The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Building windows & relationships

When Salem Lutheran Church, Mount Vernon, Wash., moved to its new location some five years ago, it tried to bring along the church's old stained-glass windows. But member Bob Jolly says it wasn't practical. Thus began a five-year "on-the-job-training" project of several members, who met every Thursday night for two hours in the shop they built in the church basement.

The 10 professional quality stained-glass windows were dedicated this past summer — the work of folks who, for the most part, had no experience in the art, reported the Skagit Valley Herald.

Jolly and his wife, Madell, had read an article about stained-glass windows in The Lutheran, and inspiration struck. Member Tom Henry and daughter, Cheri Henry-Smith, who owns an antique store, designed the windows and taught the others.

The group built both windows and relationships. "The conversations that go on and the problems that we solved for the world, that's all kept in that little shop," Jolly told the Herald.

The project cost about $6,000, all funded by the congregation of 200. Jolly estimates the commercial cost of such windows (eight of them are 10 foot-by-4 foot; two are 12 foot-by-5 foot) would have been $40,000. "We work cheap," he said with a laugh.


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February issue


Embracing diversity