Category: Passages

Celebrating Mother’s Day

It was a number of years ago, when visiting Dennis and Marilyn Benson in Michigan,  that Dennis took my wife aside and interviewed her for Passages. Dennis had Tina share about her mother Thelma. Thelma was a great lady having raised 9 children! Tina is the youngest.

So here is Tina telling her love for her mother on Passages this Mother’s Day weekend.
Enjoy!

Click on the audio link below.

History of Mother’s Day. Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.”

HISTORY OF MOTHER’S DAY

Once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, this celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “mother church”—the main church in the vicinity of their home—for a special service.

Over time the Mothering Sunday tradition shifted into a more secular holiday, and children would present their mothers with flowers and other tokens of appreciation. This custom eventually faded in popularity before merging with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s.
Did You Know?
More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year. These holiday chats with Mom often cause phone traffic to spike by as much as 37 percent.

ANN REEVES JARVIS AND JULIA WARD HOWE

The origins of Mother’s Day as celebrated in the United States date back to the 19th century. In the years before the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to teach local women how to properly care for their children.

These clubs later became a unifying force in a region of the country still divided over the Civil War. In 1868 Jarvis organized “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” at which mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation.
Another precursor to Mother’s Day came from the abolitionist and suffragette Julia Ward Howe. In 1870 Howe wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” a call to action that asked mothers to unite in promoting world peace. In 1873 Howe campaigned for a “Mother’s Peace Day” to be celebrated every June 2.

Other early Mother’s Day pioneers include Juliet Calhoun Blakely, a temperance activist who inspired a local Mother’s Day in Albion, Michigan, in the 1870s. The duo of Mary Towles Sasseen and Frank Hering, meanwhile, both worked to organize a Mothers’ Day in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some have even called Hering “the father of Mothers’ Day.”

We appreciate and pray for all the women who call thenselves mom’s this Mother’s Day! We are thankful for them everyday.

 


Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

We celebrate the contributions and life well lived by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Laura is someone who was able to be up-close and personal with Martin Luther King, Jr.

She shares on Passages the impact that King had on her and others,  Listen by clicking on the audio button below.

Laura shares thoughts on racism. Listen by clicking on the button below.

Lena has grown up in an all white community and shares about racism on Survivors. Click on the button below.

We pray for our nation and our world aa we remember all the good that Martin Luther King, Jr. did and what still needs to be done!


March For Our Lives

What a wonderful display of non-violent demonstration to allow the freedom of speech and protest giving voice to young peoples concerns about gun violence in our schools.

There was another time when marches and protest helped to bring an end to a war that had seen thousands of young men die. It was the Vietnam War. Dick recalls walking in Washington D.C. as a trained non-violent protester on Passages.

Do you know what your young teen is doing in his/her life? When it comes to guns there is a responsibility for parents or those significant others who care  for them to know what is going on in their lives. Listen to Jean’s story about what shocked her to find out about her son on Passages.

We pray that those young people who marched yesterday are heard by the leaders of our country!

We pray for all parents in caring for their children in a world that can lead them in many different directions in life.


Remembering Fred Rogers on his birthday!

Fred McFeely Rogers (March 20, 1928 – February 27, 2003) was an American television personality, musician, puppeteer, writer, producer, and Presbyterian minister. Rogers was famous for creating, hosting, and composing the theme music for the educational preschool television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (1968–2001), which featured his kind-hearted, grandfatherly personality, and directness to his audiences.[1]

Initially educated to be a minister, Rogers was displeased with the way television addressed children and made an effort to change this when he began to write for and perform on local Pittsburgh-area shows dedicated to youth. WQED developed his own show in 1968 and it was distributed nationwide by Eastern Educational Television Network. Over the course of three decades on television, Fred Rogers became an icon of American children’s entertainment and education.[2] He was also known for his advocacy of various public causes. His testimony before a lower court in favor of fair-use recording of television shows to play at another time (now known as time shifting) was cited in a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Betamax case, and he gave now-famous testimony to a U.S. Senate committee, advocating government funding for children’s television.[3]

Rogers received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, some forty honorary degrees,[4] and a Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, was recognized by two Congressional resolutions, and was ranked No. 35 among TV Guide‘s Fifty Greatest TV Stars of All Time.[5] Several buildings and artworks in Pennsylvania are dedicated to his memory, and the Smithsonian Institution displays one of his trademark sweaters as a “Treasure of American History”. On June 25, 2016, the Fred Rogers Historical Marker was placed near Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and was named and dedicated in his memory.[6

More on Fred https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Rogersi

Click on the audio button below for a Passages Radio Show featuring Fred talking about his start in TV, attending seminary, helping start WQED and PBS, and his ministry to children and their families.

