When a fire destroyed much of Swamp Evangelical Lutheran Church, Reinholds, Pa., more than a year ago, the irony of a 30 mph wind blowing the flames away from a stained-glass window and sanctuary was not lost on Dennis L. Trout, pastor.
Three years earlier, the window — called "Ruach" ("Breath of God") — was created for the church's 200th anniversary. But fire destroyed the social hall, classrooms, nursery, library, restrooms and offices. Next month, a new complex should be completed.
Trout called the coincidence of the window and a fragile clay cross surviving (while metal desks melted) "quite overwhelming" and said the disaster became an opportunity for the congregation to "rethink why we're here."
© 2015 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers