From the Interim Rector - November Manifest
Do you remember the parish’s stained-glass windows? It seems so long ago that they were removed to be cleaned and restored. They were the first items to be removed from our church and now they are the first of Epiphany’s historic legacy to be installed in our future home. Rohlf’s Studio in Mt. Vernon did the restoration work and the results are impressive. As you will see from the photos below, the colors are so much more vibrant (and no, I did not photoshop any of the photos. It is just natural sunlight making them shine as they do.) The five historic windows that were in the chapel are now the focal point of the Nave and Sanctuary. The center apse of the church was reworked to accommodate these five historic windows, especially historic because they were moved from Epiphany’s prior home on Lexington and 35th – which prior to being Epiphany’s fourth home was the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist that Epiphany merged with in 1893. Soon the rest of Epiphany’s windows will be installed. Also being installed are the new windows Epiphany commissioned. These are also by Rohlf’s Studio, a family owned and operated business for the last 100 years.
The sixteen new windows which are grouped in 8 double lancets, 4 on the east wall and 4 on the west wall, depict the Seven Corporal Acts of Mercy, the Seven Spiritual Acts of Mercy and the two Sacraments instituted by Christ—Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. The Vestry approved these themes as they speak most directly to the life, mission, and ministry of Epiphany. This is a parish that demonstrably seeks to serve the needs of others. It’s in our DNA and these windows will be an affirmation of our shared Baptismal Covenant to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving (our) neighbor as (ourself).” In addition, in designing the new windows the people depicted in the windows are intentional representations of the rich racial, ethnic and cultural diversity of our parish and our city. For example, in the window depicting the act of mercy that calls us to shelter the unhoused, we seen an indigenous American woman welcoming another woman of color into her home. In another example, this one of the Holy Eucharist, the Celebrant is represented by a woman of color. In yet another example, Forgive Offenses, we see two young white men depicted.
The variety of stained glass windows Epiphany will display joins our rich history of service from the 19th century traditional stained glass that the parish brought from St. John the Baptist, through the mid-century modern glass that was in the Nave of our current building and will now be on the south wall of the Nave in the new building, and these newly commissioned windows telling the story of Epiphany’s unwavering commitment to service. In many ways, the stained glass windows of Epiphany not only tell our history but points us into the future God has invited us to embrace.
We are still several months away from when construction will have reached a point when we can begin offering tours of our new home, but as soon as we are able to do so I know we will all thrill to see the treasured legacies of our past expressed in stained glass, carved wood and stone, and ornamental metals, and the new expressions of our faith, our piety and our commitment to the living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The journey continues. All to the praise of God’s Glory.