New chapel at hospital now open PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Saturday, 05 October 2013 08:53
Wood County Hospital Guild members Barbara Sanchez (left) and Jane Schimpf stand near a stained glass piece designed especially for the new chapel at the hospital in Bowling Green. (Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
A new Wood County Hospital Chapel is now open to patients, visitors and hospital employees as a place for prayer and reflection.
The chapel's debut follows a six-month installation period.
Funds for the project were provided by the Wood County Hospital Guild. The guild's Chapel Committee and Laurie Newlove, director of volunteers and Lifeline, provided the vision for the non-denominational space.
Members of the Chapel Committee are Jan Finn, Ruth Milliron, Newlove, Barbara Sanchez, Jane Schimpf and Julie Thayer.
"We wanted to provide a dedicated meditation and contemplation area for hospital patients, visitors, and staff that they could use in times of stress," said Sanchez, past president of the guild.
"The chapel offers a private place where people can have a conversation or counseling with their pastor or priest."
She noted that the chapel follows closely on the heels of another major guild-financed project at the Bowling Green hospital.
"The guild completed its funding of the Women's Center in March 2013 and we were ready to take on this important new project."  
The chapel space is decorated in restful shades of pale blue, green and gray and oversees the hospital roof garden.
All visitors agree the focal point of the new chapel is a mosaic, stained glass piece themed "The Tree of Life," which was created by local artist Amanda Gullafson Fleming.
Fleming and her chil(left)dren were Wood County Hospital patients following an automobile accident. Because of the positive experience she had at the hospital,  Fleming wanted to create a stained glass piece that would convey her feelings about the local hospital.
The hospital's previous chapel was located on the first floor but was removed in the 1990s as part of a renovation project. The new chapel is located on the corner of the old 2 South unit by the Walkway Respite.
It is open around the clock, seven days a week.
Hospital chapel used for wedding
A few months before it formally opened its doors, the Wood County Hospital Chapel was already put to use for a wedding. It was there that Pemberville resident Allison Beeker exchanged vows with Dan Lamb of Bowling Green, on April 26 of this year.
The couple was set to be married at the Pemberville Town Hall by Pemberville mayor Gordon Bowman, when their plans changed suddenly.
Allison's mother, Linda Beeker, was a patient at Wood County Hospital and was unable to leave the hospital to attend her daughter's wedding. Lori Tuck, director of 2 East and 2 West offered the use of the new hospital chapel to the bride and groom so that Linda Beeker could see her daughter get married.
Arrangements for the wedding were handled by hospital staff and volunteer Helen Ulrich who arranged the silk bridal bouquet, corsage for the bride and a centerpiece for the table. The couple's wedding cake was even provided by the hospital cafeteria.
Mayor Bowman officiated at the ceremony and nine members of the Beeker and Lamb families gathered to watch Allison and Dan say their vows.
"I was happy that we had as much done in the chapel as we did," said Laurie Newlove. "The altar table, mosaic tree of life and window treatments had yet to be installed, but we had tables and chairs in place. The wedding was a great way to initiate the use of the new chapel."
"I can't say enough to the staff at Wood County Hospital about how grateful I am for their generosity in making my daughter's wedding a reality so that I could attend," said Linda Beeker. "It meant a lot to me and everyone in the family."

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