Tennessee Church Hosts Mister Rogers-Themed Festival to Teach About Loving Our Neighbors

Pastor Jay Voorhees leads Beautiful Day Festival participants in worship.
(PHOTO: RAND CHANCE)

A Nashville, Tennessee area church has hosted a community-wide block party centered on the themes of the classic kids television series “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood.”

City Road Chapel United Methodist Church of Madison hosted the first-ever Beautiful Day Neighborhood Festival on Sunday, with hundreds attending the three-hour event.

The Rev. Jay Voorhees, lead pastor of City Road Chapel UMC, told The Christian Post Monday that the festival came in response to a Mister Rogers-themed sermon series he oversaw titled “It’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Being a Good Neighbor in a Divided World.”

“Our church takes seriously Christ’s call to love our neighbors, but we recognize that in our current climate neighborliness is a lost art,” explained Voorhees.

“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.”

When asked his opinion on how well the overall church was at being a good neighbor, Voorhees of City Road Chapel UMC told CP that he felt the results were “mixed.”

“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,” said Voorhees.

“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 noted that for the festival, they had “Beautiful Day” band which opened with the TV show’s theme song, as well as a red cardigan sweater, like the one host Fred Rogers wore on the long-running program, being placed prominently on stage.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski