were driving through Wisconsin. And you know how it when it starts freezing the things you know, you start seeing like the snow kind of like, like moving around because you have like the wind and then some of the blowing Yeah, yeah, the powder is there. And I could just like I could just see that we’re going to crash on this thing. It’s just like, hit something and the whole thing starts spinning on it more and trailer. We the trailer, the trailers now. And then we ended up in the media and by God’s grace, wow, this meeting was huge. And instead of going to the other side of the highway, the trees, little trees, it slowed us down. So they slow the spinning. And we were able to end in the middle of WoW, two lanes. So I just knew that God existed. You know, I knew it before. Yeah, I was like, like, lots of both timing were higher than actually making it, you know? Mm hmm.

Ryan Freng 1:30:54
Yeah. Yeah, though. And those vans too. They’re not? Well, it depends on what it is. But like the Ford Transit, they have little small 16 inch tires. And so I gotta put like, a couple 100 pounds of salt in the back and like, my wife has hunted around in a in a roundabout, you know, with ice, kind of like what you’re talking about. But yeah, and we got our trailer T boned. When we were in town coming back from a trip. Somebody blew a red light, and just smoked our trailer. The trailer flipped. It was John’s car. And you know, all of a sudden, we’re just here like, are you know, I was like, the craziest thing ever. Somebody’s ice cream fell. And they’re like my ice cream. And, you know, luckily. Well, John has kept us safe this many years. And they hid right behind right behind the car. So you know, there’s like two feet away from smokiness and hit the trailer, which was, you know, again, great. And that’s, you know, yeah, you’re like, oh, this turned out so well. For me. That’s, that’s God’s grace. I reflect to upon like, Man, this situation sucks. Like, what am I supposed to learn here? What is the purpose of this like in a hardship? Right, you know? So that’s, this is why we need like a three hour conversation with you, Edmundo. You’re

Edmundo Reyes 1:32:15
amazing. Thank you so much, guys. This is a lot of fun. I think super. I mean, I think you guys are awesome. And I’m a big fan of your work. So thank you so much for inviting me.

Ryan Freng 1:32:26
Thank you likewise. And I just thought of a to like, it’s weird, because I like to watch things. And I, I like we try to keep our kids away from screens. To a large degree, they can still do stuff. But I was watching some okaygo music videos last night for some research for a project we were doing. And the kids came over. And I was like, Oh my gosh, sit down. These are amazing. And I was thinking about the real intro videos. And I was like, this is like a revelation. For me. I’m like, Oh my gosh, all this really good stuff that I consume. I need to bring the kids in. Yeah, to participate in it. Because you know, who knows what, what can be that? That incident that causes them to reach back out, right?

Edmundo Reyes 1:33:09
Hey, I know that we need to go. But I’ll tell you a very similar story. So when I came back from Portland visiting the Bible project, guys, I was reviewing one of the series. So I was seeing the cat and my couch in the living room with my phone watching the wisdom series. So these would be Joe of Ecclesiastes, and wisdom are the three books, the wisdom in the Bible, and they did them in a style that is really, really beautiful. So I’m watching the first one and one of my, my child, one of my children comes and sits with me and watch this one. And then another one, then another one. So three out of the four. were all like, together, you know, like little kids with younger are watching it. And we watch the first one and then they say dad that let’s watch the next one. And they watch the next one. So they we watch for like 20 minutes. We want to do this about seven minutes. And my son said to me, Dad, at the end, and I feel like I learned more from these videos at all my years of religious education.

Oh, wow. Yeah, like for me,

that was a moment like I never forget that like two things, right? Like, like a little bit of like sadness that we’re letting these people down like, like, what we’re offering them with captivating, but like the positive like, there’s an opportunity here, right? Like if we can do it well. It lifts their spirits. So anyways, I’ll just share that with you.

Ryan Freng 1:34:27
I love it. I love it. Yeah, you you encourage me, you make me a better person. Thank you for coming on. We did plug the real and true. Is there anything else you wanted to plug before we wrap up here?

Edmundo Reyes 1:34:38
Yeah, if you’re interested on church work, you can go to unleash the gospel that org. So that’s like, kind of like the fun stuff that we do in the Archdiocese. So there’s the stuff that is more church stuff like they also send but then there is this more exciting thing that we do. And I have a great group of people behind it. So unleash the gospel that org And for a lot of people that’s like like they’ve never seen Something like that coming from a Catholic Diocese. So go check it out and tell us what do you think?

Ryan Freng 1:35:05
And you guys have a print book, right? Still doing that in

Edmundo Reyes 1:35:09
magazine? Yes, yeah. We have like poetry. We have the like church fathers custom illustration.

Ryan Freng 1:35:17
It’s actually enjoyable. Like it’s beautiful. It’s enjoyable to consume. I highly recommend it. Check that out. Yeah. All right. And Linda, thank you so much for coming on. This is also a podcast, eventually you’ll find it you can look down below, happier podcasts, sign up for that. You can also hit the bell, follow us like us, you know what to do on the social platform that you’re on? Exactly. Hit the buttons, do all the things. We’re here, let us know. You know, what you thought, what you want to hear more of, we’re gonna keep doing more of this because this edifies us and we think that edifies other people. So we hope that this was entertaining for your heart, and your mind entertaining for your heart. That’s a new thing. Let’s let’s get that going. Check that out to all the things again at moonbot. Thank you for coming on. We’re going to start the the happy hour after dark or we got to come up with a better branding for it. And I think we’ll have maybe you could be the first guest on there. Because basically, I just want to pick your brain. I just want to keep asking you more questions, so I can

Edmundo Reyes 1:36:28
do whiskey. Like, like, I don’t smoke, but you guys can smoke a pipe for us.

Ryan Freng 1:36:34
Yes. I love this for so many reasons. So thanks again. Edmondo for coming on. John. Is there anything else you want to plug? Talk about? Where are you over here? Well, you’re frozen for me.

Edmundo Reyes 1:36:50
Go seek me.

Ryan Freng 1:36:51
Can you hear? I can kind of hear you. Oh, you’re gone? Did you lose him? Yeah, you lost him too. Oh, that was good, too. He’s like, Go seek the knees.

Edmundo Reyes 1:37:05
There you go. Yeah.

Ryan Freng 1:37:07
So we’ll post later. Go seek the whatever John seems to go see. This is a part of mystery. That is wonderful. That’s what we got for today. Thanks for tuning in. Emily. It’s funny, Emily works with us as well. And I always say if you get it right. We’ll send you some swag. I think Emily has all the swag. So you’re back. What do you have St. John?

Edmundo Reyes 1:37:34
I was gonna Are we still live?

Ryan Freng 1:37:36
We are still live. I was like totally wrapping it up. Because I didn’t know if you’d make it. Yeah,

Edmundo Reyes 1:37:39
I got I got booted somehow. I was gonna say go seek the answers to the questions you have.

Ryan Freng 1:37:47
And ask those questions. They are important. And yeah, we’re not afraid. Cool. Thank you so much for tuning in. We’ll see you next time. Later. Bye.

author avatar
Ryan Freng
Owner and creative director. Shall we begin like David Copperfield? 'I am born...I grew up.' Wait, I’m running out of space? Ah crap, ooh, I’ve got it...