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Biblical Story In Stained Glass Now Complete

By ROBERT HIRTLE
rhirtle@southshorenow.ca

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.

Sattler 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."

The Stained Glass Windows of
Saint Benedict Catholic Church

Stories from the Past, Present and Future

Behind the stained glass windows for the new Saint Benedict Parish there are several stories bringing the past, the present and future together.

The windows in the Narthex, Nave and Gathering Room come from the Sisters of Charity Mount Saint Vincent Motherhouse. These windows were made in the United States by Rambusch in 1958. The Sisters of Charity asked Sattler's Stained Glass Studio of Nova Scotia to remove these windows from the Motherhouse.

During this time they met Robert Doyle and were subsequently invited by Father O'Neill to consult and work on the stained glass windows for Saint Benedict.

In the Nave of the church the windows are grouped in three sets of three. The first three depict the infancy Narratives. The next three depict Jesus' Public Ministry. The final three depict the Passion and Resurrection.

Integrating the Motherhouse windows into Saint Benedict Parish brings the past into the present with their renewed life in a new "home". To do this required many of the same technically demanding skills as restoration. The Nave windows were originally rectangular and so required new Gothic tops, to fit the shape of the new openings. These top panels were created to match the existing glass in colour, style and painting.

Norbert Sattler chose to take the predominant background colour of each window and use several shades of it, in these new sections. Artist Sue Obata then painted the glass to match the rest of the window. New glass was also needed to replace areas where old horizontal support bars used to be located.

Norbert carefully selected appropriate glass colours and recut new pieces to integrate these areas with the original design, as opposed to simply placing a horizontal band of new glass in the missing area. Each new piece of glass then required two steps of hand painting and firing to match the glass painting around it. Read more...

Video walk through at St. Benedict (opens new window/tab)


For more pictures and current information,

2102 West LaHave, RR#1
Pleasantville, Nova Scotia, Canada
B0R 1G0

Phone: 1-902-688-1156
Fax: 1-902-688-1475
Toll Free: 1-866-724-5515

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