In the fall of 1997, Presbyterians Today editor Eva Stimson interviewed Fred Rogers in his cramped office at WQED in Pittsburgh. Her story appeared in the March 1998 issue of the magazine.

The Real “Mister Rogers” (below is an excerpt from the article to reflect on)

In the early 1960’s, Fred recalls, national staff in the United Presbyterian Church U.S.A. began talking to him about developing a children’s TV program as an outreach of the denomination.  But then priorities shifted and money for the project evaporated.  Did the church miss a big opportunity?

“It’s hard to say,” comments Gregg Hartung, executive director of Presbyterian Media Mission and a personal friend of Rogers’. “I’m not sure a ministry like Fred’s could be done within an institution.” If a church-Rogers partnership had come to fruition, the PCUSA might be known today as a trailblazer in TV evangelism.

On the other hand, the constraints of working within a church bureaucracy might have had a stifling effect on Rogers’ creativity. Or his programming might have been buried in a “religious ghetto,” reaching only a fraction of the people whose lives have been affected by watching “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

As it turns out, Rogers’ principle tie to the Presbyterian Church is his unusual ordination to the ministry. In 1962 Pittsburgh Presbytery ordained him with a charge to continue his work with children and families through the media. He has never served in the traditional role of pastor, but through television he brings his simple message of affirmation and acceptance to a “congregation” of millions.

“I’ve seen it happen so often – what I present in faith somehow nourishes the viewer,” Rogers says. Before taping a TV show, he always prays to God: “Let some word that is said be yours.” He firmly believes in “holy ground,” which he describes as “the space between the person who is offering his or her best and how the Holy Spirit can translate that to help another person in need.”

Presbyterian Historical Society releases rare early video of Fred Rogers’ “Sunday on the Children’s Corner”

PHILADELPHIA (PHS) The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) has recently transferred to digital video a rare 16mm print of Sunday on the Children’s Corner, the first television program to feature the piano-playing and puppeteering of Presbyterian minister Fred Rogers, supporting his creative partner, Josie Carey. Carey was born Josephine Vicari on August 20, 1930, in Pittsburgh.

Happy birthday to Fred and 50 years of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS!

 

 

 


All the World is Green today!

Over the years there has been much saddness when it comes to Ireland!

We reflect on some Irish stores that shared the sadness that always had an underlining hope that through efforts by the Church and people in their communities they would find peace.

Listen to Father Tom a Catholic Priest who shares about the struggle of getting jobs for folks that would be a major step towards peace for this island country.

Wilford Orr shares about the Protestant struggle and finding a way for common purpose and mutual understanding in Ireland.

John tells of a special community “Corrymeela ” that brings people from various traditions in Ireland and around the world together to find ways for peace where there is heartache and disagreement.

Finally, a Pittsburgh icon, Art Rooney Sr. who’s son Dan served as Ambassador to Ireland on Passages. Art tells about how he as one of the founding owners of the NFL/Pittsburgh Steelers’ was humble guy and an everyday person that was a good example for his family, friends, and the Pittsburgh community.

Irish stories of hope and faith this St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


International Day of Women Stories

International Women’s Day is annually held on March 8 to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and across nations. It is also known as the United Nations (UN) Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace.

Domestic violence happens all to often , women are threatened and attacked violently.

Beth shares her story ….

International Women’s Day events is when various women, including political, community, and business leaders, as well as leading educators, inventors, entrepreneurs, and television personalities, are usually invited to speak at various events on the day. Such events may include seminars, conferences, luncheons, dinners or breakfasts. The messages given at these events often focus on various themes such as innovation, the portrayal of women in the media, or the importance of education and career opportunities.

Many students in schools and other educational settings participate in special lessons, debates or presentations about the importance of women in society, their influence, and issues that affect them. In some countries school children bring gifts to their female teachers and women receive small presents from friends or family members. Many workplaces make a special mention about International Women’s Day through internal newsletters or notices, or by handing out promotional material focusing on the day.

Holly Dunn tells about her sheltered up-bringing and the family values she appreciates.  Listen to her story …

Holly tells of a dark time that took her to the edge of considering suicide. Listen to this part of her story ….

Helen is a woman who creatively deals with being blind and needs a system to simply know where daily things are to live life! Listen to her story now ….

Mavis  an elder of the tribe talking about her legacy as a woman serving others in being an International labor leader who was ahead of her time in a male dominated field. Listen to Mavis Story ….

