Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Race, religion, and reconciliation to be addressed in Thursday lunch panel at Hispanic church on Concord Road

Panel: Rev. William Buchanan, Fifteenth Avenue Baptist Church; Dr. David Choi, Bridge Community Church; Ps. Scott Roley, Christ Community Church; Ps. Germán Castro, El Shaddai Christian Church

Operation Andrew is sponsoring a lunch panel Thursday called Coming Together, to discuss race and reconciliation in the context of area pastors' congregations and communities. The event will be held at the El Shaddai Christian Church at 10604 Concord Road, from 11:30am - 1pm.

According to its web site, Operation Andrew formed in the wake of the most recent Billy Graham Crusade appearance in Nashville:
During the first four days of June 2000, the Middle Tennessee Billy Graham Crusade was held in Nashville. The Executive Committee of the Crusade was deeply moved by all that it saw God do as racial, ethnic, cultural, and denominational walls were broken down for the purposes of evangelism. As the Crusade ended the Executive Committee agreed that some ongoing strategy needed to be developed so that the good things that the Crusade produced might continue and expand. A special committee was appointed and before the end of the year The Operation Andrew Group was formed as a non-profit 501(c)3 ministry organization.
The group was also instrumental in bringing Argentina evangelist Luis Palau to Nashville in 2007. The Hispanic Nashville Notebook published this report from the Palau event, noting that then-Mayor Bill Purcell and then-Vice Mayor Howard Gentry marked the occasion as a moment of both diversity and unity for Nashville:
Mayor Purcell boasted of Nashville being a "friendly" and "welcoming" city. Vice Mayor Gentry said, "Nashville looks like it's never looked before," in an apparent nod to the diversity of the crowd, which was well represented by various ethnic groups, including African-Americans, Asians, caucasians, and indigenous/mestizo Hispanics. "It is great to see you here in peace, love, and unity," continued Gentry to applause. "I want to thank Luis Palau for bringing hope to Nashville," he said.
English and Spanish were both present at Palau:
[Q]uintet El Trio de Hoy performed in English and Spanish. At one point, the band asked in Spanish, "How many Spanish-speakers do we have here," and received audible applause in response... English and Spanish t-shirts in the crowd included references to Bible verses, such as Isaiah 40:31... and Phillipians 4:13...
Nashville has also addressed race, reconciliation, and religion in the locally written and produced film The Second Chance, a 2006 movie starring Michael W. Smith and jeff obafemi carr, with a supporting role performed by Yuri Cunza, current president of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (Hispanic Nashville Notebook story here).

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