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Stained Glass Windows

The North Shore United Methodist Church is very fortunate to have five beautiful stained glass windows, which were presented to the church as memorials. In an effort to educate members of the congregation about the origin of these windows and about the religious stories and symbols they depict, Florence Fox Below gathered the information shared in this brochure. It was her hope that future generations would learn about these windows and would, in turn, pass on this knowledge to the next generation. Her daughter, Bev Fetzer, shared this information with the congregation in 2006, and again in 2010.

The beautiful chancel window in the front of the sanctuary was installed during the ministry of Reverend Eldon Kerner in 1958. The four windows on the south and north sides of the sanctuary were installed in 1947–1949, when Dr. Robert B. Pierce was minister. Each of these four windows is divided into five separate panels which tell the story of the life of Jesus in both pictures and symbols. The southwest window depicts the Nativity, while the northwest window portrays the Resurrection. The center panel of each of these four side windows illustrates a significant story in Jesus’ ministry.

There are additional features common to each of the four side windows. In each set of windows, the Patteé Cross has been incorporated into the general design. This form of the cross has been a Christian symbol since the 5th century. It is often used in heraldry and in medieval art and is sometimes called the St. John’s Cross or the Maltese Cross. It is a type of cross that has arms which are narrow at the center and broader at the end of the arms.

In addition to the Patteé Cross, each center panel on the side window panels contains a symbol associated with one of the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This symbol is placed in the center panel at the feet of Jesus because it is through these four New Testament Gospels that we learn about Jesus’ life and work.

A third symbol found on the side window panels is the fleur-de-lis or “flower of the lily,” which is found on three of the center panels, placed directly above the head of Jesus. Originally, this symbol stood for purity and was used to signify the Virgin Mary. Later in church history, the three-petal design of the fleur-de-lis became associated with the Holy Trinity.

Each of the stained glass windows consists of five separate panels. Below is a list of the subject matter of each panel, beginning with the left panel and moving to the right:

Preston Window (Southwest)

  1. Twelve-year-old Jesus holding a Hebrew scroll
  2. Twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple in Jerusalem
  3. Jesus blessing the little children
  4. The birth of Jesus
  5. The rose and the candle, symbols of the coming of the Messiah

Kidder Window (Southeast)

  1. The chalice and serpent, symbols relating to John, the disciple
  2. Jesus calling the first disciples, James and John
  3. The fisherman catching an abundance of fish
  4. The baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist
  5. A baptismal font

Wing Window (Northeast)

  1. The chalice and the grapes, a Communion symbol
  2. The Last Supper
  3. Jesus healing the blind man
  4. Jesus preaching to the multitudes and the disciples
  5. The open Bible, a symbol of Jesus’ teachings

Below/Fox Window (Northwest)

  1. The Phoenix, a symbol of eternal life
  2. Jesus’ tomb on Easter morning
  3. Jesus giving Peter the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven
  4. The Crucifixion
  5. The crown of thorns interwoven with three nails

Chancel Window: The Church Triumphant (based on the Book of Acts)

  1. Philip’s conversion and baptism
  2. The Apostle Paul
  3. The Victorious Christ
  4. Chapters 1 and 2 of Acts
  5. Peter and John ministering

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