When was the last time you made a friend who didn’t look like you? Or didn’t believe, think, work in your career field or grow up in the same culture as you?
Whether it’s been weeks or years, two Nashville ministers from different backgrounds — one a Scientologist, the other a Missionary Baptist — are bringing a diverse swath of the community together Thursday in hopes of breaking down barriers and forging new friendships.
The Rev. Brian Fesler, of the Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre Nashville, and the Rev. Enoch Fuzz, of Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church, hope at least 100 people show up to their International Day of Friendship celebration and be intentional about creating relationships.
Attendees will be sat at tables with people they have never met or barely know and urged to talk and learn about one another. A Scientology-based group, the Way to Happiness Association, will give a presentation and offer discussion points. It starts at 5 p.m. at the Church of Scientology at 1130 8th Ave. S.
It’s the second year the Church of Scientology in Nashville has held the event on International Day of Friendship, which was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011. But it’s the first year they’ve partnered with Fuzz, and the recent string of terrorist attacks as well as shootings involving police have made the event all the more imperative, Fesler said.
“Do not ignore that we’re different from one another,” Fuzz said. “Don’t say, ‘I don’t see that you’re black or that you’re white or that you’re Hispanic. That I don’t see color.’ Embrace our differences and enjoy them.”
Reach Holly Meyer at 615-259-8241 and on Twitter @HollyAMeyer.
If you go:
What: Friendship Day
When: 5 p.m. Thursday
Where: Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre Nashville at 1130 8th Ave. S.
Details: The event is free and attendees are welcome to come and go during the roughly hour-long program.