City Road Chapel United Methodist Church of Madison in Nashville, Tennessee recently hosted a community-wide "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood” themed block party. The block party worked to recognize the art of neighborliness.
The block party called, the Beautiful Day Neighborhood Festival, had hundreds of people attending. The Christian Post reported, that the festival came in response to a sermon series that is Mister Rogers themed called "It's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Being a Good Neighbor in a Divided World."
City Road Chapel UMC lead pastor, Rev. Jay Voorhees, told the outlet, "Our church takes seriously Christ's call to love our neighbors, but we recognize that in our current climate neighborliness is a lost art.”
He continued, "Our church is located in a very diverse area of Nashville, with a high rate of poverty, homelessness, and youth violence, so there is sometimes a perception of a neighborhood that is struggling. However, we believed it was important to help us draw closer to our neighbors and lift up God's beauty in our midst."
The outlet asked Voorhees how well the church was at being good neighbors, to which he responded the results were "mixed."
Voorhees said, "More often than not it seems like church folks think that we get to choose who our neighbors are rather than loving the actual neighbors we have. I hear from folks all the time whose experience of churches they encountered were more about judgment than love, which is, I fear, driving more and more folks away from the church."
Voorhees said, "My hope is that we can help folks remember that we are all in this life together and that we need one another. That's God's vision for the world — reconciliation, not division."
At the festival the "Beautiful Day" band played the show’s theme song and a red cardigan like Mr. Roger’s iconic sweater was displayed on the stage.
There was also a documentary team from the website thankyoumisterrogers.com present at the festival. The team made a reportedly moving film that came out in June called “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
The film documents the face of the popular children’s TV show Fred Rogers' life and career.
Mark W. Hendrickson of the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College said to The Christian Post that the documentary left him in tears.
Photo courtesy: Unsplash/Clem Onojeghuo