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Good Neighbor Policies

There goes the neighborhood. By now you've heard the news: Mister Rogers has recorded his last program after 30 years on public television. The show will continue in reruns, but Fred's announcement reminded me how much I miss our visits.

When my daughters were preschool age, I welcomed the cardigan-clad Presbyterian minister to our home almost every day. Or more accurately, we were invited into his house and, by a short train trip through his living room wall, into the Neighborhood of Make Believe. There I found that, thanks to puppets King Friday and Prince Tuesday, the message of Sunday was enacted all week long for a petit flock led by a serene shepherd in gym shoes.

In fact, looking back, I can say that (almost) everything I needed to know about pastoring I learned in that pre-kindergarten. Mr. Rogers taught me much about life in my own neighborhood—er, congregation.

"It's you I like"

Mr. Rogers always reminded his viewers that he likes them just the way they are. It was something his ...

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