Huntsville newspaper front page on Easter 2009!!
Easter Stained Glass Display above the altar at Huntsville's First Christian Church.
Can you see the silhouette figure of Christ in the background of our stained glass butterfly panels? He is done in green glass and shows his head, shoulders and outstretched arms and hands. Just focus on the green glass that is in every one of the ten butterfly panels -- disregard the butterflies and see only the green background. See HIM? (Hint: the top center panel has His head and the left-most and right-most panels have his hands.) He is modeled after the statute, Christ the Redeemer, located in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. (Ours is just the top portion of it - from the chest up)
Well, we were quite excited at our church on Easter morning - not just because we were celebrating the risen Christ - but because our Easter art project made the first page of the paper -- above the fold!!! and what was below the fold??
A picture of our young, wiser-than-his-years minister, Kyle Dennis, shown adjusting . . .MY STAINED GLASS!!! Yes, this is the one I made. Isn't that cool? The whole idea for the glass project was Kyle's. His hobby is making stained glass and he's really quite good at it. He took a bunch of beginners, gave us intermediate projects (we selected our own butterfly, colors, and glass), taught us to make patterns and construct our panels. It took about six weeks of work for us all to complete our windows.
This display was really gorgeous with our glorious stained glass of Christ in Gethsemane towering over the altar and many gorgeous Easter lilies adorning the area all around the sides. We were all very proud of the handiwork. I was especially excited abou t it as I had my mom and my uncle (from California) - both in their 80's visting! What a treat!
(Left to right: Dorothy (Mom), Ray (choir member), Jerry (DH), Molly (BFF), Jack (Uncle), Carol (choir director & BFF), Sally (me), Charlie (Molly's DH)
This is just one of many art projects we have done and have planned as a result of Kyle's studies at Wesley Theological Seminary where he is currently pursuing a doctorate of ministry. And get this --- his program there is a specialty in ART AND THEOLOGY!! Yeas, I said ART and Theology!! Isn't that the grandest thing you've herd in a long while from a theological seminary?? We are all so thrilled. Our minister is a very talented guy, interested in all the arts - especially the aspect of finding and connecting with Christ in art. there are many of us in the church that are already involded in one or more of the arts and many more climbing on board with each new project!
I'll be telling you more about this exciting program in the church as we get more accomplished. I have agreed to serve as arts ministry team leader. One of our first projects is to renovate one of the classrooms in our church to be used as an art studio. This coming Saturday we will be moving furniture, painting, installing a sink, building cabinets and shelves, etc. After that we will be using money designated by our board to purchase tables and chairs for the studio. Another project is working on guidelines and procedures for using our fellowship hall as an art gallery! Oh, it is all just too exciting.
In case you are interested in reading the article published in our newspaper on Easter, I've included it below. [I couldn't help but add a couple of, hopefully, clarifying notes. My comments are in brackets. Check out the diagram I added at the bottom to try to shed some light on the neswpaper guy's understanding of what was surely a little mini-sermon from Kyle as they talked about the stained glass project. LOL]
I'll be posting about our other art projects very soon. (Forgive me for taking such a long break from you. I've missed you and those reaffirming comments you make to my blog posts. I'll do my best not to be away so long again.) so, what do you think about my very first stained glass window? this is a very crude picture of it -- taken from the newspaper. The display is still up in the sanctuary of the church. When it comes down, I'll try to get a better photo of it. It was quite fun to make -- notice the little wire antennae -- they are actually only attached on one end so they look even more real.
Here is a copy of the article from the paper:
Here is a copy of the article from the paper:
Church members focus on the arts and theology
By Brandon Scott
First Christian Church created something special for its congregation this Easter Sunday. When the doors of the church are open, they will be greeted by the silhouette outline of “Christ the Redeemer.”
Members of the church designed 10 individual stained glass windows with different patterns in each of them. The windows will hang in the sanctuary above the altar in the church at 1800 Avenue R. The overall theme ties the pieces together to represent the resurrected Christ. Easter lilies will also fill the baptistery.
Pastor Kyle Dennis was inspired with the idea shortly before traveling to Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. At this ministry program, the focus is the arts and theology.
Dennis wants to reintroduce the arts into worship and spiritual development. “We’ve lost the ability to read and interpret language, music, image and dance,” Dennis said. “When limiting ourselves to words we limit ourselves to a part of who God is.”
The butterfly is a standard symbol of resurrection and the windows are designed to communicate salvation. Dennis distinguished salvation as a process as opposed to an event.
“Justification usually happens right away,” Dennis said. [Actually, justification is gifted to us by God at the time we become believers.] “Sanctification occurs [during] the rest of our lives [as we are] being made holy [in the image of Jesus], but glorification is the part of the process that lasts the longest. It’s eternal life.” [A believer enters eternal life at the point of death or at the time our savior returns -- whichever is first!]
Later he [Dennis] went on to define art as a process as opposed to a product, which can be compared to the resurrection of Christ as a process and salvation as a process. The resurrection of Christ validated the suffrage of the crucifixion, just as sanctification ultimately leads to salvation. [Salvation is the term given to the whole process - from birth and then Justification, through Sanctification, to final Glorification.]
Dennis explained the tedious process of cutting the stained glass to make windows look like art to the public eye. It takes time and sacrifice, as does anything else worth glorifying, he said. This church will emphasize the significance of the suffrage that eventually leads to the holy day known as Easter.
This diagram was first drawn for me by Kyle in the very first Bible study I did at this church. I really liked how it seemed to clarify some vague terms in my mind. I later added some verses to the diagram and I'm sure there are even better ones that I have here to illustrate the three terms of salvation.
Hope your Easter was as fun, inspiring and hopeful as mine was.