Thursday, December 17, 2015

2015 Year in Review - Religion Communicators Council Promotes Good News

The Religion Communicators Council is an interfaith communications organization working to promote peace and fellowship while spreading the good news.

The longest running interfaith communications organization in the United States, the Religion Communicators Council (RCC), has chapters across the country that meet regularly and promote “excellence in the communication of religious faith and values in the public arena and encourage understanding among religious and faith groups,” according to the RCC website.

In Nashville, the RCC Chapter meets every other month to promote its ideals through conversations about what is in the news and how to spread more religious messages – the good news—a tradition that began this year. “People of faith have influence,” says president of the Nashville Chapter, Rev. Brian Fesler, who pastors the Church of Scientology, “We all need to step out and speak up because the good news, of which there is an abundance, tends to be overshadowed.”

The chapter began the year hearing from Mohamed Shukri-Hassan, the Program Director for the American Muslim Advisory Council and member of the Mayor's New Americans Advisory Council, who described programs both organizations are doing to help promote understanding and tolerance, a timely message.  Next RCC members visited Ibis Communications where they met and heard from MaryAnne Howland, its president and founder. Howland described how the name Ibis comes from the bird of wisdom, as she described her commitment to serving organizations of goodwill.

The next visit for the chapter was to the American Center for Outreach where members had a chance to talk with and learn from Paul Galloway, the organizations new director. The American Center for Outreach is a non-profit organization formed to address bigoted legislation at the State Capitol, mainly against the Muslim population.

RCC members were glad to learn about ways to care for the environment on World Environment Day at the Church of Scientology, where guest speakers discussed neighborhood community gardens and best practices for planting trees.  Following this meeting, the RCC co-hosted an event for International Friendship Day, also at the Church of Scientology, where a diverse crowd discussed stereotypes and ways to overcome them. 

Following Friendship Day, the RCC executive board met and decided to change the focus of meetings to be more interactive for members. Thus the group introduced a new bi-monthly breakfast meeting where the RCC could take up hot topics in the news, fellowship, and discuss promoting tolerance and peace among all peoples. They were able to hold two such meetings this year, first at United Methodist Communications, then at the Islamic Center of Nashville.

Nashville’s RCC chapter is preparing for an even greater 2016 with its new style of meetings taking center stage to help members learn new ways to promote the good word. RCC is open to members from all denominations, and the Nashville group includes Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, Hindus and more.  For further information about the RCC or their next meeting, visit www.religioncommunicators.org.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Nashville Religion Communicators Council Shares the Good News

The Nashville Chapter of the Religion Communicators Council holds bi-monthly meetings to discuss hot topics and have deep discussions on what is happening in the world today.


The longest running interfaith communications organization in the United States, the Religion Communicators Council (RCC), has chapters across the country that meet regularly and promote “excellence in the communication of religious faith and values in the public arena and encourage understanding among religious and faith groups,” according to the RCC website. 

In Nashville, the RCC Chapter meets every other month to promote its ideals through conversations about what is in the news and how to spread more religious messages – the good news.

“People of faith have influence,” says president of the Nashville Chapter, Rev. Brian Fesler, who pastors the Church of Scientology, “We all need to step out and speak up because there is more good news in the world than bad, but it tends to be overshadowed by mainstream media.”

The Religion Communicators Council in Nashville held its final of the meeting for the year in November at the Islamic Center of Nashville. Fesler says this is very appropriate given the hot discussions around what is happening in the Middle East. “We need to show that people—especially religious people—are doing good works. We need the majority of people in the world to realize they don’t need to be gripped by fear, and to do that we must spread the good news.”

During the November RCC meeting, the group discussed tolerance and diversity, especially among children in schools.

Fesler said the next RCC meeting of this kind would take place on the second Tuesday of January. “Everyone is welcome to come share in the discussion and learn how to get out the good news.”

The RCC has members from every faith group and walk of life including Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, Sikhs, Hindus and more. For more information about the RCC or their next meeting, visit www.religioncommunicators.org.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Nashville Religion Communicators Council Discusses Teaching Religion in Schools

The longest running interfaith communications organization in the United States, the Religion Communicators Council (RCC), has chapters across the country that meet regularly and promote “excellence in the communication of religious faith and values in the public arena and encourage understanding among religious and faith groups,” according to the RCC website. 

