Explore the Stained Glass Window

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Adam & Eve

The story begins in a garden, where Adam and Eve represent humanity, made in the image of God as the culmination of God’s good creation. Symbolically, the name Adam means “humankind” and Eve means “living” or “life giver.” In the garden, Adam and Eve were asked only to refrain from eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In disobeying this command, their story also reminds us of our universal struggle with temptation and sin.

Abraham

Abram, whom God renamed Abraham, meaning “the father of many nations,” is the founding patriarch of three of the world’s five major religions. Today, more than half of the world’s population traces their spiritual heritage to Abraham who was blessed by God in order to become a blessing to others. In his story, we see the commencement of God’s covenantal relationship with humankind, which continues throughout the entirety of scripture, culminating in Jesus. All three of the world’s monotheistic faiths, Christianity, Judiasm and Islam, trace their roots to the Abrahamic covenant.

Augustine of Hippo

An early Christian theologian and philosopher, he became bishop of a Roman region in modern-day Algeria in northern Africa. Through Augustine’s prolific writings, he became one of the most preeminent and influential thinkers in history. He profoundly shaped the development of both Catholic and Protestant doctrines and theology and advanced the idea of just wars in order to protect innocents and preserve peace.

Cain and Abel

Cain, the first-born son of Adam and Eve, farmed the land, while Abel, his younger brother, was a shepherd. The story begins with both brothers bringing offerings before God. Abel’s offering was favored while Cain’s was not. Out of resentment and anger, Cain committed the first murder by leading Abel into a field and killing him. When God asked Cain, “Where is your brother, Abel?” Cain replied, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” Their story illustrates the effect of sin on humanity – as paradise is lost, we see the first act of murder, brother killing brother.

Garden

In the center of the window is another garden. John writes in his gospel that Jesus was crucified in a garden, buried in a garden, and when he rose from the dead, he appeared to Mary as a gardener. John intends for us to see that Christ has come to restore Paradise and to set the world aright. In this panel, the “tree” is the cross where Jesus died to redeem humanity. Through the cross, God’s saving and redeeming work is accomplished. The course of history is changed. The restoration of Paradise has begun.

Daniel

In 606 BC, Babylon conquered and pillaged Judah. Daniel, a noble Jewish teenager was carried into captivity along with three of his peers. Daniel found favor with King Nebuchadnezzar after interpreting a dream for him, and was promoted to the role of chief governor of Babylon. Later, under the rule of King Darius, a decree went out that no one was to offer prayer to any god or man except him for thirty days. Daniel resolved not to comply and continued his habit of prayers to God, knowing that doing so would put his life at risk. For this crime, he was arrested and thrown into a lions’ den but found protection from an angel who appeared and shut the lions’ mouths. Daniel’s legacy includes commitment, faith, courage and divine understanding.

David

A prominent religious figure in the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths, David is seen as a righteous king and “a man after God’s own heart,” though he also wrestled with his human frailties and temptations, as seen in his affair with Bathsheba and the killing of Uriah. David showed valor in battle and courage as Saul’s successor as King of Israel. He reunited the Israelite kingdom, conquered Jerusalem and established it as the spiritual and political center of Israel. Though he moved the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and intended to build a temple, the task fell to his son and successor, King Solomon. David was a warrior, musician and poet, and is credited with composing approximately half of the Book of Psalms.

E. Stanley Jones

Born in 1884, Jones was an American missionary on the Indian subcontinent who is remembered as a peacemaker, counselor, devotional writer, evangelist and interfaith leader. His work brought him to serve people of India’s lowest castes as well as India’s elite political and cultural leaders. His friendship with Mohandas K. Gandhi encouraged him to hold respect for the culture and strengths of Indian people, a challenge that helped Jones exemplify grace and respect as he learned to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ respectfully and without the entanglements of Western Christendom. Jones founded the Christian Ashram spiritual retreat movement and is referred to as the “Billy Graham of India.” He received the Gandhi Peace Award and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Esther

Esther’s faith and courage saved God’s people in exile. Esther became a Jewish queen of the Persian king Ahasuerus, handpicked for her beauty and intelligence. Her guardian, Mordecai, came into difficulty for refusing to bow down to Haman, one of the King’s high officials. Infuriated, Haman became intent on destroying the Jews. Mordecai heard of the plot and reported it to Queen Esther saying, “Who knows, but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther shows great courage by bravely pleading to the capricious King for the protection of her Jewish people from Haman’s plot. In a twist of fate, the King agreed with Esther, rescues the Jewish people and hanged Haman on the same gallows he had built to destroy the Jews.

