Celebrating Differences, Forging Friendships at the Church of Scientology
International Day of Friendship was created to inspire peace and bridge-building. The Church of Scientology Nashville brought together a diverse group to dialogue for the occasion.
More than 100 pastors and community leaders were called to participate in an interactive adventure in friendship for the International Day of Friendship celebration in Nashville, Tennessee, hosted by the Church of Scientology.
Members of the Sikh, Jewish, Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Muslim and Scientologist communities came together to learn about one another and forge true friendships by taking part in guided dialogue.
The annual observance, designated by the United Nations in 2011, was created with the idea that “friendship between peoples, countries, cultures and individuals can inspire peace efforts and build bridges between communities.”
This is the second time the Church of Scientology has hosted a celebration for the day, with many community leaders coming together to participate. Pastor of the Church Rev. Brian Fesler says, “We brought people together for the event, but it’s not going to end today. Many of them plan to stay in touch and keep getting together over the next few months to continue a journey to friendship.”
Fesler says events like this are vital to combat racism and bigotry in today’s world. “There are so many problems in the world today caused by a basic misunderstanding of each other. If we learn something about other people we might end these problems, disputes and upsets altogether.”
The Church of Scientology partnered for this effort with The Way to Happiness Association of Tennessee that provides a community betterment program based on the book The Way to Happiness by L. Ron Hubbard. The program is predicated on the fact that one’s survival depends on the survival of others—and that without the survival of others, neither joy nor happiness is attainable. Several concepts in the book promote dialogue and friendship and were used during the event to assist attendees to dialogue with one another. Among them, “Respect the Religious Beliefs of Others,” “Seek to Live with the Truth” and “Try to Treat Others As You Would Want them to Treat You.”
For more information on the Church of Scientology, its programs or upcoming events, visit the website of the Church of Scientology Nashville.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
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