Zoba, Wendy. "Won’t You Be My Neighbor?" Christianity Today. March 6, 2000 http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2000/003/1.38.html
Keywords: Mister Rogers, evangelist, love
But what most people don't realize about Mister Rogers and his Neighborhood is that behind the puppets, the tennis shoes, and the simple songs lies an abiding faith and weighty theology. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ordained Fred Rogers as "an evangelist to work with children and families through the mass media." He does not bring evangelism in its churchly sense to this calling, and neither does he introduce religious themes in his programs. But his daily neighborhood visits with children sow seeds that awaken something basic in their hearts. It is hidden growth, like the parable of the seeds sown in secret. It is growth, as someone has said, as "silent as light, as subtle as life, and mightier than either." Mister Rogers, in his silent, subtle, mighty way, rescues children from a world that would too soon warp their souls. He summons them to a special place where trust arises and does not disappoint. Hearts come alive, awakened by his unconditional acceptance. "Everybody longs to be loved and longs to know that he or she is capable of loving," he says.