March 20, 2021
I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you
I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you
So let’s make the most of this beautiful day
Since we’re together, we might as well say
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won’t you be my neighbor? — “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” theme song
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.
Fred Rogers was, after all, an ordained minister of word and sacrament for the PC(USA) and is a notable public figure whose work around peace and reconciliation are worth remembering. Rogers was also a pioneer in the world of Christian education and formation of young children. March 20 was his birthday and the day that the PC(USA) has chosen to highlight all we can learn from his work. Find ideas and resources for communities to engage in Mr. Rogers Day at pcusa.org/formation.
Miatta Wilson, Mission Specialist, Office of Christian Formation, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: Mr. Rogers Day
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray:
Gracious God, give us listening ears, gentle hearts, inquiring minds and feet ready for the work of peacemaking and reconciliation lived out so well by your servant Fred Rogers. Amen.