Thursday, April 13, 2017

Nashville Church of Scientology Holds ‘Swing Into Health’ Concert

The Nashville Church of Scientology recently held a community concert in observance of World Health Day, called ‘Swing Into Health.’

When a jump-jive swing band comes rolling through Nashville right around World Health Day, it only makes sense that a concert related to healthy living is in order. And that’s exactly what happened during the second week of April when the Jive Aces visited the Church of Scientology for a community concert. Aptly titled “Swing Into Health,” the concert brought people together for a fun evening where they were able to engage with organizations promoting healthy lifestyles such as being drug-free, doing community gardening and finding affordable healthcare.

The Church of Scientology supports the Foundation for a Drug-Free World (FDFW), which has as its mission to educate people about the dangerous effects of drugs so they understand and can make informed choices on the subject. The local chapter, Drug-Free Tennessee (DFT) hosted the concert to observe World Health Day. 

Rev. Brian Fesler, pastor of the Nashville Church of Scientology, says, “There is a need in our communities to educate everyone on how to be healthy—this includes staying away from illegal drugs, and there are many other aspects to health that people should know. By educating people in a fun, upbeat way, they could be more inclined to make healthier choices.”

The Jive Aces, who headlined the concert, are a six piece swing band that has been together for over a decade. The group has performed at thousands of festivals, theatres and events throughout the UK, Europe and USA, as well as Japan, Israel, South Africa, Morocco and the Caribbean, 30 countries in all. The Jive Aces are renowned for their high energy Jump Jive music (the exciting sound where Swing meets Rock ‘n Roll) and spectacular stage show.

According to jiveaces.com, “Having become the first ever band to reach the semifinals of Britain's Got Talent in 2012 following up with a performance for Her Majesty The Queen as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and performances for both the Olympic and Paralympic celebrations, The Jive Aces have truly established themselves as the UK's top Jive & Swing band.”


For more information on the Church of Scientology or its programs, visit scientology-ccnashville.org. 

Drug-Free Tennessee Engaging with Community at Local Health Fair

Drug-Free Tennessee is the local chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, and has been hard at work spreading its message during events with other organizations.

Within the last month, thousands of dollars’ worth of drugs and cash were seized as part of a multi-agency investigation across middle Tennessee where authorities found marijuana, cocaine, guns and cash at several different homes in residential neighborhoods; nearly $13 million in fentanyl (a narcotic) was seized in a drug bust by police in Decaturville; and just yesterday, three people were arrested in a drug bust that uncovered 15 lbs of cocaine and 2 lbs of heroin.

“When it comes to people’s lives being ruined by drugs and addiction, the news is just non-stop,” says Rev. Brian Fesler, regional coordinator for Drug-Free Tennessee. “We need to spread a positive drug-free message and educate as many people as possible and as fast as possible,” he says.

For this very reason, Drug-Free Tennessee (DFT) has been out in the community educating residents and providing resources.  This past week, volunteers spread the word to neighbors during a community health fair, where they also offered further help in the form of lectures to boys and girls clubs, Sunday school classes and other groups.

DFT is the local chapter of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World (FDFW), which is based in Los Angeles and has as its mission to educate people about the dangerous effects of drugs so they understand and can make informed choices on the subject.

Fesler says, “There is a need in our communities to educate everyone on drugs, drugs impact all our lives in one way or another. That’s why we work with others so people can get a complete overview.”

For more information on Drug-Free Tennessee, visit drugfreetn.org.


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Nashville Church of Scientology Opens Its Doors to the Community

The Church of Scientology is preparing to celebrate its 32nd year in Nashville, TN, and with that, is hosting several events for the community at large.  

The Scientology religion came into this world in 1952. As such, members of the Church recognize that as a religion, it is still young when compared to other world religions such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. In a recent interview with pastor of the Nashville Church, Rev. Brian Fesler said he enjoys learning about people of other faiths, how they get along in life, and what drew them to their faith calling. “When you look at all of the diverse people of this world, it is actually very beautiful that each individual person can find a religion that gives them a path, and a calling to be able to benefit spiritually in this very materialistic world,” he said.