Nona a retired professor finds a way to serve the poor in her native Philippines. Listen to her story on Passages.

We pray for the women in our lives who make a difference each and everyday!


Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Premiered on this date on PBS!

It was February 19, 1968 when Fred Rogers debuted on PBS via the first public television station WQED in Pittsburgh.

The mission was to reach out to children and their families because between the TV set and the viewer is holy ground where care and love often took place. A paraphrase of what Fred said to us in one of our visits to his office at WQED over the years. Fred was helping us to see how producing was really about being empathetic to what the viewer/listener was experiencing in his or her life.

He enjoyed listening to Passages shows we shared with him. Fred listened to Passages while on the treadmill and stationary bike each day. He felt that there was holy ground between the listener to Passages and the person sharing their story. He loved the conversational interview techniques that Dennis Benson Executive Producer of Passages forged as the style for drawing listeners into the stories people so graciously provided to help others.

Fred reflecting on Passages about the purpose of the mission of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood …

Looking to March the Post Office will be issuing a stamp honoring Fred for sell on March 23, Fred’s birthday!
A biography and movie will be out this year and next on Fred too.

Here is a classic Passages produced interview featuring Fred Rogers and ” Speedy Delivery” Mr. McFeely, as a special delivery on Passages for you.

One of the most powerful experiences is Fred at the Television Hall of Fame.

 

There was always more to learn about life each time you experienced Fred Rogers!

May God bless you on your journey in life.


Lenten Journey with Godspell

Today is Transfiguration Sunday on the Christian Calendar.  We begin the Lenten season Wednesday leading to the celebration of Holy week and culminating in Easter with resurrection.

Godspell the Broadway play where Jesus as a theological clown helps us to grasp the celebration of living into the hope and love given by God.

Article from Presbyterian Outlook on Transfiguration Sunday with questions to reflect on …
http://pres-outlook.org/2018/02/transfiguration-sunday-february-11-2018/

Preparing the way of the Lord!

 

A Classic Passages produced by Dennis Benson with interviews from the original Broadway cast of Godspell.

SYNOPSIS: The Gospel According to St. Matthew is presented in a series of skits and songs, with Jesus and his disciples presented as loving clowns, in this musical featuring songs by Stephen Schwartz, conceived and originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak.

Dennis interviews Lamar Alfred and Stephen Nathan of the Godspell cast.
Click on the audio below ….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godspell

Walking through the Lenten season with you!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKxAbbeD-NU

Enjoy the journey!


A Cold Night

Cold and wondering what to do for their children with Christmas soon to arrive!

On this frigid morning and temps not warming up to much lets go back to a Christmas Eve and experience a cold night for a simple family living in rural Virginia.

A cold story that will be bring out the warmth of love on Passages.

Listen to David tell in his own words about a freezing cold Christmas Eve for his family.

Stay warm!

Click on the button below to listen …

 

 


Thank You!

A car craxh gains insight about life and death for a young female reporter on KQV 1410 AM in Pittsburgh. Dennis Benson interviews the reporter about her car accident on Passages.

Click on the link here to listen to a young Elaine Effort tell for her surviving a serious car crash on Passages ….

Elaine Effort is honored for her years of reporting by Pittsburgh City Council recently. Check the link out here.

Honoring a ‘trailblazer’: Pittsburgh City Council honors KQV reporter Elaine Effort

Dan Gilman couldn’t remember her ever getting a fact wrong. Theresa Kail-Smith called her the personification of grace and class. The Rev. Ricky Burgess …

KQV one of the early radio stations to air Passages in 1981 was where Dennis Benson got his start on radio in Pittsburgh. Dennis hosted a youth-oriented conversation on the station called Rap Around. KQV at the time was one of the own and operated stations by ABC and was a top-40 m,sic station that captured that audience with some of the leading radio DJs of that time … Chuck Brinkman, Perry Marsahll, and Jim Quinn to name just a few.

KQV went silent at midnight last night as we closed out 2017! To learn more about it go to the link here.

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2017/12/15/KQV-radio-going-off-the-air-Dec-31-all-news-format-Robert-W-Dickey-Jr/stories/201712150145

Passages aired this past weekend on KQV with the Roberto Clemente story from New Years Eve 1972. To listen to the Passages Roberto Clemente story click here ….

http://presbymediamission.org/2017/12/30/number-21-name-roberto/

The Passages Team and PMM thank Elaine and our many friends at KQV for allowing our stories of faith and hope to share on their airwaves with listeners  for over 35 year!