UMC Creates Official Faith-Based Study Guide for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: A Faith-Based Discussion Companion” is a faith-based resource created by Discipleship Ministries, an agency of the United Methodist Church, and centered on the 2019 Tom Hanks film. | Sony Pictures

The Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church has created a faith-based study guide book for “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” the movie about Mr. Rogers in which Tom Hanks plays the lead role.

Titled “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: A Faith-Based Discussion Companion,” the resource has been made available in advance of the movie’s release on Friday.

Steve Horswill-Johnston, chief communications officer at Discipleship Ministries, told The Christian Post that the agency was contacted in August by Affirm Films, a Sony Pictures company, to develop a discussion guide for the movie.

Affirm, which had helped produce Christian films like “Courageous” and “Fireproof,” wanted to have faith-based resources for the film, explained Horswill-Johnston.

“The guide is designed to help groups learn to process feelings, understand forgiveness, talk about hard things, seek reconciliation, and practice positive spiritual discipline,” said Horswill-Johnston.

“Forgiveness and reconciliation are central themes to Christ’s message of love. We believe that Fred Rogers was an example of Christ’s love in his everyday life. And in this film he helps a man to forgive those in his life. We wanted to honor his life with this guide.”

The staff at Discipleship Ministries wrote the study, with Sony Pictures proofing the text and looking over some of the sections.

The discussion guide is divided into five sessions: “Feelings are Okay,” “Prodigal,” “Anything that is mentionable is manageable,” “Forgiveness and Reconciliation,” and “Practice, Practice, Practice.”

The five sections derived their focus from the themes of the film, Horswill-Johnston told CP, adding that the study is “meant for groups or individuals to reflect on the themes of the film and to challenge us all to make ‘a beautiful day’ for others using Christ as our example.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski

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