Paintertown Evangelical Lutheran Church

Our Windows


Gazing Into Windows

 

Girl Scout Gold Award Project

Rachel Sager

 

Paintertown Evangelical Lutheran Church

 



Explanation

In scouting, many strive to reach the highest achievement or award.  For Boy Scouts, this is the level of an Eagle Scout; for Girl Scouts, the Gold Award.  I have been involved in Girl Scouting since kindergarten and have since wanted to reach this honorable stage.  Now, as a recent high school graduate ready to embark on college, I am proud to say that I have been working hard to reach this goal.  When thinking of an idea for a project, I of course wanted to involve the church and the congregation, due to the fact that both have greatly contributed to my life’s journey as I have grown into a young adult. 

The Gold Award Project must focus on an issue that needs to be solved, can be sustained, and benefits the community.  The windows that adorn the church are truly beautiful, but are they fully understood?  This question is one that needed to be answered.  Not only does the following information solve the issue at hand, but it is sustainable through annual lessons.  It can benefit the community by raising awareness for one’s surroundings, as well as other congregations.  By distributing the idea and a general template to other local churches, hopefully the idea will be spread and others will begin to strive to gain insight on stained glass windows as well as other parts of spaces for worship.

It is important to be informed about the stained glass windows in a church because they reflect the lessons taught from the Bible.  They also provide the chance to appreciate simple beauty by allowing spectators to be taken away from the modern world of technology and understand the arts.  Stained glass windows not only provide beauty and simplicity, but also symbolism.  From the outside, they appear dark and difficult to determine.  However once inside, they are magnificent pieces of art that fill the surrounding space with colorful light.  This is similar to relationships with God.  When straying away from God, one may feel lost, alone, confused, even difficult to distinguish.  But once following God’s word and embracing his love, one feels joyous and proud of their faith because they have discovered the light of the world.  This parallel transformation from darkness to color is one all should keep in mind when feeling astray: trust in God and follow his word, for he will always be willing to help and love.

Thank you to the entire congregation for their undying support, my family and friends for continuous help, Girl Scouts of America for teaching me the skills to become an independent leader, Ms. Rebekah Baisch for her guidance, Mr. Al Priest for his expertise on stained glass, and all others who have helped me along the way.  Finally, special thanks are also sent to God, for his constant love and guidance.

Thank you and blessings to all,

Rachel Lynn Sager

 



History

Believed to have gotten its start from the Romans and Egyptians, stained glass has been around for centuries.  However, it gained its height during the Middle Ages, with the Gothic and Renaissance time periods.  During this time, it started to become viewed as an art form; churches and cathedrals throughout all of Europe were decorated from floor to ceiling with stained glass pieces.  In the United States, stained glass companies began manufacturing the artwork in the mid to late 1800s.  For over one hundred years now, The Stained Glass Association of America has offered guidelines, training, and instruction to craftspeople on how to create and preserve stained glass.  Although stained glass windows do appear in various locations, places of worship remain the most common due to the fact that they illustrate the stories and teachings relayed to the attending members.

 

Information

Current stained glass window companies work mainly with church design, due to the fact that it is the most largely demanded in the stained glass field.  Not only do companies create new designs, but a great deal of business comes from the restoration of older windows as well.  Many designs and styles vary.  This is because of differences in denomination, as well as specifications given by the church, or even ideas given by the congregation.  Often times, little specification is even given.  Sometimes the only requirement is a Bible verse or story and the rest of the image comes from an experienced team of designers that work to create a new and unique window for each designated space.  Throughout history, stained glass windows have been used not only for beauty inside the place of worship, but to help relay the messages being taught to the congregation.  Children recognize the pictures and adults can make connections more easily with visual representations, therefore all have the opportunity to appreciate the beautiful artwork.

 

Information compiled from an interview with Mr. Al Priest
Stained Glass Window Expert
Salem Stained Glass, Inc.
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

 



Baptismal Window

 Mark 1: 8

I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.

 

(See also Matthew 3: 11, Luke 3: 3-6 and 16, or John 1:26-27)

 

When baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus was cleansed in the river Jordan with holy water, in a similar fashion to most other baptisms.  However, he explains that Jesus will cleanse the souls and forgive the sins of all with the power of the Holy Spirit, therefore baptizing in an even more powerful fashion.

 


 

Christmas Window

 Luke 2: 10-14

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see- I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

 

(See also Matthew 1: 18-25)

 

 

The Christmas story is one of the most well known in the Christian world; with that comes the understanding of the setting.  When born, the baby Jesus was placed in a manger.  Therefore, the manger on the window is representative of God the Son.  The star on the window not only stands for the star above the stable, but also God the Father.  The glow from the star on the window encompasses the manger, just like God’s love encompasses the world.

 



Communion Window

 Mark 14: 22-25

While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.”  Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it.  He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.  Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

 

(See also Matthew 26: 26-29 or Luke 22: 14-20)

 

  

The window depicting grapes is representative of the Last Supper with Jesus and his disciples.  The bread served during this first communion represents the body of Christ, the wine his blood, both of which he sacrificed in order to save humanity from their sins.  The grapes are still connected to the vine on the window to show that Jesus did indeed have the opportunity to drink wine again in the kingdom of God after his heavenly ascension.

