Stained Glass Windows

Heritage of Church Window

This window shows Jesus as the vine and the disciples as the branches. Jesus and the disciples are each represented with traditional symbols.

Jesus Christ: At the top is Jesus Christ, the head of the Church, symbolized by IHS, the first three letters of the Greek spelling of Jesus, set under the Cross and Crown, symbolizing his suffering death and victorious resurrection.

Simon Peter: The crossed keys recall Peter’s confession and our Lord’s gift to him of the keys of the kingdom.

Thomas: A carpenter’s square and a spear are symbols of the tradition that Thomas is said to have built with his own hands a church in India, and later was killed there with a spear.

James the Greater: The scallop shell is the symbol of pilgrimage and stands for his zeal and missionary spirit. Three symbolizes the Trinity.

Bartholomew: Bartholomew is said to have been flayed alive so is usually represented by the flaying knife. His martyrdom was because of his preaching of the Word of God, symbolized by the open Bible.

Matthew: Matthew is symbolized by three purses, referring to his original vocation as a tax collector when Jesus called him.

John: According to tradition, John once drank from a poisoned chalice and was unharmed. The snake represents the poison.

Jude: Jude travelled far on missionary journeys, depicted by the ship with the cross.

Andrew: Tradition says that while Andrew was preaching in Greece, he was put to death on a cross shaped like an X.

Simon the Zealot: Simon the Zealot is symbolized by a Book upon which rests a fish, because through the power of the gospel he became a greater fisher of people.

Philip: The cross symbolizes Philip’s Christian faith, and the two loaves recall his remark of doubt to Jesus in John 6:7 when Jesus fed the five thousand.

James the Less: Tradition has it that James the Less was sawn asunder after a horrible martyrdom.

Matthias: Matthias was chosen to take the place of Judas as an apostle, symbolized by the open Bible. The double bladed battle-axe symbolizes his death by beheading after his missionary work.

The Scroll and the Lamp: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105. The witness of the Church to God’s Word is both in Scripture and the deeds of its people. “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.

I was in Prison and You Came to Me: The ministry of the church has often been to those in prison. There is also a symbolic element as the message of the church is to those spiritually captivated by sin.

I was Sick and You Visited Me: The entwined serpents represent the healing symbol of the medical profession, while the basket of flowers signify the Christian mercy of the church toward those who are ill through prayer and visitation.

I was Naked and You Clothed Me: Jesus said, “If anyone would ask for your coat, give them your cloak also.” (Matthew 5:40) The church sees part of its ministry in clothing the naked. With this ministry is also the message that we are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus.

I was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me: Superimposed over the doors of the church is the figure of two hands clasped in welcome. Under the sign of the cross, the church extends a welcoming hand along with the helping hand.

I was Thirsty and You Gave Me Drink: Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35) The cup of water is both a necessity of life and a symbol of eternal life. The church is called upon to provide eternal water.

I was Hungry and You Gave Me Food: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6) The church stands as God’s agents to feed those who hunger physically and spiritually. Wheat suggests food from the earth, the knife to cut and share the loaves. The crosses symbolize that the church offers the “Bread of Life” to the spiritually hungry.

The Ship: A traditional symbol of the church has been the Ship, for the church sails unharmed through all perils as it goes forth on its missionary journey. The word “Nave,” which refers to the part of the church where the congregation assembles for worship, comes from the Latin word for “ship.”

God’s Might Acts of Creation: God’s hands for the world, the sun, the moon, and the stars. At the center of creation is humanity, represented by Adam and Eve, before the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The six-pointed Creator’s star is in the lower portion of the window.

God’s Covenant Acts of Redemption: God’s hands reach down to support Moses, with outstretched arms, to divide the waters for the people to pass through to freedom. The lower portion presents the twelve tribes which went out of Egypt.

God’s Righteous Acts of Judgment: God’s hand holds the scale which is also a sword, the righteous judgment that must chasten. In the upper left balance are the people bowed down to the gold calf of idolatry and found wanting, as compared to the spiritual worship required and pronounced by the prophets in the lower right balance. The divided kingdoms live and ultimately fall between the armed of Egypt and the spears of the Assyrian and Babylonian armies symbolized in the lower portion.

God’s Gracious Acts of Renewal: God restores and upholds the people of God. The high priest calls the people to return to the worship of God, while the scribe reads from Scripture and the people rebuild the walls of Jerusalem as others stand guard. The scroll in the lower portion indicates the writings of this period.

God’s Mightiest Act in Jesus Christ: God’s hand is show as the ultimate gift of God’s self is given in Jesus Christ. Christ’s death is suggested by the three crosses, while the open tomb below indicates his resurrection and victory over death.

God’s Transforming Acts through the Church: The church witnesses to God. The apostle standing in the center is pointing to God, the ship on the right with yellow sails, the Greek building at the top, and the collection of witnesses below all represent the church in its mission to spread the good news around the world. The fish in the lower portion is one of the earliest symbols of the church.

God’s Coming Act of Consummation: God’s ultimate triumph is represented by the traditional symbol of Christ standing on the world. The laurel wreath is another symbol of victory. The blazing sun in the lower portion speaks to Christ’s glory. The sun also connects this to the first symbol window affirming that the whole of history rests in the hands of God.