Francis of Assisi

This Italian Catholic friar and preacher of the 12th and 13th centuries was born into luxury and privilege, but later dedicated his life to simplicity and imitation of the life of Christ. Despite the convention of his day, Francis became known for passionately preaching sermons that everyday people could understand. Renowned for his love of nature, Francis was also known to preach sermons to animals as he traveled, earning him criticism and the nickname, “God’s fool.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Bonhoeffer served as a German Lutheran pastor and theologian of great intellect and spirituality who lived as he preached. From the earliest days of Hitler’s rise to power, he stood staunchly in opposition of the evils of the regime. In 1933, he publicly declared that the church cannot simply “bandage the victims under the wheel, but jam the spoke in the wheel itself.” He put his life at great risk during the years of Nazi power, ultimately being executed by hanging on April 9, 1945, just two weeks prior to the United States’ liberation of the camp where he was held.

John Sung

Born in China in 1901 and traveling to America for education, Sung proved a brilliant student, quickly gaining his undergraduate degree and a Doctorate in Chemistry. However, he decided to continue his education by enrolling at seminary in order to follow a call to ministry. Following a profound and vivid experience of faith during seminary, Sung’s preaching and perspective became bolder – leading seminary officials to have him placed in an asylum for 193 days, during which time he reportedly read the Bible cover to cover 40 times. The Chinese Consulate negotiated his release and following his return to Mainland China, Sung played an instrumental role in the revival across Mainland China, Taiwan and Southeast Asia throughout the 1920s and 1930s before dying of tuberculosis at age 42.

Joseph

Joseph was the eleventh of twelve sons of the patriarch Jacob. Sold into slavery by his older jealous brothers, Joseph established himself in Egypt as a servant in the house of Potiphar, a captain in the Pharaoh’s guard. Falsely accused, he was imprisoned and eventually secured his release by correctly interpreting the Pharaoh’s dream, which foretold of seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. Joseph ultimately became the second most powerful man in Egypt and through his leadership, the Egyptians and surrounding nations were rescued from the famine. Joseph reunited with his family when they, without understanding Joseph’s identity, turned to him for assistance. With words that continue to inspire, Joseph forgave his brothers and said to them, “You planned something bad for me, but God produced something good from it.”

Martin Luther

As an early 16th century priest and theologian and the seminal figure of the Protestant Reformation, Luther brought passion to his religious cause of reform beginning with his rejection of the sale of religious indulgences. Aided by the new technology of the printing press, copies of Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses spread rapidly throughout across Europe and led to the fragmentation of the Catholic Church’s power and igniting the Protestant Reformation.

Apostle Paul

Saul of Tarsus (later named Paul) spent his early career persecuting Christians. He was dramatically struck down on the road to Damascus by a blinding light, at which time Jesus spoke to him, saying “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” This experience led to Paul’s Christian baptism and his commitment to spend the remainder of his life building churches – traveling thousands of miles by land and sea at the risk of rejection, physical pain, persecution and ultimately, martyrdom. As a well-educated Jew and a Roman citizen, Paul was uniquely positioned to take the good news of Jesus to Gentile people where he established a multitude of churches, wrote some of our most cherished texts and shaped Christianity around the globe with an impact that is second only to that of Jesus Christ.

Patriarch Athenagoras

Patriarch Athenagoras represents the Eastern Orthodox Church, which traces its roots to the apostles as a preservation of the original faith of the universal church. In 1948, Athenagoras served as Patriarch of Constantinople, a role that placed him as the top spiritual leader for approximately 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide. Patriarch Athenagoras was particularly respected for his efforts to establish harmony, expand the cooperative work of clergy and laity and improve ecumenical relations. His work with Pope John XXIII dramatically reestablished harmony between the two largest branches of Christianity, Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic, which had excommunicated and rejected the authority of each another in the 11th Century.

Perpetua

This 22-year-old Christian was martyred because she failed to conform to her culture’s expectations. She was arrested under decree by Roman Emperor Severus following her baptism in 203 AD, at a time when conversion to Christianity was forbidden by the state. Under pressure of death, Perpetua refused to recant her faith and was led to an amphitheater to be scourged and executed. According to one account, “Perpetua, that she might have some taste of pain, was pierced between the bones and shrieked out; and when the swordsman’s hand wandered still (for he was a novice), herself set it upon her own neck.”

