Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November Meeting - Connect & Coordinate

In November, RCC members gathered for a nice lunch to chat and recoup before the holidays at Anatolia's Restaurant on White Bridge Road. In attendance were Carolyn Dandridge, Amelia Tucker-Shaw, Carol Mansour, Brian Fesler and Julie Brinker. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

October 2013 - Putting Faith Into Action

Lynn Bogle,
Nashville Rescue Mission
In October, RCC enjoyed lunch at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry where they heard from dynamic gentlemen on how to put faith into action. It was a real treat to have two organizations present: the Salvation Army and Nashville Rescue Mission.

Lynn Bogle, with Nashville Rescue Mission, stressed the importance of reconnecting people with God. The Nashville Rescue Mission serves the homeless, addicts and broken families by serving meals, providing shelter, restoring life and helping people get back on their feet. He also made it clear that anyone can end up at the Mission after a couple of bad choices in life.

Gerald Brown, with Salvation Army, presented a video about the
Gerald Brown,
Salvation Army
Salvation Army which demonstrated the motto: Doing the Most Good. The army "provides soup, soap and salvation," but truly encompasses a myriad of activities to the benefit of children, men and women.

President of the Nashville chapter and pastor of the Church of Scientology, Rev. Brian Fesler said, “I’m always encouraging my parishioners to get out and be active in the community... and people like this just prove it’s all worthwhile.”

Both organizations provide shelter for those without homes, and both give out meals to the hungry. Both as well have upcoming events...

You are welcomed and encouraged to join the Salvation Army at A Gathering of Angels on October 29th at 6pm. This event will benefit the Angel Tree Program. The cost of the event is being underwritten by sponsors, therefore 100% of the proceeds raised will benefit the Salvation Army. It will take place at Boone Convocation Center at Trevecca Nazarene University Campus.

The Nashville Rescue Mission would encourage all to attend Music with A Mission on November 17th at 7pm at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Tickets start at $35 and can be purchased at www.mwmnashville.com.

For more information on the Nashville Religion Communicators Council or to sign up on the email list to be notified about upcoming meetings, email rccnashville@gmail.com.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 2013 - Larry Hollon and his book "We Must Speak"

In June, RCC was able to hear from Larry Hollon, the General Secretary of United Methodist Communications who spoke in detail about the topic covered in his book "We Must Speak."

He began by showing everyone a video produced by United Methodist Communications about how communications work in the church began and how far the techniques of communication have come along. The video had an encouraging message for faith communities to speak out and get the message out to the world, reaching people where they are at through media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit, Tumblr and so on.

Mr. Hollon made it clear that if we don't communicate about our faith - someone else will, and the chances are, it will be inaccurate somehow. He said, "Be energetic and aggressive in attempting to communicate in this way, because when we don't, we don't use the power and strength of the organizations and churches that are behind us." 

He stressed his point that the conversation about religion occurs whether we communicate about it or not, which makes it vital for us to communicate about our faith to get the accurate information out to the general public. "We must speak, because God has challenged us to speak."

In response to a question about how to reach both the older generation at the same time as the younger, Mr. Hollon said to look at the whole range of media platforms and tailor your message to each individual audience. He spoke about using various media together, such as including links in articles sent out in magazines and allowing people to subscribe online to hard copy print information.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

May 2013 - Visit to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

For the May 2013 meeting, RCC visited the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) Stake Center in Franklin, TN.

The Council was led on a tour of the center by Nashville Mission President William McKee.

RCC members learned that the LDS church has a mission to help people find their roots. The Franklin Stake Center houses a facility where research is conducted, both by members of the church and the community at large, to discover genealogical history. The church runs a free website: familysearch.org where this research can also take place.

One of the core tenets of the faith is that the Lord permits Church members to be baptized on behalf of their friends and relatives who have departed this life (see mormon.org). Baptism of the dead evolved from the beliefs that baptism is necessary for salvation and that the family unit can continue to exist together beyond mortal life if all members are baptized.

RCC members were given a rare glance into the LDS Temple, a site in which visitors are often restricted, and were able to sit in the anteroom and get questions answered by the Temple President.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Faith Day on the Hill

RCC members participated in planning and holding Faith Day on the Hill at the Tennessee State Capitol. 

