Category: Passages

What to tell kids about Santa Claus!

Why would Mister Rogers suggest our changing how we talk about Santa with our kids?

It is hard to believe that anyone could criticize everyone’s favorite neighbor! It happens even to Mister Rogers’. Listen to Fred Rogers share about how he got criticized by parents for how he shared about Santa Claus. Click on the audio file below.

Home – Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning & Children’s Media

The legacy of Fred Rogers guides everything we do. From the beautiful simplicity of modeling nurturing interactions with young children to the thoughtful use of educational technology, we learn from Fred’s timeless wisdom and approach.

We are less than a week from concluding another Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive for those in need of gently used sweaters that you can donate to help a neighbor keep warm this winter. Collection bin is in the lobby at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on the Northside of Pittsburgh.

Community Needs | Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh

In the spirit of Fred Rogers’ lessons of helping others, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh holds an annual Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive each winter. Since 2001, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has collected more than 35,500 sweaters, distributing them to families in need throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Thank you for helping us keep our neighbors warm!
We have collected over 35,000 sweaters over the years to be a blessing to those in need of keeping warm.

Hard work at having the right attitude, motivation, & discipline!


Chris Boswell does it again with kicking a game winning field goal for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ in a bruising game against the Cincinnati Bengals.


A place kicker is expected to be automatic at the pro level. There are many factors that go into not just being a good place kicker but an all around football player too.

We hear from legendary NFL kicker Gary Anderson about what attributes makes-up a quality football player beyond just having physical talent on Passages!

Listen to Gary share in an interview by Gregg Hartung when he was kicking field goals for the Steelers’ . Click on the button below …

Our prayers are with Middle Linebacker Ryan Shazier and other players who were injured and bruisied in the recent encounter between these two arch rivals.

Game highlights

May we learn to have care and respect for those we encounter and who we might not always agree with in life because of how they go about their play different from us.

We appreciate character and respect for all people and all of life!

Finding Love Cures All Things – World AIDS Day

Bernie shares about finding love and how it has helped him in dealing with AIDS.

Listen to Passages by clicking the audio button below

Women Can’t Wait

Youth and AIDS

Headline this World’s AIDS day!

We pray for our brothers and sisters who are victims of AIDS!  We ask that love be the answer to bring about healing in their lives and those around them.


Dog Gone! Leaving Go of a Dad, a Dog, Someone You Love ….

Fred Rogers cared so much about people and everything that they were going through as an individual and a family that he used his “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” TV show to help us .

My dad passed away on November 24 after a number of physical setbacks this year that just wore him and his body out!

Dad was a dog lover!  I had two Pekingese dogs growing up at home and then my brother had a German Shepherd plus several Labrador Retrievers when he moved out of the house and started a family.  I was no different having a Cocker Spaniel and York-a-Doodle.

Our sister Melanie of course has a dog too.  Mel has a Chihuahua.

When my brother and I walked in the door of his house in Arizona Friday we were met by his loving family of four dogs, wife Norma, our step-sister Cheryl and niece Nancy.  The dogs are Pumpkin, Heidi, Ginger, and Little One.

So dogs of all shapes and sizes have been a part of our lifetime with our dad.

So as I reflect on his life and the love that he shared with not only his three children, his six grandchildren, and one great grandchild, he loved many others too. Now his physical pain with life is gone and we may not be able to feel that big hand shake or hug and that welcoming voice say “How are you doing?”  He had a real concern for people.  It was always neat to hear people say “Howdy Howdie!”  He liked Howdie a lot better than junior, because he was a junior to Howard Sr.  My dad was in many ways his own person who loved his dad and family very much.

That is why when Fred Rogers shared about his dog Mitzy with Dennis Benson for Passages that I thought that I would share that story this day in helping us remember my dad!

Listen to Fred talk about Mitzy his dog being gone on Passages by clicking on the button below …

We grief and pray for all those having lost a loved one but cherish the memories of the good times and about how much love was shared with them.

Love you dad!





A happy and blessed Thanksgiving!


Here is the Prayer of Thanks from the award-winning Great American Feast Radio Special in bite size chunks for Thanksgiving!, and Christmas holidays!

Produced by Award-Winning Media Producer Dennis C. Benson for the Presbyterian Media Mission.

Hosted by the late Steve Allen.

A gift from your Presbyterian friends for you!

Thank you for Joy

Thank you for Others


From your Presbyterian friends at the Presbyterian Media Mission!

Can peace come to South Sudan?

We go inside what is happening in the troubled country of South Sudan. Through the eyes of Achol Majok Sur a South Sudanese woman who attended a recent Presbyterian Church U.S.A. conference with people from 15 other countries who discussed peace. Achol is an ordained deaconess in the South Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

Video overview of peacemaking program visits by International Peacemakers


More than a year after a peace agreement was signed to end South Sudan’s crippling civil war, the levels of violence are escalating and humanitarian conditions in the country continue to deteriorate. The United Nations humanitarian affairs agency OCHA reported in mid-2016 that civilians continued to be killed and subjected to egregious human rights violations. Violent attacks on humanitarian workers and health care workers in general are also on the increase. Hostility levels are high and tension in the country continues to grow as confidence ebbs that a meaningful peace can be found. As a direct result of the war, millions of people are at-risk of starvation.

Here is the story from someone living inside South Sudan. Achol shares about starvation and the struggle for survival and the hope she finds in knowing that we are all members of Christ’s body the Church.  I Corinthians 12:12-26 Click on the audio button …

Pittsburgh Presbytery’s International Partnership Ministry Team heard a stirring report from the Rev. Jim Leuenberger recently on the conditions faced by our sisters and brothers in South Sudan.

