Monday Devotional
November 30, 2020
Dear Friend,
 

I have been listening to a podcast called “Finding Fred” about Fred Rogers, better known as Mister Rogers. The podcast addresses his connection with children, the diverse topics he dealt with and the impact of his decades of programming. In one episode of the podcast they talk about his genuine kindness toward children, particularly those who were sick or hurting. One young girl was having severe seizures. The family noticed, however, that the seizures stopped while the girl was watching Mister Rogers Neighborhood. When she was facing a dangerous surgery, the family contacted the television program to ask if Mister Rogers would send a note to the young girl. He did one better. A few days later he called. Then following the surgery, he visited her in the hospital, bringing his cast of characters and a library of VHS tapes. That was the kind soul that he was.

There are many such stories highlighted in this podcast. They pointed out that Rogers retired (for the second time) just weeks prior to September 11th. He was asked to come out of retirement to record a public service message to children. In this brief piece he spoke about looking for the helpers when there is a tragedy. Focus on the people who bring comfort, who go out of their way to care. Listening to this message once again, it was pointed out that this was one of the rare moments in which he spoke both to the children and also to the adults who had grown up watching his program.

One of the most moving discoveries for me was a moment of deep humanity. Mister Rogers always seemed to make everything seem so easy. But there were times he doubted himself and wondered whether he was making a difference. In 1979 he was writing a script for an upcoming show and wrote in the margins of his yellow legal pad, “Am I kidding myself that I am able to write a script again? Why don’t I trust myself? After all these years, it’s just as bad as ever. Oh well, the hour cometh and now is when I have to do it. Get to it Fred.” 

I know I have written and spoken about similar events in the lives of prominent people. They make their work seems so easy. But they are just like any of us. They have their doubts, their struggles, their moments of despair. They think about giving up. They wonder if they are making a difference. Sound familiar?

We have all been there. Other parents seem to make parenting look so easy. Our co-workers seem to be so organized and competent. When we compare ourselves to those around us, we often feel ill-prepared for the tasks at hand.

A few weeks after Fred Rogers wrote that doubt-filled note, he added a p.s. It read, “It wasn’t easy, but it was good. This I must remember.”

This is a time when we are all doing hard things. Even those things that once seemed easy have become more complicated. Whatever it is that lies ahead, don’t give up hope. Believe in yourself. Whatever you face this week, believe that you can do it. 

Peace,
Howard
 

Due to the increasing infection rates in our community and throughout the state, we are discontinuing the 8:30 a.m. in-person service on Sunday mornings through the rest of this year. For the safety of all, we encourage you to participate in the online service each Sunday at 10 a.m. If you need help accessing this service, please contact the church office and we’ll be glad to help in whatever ways possible.

If you need Advent candles or a devotion, we still have some available in the church office. You can pick them up Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. to noon. If you are not able to come by, let us know and we can bring them to you.

The Missions Committee is collecting funds to support the Christmas food distribution by Love Chapel. Normally we collect canned goods and other specific items. Given the unique circumstances this year, Love Chapel is asking congregations to make financial donations and allow them to make bulk purchases at discounted prices. You can contribute to these offerings with a check to the church indicating “Love Chapel” in the memo line.

If you would like to support the families living at Turning Point, a local domestic abuse shelter, they are looking for holiday gifts. You can view their wish list and make purchases by going to Amazon Smile or Wal-Mart. Gifts will be shipped directly to Turning Point.

We are offering a four week Advent study Sunday based on the Matt Rawle’s book, “The Gift of the Nutcracker.” This class will be held online from following the online worship service. If you would like to participate, please notify Pastor Howard or Pastor Sarah for the access code.

Have you signed up for Santa’s workshop? Although we cannot gather in the Fellowship Hall together, you can still participate in this important ministry with the youngsters in your life. Boxes are available with age-appropriate crafts you can do at home. To receive your box, please contact Pastor Jen.