Won’t You Be My Neighbour?

Won't You Be My Neighbour -- April 11 - May 16

Won’t You Be My Neighbour?
April 11 – May 16

Throughout the season of Easter, The Anglican Parish of Christ Church will be exploring themes of justice, sabbath, love, neighbourliness, diversity, and faith using the example of the life and faith of Fred Rogers. Mister Rogers, a children’s TV icon, was an ordained Presbyterian minister whose quiet faith imbued his television show.

Many of us have been moved by recent coverage of Mister Rogers, and Rev. Sue Oliver is no different. She remembers going to see the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbour and leaving the theatre overcome with tears, hope, and a deep desire to quite simply ‘be more like Mister Rogers!’ Her idea for this worship and learning series was sparked by Mister Roger’s simple message of love and being a neighbour to everyone. In a world that has become increasingly polarized and divided it seems fitting to encourage each other to not only know our neighbour but reach out in love to them.

Covid times have made it so very difficult to reach out to our neighbours and the social isolation of many has been tremendous. Christ Church has tried to be creative in continuing to be neighbourly. From welcoming our Oliver neighbours to summer garden concerts, to making snacks and lunches for vulnerable children during Covid, to delivering Christmas meals to seniors, we have sought to creatively continue offering neighbourliness to all those around us. We have also, along with the rest of the diocese, committed to protecting our neighbours by moving our worship online and contributing as much as we can to flattening the curve.

The importance of being a good neighbour is not just something for the church to do as an institution – it’s also part of our individual callings as Christians. We are called to love our neighbours as ourselves, and, as Jesus did, to love and accept people “just the way they are.”

You know, I think everybody longs to be loved, and longs to know that he or she is lovable. And, consequently, the greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they’re loved and capable of loving.

Fred Rogers

Even though Mister Rogers was a children’s entertainer, the themes that he explored on his show were never shallow or simplistic. He tackled questions of challenging racism, how to handle anger, building supportive communities, and offering radical hospitality. It’s not difficult to find these same themes in the Bible!

By using Mister Rogers as our lens for exploring scripture, we hope to get people feeling excited and encouraged about expanding their view of what it means to be a good neighbour in 2021. So many have found comfort in the gracious welcome Mister Rogers offered to us as children. Having experienced that grace through his good example, we know how important it is to offer that same welcome to others.

Our Mister Rogers theme will be woven into the Sunday morning worship which is found on the Christ Church YouTube channel.  The youth of our parish will also be continuing the 40 Day Adventure with weekly Bible reading and conversations along the same themes.

Each Wednesday evening, we will have a video teaching around themes emerging from Mister Rogers’ life and work. Finally, we will have a live gathering to share our learning and meet our neighbours (virtually) on Wednesday, May 19th at 6:30pm.  Whether you are our literal neighbour or a virtual neighbour from another parish or another city, we hope you will come and join us!

If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.

Fred Rogers

Sunday Morning Worship

April 25: People in the Neighbourhood

May 2: Helpers in the Neighbourhood

May 9: Sad, Mad and Glad in the Neighbourhood

May 16: Stories in the Neighbourhood

Weekly Podcasts from The Neighbourhood (available Wednesday evenings)

April 14:  Diversity in the Neighbourhood

Watch Video   |   Download Audio

April 21:  Children in the Neighbourhood

Watch Video   |   Download Audio

April 28:  The Yellow Light in the Neighbourhood

May 5:  The Neighbourhood as Liturgy

May 12:  The Neighbourhood to Come


May 19:  Live Neighbourhood Event at 6:30pm on Zoom