98: Coffee with a Jew and a Gentile

Coffee, Cigars, a Jew, and a Gentile. What could possibly go wrong?

charleschris1A Jew and a Gentile Walk into a Bar … Mitzvah, that’s the name of the podcast hosted by Charles Bretan (The Jew) and Chris Henson (The Gentile). Their friendship has developed because of shared interests in God, cigars, humor and mental health. Read their blog – surf their galleries – swim in their web pages – they are living out rough, messy, unpolished lives engaged with God’s Word. “The struggle is real,” as people say, and yet, so is the love.

Our links from the show are at the bottom of this show notes page as usual and the two bios are pasted from www.charlesandchris.net.RSS Pointer

MEET THE JEW: Charles Bretan

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival ’15

I am a Jew by choice.

For those of you still reading this post, allow me to elaborate.  Both of my parents were Jewish, but that is not what makes me a Jew.  I am a Jew because I choose to be: because I choose to live my life in a Jewish way.  I choose to study Torah and to live by its precepts; I choose to keep Shabbat and to follow mitzvot; and I choose to eat toasted bagels with a shmear of cream cheese, lox (not nova), and a nice slice of onion.

Born and raised in Miami, I now live in Greensboro, NC with my wife, Gail, and our two sons, Lee and Evan.  I am a teacher by trade and by disposition.  With degrees in education from the University of Florida and from Nova Southeastern University, I have taught middle school, high school, undergraduate, and graduate students.  I have taught in public and private schools, and in for-profit and not-for- profit institutions.  I have taught almost everything from composition to scuba diving and from leadership to life saving.


I graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Psychology/Human Resource Development from NCSU (1998).  I received my M.Div. from Duke (2001).  I’m an ordained Elder (2006) in the Western NC Conference of the United Methodist Church.  I have served as a pastor for 15 years, first serving in England followed by appointments in NC.  I’m the Pastor-in-Residence with the Wesley-Luther Fellowship at the University of NC Greensboro.  Presently, I’m a resident chaplain at WFBMC (Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center). I’m a husband to Summer, father to Sophie, admitted cigar-arsonist, creative, subversive, and living with clinical depression.

Disclaimer: The views Chris shares are his own and do not reflect those of the WNCC or WFBMC.


Chris' birthday
Chris’ birthday

If you go to Charles and Chris’ webpage you will very quickly see great content. They are not just passionate about one or two social justice issues, they are reflecting topics and values raised throughout scripture, matured by thousands of years. Case and point, the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible (all of them) consistently implore us to feed the hungry.

I suspect it is no coincidence, therefore, that Charles and Chris chose to promote an important ministry feeding the hungry, the New Communion Mobile Market & Pantry. Charles and Chris ask that as our listeners are able they might financially contribute to this ministry. Monica Banks is the director of the program and she responded to my email about contributions as follows:charleschris2


At this point we can only receive cash or check donations to the church.  Checks can be made payable to First Christian Church with New Communion in the memo line. We are a small operation and the church is our fiscal agent at this time.  The address checks can be sent to is First Christian Church: 2320 Country Club Drive, Winston Salem, NC 27104.

We are grateful for the support and hope to make donations easier going forward.




Institute for Islamic, Christian, and Jewish Studies (ICJS.org)audiblefreebk

A Jew And A Gentile Walk Into A Bar … Mitzvah Podcast


New Communion Mobile Food Pantry
Monica Banks

Wild Goose FestivalWildGooseFestival

Nova Southeastern University

North Carolina State University

University of North Carolina Greensboro

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

One thought on “98: Coffee with a Jew and a Gentile

Comments are closed.