Thursday, January 14, 2016

Nashville Religion Communicators Council Talks Faith and Tradition

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 just met, discussing deep topics around politics, faith and more. The group met in the Church of Scientology where Rev. Brian Fesler welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the year which continues the series: Building Bridges Over Bagels.

The hot news of the day had the group looking at an issue where a denomination that earlier supported the right to choice is now seeking an end to legal abortion. Members had to answer the question: how can it be that a denomination can turn 180 degrees on such a basic issue?

While myriad intriguing discussions followed, the group still came to mutual understanding and respect of one another as well as each other’s faith traditions. This style of meetings is intended to maintain the organization’s historic integrity while adjusting to 21st century ideals. They found ways that as people of faith, and especially religious communicators, they can improve conditions for others.

According to Fesler who is also President of the Nashville RCC Chapter, 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.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

January Meeting: Building Bridges over Bagels

RCC held its first meeting for the year in January at the Nashville Church of Scientology in a warm environment with hot coffee & tea and plenty of bagels for all. Chapter president, Rev. Brian Fesler, opened the meeting by welcoming everyone, getting introductions, then diving right into the hot news discussion of the day: in the 1970s, Southern Baptist leaders supported women's right to choice. Today, the SBC leaders are seeking an end to legal abortion. How can it be that a denomination can turn 180 degrees on such a basic issue? 
The group talked about various political issues and how they have impact, as well as if it is or isn't right to make government policy that is based in religious beliefs, and most importantly how to reach those who do make policy to try and get it all right. 


This meeting series is called “Building Bridges over Bagels,” drawing attention to making strong and lasting ties between people of faith while breaking bread together. According to Fesler, 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.”

Attending the January meeting were: Julie Brinker with the Church of Scientology, Drew Pope with the LDS Church, Carol Mansour with Baha'is of Middle Tennessee, Prem Singh Kahlon with the Sikh Temple, Royya James with United Methodist Communications, Rev. Brian Fesler with the Church of Scientology, Teresa Suarez with United Methodist Development Center, Brooke Baker with Faith and Culture Center, and Amy Hurd with the Tennessee Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.