The day of March 31 was a special occasion for the members of Redeemer Lutheran Church because it marked the dedication of the sanctuary's new, four stained glass windows.
Robin Grotelueschen, the chairperson for the church’s Artistic Enrichment Committee, said the new windows were made possible through a monetary gift from the Bert Weber Trust. Both Burt and his wife, Anita Weber, were members of the church for more than 40 years before moving to Columbus. Now through their help, the church's windows now add to the aesthetics of the sanctuary.
Each of the windows contains religious symbolism and meaning. The Communion window is closest to the altar and depicts a chalice with wheat, grapes and Chi Rho.
The Baptism window depicts three droplets of water representing the Holy Trinity, a dove embodying the Holy Spirit and rays of lights shining through a cloud representing The Father. The window next to the church's organ highlights the role of music in worship services and the last window represents the pastoral office.
“We wanted something that was intriguing and educational, but gave true Christian meaning when you look at it,” Grotelueschen said about the windows. “That people could look at and come up with a meaning in their own way of what they represent to them personally.”
The windows were created by artist Harry Tompkin, owner of The Palace Glass Co. in Lincoln. In a written statement, Tompkin expressed his thoughts on the project, writing:
“As an artist, I don’t like to tie the images down. Often, the window can have more than one meaning, as symbols can mean something different to your neighbor," he wrote. "I also do not want you to think that you need to ‘understand’ the windows. Colors and shapes are notes of music in God’s creation, so I like to just sit back and enjoy the play of light and shadow. The message will be there if you see it.”
The Redeemer Lutheran congregation dates back to 1940 starting with only eight charter members. As of 2016, the church has about 400 members, with the Rev. David Palomaki serving as pastor. He said the building itself, at 695 N. 9th St. in David City, dates back to 1958. He said he's happy to see the new windows come into fruition.
“We've been talking about it for a long time and we finally got the opportunity to do it,” Palomaki said of the project. “They’re beautifully done. They really add to the worship setting of the sanctuary and were well received by the congregation.”
Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.