Category: Passages

“Beyond Wearing Pink: How You Can Support Breast Cancer Awareness”

Breast cancer mortality rates have declined 39 percent due to the continued support of research and education. Imagine how many more lives could be saved if more people knew how to donate to the cause.

We share the stories of 2 women on Passages as we celebrate cancer survivors and pray for loved ones remembering people they have lost in the battle with cancer.  We encourage all women to get breast examines. October is “Breast Cancer Awareness Month!”

A resource guide explains how readers can go beyond wearing pink by donating their unused airline miles and credit card rewards to several breast cancer charities – something most people are unaware of.

We also included information on how to avoid charity scams and ensure your donation lands in deserving hands.

You can view the guide here:

Breast Cancer – Diagnosis & Treatment | AHN Cancer Institute

Using advanced breast cancer technologies, AHN personalizes treatments for patients. Call today to schedule an appointment with a nearby oncologist.

Jane is a cancer survivor and here are several audio clips from her journey with breast cancer.

Jane shares the vision as a wounded healer for a future that includes her husband and family.

Here is a longer play story of a young woman, Ketrina Lewis and her journey with Breast Cancer on Passages.

We pray for all those women facing the journey with Breast Cancer and special prayers for the Rev. Sue Washburn, her husband Matt, and their daughters on the road ahead with her dealing with breast cancer.  Sue has and continues to serve on the PMM Leadership Team.  We thank Sue for her service to the Mt. Pleasant Presbyterian Church where she is pastor and the many other ways her being part of the PCUSA at the national and regional levels has helped to share stories.

Presbyterian Media Mission sharing stories of hope and faith!


Fred Rogers Ordination “Celebrating 50 Years of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”

Fred Rogers shares on Passages (audio) about the philosophy and theology of Mister Rogers Neighborhood TV program as we celebrate 50 years of the program on WQED.  Click on audio button below …

Here is a link to the new 15 second TV Spot where Fred Rogers in his own words shares about being ordained a minister of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. by Pittsburgh Presbytery. This is after he took classes at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary over his lunch hour for a number of years. Click on the link here to watch the spot produced by PMM for this 50 years of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood being on WQED. Click on link here

How about Google doing an animated video on Fred walking through the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood to celebrate 51 years of the show being on TV?  Click on the link here to enjoy the animated walk through the neighborhood.

Fred talking about when his dog Mitzy died and telling how the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood TV program in sharing that story helped a young mother and her daughters.  How the show truly ministered to children and their families on Passages.

Other notable media links to Fred Rogers TV and media legacy below. 

The Mister Rogers Documentary is a Manifesto for Healing America
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” says everything our country needs to hear about self-esteem, common decency, and loving people for who they are.

Movie Review on “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” by The Rev. Dr. Darrell Knopp

On May 1, 1969, Fred Rogers, host of the (then) recently nationally syndicated children’s television series, Mister Rogers’ appears in front of Congress on the need to support Public Television …

Fred Rogers acceptance speech 1997 Emmy Awards

Fred Rogers is inducted into the TV Hall of Fame. Jeff Erlanger, who appeared on Mister Rogers Neighborhood in 1981, surprises Fred …

Fred Rogers Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Fred talking with late night host David Letterman

Garden of Your Mind remix by PBS Studios

Fred Rogers talking with Charlie Rose … “How do we allow for silence in a noisy world” on PBS

Fred Rogers’ at 2002 Dartmouth College Commencement Address

Mr. Rogers Talks With Parents About Discipline

Fred Rogers … Look for the helpers!

Passages featuring Fred Rogers

Fred talking about the death of his Dog Mitzy … click on the audio link below …

Fred shares on feature length Passages (27 minutes)  about his life and faith … Click on audio button below …

Celebrating the life and legacy of the Rev. Fred Rogers, thanks Fred!

A Story of Her Love for the Labor Movement

I have been blessed to sit and listen to some of the most amazing stories told by people from around the world! One of them I’ll never forget is Mavis Kemp. Asa Philip Randolph, Marcus Garvey and Mavis Kemp are all early labor leaders who made a difference for people of color and all people. I was able to capture some of the early days of labor experienced by a young Mavis.Kemp. Have a wonderful Labor Day Weekend from the Passages Production Team… Listen to her by clicking on the links here and at the bottom of the page.

Garveyism – Wikipedia

Garveyism is an aspect of black nationalism that refers to the economic, and political policies of UNIA-ACL founder Marcus Garvey. The ideology of Garveyism centers on the unification and empowerment of African-American men, women and children under the banner of their collective African descent, and the repatriation of African slave descendants and profits to the African continent.


A. Philip Randolph | AFL-CIO

Retiring as president of the BSCP in 1968, Randolph was named the president of the recently formed A. Philip Randolph Institute, established to promote trade unionism in the black community. He continued to serve on the AFL-CIO Executive Council until 1974. He died in New York City on May 16, 1979.

Another Story from Mavis Kemp:

May we all keep working together to make our working together to make things better come true!

