I’ve been thinking a lot about windows lately as I prepare the write ups and lead the children’s talks on some of our memorial windows. In January and February we celebrated the Town and Channen families for their contribution to the fabric of our church building and the life of our parish. In March we took a closer looker at the paired Betts windows. And so it will go throughout the anniversary year.
Someone remarked to me how the children will always remember the details of the windows that we have examined. It’s a nice thought, and I do like to imagine them in their own churches in the future or coming back to All Saints’ as adults and looking at a particular window and saying, “I know a story about that…”
I also think about the grown children of the former Incumbents who have visited us already this year and I imagine how it must be for them to return to the church where they spent many youthful years. Were there features of the church building that were comfortingly familiar to them or has it all changed too much? Are there spaces and places they would have liked to explore to bring back more memories? Do they find themselves reliving a memory of a Sunday School lesson, a certain hymn, or a church furnishing and saying, “I know a story about that…”?
We share these stories about the stained glass windows to inspire the present and future members of our parish. The messages found in the memorials of one generation are an invitation to the next, an invitation to focus on our mission, to look to the ways and spaces where God’s light gets in and to the places where we, as a church, can still dispel darkness.
There is still much to come in this sesquicentennial year. I am hopeful old friends, former members, newcomers, and seekers will peek in our windows – both real and digital – and that they will see something that speaks to them and inspires them with a sense of Spirit. And that in years ahead, we’ll all be saying, “I know a story about that…”
~ Arleane Ralph