Scroll down to read the article written by Debbie Jenkins Cook about Bill Rogers and the Window of Hope
WINDOW OF HOPE DEDICATION
JUNE 4, 2005
The entire window contains a total of 1597 pieces and it took a total of 895 hours to complete. The window was constructed between September 2003 and March 2005 by Bill Rogers.
I hope you will email him and thank him for his dedication to this work of art.
Remarks by Dinah Taylor
Remarks about Window of Hope by Bill Rogers
Doug Bartee, son of Pam Heitzman. Pam’s brightly lit candle surrounds Doug in its warm loving glow.
In addition, there are three other children represented in the window:
Window of Hope
Litany of Dedication
LEADER: We gather together to remember.
PEOPLE: We gather today to remember our beloved children.
LEADER: Our children are lost to us physically,
PEOPLE: But our memories keep them alive so much that each day we expect them to walk in and hug us as if tragedy had never occurred.
LEADER: We gather today not just to grieve and remember, but to express our HOPE.
PEOPLE: We have HOPE we shall see our children again and until that time be sustained by the love of God, our family, and our fellow travelers,
LEADER: We gather today to dedicate this Window of Hope
PEOPLE: As light illuminates this window, may HOPE illuminate our life with courage, peace, and perseverance.
LEADER: We offer our thanks for artistry that expresses our love, memories, and hope.
PEOPLE: We offer our thanks to Bill Rogers for creating a beautiful tribute providing comfort and HOPE to each of us.
UNISON: We dedicate this Window of Hope as a testament to hope, love, and faith received by us from our children and maintained by us in their memory.
We Are Standing On Holy Ground
Kathy Jo Gutgsell - Harpist
The Rogers Family
(Left to right, Michael & Lynette Lawson, Brenda and Bill Rogers)
These are the pictures of the children that are represented in the window
The following article was written about Bill Rogers and the Window of Hope:
The Harrodsburg Herald October 13, 2005 Window Dedicated To Those Who Have Lost Children By Debbie Jenkins Cook Herald Staff Writer
“One of the biggest problems grieving parents have is that others don¹t know how to approach them, and rather than say the wrong thing, they say nothing-- and parents want to talk about their child,” Bill Rogers says.
A retired IBM employee who lives with his wife, Brenda, at 2139 Cornishville Road, Rogers knows first hand what it is like to lose a child. His daughter and son-in-law, Lynette and Michael Lawson of London, lost their three-month-old daughter, Jessica, to SIDS in 2002.
Before she died, Rogers had read “The Christmas Box,” and “The Christmas Box Miracle” by Richard Paul Evans. “After thinking about these books and grieving parents, I had an idea of how I might be able to help these people in my own small way. I would make them a stained glass angel to hang in their home to remind them of their lost angel. I thought about the concept for a long time,” Rogers said.
In the meantime, on Oct. 17, 2001, Jessica was born. Her sudden death three months later left Rogers trying to make sense of the tragedy and looking for a way to turn it into something positive. He and his wife implemented a flower delivery ministry to the local nursing home and extended care unit at the local hospital by asking funeral homes to ask families if they would like to donate some flowers rather than taking them all to the cemetery.
The Rogers pick up the flowers, remove them from the funeral arrangements and make bouquets to deliver. To date, they have delivered 1400 bouquets as part of “Jessica’s Angel Ministry.” “We tell them the flowers are from Angel Jessica and it gives us a chance to keep her memory alive -- some ask about Jessica,” Rogers said.
However, Rogers’ largest undertaking was a stained glass window made for the fine arts building at Cumberland College. The work was a way for his earlier vision to become a reality. He and his family became involved in yearly conferences held at the college for parents who had lost children. It was an opportunity for the parents to talk about their children.
Rogers was asked if he would be willing to make a stained glass angel for those attending the conference. Not quite wanting to accept an assignment that large (up to 300 people had attended the previous conferences), he suggested a large stained glass window to compliment the Children of the Dome angel designs in the college¹s fine arts center.
He created a design for the window that would have a large center panel containing The Angel of Hope. Around the angel would be 12 panels, each memorializing a child or others who have died. Parents were invited to select a design for their child that would be meaningful to them. Modest proceeds from the sale of the panes helped offset costs of the conference and pay for the stained glass, and Rogers donated 904 hours over a period of two years to make the window. He became acquainted with the parents of the children represented in the window and invited them to share memories of their children in a book he has written about the window.
“The Window of Hope has been a true labor of love for me. I believe it is the fulfillment of my vision and my need to create angels to help grieving parents. The sad irony in my journey is that I never dreamed when I first had the idea to help grieving parents, that the parents I would help the most would be my daughter and my son-in-law,” Rogers said.
He chose symbols of hope to use on the window and said he believes there was some divine intervention when some parents would suggest a particular design or symbol he wanted to use in the window without knowing his thoughts. His desire was to design the 13 panels to appear as one window even though the 12 smaller panels would be different in their content.
Hope symbols in the window include a rainbow, spring flowers, butterflies, John 3:16, a cross, star, a heart with a musical note inside (a symbol for Mattie Stephanek’s “Heartsongs,” poems written about hope), a candle, dove, and red shoes which represent the shoes in the book, “Hannah’s Gift” by Maria Housden, which tells the story of Hannah’s fight against cancer and a pair of red Mary Jane shoes that helped her through difficult days.
Other symbols in the windows were requested by parents to represent something special to their child or something to honor their child. The 13th child honored on the window, Erica Shi Richie, was a friend of the Rogers and died after Rogers had completed his window, so he placed her name, “Shi” within the tails of the ascending butterflies in the large panel of the window.
The window was installed in May and dedicated in June. The children honored on the window, their birth and death dates, parents¹ names and address and the cause of death of the child are:
€ John Arthur Foss, 1965-1993, son of Artie and Eleanor Foss of Rumson, NJ, died from bladder cancer.
€ Drew, 1974-1992, and Jeremiah, 1977-1992, Smith, sons of Luther and Rosemary Smith of Beattyville, died in an automobile accident.
€ Kristina Jill Partin, 1977-1999, daughter of Rita Partin of Corbin, died of a drug overdose.
€ Ryan Lamont Sargent, 1984-2002, son of Betty Sargent of Hampton, VA, died in an automobile accident.
€ Doug Bartee, 1972-1995, son of Pam Heitzman of Moraine, OH, died in an automobile accident.
€ Jim Taylor II, 1972-1991, son of Jim and Dinah Taylor of Williamsburg, died in an automobile accident.
€ Anne Calvin Hutchison, 1967-1996, and Paxton Scott Haake, May 1996-June 1996, daughter and grandson of Cecil and Jolene Hutchinson of Danville, died in an automobile accident.
€ Jessica Bryn Lawson, 2001-2002, daughter of Michael and Lynette Lawson of London and granddaughter of Bill and Brenda Rogers of Mercer County, died at three months old from SIDS.
€ Lisa Gale Rains, 1973-2001, daughter of Lester and Rita Canada of Williamsburg, killed by a drunk driver while she was standing in her yard.
She was pregnant.
€ Christopher Michael Jackson, 1982-2002, son of Guy and Debbie Jackson of Versailles, killed in an automobile accident.