In Nashville, the RCC Chapter recently shifted the style of meetings to maintain the organization’s historic integrity while adjusting to 21st century ideals by holding bi-monthly meetings to discuss hot topics and how they, as people of faith, may influence others.

In November, the group talked about the teaching of religion in public schools, citing the recent news of parents in Williamson County who were upset about the amount of attention paid to teaching about Islam during a social studies class.

During the meeting, the group reviewed the possible ways that religion could be discussed in a grade school setting to promote tolerance and diversity without enforcing any one particular belief or faith values on students. RCC members also agreed parents are the ones that need to teach their children about religion, not just their own, but open the discussion so their kids understand that there are other people in the world who believe differently than oneself.

According to the President of the Nashville Chapter, Rev. Brian Fesler who also Pastors the Nashville Church of Scientology, the chapter meetings take place on the second Tuesday of every other month during breakfast. “The concept for these meetings is to bring diverse people together to dialogue about hot topics and how we can unite to bring more inspiration and good news to the world,” he said.

The RCC has members from every faith group and walk of life including Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, Sikhs, Hindus and more. For more information about the RCC or their next meeting, visit www.religioncommunicators.org.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Nashville Religion Communicators Council Announces Upcoming Breakfast Meeting

The longest running interfaith communications organization in the United States, the Religion Communicators Council (RCC), has chapters across the country that meet regularly and promote “excellence in the communication of religious faith and values in the public arena and encourage understanding among religious and faith groups,” according to the RCC website. 

In Nashville, the RCC Chapter has shifted the style of meetings to maintain the organization’s historic integrity while adjusting to 21st century ideals.

In September, the chapter met with open dialogue and communication among members about hot topics and current events. The group discussed exactly how clergy should and should not be involved in political processes, citing the recent editorial in the Tennessean by Rev. John Faison of Watson Grove Missionary Baptist Church where he spoke to how his church is not for sale and how his support for a mayoral candidate is also not for sale.

The next meeting will be on November 10th at the Islamic Center of Nashville.

According to the President of the Nashville Chapter, Rev. Brian Fesler who also Pastors the Nashville Church of Scientology, the chapter meetings take place on the second Tuesday of every other month during breakfast. “The concept for these meetings is to bring diverse people together to dialogue about hot topics and how we can unite to bring more inspiration and good news to the world,” he said.


The RCC has members from every faith group and walk of life including Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, and more. For more information about the RCC or their next meeting, visit www.religioncommunicators.org.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Nashville Religion Communicators Council Announces New Series of Breakfast Meetings

The Nashville Chapter of the Religion Communicators Council has announced a new series of meetings, beginning in September.


The Religion Communicators Council (RCC) was formed in the 1920s to promote “excellence in the communication of religious faith and values in the public arena and encourage understanding among religious and faith groups,” according to the RCC website.  As such, the RCC is the oldest interfaith communications organization in the United States. In Nashville, the RCC Chapter is shifting the style of meetings to maintain the organization’s historic integrity while adjusting to 21st century ideals.

Beginning in September, Nashville’s RCC meetings will consist of more open dialogue and communication among members about hot topics and current events. This shift comes after the organization’s executive committee did a survey of members and found that they were looking for more participation.

According to the President of the Nashville Chapter, Rev. Brian Fesler who also Pastors the Nashville Church of Scientology, the chapter meetings will take place on the second Tuesday of the month over breakfast. “The concept for these meetings will be to bring diverse people together to dialogue about hot topics and how we can unite to bring more inspiration and good news to the world,” he said.

The RCC has members from every faith group and walk of life including Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, and more. For more information about the RCC or their next meeting, visit www.religioncommunicators.org.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Nashville Religion Communicators Council Supports Friendship Day



The Nashville Chapter of Religion Communicators Council (RCC) is one of the groups behind the upcoming event designed to break down stereotypes and increase friendly dialogue among disparate peoples. The event takes place on International Friendship Day, an observance recognized by the United Nations is 2011. The day was created with the idea that “friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities,” according to un.org.

