Where Have All the Windows Gone?

By on December 30, 2014 in News & Musings

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If you’ve been in church recently, you probably know where our stained glass windows have gone. If you’ve just driven by, it might look a little like we are boarded up. So – here’s a “window” into what’s happening at Zion.

We’re not exactly sure when the eight beautiful stained glass windows were installed at Zion, but a glance back at old photos lets us know they’ve been here for a century or more. Crafted in colors of gold and green accented in red, they’ve helped us connect with God’s story. The symbols are powerful: a cross, a baptismal font, a chalice, a Bible, the commandment tablets, a crown, an anchor and a dove.

Over the last several years the adhesive that holds the leading and the glass together has deteriorated, causing the small pieces of glass to buckle. Most windows were no longer safe to open – a small tragedy on hot summer mornings! The winter wind also took advantage of the many seams that were no longer sealed. If you’ve ever had to replace an ordinary window or looked into a specialty repair at your home, then you know this project would not fit into the ordinary budget of a small congregation like Zion.

As we discussed caring for our heritage, we also heard about people’s dreams for the future of worship at Zion. From those conversations, a capital appeal was born – Celebrating the Past, Embracing the Future. By weaving together where we’ve been and where we’re going, Zion’s membership has become excited about the possibilities for this worship space. (This Capital Appeal also includes plans to reimagine the sanctuary layout, but that’s for a future post!)

In early December, Reinart’s Stained Glass Studio arrived at Zion. A few hours later, seven of the windows had been carefully removed and prepared for transport to the studio in Winona, MN. There they will undergo the meticulous and arduous restoration process.

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The repair process is in this order:

  • Windows are numbered and photographed
  • A rubbing is done of each window before any work is begun
  • Windows are immersed in a bath to loosen all adhesive
  • Each window is disassembled and any broken pieces are refashioned
  • Windows are reassembled using modern adhesives and leading techniques
  • Our original frames will be repaired and windows installed

If you’d like more details, be sure and attend the Adult Forum this Sunday, January 4th when Bill Reinarts will do a presentation on the restoration process – it promises to be very interesting!

This Capital Appeal process reminds us that nothing in the church is permanent. Windows need repairing. Carpet fades and tears. Pews get scuffed and scratched. In the end, only Christ remains and we pray that he is at the center of all we have done in the past and all we will do in the future.

It is our hope that by Easter Sunday the bright morning sun will come streaming through our beautiful windows once more!

Have you made a gift to the Capital Appeal yet? Our goal is $40,000 by May 27th and we need your help to be successful! Capital Appeal offering envelopes are available in the church office or by mail. Be sure to write “Capital Appeal” on the memo line of your check and thanks for being generous.



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