Rev. Fesler went on to speak about how people find Scientology, “People are naturally very curious about Scientology. We accept all kinds of people for classes and spiritual counseling. People come and go, sometimes they read a book or try an introductory course and then we’ll hear from them three years later.  Others find quickly that Scientology is the path that makes the most sense to them, and they often become members of the church.  Either way, Scientology is here to stay, and we will be here for them any time.”

The Nashville Church of Scientology will celebrate its 32nd anniversary with a private event at the end of April. But coming this week, the church is opening its doors with a community concert in honor of World Health Day. The concert will take place in the church’s community event hall. Rev. Fesler says he expects around 80 to attend that evening. “Since we opened our doors in the beautiful Fall School building, we’ve welcomed community members to a variety of events, shows and classes. Many thousands of people have come into our building, and learned more about what we do. Some have taken a class or two, and some have just enjoyed the beautiful architecture. What is most meaningful to me is that these people have opened themselves up to learn what Scientology is all about – to see for themselves, not base an opinion on hearsay or what they see in the media.”

“Scientology is an active religion, where one seeks to know life and help people," says Rev. Fesler, "and we thrive on positive results.” To learn more about the Church of Scientology, its programs and courses, visit www.scientology.org.  

Religion Communicators Council Explores the Proliferation of Channels of Communication

How does one contribute to his faith? Some take up the calling to be a minister, imam, rabbi or priest while others might take time to volunteer or give weekly donations. There’s a certain class of people who have taken up a unique calling: communication.

The Religion Communicators Council (RCC) is an interfaith organization more than 80 years old which has members from many faith traditions, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Baha’i, Scientology, Hinduism, Buddhism and more. Members of the RCC make it their job to communicate on behalf of their tradition, to spread the good news and encourage good deeds throughout the world.

Each year, a national convention is held for all RCC members across the United States. It is a time to come together as one, to celebrate excellence in communication, and gain ideas and inspiration.  The 2017 conference took place in April in Chicago, Illinois.  RCC members gathered under the theme "Virtually Here, There and Everywhere: Faith Communications and Presence," alluding to the myriad channels of communication in today’s world, and how to best utilize those channels in engaging an audience or disseminating information.  It was held at Crowne Plaza Hotel and consisted of a long weekend of activities and workshops from Thursday to Saturday.

The convention opened with a plenary by Rev. Myron McCoy, Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church at the Chicago; Angela Cowser, Associate Professor of the Sociology of Religion, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary; Rami Nashashibi, Executive Director, Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN); and the Honorable Toni Preckwinckle, the President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.  They took time to speak to the topic “Guns into Plowshares, Presence into Hope: On Violence and Faith.”

During the first evening of the convention, the annual DeRose Hinkhouse awards were presented to active members of RCC who demonstrate excellence in religious communications and public relations. The most prestigious honor were the Best of Class awards, and among the winners were Christie R. House, General Board of Global Ministries for the United Methodist Church with the New World Outlook Magazine; Anuttama Dasa with ISKCON Communications for The Joy of Devotion; and to Steven D. Martin with the National Council of Churches for the National Council of Churches Podcast.

Religion Communicators heard from experts on social media, media engagement, making podcasts, getting accreditation, seeing theater as communication, creating material specific to young people, building a blog, handling a crisis, and countering hate movements.

The convention concluded Saturday evening with the presentation of the Wilbur Awards, recognizing the work of individuals in secular media who communicate religious issues, values and themes with the utmost professionalism, fairness and honesty. Award winners for this prestigious honor included The Associated Press, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBS News, National Geographic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, and the Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee). Hidden Figures, the 20th Century Fox production about the African-American women behind astronaut John Glenn's historic space launch was presented this award as well as Roots, the History Channel's remake of Alex Haley's portrait of American slavery; and black-ish, ABC-TV's comedy about a black family's search for cultural identity. Photos and the full list of winners are available on the Wilbur Awards page of the RCC website.

The Religion Communicators Council (RCC), founded in 1929, is an interfaith association of religion communicators at work in print and electronic communication, marketing and in public relations. Members of the RCC come from many different religions and backgrounds including Christianity, Judaism, Baha’i, Hinduism, Scientology, Buddhist, Sikh and Islam among others.

For more information about the RCC or the annual convention, including a complete list of DeRose Hinkhouse and Wilbur Award winners, visit religioncommunicators.org.