Peter

Peter (originally Simon) was a Galilean fisherman who, along with his brother Andrew, was called to follow Jesus as one of the twelve disciples to become “fishers of men.” Peter was bold, spontaneous and impulsive. When Jesus walked on water, Peter stepped out of the boat to join him on the water for a moment but soon begins to sink when he takes his eyes off Jesus and his faith wavers. When Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter confidently replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus’ reply provided his new name, “I tell you that you are Peter. And I’ll build my church on this rock. The gates of the underworld won’t be able to stand against it. I’ll give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Anything you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. Anything you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven.” According to tradition, Peter was crucified upside down (at his request because he considered himself unworthy to die in the same manner as Jesus) in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar.

Naomi and Ruth

Naomi moved from Israel to Moab with her husband and two sons. First losing her husband and then her two sons, Naomi was left with her two Moabite daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth. Naomi told both young women they should return to their own families and she would return alone to Israel. Ruth, however, remained loyal to Naomi and would not leave her, saying, “Wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.” Ruth and Naomi traveled together to Bethlehem where Ruth remarried with an Israelite named Boaz. Ruth and Boaz would become the great-grandparents of King David, in the direct lineage of Jesus.

Susanna Wesley

The great spiritual movement of the 18th century had its roots in Susanna Wesley’s home. Known as the “mother of Methodism,” her character and devotion to God had a profound impact on both John and Charles Wesley, and all of her children benefited from her commitment to education. At a time when church services were often dull and dry, Susanna was a deeply spiritual woman who kept the practice of daily devotions. She had great influence in her community, leading what began as Sunday afternoon Bible studies for her family that began to draw as many as 200 people each week. Her character and modest ambitions were revealed in her simple statement, “I am content to fill a little space, if God be glorified.”

Sarah and Isaac

Sarah, originally Sarai, journeyed with her husband Abraham from Ur (in modern-day Iraq) to Haran (in modern-day Turkey), then south to Egypt, and ultimately to Hebron (in modern-day Israel.) Sarah remained childless throughout her childbearing years, but at age 90, God promised she would bear a son and that God’s covenant would come to fruition through his lineage. At 91 years of age, Sarah gave birth to her son named Isaac, meaning “laughter,” because at the thought of bearing a child at her age she declared, “God has made me laugh. Now everyone will laugh with me.” Isaac became the second patriarch and passed a blessing on to his son Jacob who had twelve sons of his own, forming the twelve tribes of Israel.

Teresa of Avila

This 16th century Spanish nun, mystic, leader and religious reformer, although devout upon entering a Carmelite convent at age 18, found her faith soon waned as she embraced the lax disciplines of her convent. Prolonged debilitating illness forced Teresa to spend three years in relative quiet contemplating the spiritual life. Fully recovered from her illness, Teresa later experienced a dramatic spiritual conversion, and for the remainder of her life, she gave herself intensely to prayer, austere poverty and the renewal of monasteries. Despite opposition to her reforms, Teresa established 17 new monasteries across Spain where young women vigorously pursued lives of prayer and devotion. She wrote extensively on mysticism, prayer and spiritual direction.

Thomas Aquinas

As a 13th century Italian Dominican friar, theologian and priest, Thomas asserted that faith and reason both come from God and, contrary to common opinion of his day, believed that theology and science are not in opposition, but instead can work together to point us toward proof of our Creator. Though his ideas were originally controversial, Aquinas has since become known as the Catholic Church’s greatest theologian and philosopher.

Apostle Peter

Peter (originally Simon) was a Galilean fisherman who, along with his brother Andrew, was called to follow Jesus as one of the twelve disciples and become “fishers of men.” Peter was bold, spontaneous and impulsive. When Jesus walked on water, Peter stepped out of the boat to join him on the water for a moment but soon begins to sink when he takes his eyes off Jesus and his faith wavers. When Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter confidently replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus’ reply provided his new name, “I tell you that you are Peter. And I’ll build my church on this rock. The gates of the underworld won’t be able to stand against it. I’ll give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Anything you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. Anything you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven.” According to tradition, Peter was crucified upside down (at his request because he considered himself unworthy to die in the same manner as Jesus) in Rome under Emperor Nero Augustus Caesar.

Moses

The Hebrew people were slaves in Egypt when, in order to prevent them from strengthening in number, the Pharaoh ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be killed. Moses’ mother carefully concealed him in a basket in the Nile River, and Pharaoh’s sister found and raised Moses within the royal family. As a young adult, Moses killed an Egyptian slave master who was beating a slave and had to flee for his safety. While in exile, God encountered and spoke to him from within a burning bush, sending him back to Egypt in order to demand the release of the Israelites from slavery. After ten plagues were brought upon Egypt, Moses led the Israelites safely out of Egypt and across the Red Sea. At Mount Sinai, Moses received the Ten Commandments; and after 40 long years of wandering in the desert, Moses died just before the Hebrew people entered the Promised Land. Moses has come to symbolize God’s concern for liberation of the oppressed.

