Pastor's Weekly Letter

A Note From Dr. Paul J. Kirbas

Hi, Neighbor!

Today we continue our new worship series entitled “To Be a Neighbor.” With a major motion picture coming out this fall in which Tom Hanks will be playing the role of Mister Rogers, and as we celebrate the 50 year mark of his first showing of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, this is a good time to renew our understanding of who Fred Rogers was and what his message was all about.

As you probably know, Mister Rogers always went through a clothing change at the beginning of his shows. He took off his suit jacket, put on a zipper sweater, and replaced his shoes with sneakers. When he ended his show, he reversed this pattern. Some people have suggested that this was his clergy clothing, much like when I put on a robe as worship begins and take it off when it is over. So let’s begin to see the sweater as a sign that a minister is about to begin a sermon, even if it does seem very different to us.

I want to thank all of you who have responded to our Mister Rogers’ Sweater Drive. Our boxes have become so full we had to empty them to receive more from you! These sweaters will help keep people warm as the cold months approach here in our community.

So far in this series, we have lifted up Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood values of love and self-control, and today we will turn to the value of peace. We have a peace wall set up next to our trolley in the Garden Court. We invite you to come by and write down a prayer for peace and place it on the wall. Lines from your prayers will be put together for the pastoral prayer next Sunday.

And now, let’s continue our “To Be a Neighbor” series. Welcome back to the Neighborhood!


Dr. Paul J. Kirbas
Pastor / Head of Staff