Giving God Glory Through Stained Glass Art
For well over a decade and a half I have been blessed to be a part of a 4th and 5th grade Sunday School team made up of Sherry & Tom Kaetzel and myself. We started by doing lessons in the room above the kitchen, and eventually landed in the Greenhouse garage where we currently teach. In the early days we were given the ok to develop our own Bible curriculum, and one year we chose to teach about each of the 26 stained glass windows that are on both sides of our church sanctuary. We used the brochure, that is still available Sundays in the foyer, to study and reflect on each of the windows, and the Bible stories that they represent (scripture references are included in the brochure). We found out that each window has a brass plaque underneath it describing what the window is highlighting. Some windows have a single focal point while others include two, three, or as many as five items (as seen in the Birth of Jesus window). Thirteen Old Testament and thirteen New Testament windows make up the total number of side windows. The Good Shepherd Window is at the front of the sanctuary, “reaching out and offering living water to the lost sheep caught in the briars. The subtle outline of the cross is a reminder that Christ is both Shepherd and Redeemer.” To complete our Sunday School study that year, Tom sought out and located the artist Pat Haeger. She was invited to come to speak on the Good Shepherd window, during our Sunday School time, and answer any questions from the kids. She was warmly welcomed by the congregation that day along with her son who drove her up from the South Bay. She brought Stained Glass coloring books for each of the kids and was the perfect person to finish our year of learning from the art that surrounds us.
Fast forward to today, Pastor Danny has continued to use the teachings of the windows in our current Bible studies during Kids Church. We currently are on a five-year journey going through the Bible. When a window helps support the main topic of the morning, the window photos are shown via computer on the TV and the key items are spotted by the kids. Danny has also incorporated a monthly game for the kids onWorship Together Sunday. He has a paper that shows two different window panels, and the kids are supposed to write down the location of each to receive a treat.
Next time you’re able to gather in the sanctuary, I hope you spend some time appreciating the beauty and detail of the art of the stained glass and their stories, the artist and her efforts, and to the committee behind the project that allow us to be blessed with their efforts. To God be the glory, great things He has done!
To read more about how the FCC stained glass project came together, read Joan’s story here: www.oaklandfcc.org/stories/joan-story.