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Featured Window

Window of the Month
Artist: David Wilson - St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Hartland, Michigan

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Window

Building Name: First United Methodist Church

Studio Name: Von Gerichten Studios

City: Kalamazoo

Window Shape: 6 (gothic arched, over 2 vertical sections)

Subject/Title of Window: Hope

Brief Description of Subject: The main symbolism of the Nave windows develops the Gifts of the Spirit: Faith, Hope, Love, Wisdom, Knowledge, Courage, Justice and Mercy. The Cross of Faith, the Anchor of Hope, the Burning Heart for Love, Burning Candle with the book of Wisdom, Burning Lamp of Knowledge, Oak Tree with crusader’s shield for Courage, the Sword and Scales for Justice, the Blunted Sword or broken Sword for Mercy. It is fitting that the emblems of the apostles should be used throughout these windows, as they were the “Distributors of the Word.” The next window to the left contains in its central panel an anchor, the traditional symbol of Christian hope, suggested by the words of Hebrews 6:19 “Hope we have as an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast.” With it appears a conventionalized or ritualistic figure of a fish. During the generations of persecution, when to acknowledge Christianity was to incur the penalty of death under Roman law, Christians were accustomed to use a secret sign by which they might discern between followers of Christ and unbelievers. This secret sign was the figure of a fish. The fish was selected because the initial letter of the first simple creed in Greek language formed the IXTHUS, the Greek word for fish. Today in scientific circles, the study of fishes is called “Icthyology.” This simple creed was “Iesus Xristos Theou Uios Soter” the English equivalent of which is “Jesus Christ, Son of God Savior.” The fish, then, combined with the anchor, signifies “Christ: our hope,” and has a special meaning for us amid the troubled conditions of the world today. When we look upon the lower central panel with its burning candle, we remember that Jesus said (John: 12:46), “I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness. In the upper center panel is shown a circle enclosing a cross with equal arms. This is the Greek Cross which is more symmetrical but has the same significance as the more familiar Latin Cross in which the arms are of unequal length. In the top center panel at the peak of the window is the figure of the Phoenix, the symbol of the resurrection. According the ancient fable, this bird destroyed in the fire, would rise from the ashes to live again.

Condition of Window: Very Good

Height: 50'?

Width: 12'?

Type of Glass and Technique: Lead Came

Hope
Hope
The Greek Cross
The Greek Cross
Hope
Hope
The Word
The Word
Gifts of the Spirits windows, left
Gifts of the Spirits windows, left
Gifts of the Spirits windows exterior
Gifts of the Spirits windows exterior

The MSGC is a constantly evolving database. Not all the data that has been collected by volunteers has been sorted and entered. Not every building has been completely documented.

All images in the Index are either born-digital photographs of windows or buildings or are scans of slides, prints, or other published sources. These images have been provided by volunteers and the quality of the material varies widely.

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