As the crisis in South Sudan continues to spiral out of control, the country is in urgent need of assistance, both political and humanitarian. The Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recently reported that the youngest country in the world has 7.6 million people in need of aid. Only two-thirds of the funding request for aid has been received. There are currently 4 million displaced people with two million having fled to neighboring countries.

You can help by signing the online action which will result in letters to the President and Secretary of State of the United States. Please help. If you would share it, that will increase the effectiveness.


Support Peace Efforts in South Sudan

As the crisis in South Sudan continues to spiral out of control, the country is in urgent need of assistance – both political and humanitarian. The Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recently reported that the world’s youngest country has 7.6 million people in need of aid.

Thanks to the Rev. Jim Leuenberger of McKeesport Presbyterian Church for arranging the interview with Alchol.

Passages Lite is an edited on-line version of interviews with people of hope and faith that will be prepared for an expanded radio use heard on over 200+ stations each weekend.

Host for this special peacemaking version of Passages is Pam Merry an elder/church member at Crestview Community Church PCUSA in Callery, PA.

Executive Producer is the Rev. Dennis C. Benson and Associate Producers are Gregg Hartung and Bill Wolfe. It is a gift from your Presbyterian and United Methodist friends.

It is a production of the Presbyterian Media Mission.

Our prayers are with our friends from South Sudan and the other 15 International Peacemakers from around the world!

One Bullet through the neck!

On Passages stories of faith and hope this Veterans Day we take a ride in a jeep with Bill during World War II.  Click on the audio link below and read along as Bill shares his story.

Host: A bullet from a sniper destroys the radio on a soldiers back!

Bill: I used to ride in the right hand side of the jeep which was actually the death seat. Snipers would always pick out the guy on the right-hand side thinking he had rank. I was always reluctant to ride there but if my Sergeant wanted to ride there, I certainly let him ride there, I never got up there, I would ride anywhere else.

Host: A man lucky with his brushes with death. This is Passages where people offer their stories of hope. I’m Dennis Benson. Today Bill shares in his own words, one dangerous moment during the war.

Bill: I would keep my rank hidden because I don’t want to draw attention to it. But we had occassions where I was carrying a radio on my back one time. And I was trying to keep liason between various groups that I was working with. And I came back to the starting point and the radio had been shot off my back. The holes through the radio and I was bleeding from my neck. And apparently a round had come through the radio and struck me in the neck and was bleeding. I suddenly realized how close I had come because one bullet through your neck would have taken care of you. And so I flicked it off, wiped it off and put a bandaid on it and thought nothing of it, until much later. I started thinking about it, problem much later, hey one bullet could have taken care of me that time. But you don’t think of those things when your young.

Host: The story of Bill’s joy for life is a gift from your Presbyterian and United Methodist friends.

We are thankful for those who have served in the military, like Bill, to defend our country!

We pray for all our military serving in harms way.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood 18th Annual Sweater Drive

It is about just being good neighbors! Caring like Fred taught us is when we gather gently used sweaters and then distribute them to those neighbors who need help to keep warm this winter.

Presbyterian Media Mission (PMM) and Presbyterian Churches of the Tri-State area join in supporting the effort to care for those needing help to keep warm as the weather shifts to being cold.

More from the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh about the launch of the sweater drive later today! Click on the link

You and your church can help in your community and throughout the region this Thanksgiving and Advent season!

Click below to learn how you can participate in the sweater drive!

Listen to Mr. Fred Roger’s on Passages where stories of hope and inspiration get shared to provide light in an all to often dark and bleak world.

Let’s Go to the Zoo!

Ray Buckley an author and Native American Advocate shares about how his mentally challenged brother puts a smile on his face.

Listen to the audio story outlined below by clicking on the audio button as Ray shares it in his own words on Passages, where award-winning stories of hope and inspiration are shared to bring about care and understanding.

Host: During the worse moments, good things come from unexpected places.

Ray: The doctor says you have cancer.

The worse news. This is Passages.  I’m Dennis Benson.  Ray turns from his doctor to his mentally challenged brother, Rick.

Ray:  I went home and sat down and told my brother, Rick. And tears came down his face and we talked about it.

Host: In his grief he offers hope.

Ray: In the next breath he said, “We’re going to the zoo!” And what he really said was, “cancer all right. On bad days we can’t go to the zoo.

oo. Cancer, today it’s a good day. Lets go to the zoo!”

Host: Rick gives Ray family love.

Ray: In every step is cancer as bad as loneliness? Probably not. Every step of the way there has been someone with something that has been enough for that moment.

Host: Ray lost his wife and child to a drunken driver.

Ray: Can anybody ask for anything more I don’t think so and in light of our living we take the  good moments with the bad moments and knowing that there will be a mixture.  And we don’t despear.

Host: Ray’s hope is a challenge from your Presbyterian and United Methodist friends.

We pray for Ray and others dealing with cancer as part of their lives.  May they have loving support like Ray who has his brother Rick!

Listen to Bob Dylan “Man Gave Names To All The Animals” by clicking on the link …

Awareness and Education will help those with Breast Cancer …

Here is Ketrina Lewis Part 2 on her journey with cancer. This is a special story as we help with awareness and education as Breast Cancer Awareness Month finishes up. Listen to her story now …

We pray for all those stricken with cancer and their families!