Stained Glass Windows

The Covenant Window

The idea of Covenant runs through the Bible, and through all life. In the Old Testament, the covenant between God and God’s people was similar to a covenant between two people, a contract that requires faithfulness, each party to the other.

The art work of this window is contained in a series of nine panels, starting from ground level and rising to a height of thirty-three feet, found in the southern staircase leading to the Sanctuary and Balcony.

The Heritage Windows

The smaller window at the south-west corner of the new addition depicts the symbols of the United Church of Canada contained in the Crest. The symbol of the descending dove is emblematic of the Holy Spirit and the symbol of Methodism.

Next, the open Bible represents the Congregational Churches with their emphasis upon God’s truth that makes all free. The open Bible is above the world indicating this truth is to be proclaimed to all the world. The burning bush is the symbol of Presbyterianism. It refers to the bush that burned and was not consumed and symbolizes the indestructibility of the Church of Christ.

Lastly, Alpha and Omega, are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. They symbolize the eternal, living God.

Sanctuary Stained Glass Windows

One of the most defining features of our Sanctuary is the beautiful stained glass windows that have been placed in memory of several members of our congregation over the years. Each window tells a different story: reflecting the life of the person in memoriam, or a depiction of one of our stories of our faith.

Dedication in memory of Gladys Bellerby, the Rebekah at the Well window found in the balcony tells the story from Genesis 24, where Abraham wants deeply for his son Isaac to
find a wife.

Abraham sends his servant, Eliezer to his homeland, and in a prayer, Eliezer asks God that the woman that comes and shows kindness to him at the well, might be the person for Isaac.

This story teaches us many lessons. For those that see themselves as Rebekah, we can see the power and importance of simple acts of generosity and hospitality.

For those like Eliezer and Abraham, we are reminded that God still gives us signs of guidance and love, so long as we are paying attention.

Dedication in memory of Anne and Harold Wightman the Beatitudes window found in the balcony tells the story of Jesus’ great sermon on the mount. In this sermon from Matthew 5, Jesus taught about God’s love for the whole earth:

Blessed are the poor in spirit…
Blessed are they that mourn…
Blessed are the meek: for the shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness…
Blessed are the merciful…
Blessed are the pure in heart…
Blessed are the peacemakers.

Interestingly, Jesus is pictured speaking this message to all in creation. Birds and other creatures become recipient of the good news.

Dedication in memory of Emma Price Snelling, the Great Commission window tells the story of a post resurrection experience of the Risen Christ. Matthew’s Gospel tells of this encounter, where Jesus commissions the disciples to ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, [and] baptizing them.’ Mary’s presence in this window might reference her presence as one of the first people to tell others about Jesus’ resurrection.

Dedication in memory of Arthur Snelling, the Gethsemane window reminds us of Jesus’ struggles of faith just prior to his arrest and crucifixion. Luke 22 tells the story of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane praying, that his will may not supersede God’s will. In that moment he experiences the presence of an angel who gives him strength.

Dedication in memory of Stanley O. Mason, the Blessing of the Children window reminds us of Jesus’ teaching about children, from Mark 10, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’

Dedication in memory of Eleanor Andress, the Mary and Martha window teaches us an important lesson for our faith. Martha, busy with tasks begins to re- sent her sister Mary, who sat at the feet of Christ to listen to his stories. Jesus reminds Martha that being busy isn’t always what’s necessary in life. Sitting in reflection can be a powerful demonstration of faith as well.

Dedicated in memory of Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Reilly, the Good Shepherd window reminds us of John 10: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep… I know my own and my own know me.

Dedicated in memory of Elletta Coulson, this window tells the story of Dorcas. Her importance can not be understated as she is one of the few women named in the Bible. A church leader and disciple, Acts 9:36-42 speaks of her life of service.

From John 15: I am the True Vine…you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit… I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.

Dedicated in memory of Philip A. Abrahamson, the Sower window tells the story of faith. Matthew 1, Some seeds are scattered on hard surfaces and do not sprout, other seeds fall on good soil and spring forth signs of hope in our world.

The New Memorial Windows

Our Memorial windows on the north wall of the Sanctuary remember those that served and lost their lives in World Wars I and II. The text spanning both windows is: Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life, taken from Revelation 2:10. Note the symbols of Alpha and Omega on the top of the window, a sign of God’s presence at the beginning and ending of all things.

In the 1968 Annual Report, the following was part of the Memorial Fund report: “A long time member of our church passed away in January of this year, in the person of Miss Anna Oram and in her will she has donated a double memorial window to our church, one to be in memory of herself and one to be in memory of a friend who lived with Miss Oram, Miss Laura A. Yokom, also a former member of Central United Church.”

With many thanks to all those that contributed to the preceding pages, especially Elizabeth Mcintosh, our most venerable member of Central, Janet Booth, who dug deep through our archives, and Jim Dohn, who was able to find many of our historical documents from which this information was gathered.