Stained Glass Windows
Embracing both the contemporary and traditional, our windows were designed in 1960 and inspired by 20th century modern abstract art. Reflecting a Mondrain aesthetic, rectangles and horizontal planes come together at 90-degree angles. Elements in various shades of grey blend from white to black, with sharp accents of red, blue, green, and purple. But the message behind the symbolism is clearly timeless.
The grand windows you see on the pulpit side of the nave recount the life of Christ: His birth, His instruction through the performance of miracles, and His resurrection.
The nativity window begins with the Annunciation. The Holy Spirit (the dove) tells Mary (the lily) that her child is to be the long-awaited Christ. The Three Wise Men who journeyed afar seeking the promised Messiah are represented by the three crowns. The pyramids remind us of the long journey that the Holy Family was forced to make into Egypt to escape the treachery of King Herod.
Jesus' miracles are shown in vibrant shades of blue and green in the middle window. The loaves, fishes, and the twelve baskets of remnants depict the feeding of the five thousand. Also represented are the calming of the storm and the story of the fig tree. All the healing miracles performed by Christ are summed up in the crutches, while Lazarus, wrapped in burial cloth, symbolizes all the dead who were restored to life.
The Resurrection window, with its clear reds and purples emphasizing the starkness of the various greys, speaks of the Lord's power shattering the tomb and coming forth. The center panel displays the risen Christ enveloped in the aureole. While the cross reminds us of Jesus' suffering, the bursting pomegranate for resurrection, the butterfly for eternal life, and the Chi Rho for Christ, all celebrate the wonder of the risen Lord.
The chancel windows tucked around the corners on either side of the altar are less apparent. They represent the two sacraments of the church: Holy Communion and Holy Baptism.
The Communion window on the left has the chalice, reminding us of the cup Jesus and the disciples drank at the Last Supper when He filled the goblet with wine, represented by the grapes, and broke bread, symbolized by the wheat.
On the right, the Baptism window in various shades of blue with touches of red and amber symbolizes that baptism is our regeneration as we are reborn of water. The regeneration is shown in the window as the three fishes, signifying that man's salvation comes from the Triune God. Just as the candle represents the light of life, baptism is the light of Christianity.
The smaller windows on the baptism side of the nave depict the various parables Jesus used to teach His followers.
The back window pictures the lessons of the spread of the gospel: the mustard seed, the just reward, the laborers in the vineyard, the seeker finding salvation, and the pearl of great price.
The lost coin and lost sheep, both searched for until found, illustrate the joy of the Lord over a true penitent. The prodigal son is the hands, as the father reaches out to welcome his returned son, just as our Father welcomes us when we turn aside from sin and profess our faith in Him.
The middle window illustrates the parables of the new wine, the house built on a rock, and the Good Samaritan, to show new spirit, consistent faith, and active benevolence as Christian virtues.
In 2006, forty-six years after the original stained glass windows were designed, one more was added at the top of the tower for the new elevator, welcoming all to worship. Because this window is on the top level, it is rarely seen from the inside, but its beauty is inspiring. Note the three doves, one with the olive branch as it descends through the rainbow from the Genesis account of the flood. Shafts of wheat echo the Marty Haugen lyrics "As the grains of wheat once scattered on the hill were gathered into one to become our bread." The words Faith, Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love are interspersed among the panels of color. Most striking is Jesus' seven drops of blood.
Also added at that time was the etched glass picture window in the narthex recalling Jesus' Bethlehem birthplace. We were blessed that the same artist who crafted our original windows in 1960 was part of the design team as well.