We pray for workers around the world this Labor Day.


Victims of Sexual Abuse Face a Lifetime of Costly Problems

The pain and struggle of being sexually abused as a child lasts a life time for many people who experienced such an unthinkable encounter or relationship!

“My latest research, published this month in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect, describes the impact of child sexual abuse from a perspective that researchers don’t often talk about — the economic burden of violence and abuse in the U.S.”

Elizabeth Letourneau, Ph.D., Prevention Now

We spend $9 billion a year on costs associated with child sexual abuse.

To read more on Dr. Letourneau’s research click on the link below.

Victims of Sexual Abuse Face a Lifetime of Costly Problems

My latest research, published this month in the journal Child Abuse and Neglect , describes the impact of child sexual abuse from a perspective that researchers don’t often talk about – the economic burden of violence and abuse in the U.S.

Now for the human side of the child sexual abuse problem.

On Passages, audio stories of faith and hope, our host/producer Dennis Benson talked with Jay, a survivor of sexual abuse, when he was a child. Jay is a young man now having turned away from drugs and alcohol to deal with life. An almost fatal auto accident helps him to wake-up as he works through relationships and a painful suppressed memory of being molested when he was young.  Click on the button below to listen to Jay’s Story.

For help in dealing with being sexually abused click on the link below.

Here is another helpful resource for those dealing with childhood sexual abuse.

We pray for Jay’s continued healing and all those people working on recovery from sexual abuse.
From your Passages Production Team, the PMM Leadership Team, and your Presbyterian Friends!



In It Together

I just received this from a FB friend … “This is a personal struggle for me and my family and is very important subject. I can’t say this will be my last post for a while, but maybe the last of many…. love you all! Certainly, in the most difficult moments of life you realize who are true friends or people who really appreciate you. Unfortunately, some friends will click “like” but they don’t really take time to read your status if they see it’s long. I have decided to publish this message to make people aware of the horrific byproducts of diabetes. The disease ruins your cardiovascular and renal systems…. And the drugs, like metformin, that are prescribed, may encourage the onset of dementia. Now I’m looking for those who will have time to read this post to the end. Diabetes is very invasive and destructive to our body, even after treatment, and medications your body is still struggling with yourself trying to regulate the spiking/dropping of blood sugar levels all the time.. It’s a very long process.

Please, in honor of a family member or friend who has died, or continues to fight diabetes or even has diabetes themselves; copy and paste (not share) on your page.” A word of encouragement in a time of struggle and heartache ….



a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine.

Here are real life stories from people who face diabetes everyday!

Glenn talks about giving himself a shot for helping with his diabetes. Having the medication needed to help with his diabetes is greatly appreciated. Listen to his story by clicking on the audio button.



Judith talks about the struggle for loved ones in their coming to an understanding about diabetes. Click on the audio button below to hear her story.


Roy won’t leave diabetes slow him down. He has a gratitude for life. Click on the audio button below to hear his story.


Type 2

Familiarize yourself with the risks, causes, symptoms, and treatments for this increasingly common disease.

Chris Mercer shares his 2 part journey with being diagnosed and learning to live with diabetes in a long-play Passages story Part One by clicking on the audio button below.


Chris shares part 2 of his struggles at times with diabetes on Passages. Click on the audio button below.


We pray for those who shared their stories about living with diabetes on this page. We pray for those facing the uncertainty and the struggle with diabetes in their lives. May you find the hope, inspiration, and comfort that can come from support of those around you and from a loving God in dealing with diabetes.

Hunger and Homeless Stories from the Streets

Stories from those who help with getting food to those suffering from hunger in various communities. Hear from homeless about their struggle.

Ed is a homeless person from the streets of Pittsburgh with wisdom on survival … click on the audio button below …

Bill is in a homeless shelter in Pittsburgh after hitting bottom and losing almost everything in his life … click on the audio button below …


Here is a link to the website “Mission From Mars” who help people by caring

And the new book on “Mission From Mars” by  Jen Katzfey just authored “… And This Is How It Ends” that can be purchased and downloaded from  More stories in print from the streets of Pittsburgh to bring you closer to those we often walk or drive-by.

Stories from people who are helping folks in need …

Jenny starts collecting food items and monies to help those in need of food in her neighborhood … click on the audio button below …

Otis is a social worker who helps folks find to a way of getting and making food to eat so it is used for needed nutrition …

Parker has a concept of hospitality that can meet needs of people in a variety of situations from homeless to those facing hunger to congregations to schools throughout the community. Click on the audio below …

Link to Pittsburgh Presbytery Hunger Fund

Link to Presbyterian Church U.S.A. Hunger Program

We pray for the homeless and hungry of our communities!

We pray for those who are the eyes, hands, and hearts of God’s people helping those in need of food and shelter.

“Call To Mission” – Hunter Farrell

Rev. Dr. B. Hunter Farrell is Director of the World Mission Initiative at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA.

