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Before the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins took to the stage at Schaller Memorial Chapel to deliver the final convocation for Synod School on Friday, the Rev. Dr. Matt Sauer of Manitowoc (Wisconsin) Cooperative Ministry, as he’d done all week, donned a red zip-up cardigan just like another Presbyterian, Fred Rogers, used to. It was Sauer’s duty to remind those attending the 69th annual gathering that not all the world is like the Synod of Lakes and Prairies’ Synod School, which concluded Friday on the campus of Buena Vista University.
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary has received a grant of $1.25 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish the Faith Forming Families Network (F3 Network), an innovation lab that will “rebuild the neighborhood” — one of mutual care and flourishing as envisioned by the seminary’s most notable alumnus, the Rev. “Mister” Fred Rogers ’62.
The ministry areas of the Presbyterian Mission Agency and offices of the PC(USA) practiced being good neighbors in the marketplace at this week’s Association for Partners in Christian Education event. APCE’s Marketplace, which features a bookstore and informational resources from various denominations, seminaries, and church-adjacent non-profits, is a major attraction at the annual event.
Thursday’s Being Matthew 25 broadcast, which you can view here or here, was all about neighborliness.
“Frankly, there isn’t anyone you couldn’t learn to love once you’ve heard their story,” Fred Rogers once said.
The numbers put up by The Pittsburgh Promise over the last 13 years are astounding: to date, the organization has funded higher education for 10,635 students, helping them attend 142 institutions by raising more than $160 million in scholarships. Students are awarded $5,000 in scholarships annually for their four years of post-secondary education, with a series of support systems in place to make sure they’re grounded even as they study toward securing a credential.
In the Communicators Network PC(USA)’s first-ever episode of Community Conversations broadcast via Facebook Live on Tuesday, the Rev. Lee Catoe and the Rev. DeEtte Decker didn’t hesitate to share their thoughts on how churches and the denomination can use social media more effectively to help amplify the voices of people who aren’t regularly heard from. Hear the conversation by joining Communicators Network by clicking here.
Each Sunday for the past few weeks, the Rev. Robert Felix has been giving parishioners at Chandler Presbyterian Church in Chandler, Arizona, real answers to honest questions. The way he goes about providing those answers — producing a short film each week based on a top faith question identified on Google Trends, then discussing the film and the question together — has proven to be an effective and innovative platform for, as he says, “figuring out how we share the gospel in Chandler and the world.”
For a minister of music who’s also a choral music and conducting professor, Tom Trenney is a born storyteller.
What did you do on Mr. Rogers’ Day?
Saturday, March 20 would have been the 93rd birthday of Fred Rogers (1928–2003), remembered perhaps as the greatest virtual teacher of all time and a beloved ordained minister of word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).