The UN resolution emphasizes that young people, as future leaders, can be brought together in activities with different cultures. This promotes international understanding and respect for diversity.  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is quoted as saying, “On this International Day of Friendship, let us cultivate warm ties that strengthen our common humanity and promote the well-being of the human family.”

The event, which will be hosted by the Church of Scientology, is a “Journey to Friendship Through Dialogue,” and will help create dialogue amongst those with whom participants might not otherwise associate.

Hosting pastor Rev. Brian Fesler says, “This event is needed. There are too many problems arising from basic misunderstanding that could be cleared up or prevented if we all took the time for honest and open communication.”

RCC holds regular meetings for its membership and participates in events that forward its mission. For more information on RCC, visit www.religioncommunicators.org.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Religious Communicators Discuss Care for the Environment



The Religion Communicators Council exists to spread the good news to the world. Its members come from all religious groups and work in various public relations arenas.

What does the environment have to do with religion? That is what a group came together to discover in June during the monthly meeting of the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) in Nashville, Tennessee.

RCC hears regularly from a variety of organizations and groups which better the community, promote messages of faith or give tips on how to spread the good word. This month, the topic was care for the environment.

Guest speakers discussed the community garden in the Edgehill neighborhood and how young and old alike join forces to create wonderful fruits and vegetables. A horticulturist was happy to share the best practices for planting trees so they aren’t going to grow to be a problem for power lines and so they aren’t planted near water pipes underground. She also discussed the best ways to trim trees so they grow big and healthy while at the same time not growing in such a way that would be dangerous, in the case that they were to fall in a storm for example.

“It’s great to know what we can do to make the city a more beautiful, greener and cleaner place to live,” says president of the Nashville RCC chapter and pastor of the Church of Scientology, Rev. Brian Fesler.

The discussion was all the more appropriate due to the timeliness of the United Nations annual World Environment Day which occurs in the month of June.

RCC is open to members from all denominations, and the Nashville group includes Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, and more.  For more information about the RCC, visit www.religioncommunicators.org.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Religion Communicators Council Organizes June Meeting with Environment Focus

The Nashville Religion Communicators Council to focus on the environment at its June meeting.

How can religious communities work together to improve the environment? This is the focus of the monthly meeting of the Nashville Chapter of the Religion Communicators Council (RCC). RCC hears regularly from a variety of organizations and groups which better the community, promote messages of faith or give tips on how to spread the good word.

In June, the group will hear a panel discussion on ways to improve the environment. The meeting will take place in the Church of Scientology community room, 1130 8th Avenue South, and panelists will discuss volunteer opportunities, community gardens, clean up projects and how anyone can make Nashville a better place.

RCC exists to spread the good news to the world. Its members come from all religious groups and work in various public relations arenas. RCC is open to members from all denominations, and the Nashville group includes Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, and more.  For more information about the RCC, visit www.religioncommunicators.org.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

News: Religion Communicators Council Visits American Center for Outreach

The Religion Communicators Council exists to spread the good news to the world. Its members come from all religious groups and work in various public relations arenas.

Throughout our history, America has been a land defined by religious faith and freedom. Religious freedom is our first and most fundamental, God-given right deemed so precious that our Founding Fathers enshrined it in the U.S. Constitution, according to the website Alliance Defending Freedom.

So what does a religious group do when its right to practice is threatened in the United States of America? Exercise its right to freedom of speech and organize a non-profit organization to address the situation. That is exactly what happened in 2011 when the American Center for Outreach was formed by Muslim leaders in Nashville, Tennessee.

This week, ACO Executive Director Paul Galloway was happy to host the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) for its April meeting. Galloway spoke about the mission, purpose and history of the center. RCC members were glad to hear from Galloway and plan ways to work together in the future.  

RCC hears regularly from a variety of organizations and groups which better the community, promote messages of faith or give tips on how to spread the good word.

The American Center for Outreach works to promote religious liberty and faith-based social justice through advocacy and issue-based coalitions. Its principles are religious freedom, mutual respect, and interfaith cooperation, among others.