Mother Teresa

Born in Macedonia in 1910, a young Catholic nun named Teresa moved to Calcutta, India, to educate young girls and alleviate their poverty through education. Mother Teresa, as she became known, left the relative comfort of her convent and fully devoted herself to living among, and caring for, India’s sick and poor. She established a hospice and a leper colony and established centers to care for the frail, orphaned and disadvantaged. Through kindness, generosity, spiritual strength and unfailing commitment, her efforts to meet basic human needs have multiplied, providing peace and hope for hundreds of thousands of the world’s poorest people in 133 countries. Worldwide, Mother Teresa’s name is synonymous with selfless service and a life of devotion to Christ. Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

Pope John XXIII

Affectionately known as “il Papa buono” or the Good Pope, John XXIII was elected at age 76. He was not expected to bring significant changes to the church: however, he defied expectations by calling the historic Second Vatican Council. This decision reshaped the face of Catholicism by allowing Mass to be spoken in the local language, revising Eucharistic prayers, placing a stronger emphasis on ecumenism and introducing contemporary Catholic liturgical music and artwork. His passion for equality was summed up in his statement, “We were all made in God’s image, and thus, we are all Godly alike.” In 2013, Pope Francis declared John XXIII a saint based on his leadership in opening the Second Vatican Council.

Mamie and Emmett Till

In 1955, Emmett Till was a 14 year-old African-American teenager from Chicago who served as a pivotal catalyst for the cause of civil rights. When visiting his relatives from Mississippi, he reportedly flirted with a white woman at a grocery store. Four days later, Emmett was brutally tortured, disfigured and shot. His body was tied to a fan with barbed wire and discarded in a river. Discovered three days later, his mother Mamie insisted on a public funeral with an open casket so that the world would comprehend the sheer brutality of the injustice. In so doing, she forced international attention, beginning with the tens of thousands who attended the Chicago funeral. Coverage of the funeral was a seminal event Civil Rights Movement, generating a groundswell of sympathy and support. The accused men went on to be acquitted of the crime, though they would later admit to it. Mamie Till became an activist in the civil rights movement, working tirelessly to educate people about injustices endured by African Americans.

Tree of Knowledge

Placed in the Garden of Eden is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. This tree tells the story from the book of Genesis of creation, Adam and Eve and paradise lost. Asked only to refrain from eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam and Eve cannot resist the temptation. Their story represents the universal struggle with sin. The leaves on the tree in this garden are turning colors and withering, and the bark is darkened– representing the brokenness of all humankind.

Tree of Life

To the right in the window is another garden showing Eden’s paradise restored. At the center of this garden is the Tree of Life which is described in the book of Revelation. The leaves on the Tree of Life are lush and green, offering “healing for the nations.” The Tree of Life represents God’s Kingdom come and the restoration of creation.

Cosmos

The top section of the Resurrection Window illustrates the Holy Trinity. God the Father is represented by the spiral galaxy, acknowledging him as Maker of Heaven and Earth. “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
– Genesis 1:1

River

Flowing across the window is a river. Throughout the Bible the theme of a river is important. Rivers are shown flowing from Eden and through the restored Paradise; and in between is the Jordan River where the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land and where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. As it flows across the window, the river forms the shape of an Omega, the last letter of the Greek alphabet, symbolizing fullness or completeness.

Dove


Cloud of Witnesses

In the heavens, to the right and left of Jesus, are faint images of the saints in heaven. To the left are Old Testament saints. To the right are New Testament saints. These men and women represent the “Communion of the Saints,” the spiritual union of the members of the church, both in heaven and on earth.


Cloud of Witnesses

In the heavens, to the right and left of Jesus, are faint images of the saints in heaven. To the left are Old Testament saints. To the right are New Testament saints. These men and women represent the “Communion of the Saints,” the spiritual union of the members of the church, both in heaven and on earth.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Among the world’s most influential civil rights activists, King was a Baptist minister in the American South who rose to prominence during the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott. King championed the rights of all people, and through his leadership of a non-violent resistance movement, raised the consciousness of a nation and ushered enormous progress in civil rights. The movement came at great sacrifice to King and his family. He was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, and yet through persistence he emerged as a leader who harnessed the moral authority of the nation and became a catalyst for civil rights reform. In his famous speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, King proclaimed, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” King died by assassination in 1968 at the Hotel Lorraine in Memphis, Tennessee, while preparing for a march with striking garbage workers. Martin Luther King Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, in part because his “nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community, which has constantly refused to negotiate, is forced to confront the issue.”

