Reviewed by Joy Bethea
“The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers”
by Amy Hollingsworth
If “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” was created for children, consider this book “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood for Adults.” Through the lens of her friendship with Fred Rogers, Hollingsworth delves deeper into the values and spiritual practices of Rogers’ personal life, which served as the hallmark of his famous TV series.
“Every day,” she writes, “he taught God’s Message without preaching a word. For over thirty years, Fred Rogers visited so quietly with the children of America that nobody dreamed he was a Presbyterian minister. Using puppets instead of a pulpit, this icon of children’s television shared with America’s youngsters the basic principles of the Christian faith — forgiveness, kindness, compassion, respect — and made those values real for his audience.”
Through this book, your favorite neighbor is about to also become your friend. Through his conversations and written correspondences, Fred Rogers shared his real faith — lived out daily through simple actions — that impacted every part of his life, and the lives of children around the world.
After an afternoon basking in the calming influence of Mister Rogers’ rich perspectives, I purchased a bouquet of fresh flowers and enjoyed their beauty in solitude. I am confident he would wholeheartedly approve.
Joy Bethea is a believer, writer, curious questioner and conversationalist. She handles internal communications at the Grand Gulf nuclear plant in Port Gibson.