Galloway has been called “the Yoda of interfaith affairs” while he was with Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, where his work was honored with a Jefferson Awards Certificate of Excellence for Public Service.

“This country was founded on principles of religious freedom and I appreciate anyone who makes that a priority,” says president of the Nashville RCC chapter and pastor of the Church of Scientology, Rev. Brian Fesler. RCC is open to members from all denominations, and the Nashville group includes Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, and more.  For more information about the RCC, visit www.religioncommunicators.org.


For more information about the American Center for Outreach, visit acotn.org. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April 2015: Paul Galloway, American Center for Outreach

In April, Nashville's RCC Chapter met at the American Center for Outreach Office to meet Paul Galloway and learn more about the center which was formed in 2011.
 
What does a religious community do when they are attacked on the political stage? The answer: form a non-profit to address this. That is exactly what happened in 2011 when the American Center for Outreach was formed by Muslim leaders in Nashville, Tennessee.

Paul told Nashville RCC members about how he was recruited from Houston, Texas to come to Nashville which was steeped in anti-Muslim legislation and how the American Center for Outreach was formed as a 501(c)4 to address this.

Tennessee already had AMAC (American Muslim Advisory Council) which operates as a 501(c)3 to address issues with law enforcement, but the Muslim community didn't have a way to fight bigoted legislation at the capital. ACO (American Center for Outreach) was the answer to this need.

Current legislation that ACO is working to address includes Senate Bill 1040 / House Bill 1141 which deals with "no-go zones." It states that there are areas in Tennessee that are "controlled" by extremist gangs where average citizens aren't welcome. This is entirely untrue and perpetuates myths surrounding faith communities.

Paul has written for a blog titled "Muslim Matters." Some of his writing can be found here under the name Paul "Iesa" Galloway.

For more information on the American Center for Outreach or current campaigns, visit www.acotn.org.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Feb 2015: MaryAnne Howland, Ibis Communications

In February, Nashville's RCC Chapter met at Ibis Communications Office on a cold and icy day to meet MaryAnne Howland who formed and runs the International office based in Nashville. 
The Ibis is the bird of wisdom and symbol of knowledge, an omen of good things to come, the mythical scribe of powerful, transformative and beautiful messages. That’s the Ibis specialty, reaching niche markets across a broad spectrum of demographics, with fluent, resonant, and persuasive communications.
MaryAnne's personal philosophy is to include all people and help make the world a better place by serving others. She gave RCC members an insight into why she is passionate about this. Her son was born with a disability, but he is the bravest, most wonderful person and inspires her every day. 
MaryAnne, in her mission to help others will only serve as the communications agency of organizations of goodwill. 
She is also Founder and CEO of the Global Diversity Leadership Exchange, that launched in February 2012. This unique forum is designed to facilitate an on-going dialogue with global thought leaders and C-Suite executives on global diversity, inclusion and sustainability in the US, BRICS nations, and other emerging markets. 
During the Obama Administration, she attended four White House Summits: Women Leaders in Climate Finance and Investment, Women and the Environment conducted by the EPA, White House Business Council as a participant in Business Forward, and the Green Business Summit led by the American Sustainable Business Council. During the Clinton Administration, recognition for the success of her business led to the prestigious honor of an invitation to lunch on Capitol Hill for a White House tribute to the nation’s Women Business Leaders. 


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mayor's Office of New Americans

Our January meeting took place at Provence on Church Street. It was a cozy, warm lunch discussion with Mohamed Shukri-Hassan. He is Program Director for the American Muslim Advisory Council and recently was appointed by the Mayor of Nashville to serve on the Mayor's New Americans Advisory Council.  
Mohamed was a co-founder of the American Center for Outreach, works as the Welcoming Tennessee coordinator for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition and formerly worked as an Outreach Coordinator for the Metro Public Health Department. He is passionate about helping new Americans settle in and be welcomed to Nashville. 
He was able to share with RCC members some of the programs run out of the New Americans Office including My City Academy which helps new Americans and neighborhood leaders understand how the Nashville government works. 
RCC is open to members from all denominations, and the Nashville group includes Baha’is, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, and more.  For further information about the RCC or their next meeting, visit www.religioncommunicators.org.