John Wesley

In the 1700s, English society was polarized. Rationalism had led people to believe they no longer needed God; the rich struggled with materialism and the poor with lack of necessities. Into this world, a priest and Oxford professor, John Wesley, came to trust in Christ and began preaching a faith that would bring a revival of Christianity throughout the British Isles and across America. Wesley’s preaching awakened souls and brought spiritual and social reform. His message and faith reached far beyond the walls of the Anglican Church, ultimately bringing millions of people to faith in Jesus Christ, changing the face of human history and shaping churches like ours still today. The legacy of the movement he founded continues to bring revival to hearts and souls so that lives and the world might be changed.

Noah

In Noah’s story, we discover how God was grieved by the violence he saw among humankind, and how he sought to make a fresh beginning through the faithfulness of a righteous man. Through Noah’s pivotal role in preserving life through the devastating flood, we find a foretaste of God’s redemptive work through the cross, and discover how God longs for us to act justly toward one another and provide care for the world under our stewardship.

Billy Graham

Born in 1918 in North Carolina, Billy Graham rose to prominence as a young revival preacher. He quickly became known for his charismatic and comforting sermons which made the Christian Gospel easy to understand. In his preaching, Graham always offered the opportunity for his listeners to respond immediately with a decision to become a follower Jesus Christ. Over the course of his life, he preached to live audiences with as many as 215 million people in more than 185 countries – more than any other person in history, plus untold additional millions through radio, television and written works. Though criticized for being too liberal by some and too conservative by others, he has continued to garner enormous respect, being rated as “One of the World’s Ten Most Admired Men” for 57 years – nearly twice as many years as anyone else. His legacy includes millions of people who came to faith through his messages and his personal influence on public figures, civil rights leaders and presidents.

Harry Denman


Born in 1893, Dr. Harry Denman was a lay leader and selfless Methodist evangelist who had a love for God and a gift for connecting with people. Wherever he traveled, Denman shared an opportunity for people he met to come into relationship with Jesus Christ. He emphasized the life taught by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount and stood for equality of persons. He challenged materialism and prejudice, and exemplified a simple life, fully devoted to God. Denman traveled extensively, always relating warmly to all people, regardless of background or economic means. He never hesitated to discuss tough questions of faith, nor did he fail to admit his personal weakness and frequently asked people he just met to “pray for me.” As a layman in the Methodist church, he led the Board of Evangelism and later founded the Foundation for Evangelism. Billy Graham once said he “never knew a man who encouraged more people in the field of evangelism than Harry Denman.”

Mai Gray


A graduate of Gammon Theological Seminary and the University of Missouri at Kansas City, Mai was elected a member of the Women’s Division in 1972 and served as the its first African American president from 1976 to 1980. She established the Mai Gray Education Grant to women and children in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. An educator by profession, she also served as a trustee of Saint Paul School of Theology and participated in a development education study in China and India. Her legacy is her dedication to mercy, justice and a humble walk with God.

Matthew Joyner

Matthew is the only Resurrection member included in the Resurrection window. Though he never spoke a word due to a chromosomal condition, Matthew’s life profoundly shaped the heartbeat of this congregation as he inspired thousands of families to better understand the breadth and depth of God’s love. Matthew is pictured in the window doing something in heaven he was not able to do in his 21 years on Earth: reading a book to a local girl from one of the church’s partner schools in Kansas City.

Francis Asbury

Known as the “Father of American Methodism,” Francis Asbury contributed more to the success and spread of Methodism in America than anyone else. As a teenager, he attended a Methodist society and became a lay preacher. In 1774, he volunteered to be sent by Wesley as a missionary to the American continent where he was soon placed in charge of all the Methodist preachers in America. Asbury quickly realized that the Methodist practice of preachers traveling as “circuit riders” would be even more useful in America than it was in England. Incredibly successful, the Methodist Church grew from 1,200 people to 214,000 members and 700 ordained preachers. Asbury maintained a celibate and relentlessly itinerant life-style, awakening at four o’clock each morning for prayer. He taught himself the Latin, Greek and Hebrew languages, and read 100 pages of literature daily. And when he died, everything he owned fit into two bags on the saddle of his horse. In total, Asbury preached over 16,000 sermons and traveled over a quarter of a million miles as a horseback-riding evangelist, reportedly more than any other human in history.

Dove


The top section of the window illustrates the Holy Trinity. The dove represents God the Holy Spirit. When Christ comes up from the water of his baptism, the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, comes down upon him and remains with him. “As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.” -Mark 1:10


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