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If a church community is truly to become a beloved community, church leaders have to have the courage to stand up for all people.
When I close my eyes, I can see Mr. Rogers changing his shoes, putting on his sweater and singing … “Won’t you be my neighbor?” Growing up in the early 1970s, “Mister Rogers Neighborhood” was one of several PBS shows my younger sister and I watched. And when I reflect now on over 30 years of educational ministry, it’s easy to see how he influenced me, whether through his gentle, direct, respectful voice or the use of puppets and music or his emphasis on neighborliness, inclusion and peacemaking.