05 Jul A Word From…
In the coming months our church is embarking on a restoration project of our stained glass windows. Over the last few years, the Stewardship Committee consulted with a stained glass expert and made a long-term plan for the repair and preservation of our stained glass. On the outside of the stained glass there are clear plexiglass storm windows which were improperly sealed and therefore caused significant damage to the stained glass that needs to be corrected. Session has approved the first step of a multi-phase restoration plan, which begins by replacing the clear storm windows on the outside. This will immediately improve the look of the windows from the outside, as the plexiglass has gotten pretty hazy. Then our stained glass expert will remove several stained glass windows at a time, to be taken back to her shop for repairs. This means that, sometime this fall, four of our stained glass windows will be missing for a few weeks. Don’t worry! They’ll be coming back, as good as new.
Our stained glass windows are one of my favorite features of our church building. I’ve always felt that stained glass seems to sanctify a space—that its unique mixture of color and sunlight sets a tone of reverence that always makes it easier for me to feel I’m entering the presence of God.
The other thing I love about stained glass windows is that I feel they enhance our connection with past generations of believers. Stained glass became common in churches in the Middle Ages as a way of using the church building itself to preach the Gospel. At a time when most of the congregants would have been illiterate—and likely understood little of the Latin services—the images on the windows were very important for their spiritual development!
Much more recently, and closer to home, I love how our stained glass windows remind me of God’s faithfulness to the generations of believers who have worshiped right here in this building in Siloam Springs. The tall windows in our sanctuary are not adorned with scenes from the Bible, like those medieval churches, but they are marked with names. And though these names are mostly unknown to me, they are a part of this same body of believers. They said the same creeds and sang the same hymns we do today. They are our extended family.
So in order to be good stewards of this building and to these elements of worship that past generations—and our current body—deemed so valuable, the disrepair of these windows requires immediate attention. We are fortunate to have Elders who understand this value. It’s important to note that this multi-phase plan over the next few years will not only strategically address the most critical repairs first, it will also be accomplished on a financially responsible timeline.
I encourage you to take a few minutes in the coming weeks to appreciate our stained glass, both the smaller pictorial windows and the larger abstract ones, and to thank God for the beauty they add to our worship services.