Hunter Farrell Hired as World Mission Initiative Director

Prior to coming to Pittsburgh Seminary, Farrell served as director of World Mission for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). In his years there he managed a 180-member staff in 52 countries while overseeing the areas of strategic direction and partnerships, funds development, operations, and communications.

This is a paraphrased excerpt from A Presbyterian Outlook Interview by Leslie Scanlon with Hunter Farrell as an introduction to 10 minutes of an audio interview below where Hunter shares about his call to mission.  He tells of working with various poor people outside of the U.S.  He brings home the importance of kinship and keeping families together.

Leslie Scanlon: What are some of the challenges in working with people in other countries?

Hunter Farrell: There are two primary barriers, two massive barriers, to our engaging effectively with people living in other countries. The first is, they are different. They don’t think like us, they have different experiences, they speak a different language, they come from different cultural traditions. And we consistently as people from the U.S. in our own ethnocentric ways, we consistently underestimate the power of cultural difference.

“The second barrier is we’re convinced that our way is the right way. In social sciences, they talk about an evolutionary anthropology. You assume that everybody’s on the same road. Some day they’ll get to where we are. There’s one road toward human development. And increasingly, we’re aware that that’s simply not the case. People can live in God’s shalom in lots of different ways, and it doesn’t have to be in the way that our country has built itself.”

Click on the audio button … “Call To Mission” …

Full Outlook article by clicking on the link below …

The staff at World Mission Initiative …

We pray for the mission outreach and training done by World Mission Initiative.


No Vision Won’t Stop Me “Facing Challenges”

For two young men in Mars, PA, the lack of sight by the one, will not stop him from pulling his weight, in a new joint business venture that he has with his good friend.

Max Lamm and Mitchell McMarlin are best friends in business together detailing cars. They work together helping one another.

Watch their story as they share it in their own words … click on the link below ……/driving-through-all-challeng…/2254234

We thank WTAE-TV for allowing us to share this story of inspiration.

Are you visually impaired in faith and life?  Some of us who can see the world around us actually are blind to what God is up too.  Then there are those special visually impaired people who can actually help us sighted people to get a glimpse into what God is really up too.


Listen to Bill on Passages tell about his experience in having Second Sight.  Click on the audio story below …

Helen has an interesting time being visually impaired and preparing a meal on her own.  She has a good sense of humor.  She even goes bowling when she gets a chance.  Click on the audio stories below to hear as she tells in her own words what it is like to be blind.

Going Bowling …

Here is an audio story from Bill, it is about a Maundy Thursday during Holy Week that the pastor asked someone to help with the close of the worship service, this made it very special for Bill and others.  Click on the audio button below …

Thanks be to God for all people both sighted and non-sighted in sharing together in this wonderful world!


Life Being Ripped Apart

Sexual abuse is literally ripping lives apart!

What Dr. Larry Nassar did over the years to young female athletes is appalling and unimaginable by all human standards.

Yet sexual abuse is all to frequent in many different situations throughout our country and the world.

Here are some stories that will help you gain some insight to what young people in real life situations experience, then needing to find a way to cope, with the pain of mistrust the rest of their lives.

First, Kate has been sexually abused both by her grandfather and dad. She gets help and is fighting the situation with everything she has got. Yet family members from her dad’s side still can’t believe what has happened. They are placing the blame on her mother and her.  Listen to Kate’s story on Passages clicking on the audio button below …

Jay tells how a neighbor molested him. Listen to his story on Passages.

We pray for all those who have experienced sexual abuse and are recovering! May God’s love heal you and be with you always.

Kicking Heroin Addiction

“Many experts have documented that patients who started legal, prescribed, regular opioid painkillers and became addicted, then switched to heroin when their doctors cut them off or they could no longer afford the pills. Some addicts originally were workers injured on the job, victims of auto accidents, or even young athletes with sports injuries who started taking opioid-based pain medication like Vicodin or OxyContin for a legitimate pain condition and end up addicted.” (from the book “Our 50-State Border Crisis”)

Rico got caught-up as a teen with being a heroin addict on the streets of New York.

Have you ever tried to kick an addiction? Rico shares about his addiction on Passages.

We go inside the world of the heroin addict with Rico. Listen to him talk about fading into despair.

Rico struggles with his withdraw from heroin. Support and care by people help to bring him out of being high.

It is an emotional war with being addicted to heroin. “I couldn’t open up to admit to my addiction.”

Hope is found in the early part of Rico’s treatment. Again, he tries to kick the heroin habit.

It takes special support to have healing begin! Rico goes onto beat the heroin addiction and is now a professor at a United Methodist seminary.


Preventing Drug Abuse: The Best Strategy

Why is adolescence a critical time for preventing drug addiction? As noted previously, early use of drugs increases a person’s chances of developing addiction. Remember, drugs change brains-and this can lead to addiction and other serious problems. So, preventing early use of drugs or alcohol may go a long way in reducing these risks.

We keep in our thoughts and prayers all those folks in the process of recovery and healing in their lives!