Our Quest for Faithful Presence

Dear St Luke’s,

Sunday is Mr. Rogers Day & we’re having breakfast together, in the sanctuary during worship.  Its going to be super fun!

This will be our second observance of Mr. Rogers Day.  Fred Rogers was born on March 20th 1928, and he wrote, produced, and hosted Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for 33 years.  As you know, the show was an educational Public TV program focused on emotional, ethical, and relational training for preschool children.  Fred was an ordained minister called to serve God by serving children through the medium of public television. 

This weekend we join the growing movement of faith communities across Canada and the USA adding a focus on neighborly faithful presence as we incorporate Mr. Rogers Day in our Lenten journey.  You are invited to join me in wearing a cardigan sweater as we worship together, and be prepared for a few nods to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood throughout our service… and since we’re having breakfast during the service, our pews will be pushed to the sides and we’ll be seated around tables and chairs.

I shared this link last year, but wanted to again as it provides a lovely framing of the themes we will explore together on Sunday.  https://youtu.be/mSbYQz3rluM

Here are two quotes from Mr. Rogers that offer a glimpse into why so many churches are emphasizing this day in a unique way: 

  • “In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” – Fred Rogers

  • “Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” – Fred Rogers

Following the way of Jesus dares us to discover a way of loving our neighbors… those right around us.  Not just our families, not just our friends, not just people who agree with us, not even just those we like, Jesus invites us to discover a way of love with those we encounter in the everyday stuff of life… our neighbors.  Jesus was once asked, “Who is my neighbor?”  Fred Rogers might ask you, “Who is your neighbor?”  Who is inviting you to discover a way of love?

Always remember my friend, you are beloved, you are not alone, and yes, you belong.  See you on Sunday in a cardigan!

Peace, dwight