 



Easter Window

 Matthew 28: 5-7

But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.  He is not here: for he has been raised, as he said.  Come, see the place where he lay.  Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’  This is my message for you.”

 

(See also Mark 16: 5-8, Luke 24: 1-9, or John 20: 11-18)

 

 

Although crucified on the cross, all know of Jesus’ miracle resurrection three days later.  The white linens hung over the cross represent the purity, grace, and holiness of Jesus, as well as his ascension to Heaven.  Above his head on the cross was an inscription that read ‘Inri,’ which translated means “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.”  The Easter window reminds all of the horror Jesus had to face in order to save all from their sins.

 



In the Beginning Window

 Genesis 1: 1-5

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.  Then God said “Let there be light”; and there was light.  And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.  And there was evening and there was morning the first day.

 

The sun on the window stands for the creation of all.  Our loving God had the desire to create, so on the first day, he created light to overpower the empty darkness.  The seven rays expanding from the sun each stand for one day of the six days of creation and the seventh day of rest, the Sabbath day.



Isaiah Window

 Isaiah 7: 14

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.  Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.

 

Isaiah 7: 14 is the Bible verse that prophesizes the coming of Jesus Christ to the world.  Although many years before the actual birth of the Christ child, God was sending a sign to the world that he would come to teach, love, and save in human form.

 



Palm Sunday Window

 John 12: 12-15

The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.  So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!  Blessed is the one who come in the name of the Lord- the King of Israel!”  Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written: “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion.  Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!”

 

(See also Matthew 21: 8-11, Mark 11 7-10, or Luke 19: 35-38)

 

The Palm Sunday window represents when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem just days before he was crucified on the cross.  The green palm leaves on the window represent those that were thrown on the ground, along with cloaks and branches, to create a pathway for Jesus’ processional into the city.  The golden crown symbolizes Jesus as our King. 



Pentecost Window

 Acts 2: 1-4

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.  And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

 

 

Often times, the Holy Spirit is represented as a dove to help create a mental image of this portion of the Holy Trinity.  On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and gave them the ability to speak and understand foreign languages.  The tongues of fire on the window mirror those that floated above the heads of the Apostles during this phenomenon.



Prophecy Window

 Revelation 1: 20

As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven gold lampstands: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

 

Revelation 5: 1

Then I saw in the right hand of the one seated on the throne a scroll written on the inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.

 

(See also Exodus 25: 31-40, Zechariah 4: 1-14, Zechariah 5: 1-4, Revelation 1: 12-20, Revelation 4: 1-11, Revelation 5: 1-14, or Revelation 6: 1-17)

 

The book of Revelation tells of many prophecies proclaimed throughout the Bible.  Visions of a seven tiered golden lampstand and a scroll written on both sides are consistent reminders of what is to come in the final book of the Bible as well as our eternal life in Heaven with God.  To gain more insight, it is easiest to read the previous references listed and then make connections to the Revelation verses.



Jesus the Shepherd Window

 Psalm 23: 1-6

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul.  He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff- they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.

 

(See also Hebrews 13: 20-21)

 

  

Often times, Jesus is referred to as the Good Shepherd, and we are his sheep.  This grandiose window depicts God’s love for all creation: nature, animals, and believers of the Lord.  Whether we feel lonely and afraid or joyous and content, God will be by our side, helping us and guiding us every step of the way.  The sheep on the window represent followers of Christ and their faith in him, while the lamb in his arms show that God will always love and protect. 



Holy Spirit Dove Window

 Matthew 3: 16-17

And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  And a voice from heaven sad, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

 

(See also Mark 1: 10-11, Luke 3: 21-22, or John 1: 32-34)

 

  

The window of the dove depicts the mental interpretation of the Holy Spirit.  It explains, with a picture, the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist because the Holy Spirit appeared like a dove after Jesus emerged from the holy water.  This moment in the Bible is a wonderful depiction of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit acting as three separate, yet still one complete being.



Lutheran Seal Window

 

 The black cross stands for Christ’s death on the cross in order to save all from their sins.

The red heart stands for the love created by faith in God.

The white rose represents purity and angels, as well as their holiness.

 The blue background acts as a symbol for heaven and faithful hope.

 The gold ring surrounding the outside symbolizes God’s divinity and unending love, guidance, and support in all. 



Martin Luther Window

 

 

Martin Luther was born on November 10, 1483 to German parents.  Most known for influencing the doctrines of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther brought many changes to the religious world: one being clerical marriage, another, singing hymns during church services, just to name a few.

We celebrate Martin Luther on Reformation Sunday, the Sunday designated to recognize when he posted the 95 Theses to the Castle Church doors in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517.  He died of natural causes on February 18, 1546, after a lifetime of dedicating himself to religious studies and the overall betterment of religion.



Church Windows (30-40 servings)

Ingredients

 

1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips (12 ounces)

½ cup butter

1 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)

1 bag mini colored marshmallows (10-12 ounces)

1 bag shredded, sweetened coconut (14 ounces)

 

 

Directions

 

1. Melt chocolate chips and butter in a double boiler.  Stir until smooth and let cool.

 

2. Add marshmallows and nuts and mix until well combined.

 

3. Shape into multiple logs and roll in coconut.

 

4. Place logs in wax paper and refrigerate.

 

5. Cut and enjoy!