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.