Thursday, September 25, 2014

Religion Communicators Council Sets October Meeting

The Religion Communicators Council meets each month to hear about a topic of interest. This coming month, the Nashville Chapter is bringing back the Tennessee Department of Health Director of Faith-Based Initiatives.

In 2012, the Religion Communicators Council (RCC) had special guest Dr. Michele Gourley, Director of the Tennessee Department of Health’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, talk about her position and what it means to faith groups in the state.  RCC will have her back to speak to its members for the October meeting.

“Religion Communicators are welcomed and invited to this meeting with Dr. Gourley,” says president of the Nashville RCC Chapter, Rev. Brian Fesler. “Much has happened since she initially took on this role [at the Department of Health], and many more members have joined the RCC, so the time is ideal to bring her back.”

Prior to serving in this role, Gourley worked for the state of Tennessee in the Division of Health Planning, where she helped write and oversee the 2010 and 2011 State Health Plans. She obtained her medical degree and Masters of Public Health degree from East Tennessee State University with an emphasis on rural primary care and community health.  Gourley has also completed studies in wellness coaching, trauma and resilience and health impact assessments.

Gourley has spent the majority of her life as a part of faith communities in Middle and East Tennessee, has served as part of faith-based medical and public health projects in Central America and has participated in ecumenical faith communities in the Middle East and Europe.  In 2010, she was selected as a participant in Duke Divinity School’s Center for Reconciliation’s Summer Institute, where she focused on the role of food as it pertains to faith and reconciliation.

The meeting will take place on Oct 21st over lunch. The RCC is open to members from all denominations, and the Nashville group includes those with Baha’i Faith, Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Scientology, and more.

For more information about the RCC or their next meeting, visit 

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