Representative Brenda Gilmore hosted the event and a wide variety of faith groups
Rep. Brenda Gilmore
participated: Mormon, Baha’i, Sikh, Jew, Scientologist, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, All-Denominational Christian, Muslim and more.  They came together to discuss topics of burning interest to all: education, health care, violence, jobs and the prison system. Not only did they discuss these issues but also got to know one another so that together as a unified force they could look at how to resolve the problems facing their state. Brian Fesler, Julie Brinker and Carol Mansour of the Nashville chapter participated in the planning sessions for the event.  

Dr. Michele Gourley,
TN Dept of Health
Each topic of the day was followed by a prayer delivered by a religious leader from the area. Speakers for the event included: Dr. Michele Gourley (Tenn. Dept. of Health), Commissioner Kevin Huffman (Tenn. Dept. of Education), Commissioner Derrick D. Schofield (Tenn. Dept. of Corrections), Ted Townsend (Tenn. Dept. of Economic and Community Development), Richard Moore (Tennessee Bureau of Investigation) and leaders from many faiths. 

There was a panel on Faith-to-Faith meant to bring everyone closer together by learning about one another. Representing the Sikh Community on the panel was Prem Singh Kahlon who had previously hosted an RCC meeting. The panel was moderated by Nashville chapter president Brian Fesler. 

Rev. Brian Fesler, Nashville Chapter RCC President

Prem Singh Khalon, representing the Sikh community
Remziya Suleyman, representing the Muslim community

Faith Day on the Hill proved to be a wonderful opportunity for faith communities to come together and learn from one another. In fact, many members of the Mormon religion were present who are now eager to host a meeting for RCC in the future. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

March 2013 - Search Engine Optimization for Religion Communicators

Nashville Chapter members gathered at the Church of Scientology for the March meeting to learn about the dos and don’ts of internet marketing from Dan York, Founder and CEO of Stellar E-Marketing. His company was recently acknowledged as one of the top five ethical and actionable SEO agencies by SEOmoz. A seasoned entrepreneur, administrative & marketing consultant and Internet marketing expert, York spoke about the basics of search engine optimization.  After explaining advertising techniques such as pay-per-click, York cut right to the basics of what search engine optimization really means and how to get picked up by Google, Yahoo and Bing. RCC members found they had many questions for York such as “How do I know which keywords to use?” York recommended Google Keyword Tool as a free option, but he warned that it is not as intuitive as the person working the computer. There was a new member at the meeting – Drew Pope with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He plans to host a meeting in his church soon. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

February 2013 – Health and Faith

Michele Gourley,
TN Dept of Health
Nashville RCC members met and heard from the new Director of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives for the Tennessee Department of Health, Michele Gourley. Dr. Gourley has filled this position for five months and jumped right into it. With a pastor for a grandfather who also had a knack for the political arena, Gourley was quite comfortable going into this position. After graduating from East Tennessee State University with degrees in medicine and public health, she found that a job in public health suited her more than private practice. She views her position very much like a mission in itself. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

MLK Service

RCC members participated in a fabulous service where four churches joined together to celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. The churches participating were: Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church, First Unitarian Universalist Church, the Church of Scientology and Historic Community Church. The Service was held at Corinthian and began with a potluck at 2pm, where all church members and others from the community came together to break bread. After that, all moved swiftly to the sanctuary where they felt a sense of community unlike anything before.  There was a mix of races and faith, and all church choirs sang together, each church pastor led a part of the service and a wide variation of people sat together in the pews. Nashville chapter members who participated were Brian Fesler, Carol Mansour and Julie Brinker. Julie also sent out a press release covering this historic event and two newspapers covered it – The Nashville Pride Newspaper and the Tennessee Tribune. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Learning about Life in Captivity

The RCC met up with members of Amnesty International who had a guest in town: Peter Moore. Peter had been a political prisoner in Iraq during 2007–2009. He told RCC members a wild story where he was taken captive against his will, threatened, beaten and generally mistreated. Although, he was able to convey his story in an overall light-hearted manner and his communication was excellent. RCC members were very interested to hear from him and had many questions afterward. He said he is currently taking some time off from work to travel and has been sharing his story with anyone interested.