Story In Stained Glass Now Complete
By ROBERT HIRTLE
MAHONE BAY: You might call it the missing piece of a biblical puzzle.
Last week the final stained glass window was installed at St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Mahone Bay, completing a visual of the Bible's story from its first book, Genesis, to its last, Revelation.
Rev. Stephen Kristenson, pastor at St. John's, says that for many years the only stained glass windows in the church were located in the sanctuary.
"Back in 1990 there was a major push to do the rest of the stained glass windows, and the last one of that set was done in 2004," he explains.
That left only two tall windows in the end of the church nearest the street and one over the door to the Sunday school room that were not stained glass. A couple of years ago, a pair of benefactors came forward to donate the necessary funds for the replacement of one of the taller panes.
"There was interest in doing the Pentecost window so artist Sue Obata and Sattler's Studio were engaged to do the window and that was finished in 2011," he recalls.
"When Sue did that window, we asked her to do a proposal for the last window. Because we begin with Creation, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden and then we jump from there to the birth of Jesus, then the life of Jesus, his teaching, then his Crucifixion, Resurrection and Ascension, the next logical thing was Pentecost. And then, we only had one window left so we decided to use Revelation, the last book of the Bible going from Genesis to Revelation."
Pastor Kristenson says the image that was chosen from that last book is the river of life and the tree of life.
"The theme of that window from the book of Revelation is that the tree of life that are on either side of the river of life are for the healing of the nations," he explains. "It depicts the river of life and the tree of life and the people from all nations gathered around God's throne."
Funding for one of the panes of the Revelation window was provided by a single donor while the other was paid for through smaller contributions by approximately 30 couples or individuals who have made donations to the stained glass window fund over many years.
Stained Glass Studio also produced, and last week installed, a new
stained glass window over the church's Sunday School door which
depicts Luther's Rose.
"It's the only Lutheran symbol we have in this church," Pastor Kristenson says. "Luther's Rose has its own definition and that was also given by a couple that wanted to complete the project. So all of the stained glass in the church has now been finished."
Plans are to dedicate both new windows May 19 at the regular 11 a.m. service
which is, interestingly, Pentecost Sunday. "We hope that we
can gather many of the donors of that window together on that date
as several are from away," he says. "It's a long weekend
so it's possible they might be able to travel here for that."