Monthly archives: December, 2018

What if, a wall was erected that first Christmas?

What kind of Christmas would it have been, if Caesar Augustus erected a wall, so no one could enter Bethlehem of Judea? Wonder if, Egypt, where Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus escaped from King Herod didn’t allow the holy family in?

What about a fence or wall blocking that first refugee family?

What about immigration this Christmas?

Something to ponder this Christmas Eve and Christmas day!

1 Helen Hays reading the first Christmas Story about the refugee family.

2 Helen Hays continues reading the first Christmas Story about the holy family.

3 Helen Hays reading the first Christmas Story of how simple love was displayed  and how poor the holy family found themselves.


Song Silent Night Click on audio file below …

Have a blessed Christmas from the Passages Production Team: Dennis Benson, Bill Wolfe, Gregg Hartung, and a host of others through the years!

Merry Christmas from the PMM Leadership Team: Dennis Molnar, Dave Roberts, Steve Smith, Sue Washburn, Ron Wanless, Donna Christopher, Mike Givler, Christy Ramsey, Jim Mohr, and Balajiedlang Khyllep.

Dennis Benson host and Executive Producer of Passages demonstrating in Michigan against current immigration policy that is separating families.



Fred Rogers – King Friday and Jingle Bells

Fred Rogers enjoys being King Friday with Passages host Dennis Benson in ringing in the holiday! The king teaches us how to do the royal version of the holiday favorite Jingle Bells.  Click on the audio file below.

Jingle Bells Rock by Bobby Helms

A Christmas gift from the Passages Radio Show and Presbyterian Media Mission

Passages Radio Christmas Program featuring Fred Rogers, David Newell aka Mr. McFeely and host Dennis C. Benson of Passages by clicking on the audio file below.

Have a blessed and Merry Christmas!



What a year for Mister Rogers and the Neighborhood!

We will be concluding our Neighborhood Sweater Drive 2018 for those in need of keeping warm one week from today at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive

Individuals and congregations collect sweaters from now through December 16th to help keep neighbors needing to keep warm this winter through the Mister Rogers’ Sweater Drive.

Celebrating 50 Years of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood being on television and the big screen!

Fred Rogers featured in documentary gets top honors at third annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards with Morgan Neville’s “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”. The winners were determined by members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA).

Fred Rogers telling about being ordained a Presbyterian minister.

Here is a slide show highlighting Joanne Rogers about “143” and Fred Rogers amazing contribution to making our neighborhoods throughout this nation and in many parts of the world a better place.

Fred Rogers slide show

Joanne Rogers on Jimmy Fellon Show

Fred Rogers and David Newell aka Mr. McFeely on the Passages Show with Dennis Benson at Christmas time and sharing about Fred’s legacy.

Joanne Rogers talks with Dennis Benson on Passages about being married to Fred and their lives together.

Helping to conclude a year long celebration remembering Fred Rogers life and ministry.
Take 10 seconds now to remember Fred! I’m sure he appreciated that brief memory of him. Please help this to be a kinder and gentler world (neighborhood) to live in for all God’s children.

PMM Leadership Team and Passages Production Team

Celebrating a life well lived! George H.W. Bush

A Snapshot in Time with George H.W. Bush & Sam Walton

“The American Dream means giving it your all, trying your hardest, accomplishing something. And then I’d add to that, giving something back. No definition of a successful life can do anything but include serving others.” – late President George H.W. Bush

It was March 17, 1992, with President Bush traveling to Fayetteville, AR, for bestowing on Founder of Walmart Sam Walton the highest civilian honor the “Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

President George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the U.S., his funeral in Washington D.C. today, we recall his many attributes with a snapshot in time when he gave Sam Walton his award.

The story is told by Sam’s late wife Helen Walton to Gregg Hartung Passages Associate Producer in an interview he did with her in Youngstown, OH.

Click on the audio below for the feature length story in which you hear President Bush talk about Sam Walton and why he deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom as Sam in his final days was dealing with cancer. Listen to the Passages I-Story now.

Rest in peace President George H. W. Bush.


Advent is expectation! Stories preparing the way for Christmas …

The first Christmas … Mary wasn’t in labor when they got to Bethlehem. If no one had had space for them, Joseph would have taken Mary to her relatives, Elizabeth and Zechariah. “From Bethlehem, you can get to any village in the hill country of Judea by one hour on donkey back,” Dr. Ken Bailey said.

Middle Eastern cultures have valued family and hospitality for millennia. When Caesar Augustus decreed that people had to register for the census in their hometown, Joseph went to Bethlehem “because he belonged to the house and line of David” (Luke 2:4).

“To turn away a descendant of David in ‘the City of David’ would be an unspeakable shame on the entire village,” Bailey writes in his book Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes

In other words, Joseph’s relatives welcome him and his betrothed for the final weeks of her pregnancy. The village midwife and women help Mary birth Jesus. “They don’t have a cradle, so they lay Jesus in the manger, which is clean, and put a blanket over him nice, warm, and tidy,” Bailey said.

Here are four audio stories, helping us to prepare our hearts, minds, and souls for Christmas during this Advent season.

Sister Helen Prejean, Dead Man Walking fame, shares insights about the shepherds  to give us a realistic view of Christmas through the marginalized people in our world. Listen to her by clicking on the audio button below.

A simple Christmas in the warm heart of Africa removes a missionary couple from the seduction of consumerism. Edith talks of being far from home and enjoying Malawian friends during the holiday.  We had just enough food for celebrating Christ’s birth. Listen her story by clicking on the audio button below.

Everyone’s favorite neighbor, gets negative feedback when he de-mythologizes Santa Claus, some of the parents want to use the jolly old man as a club. Fred explains his thoughts about Santa and Christmas. Listen to Fred Roger’s story by clicking on the audio button below.

Ray Buckley is an author who grew up on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He is an advocate for Native Americans.  Ray tells his grandmother’s story about being mugged on Passages as a Christmas story. Click on the audio button below to hear the short feature length story. Second audio button below is the longer full-length version of Grandma’s Moccasins.

Ray’s Story Grandma’s Moccasins Full-Length

Have a wonderful time of preparation in sharing you holiday stories this Advent and Christmas seasons with family, friends and strangers too!

Have a blessed holiday season from the PMM Leadership Team.

Gregg Hartung, Director