Below are a few of the articles in our EASTER 2021 edition of our Newsletter.

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Dear Friends,
Fred Rogers, perhaps better known as Mister Rogers, was an American children’s TV presenter. His programme, Mister Rogers Neighbourhood, ran on US Television from 1968 to 2001. A recent 2019 film, starring Tom Hanks as Fred Rogers, tells some of his story including his encounter, and friendship, with a world weary journalist by the name of Lloyd Vogel (whose character was based on a real life journalist that Rogers knew).
Rogers was famous for his patience and kindness. He had the ability to see the best in everyone and, despite Vogel’s best attempt to find otherwise, it seems Rogers was like that both on and off screen – sympathetic, a good listener, affirming. Vogel, who has a habit of falling out with just about everyone, cannot see how someone could possibly maintain that level of calmness in their life.
However, one day, in the Tom Hanks film, Vogel meets Rogers in a café for what was to be a life changing conversation. As they sup coffee together Rogers asks Vogel to pause with him for a moment.
“Would you do something with me, Lloyd?” asks Rogers, “It’s an exercise I like to do sometimes. We’ll just take a minute and think about all the people who loved us into being.
Lloyd responds, “I can’t do that”. “Oh, they will come to you. Just one minute of silence”. As they pause in silence the whole restaurant stills. Silence descends. After a minute Rogers breaks the silence saying to Vogel, “Thank you for doing that with me. I feel so much better”.
I watched the film of which I write, (it’s called “A beautiful day in the Neighbourhood”) just a few days ago. Nothing much happens in it. It’s more about their growing of a relationship than a complicated plot line.
That film has also made me think, especially about what Rogers might have meant when he spoke of bringing to mind the people who “loved us into being”, all the people who were part of what now makes us who we are, the people who’ve loved us and cared for us.
Perhaps, I wonder, during this last year you’ve felt supported by the love of others and will know how special that love can be.
Perhaps, too, that phrase “being loved into being” has something to tell us about Easter and its message too.
“For God so loved the world (loved it into being!!!) that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3: 16).
May the love that is Easter – the love that loved us into being – be with you and yours at this Holy Season.

Your friend and Minister, Robin Allison (Rev)

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