Looking deeper into the history and spirituality of the stained glass windows —
This window in the chapel at Princeton United Methodist Church, is popularly known as ‘Christ at Heart’s Door’ re Revelations 3:20 (Behold, I stand at the door and knock.) Many 19th century British and German paintings had similar subjects — Christ knocking at the door of a home. They offer a puzzle: where is the handle on the door? The answer “you must open your heart from the inside.”
Dr. David Morgan of Valparaiso University in a 1994 exhibition catalog, suggested this particular image was influenced by the painting The Light of the World by William Holman Hunt. “The barely concealed heart produced by the luminance of Christ and the frame of the doorway convey Christ’s call to the soul ensnared in thistles of sin and the darkness of ignorance and willfulness,” he writes. “Yet, as promotional literature points out, ‘all is not hopeless, for there is an opening of grillwork in the door ‘revealing the darkness within,’ so that the individual may see who is at the door, and see that He is good and kind.'”
If you bring a visitor to the chapel, ask the question, “is there a handle on the door? Why not?” It’s a gentle way to offer a Jesus moment.
You probably know that Princeton United Methodist Church opens its doors for stained glass window tours and meditation on Sundays, 11:30 to 1:30 pm. And you have probably taken the tour given by Duncan, Rick, Marv, or Barbara. But what if you bring a friend to church and the “official’ tour guides aren’t around? Or maybe you encounter a visitor?
Here are some of the interesting items to point out to visitors, keeping in mind that the visitor’s spiritual experience in our building, filled with a century of worship and prayer, is most important takeaway.
The Tiffany-designed St. George and the Dragon window, in the balcony, uses no paint. In contrast to the windows in the Jesus window, details were etched with acid.
Look for the dragon’s shimmering scales and the Tiffany Studio signature is on the lower right.
Methodists don’t usually have saints but this window memorializes a minister’s son, student at Princeton, who died in his 20s, so George is pictured AFTER he conquered evil (as if he were in heaven).
The four gospel writers in the sanctuary were like “stock photos.” They can also be found in the Cologne Cathedral. Ask a tour guide why they are out of order.
If the “Jesus and the Children” window in the Sanford Davis Room looks Tiffanesque, that’s because a former Tiffany artist, Louis Lederle, designed it, and also the windows on the adjacent stairwell. What do the faces of the women and children say to you?
The “Christ at Heart’s Door” in the chapel seems to ask the question, where is the handle on the door, and if there is one, why not? The “Jesus the Good Shepherd” window, sometimes called the Twenty-third Psalm Window, has a riddle as well, but you have to take the tour to find out!
Throughout, look for the Christian symbols in the smaller windows.
To schedule a tour – or help PrincetonUMC keep the doors open, email windows@PrincetonUMC.org. A special tour on April 15 will begin in our building at 12:30 and continue on to the chapel, led by Dan Aubrey of U.S. 1 Newspaper.
Pastor Ginny Cetuk wrote about the incident on Nassau Street yesterday; a standoff between the police and an armed man in Panera Bread ended in tragedy. An excerpt below, the complete text here.
…..At the same time, I am deeply saddened by the death of the man. We are called to pray for him and for his family. We cannot know the desperation he knew that led to his actions, but God does.
Please join me in praying also for all involved today. No doubt the shock and trauma of their encounter with such a volatile and violent situation will last for a long time. The next time you visit Panera Bread, I hope you will express your concern for the employees you encounter.
And, finally, let us pray for all who have some kind of mental illness that leads them to feel lost and hopeless. They and their families need our support and prayers…..
For some time, Princeton United Methodist Church allowed members of the public in to warm up over a bowl of free soup, but later was put on lockdown too. The church, which is on the corner next to the Panera, was offering free tortilla soup as part of its Lenten luncheon program.
But the Rev. Trey Wence decided to invite in “rubberneckers” for some hot soup and fellowship. “The theme of our Lenten celebration is Help a Neighbor, and this seemed to fit,” Wence said.
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The Rally Train came through our ‘town’ on Sunday. And it came with blasts of JOY, fun fellowship, renewal and reconnections in an atmosphere of worship. This amazing Fall Kickoff would not have happened without an amazing and industrious team to whom we are immensely grateful.
Making activity bags
The awesome bags! coordinated by Mae Potts and Lorie Roth will hold the children’s activity kits to be used during the next alternative worship Sunday on September 24. Thanks to Barbara Sageser for the ornate banner which will soon be displayed in the Education wing to be enjoyed by everyone. Our dedicated teachers facilitated this creative work in the classroom last Sunday.
Classes will continue through the year delving into Deep Blue!-the new curriculum for Sunday School. This fall, the kids will follow God’s activity in the lives and characters of Samuel, Saul and David. It all begins with our first lesson “Hannah’s Prayer.”
A special welcome to new teachers — Maria Blomgren, Laura Felten, Carla Macguigan, and Alison Koblin. Also welcome to Drew McLendon, our new Nursey Care Attendant. We ask for – and welcome – volunteers to help us in the nursery and PreK rooms.
