By Doris Wolf
WATERLOO – To mark the bicentennial of its founding, the First Presbyterian Church, 42 East Main St., is hosting a series of community events throughout the year.
“The Life and Art of Louis Comfort Tiffany” will be presented by Dr. Ron Ostman, Professor Emeritus in Communication at Cornell University accompanied by photographs presented by Dr. Harry Littell from 2:30 – 3:30 pm. Sunday April 30.
In 1909, five Tiffany studio stained glass windows were installed within the
sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Waterloo. Robert Hildreth Spare, a parishioner there, had lost his lovely wife of only four years to typhoid fever. Though his grief was overwhelming, he wished to honor her memory and so commissioned the windows as a gift to his church in memory of his wife.
“I think the images depicted in the windows themselves and the story behind them symbolize Sorrow and Comfort (Good Shepherd), Death and Life, Hope and Peace for the church,” said Rev. Sarah West.
A parishioner agreed. When the windows needed repair as part of the church’s bicentennial capital project, she provided funds to upgrade the Good Shepard window in memory of her mother. “That window has always given me a feeling of comfort and security, as did talking over difficult times with my mother,” she explained.
Ronald E. Ostman grew up in International Falls, Minnesota. He is the author of several academic books and many scholarly journal articles. Ostman holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in journalism and mass communications from the University of Minnesota and a B.A. in English from Bemidji State University. He is Emeritus Professor of Communication at Cornell University, where he taught and conducted research since 1979. Ostman lives near Lansing with his wife, Nancy.
Harry Littell is Chair of the Photography Department at Tompkins Cortland Community College, Dryden, New York. He received an Associates degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cornell University and his Masters degree in fine arts from Alfred University. Littell was presented the Chancellor’s/Trustees’ Award for Excellence in Teaching by TCCC in 2015.
Special events are planned for each month during the church congregation’s bicentennial year. In May, a tea and fashion show will be presented and in June a concert by the 198th US Army Reserves Band is scheduled.
First Presbyterian Church is conducting a Capital Campaign to restore and preserve the historic building that is celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2017. Donations may be sent to First Presbyterian Church, 42 Main Street, Waterloo. The public is invited to Sunday services weekly at 10 a.m. Tel. 315-539-3535. email email@example.com.