Eighty years ago the church dedicated our chancel generously donated to us by Katherine Deere Butterworth. Our soaring Trinity stained glass windows, the ornate oaken carvings, the marble altar and steps, and the screen covering the organ room were given to us as a gift and an inheritance. This inheritance added to the more restrained beauty of our nave, with its geometric stained glass windows, now a century old.
All of our stained glass windows were installed with beauty and reverence in mind, long before we began thinking about energy efficiency. Some time later, to conserve the cost of heating our building and to protect against damage, Plexiglas coverings were added.
Over time, the Plexiglas has clouded and now occludes light from streaming into our building. Because unvented Plexiglas traps moisture, the 100 year old wood moldings around the nave windows have rotted. Some of the heavier glass in our most costly chancel windows have begun to sag and bulge and are in danger of lasting damage.
The beauty of our stained glass windows, though dimmed, adds to the richness of our worship life together. We have grown accustomed to the dimming of the light, but we are now ready to Let Light Shine, unobstructed and brilliant.
We have contracted with stained-glass professionals to restore our windows. Cloudy plexiglas will be replaced with clear, vented, super-strong, laminate plate glass, permitting unobstructed light with the added benefit of improved energy efficiency. Windows in danger of permanent damage will be repaired. Rotted wood will be replaced.
The total cost for the project is $150,000, but thanks to generous, advanced contributions, our Let Light Shine fundraising goal is $85,000.
The work is scheduled to begin in November and to end before our Christmas Eve services, when we turn out the lights in the sanctuary and hear again the story of the coming of light into our world: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:4). With candles lit we will sing together of the Son of God, love’s pure light, and the glories of this sacred moment will radiate into the Holy Night.
Please join us for Sundays in October to learn about this project, the company doing the work, the history of our windows, and the stories of faith our windows proclaim. Kindly return the enclosed Let Light Shine commitment card by mail or during worship by Sunday, October 27th.
Yours in Christ,
Carol Freeman, Neil Fuller, Brendan Young, Wes Llewellyn, Rev. Craig Jan-McMahon