We are deeply grateful for the commitment of this team to the spiritual formation of the young lives of our church family.
— Phoebe Lorraine Quaynor, Christian Education Director.
For its Fall Kickoff on September 10, Princeton United Methodist Church (PrincetonUMC) launches a new look — new pastors and a new fall worship schedule. It will have one 10 a.m. service that will be ‘live-streamed’ on Facebook at PrincetonUMC. Trey Wince will preach, followed by a “Get Connected” reception. Wince and Dr. Virginia (Ginny) Cetuk have joined Erik (Skitch) Matson on the pastoral staff.
Sunday School students will worship with their families before going to classes. Youth from grades 6 to 12 will be in the sanctuary for worship; they meet for dinner and youth group on Sunday at 6 p.m.
Traditional worship at PrincetonUMC features the Chancel Choir and the Bell Choir directed by Hyosang Park and the Children’s and Youth Choirs directed by Tom Shelton, both accompanied by Christopher Williams, organist. For one Sunday per month (September 23), at an alternative worship service, a praise band will play.
A diverse congregation whose members come from many surrounding communities, backgrounds, and faith histories, PrincetonUMC is located at the corner of Nassau Street and Vandeventer Avenue. The church is wheelchair accessible and a nursery is available. For information, 609-924-2613 or http://www.princetonumc.org/
We’ll learn about new ways to connect with others and study our faith at the Fall Kickoff on September 10, but meanwhile here’s the news about the ongoing Sunday adult education classes. Both the Heart of Faith class and the Contemporary Issues class begin September 17, from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m.
The Contemporary Issues class will meet in the Library. Charles Phillips will facilitate the discussion about the introduction to a book by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir. “Scarcity” is described as “a surprising and intriguing examination of how scarcity—and our flawed responses to it—shapes our lives, our society, and our culture. Drawing on cutting-edge research from behavioral science and economics, Mullainathan and Shafir show that scarcity creates a similar psychology for everyone struggling to manage with less than they need.” The book “provides a new way of understanding why the poor stay poor and the busy stay busy, and it reveals not only how scarcity leads us astray but also how individuals and organizations can better manage scarcity for greater satisfaction and success.”
Larry Apperson supervises the Heart of Faith Class, which meets in Fellowship Hall and will be taught by Larry (Lawrence) Curtis, a retired United Methodist pastor who served churches and as a district superintendent in northeastern New York and Vermont for over 40 years. He retired from Troy Conference but boundary changes mean he is now a member of the New England Conference . He and his wife Helen (a retired cardiology nurse), moved to New Jersey last year to be near their daughter who is a mathematics professor at the College of New Jersey. Their older daughter is a social worker at a Methodist children’s home in Macon, GA . Their son served as a pastor of inner-city churches and then became a Navy chaplain 10 years ago; he currently serves as chaplain for 300 marines in southern Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Starting at minute 18, Trey Wince preaches on John 10:1-16, titled “The Voice.” Among the favorite hymns – “All Creatures of Our God and King” and “The Lord’s My Shepherd I’ll Not Want.” Plus the Pickup Choir, directed by Hyosang Park, offers “All Things Bright and Beautiful” in a John Rutter arrangement. Anita Tong – who just celebrated her birthday 🎂and Skitch Matson are liturgists. Nancy Dawn Jones is the reader.
Viewers — the only part you can’t join us with is the coffee hour 😉 ,
Want to see previous Sundays? Here is August 13. It was managed by Robin and Caroline Birkel.
Singing has been an important part of Christian worship since the church’s foundation. Join Dr. Karen Zumbrunn on Tuesday, September 12 as she traces our Christian musical heritage from Gregorian chant through Gospel music including a rich sampling of African-American spirituals. We will learn the background and sing heartily selections including “Give Me That Old Time Religion,” “Do Lord,” “Down By the Riverside,” and others.
This Circle of Friends program begins at 10:30. Bring your lunch and a friend– beverages & dessert provided! Let’s worship God in song!
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The beauty of Christian music comes alive when children and youth feel what the lyrics say, according to Tom Shelton, PUMC’s director of children’s and youth choirs. Choir members learn good singing techniques and music theory (video link here); they participate in worship monthly, present a musical in the spring, and sing at special services throughout the year (video link here). “I want young singers to love music their whole life, not just for the time they are with me,” says Tom.
Encourage families you know to bring their children to PUMC’s choir. What they learn is invaluable. They enter wide-eyed and curious and leave as musical and global citizens. Invite newcomers to the first rehearsal on Wednesday, September 13, at 4:30 p.m. (kindergarten and first grade) and on Wednesday, September 13, at 5:30 p.m. (second through fifth grade). The first rehearsal for youth (grades 6-12) is Sunday, September 10, 5 p.m. Tomteaches the youngest children, ages three and four, during their Sunday School class.