April 19, 2012, Brooklyn, NY…NYU Lutheran celebrated Mission Week (4/9-4/13) with a special rededication ceremony of the Sister Aasta Foreland Memorial Chapel. The April 11 ceremony featured speeches by Wendy Z. Goldstein, president and CEO, and Rev. Don Stiger, SVP, Mission and Spiritual Care, as well as scripture readings, psalms and blessings by members of the Lutheran community. The LMC Auxiliary supplied refreshments and homemade cookies, as well as traditional Norwegian waffles donated by Nordic Delicacies, a local Norwegian bakery.
The renovated chapel includes new carpeting, paint, a new storage bench, soundproofing and also features an artwork installation of two intricate original oil paintings by Frank Taira (1913-2010), generously donated by Dava Weinstein and Dorothy Calvani, longtime friends of the prolific artist. Taira was born in San Francisco and formally trained at the California School of Art. With the onset of World War II, Taira, of Japanese descent, was interned for two years. Following his release, he moved to N.Y.C. where he lived and worked until his death in 2010. His artwork has been donated to more than 35 other hospitals in the U.S. His paintings join a one-of-a-kind wood carving recently donated by Wendy Z. Goldstein in memory of her late father, Martin P. Zacharius.
Sister Aasta Foreland was born in 1903 in Haegeland, Norway and arrived in Brooklyn in 1927. Sister Foreland immersed herself in her nursing career and her religious calling. She was a familiar presence in the community, bringing food and love to those hungry for both. Foreland retired after decades of service to Lutheran as a nurse and teacher in 1968 and continued to volunteer into her late 80s. The chapel was first dedicated in her name on June 4, 1977.
Mission Week is recognized annually at Lutheran and serves as a time for the LHC community to celebrate its heritage, values, mission and ongoing service to the community. The original nine-bed Lutheran hospital, founded in 1883, grew into what we know today as NYU Lutheran. Over the years, Lutheran has evolved and adapted while always remaining faithful to its original mission to serve the needs of its neighbors.
Photographed above at right are Willy Malarcher, liturgical design consultant; Dava Weinstein, artwork donor; Sr. Kathleen Brighton, chaplain; Don Stiger, SVP, Spiritual and Mission Care. Above at left is one of the two oil paintings by Frank Taira, titled Mother and Child.