When you enter into the sanctuary of Maples Memorial UMC, you will be surrounded by beautiful stained glass windows.
Historically, windows have not only been used as a source of beauty and inspiration, but as a teaching tool as well. In addition, the beauty and the symbolism of the windows helps prepare you for worship.
We hope that this explanation will help teach you some of the foundational stories and ideas of our faith to others.
Surrounding the Welcome Window, as well as the Corridor, History, Narthex, Dormer and Cupola windows, is a band of red. In addition to its shape being reminiscent of and tying all the windows to the Christ window, its bright red color is symbolic of the sacrifice that Christ made on our behalf.
The Christ Window
The centerpiece of the Maples sanctuary is our Christ Window. Located above the altar in the chancel of our church, the three paneled window depicts three elements of the faith our congregation holds dear. The center panel, “Christ with the Children,” reminds us that everyone is welcome to sit at the feet of Christ. No matter the make-up of the family, or the origin or ethnicity of the individual, all are invited into the family of Christ.
The window on the left, “Christ in the Garden,” reminds us of the centrality of prayer to the life of faith. “Christ at his Baptism,” on the right, emphasizes the sacramental nature of faith.
The Welcome Window
Upon entering or leaving the sanctuary, one is confronted by the image of the Good Shepherd. The lamb tucked into his arm reminds us of God’s continuing care for us. Surrounding the Good Shepherd are the traditional symbols of the four gospels: Matthew, the winged man; Mark, the winged lion; Luke, the winged bull; and John, the eagle. It is through the gospels, or course, that we first encounter the Good Shepherd. The symbols of Holy Communion below him, the wheat/bread and grapes/cup remind us that it is through the sacraments that we continue to encounter the Good Shepherd.
The Narthex Windows
On either side of the Welcome Window, there are windows that depict what is sometimes called “God’s Great Redeeming Work.” On the left side you will see images of Palm Sunday and Good Friday. On the right you will see scenes of Easter and Pentecost.
The Corridor Windows
In the east and south corridors, there are six windows that depict the major promises of God.
The Noah Window remembers the promise God made to never again destroy the world with a flood. Genesis 9:8-17.
The Abraham Window remembers the promise God made to bless the descendents of Abraham. The scene depicts Abraham’s test on Mt. Moriah. Genesis 22:1-19.
The Moses Window remembers the promise God made to the children of Israel on Mt. Sinai. The scene depicts Moses coming down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments. Exodus 19 and 20.
The Ruth and Naomi Window remembers God’s faithful keeping of the promise even in the most difficult of times. The scene depicts Ruth’s refusal to abandon her mother-in-law. Ruth 1:15-18.
The David Window remembers the promise God made to raise up a king from the family of David. The scene depicts David’s anointing by Samuel. I Samuel 16:1-13.
The Gospel Window remembers how God’s promise is planted in the hearts of men and women. The scene depicts Jesus’ parable of the sower. Matthew 13:1-8, 18-23.
The History Windows
In the north corridor, there are two windows that depict our unique history as United Methodists.
The Wesley Window remembers the founders of Methodism, John Wesley and his hymn-writing brother Charles, and Frances Asbury, whose circuit riding helped establish Methodism in America.
The Maples Window reminds us of our roots and depicts two of our congregations’ previous homes.
The Dormer Windows Beginning on the right, or north side of our sanctuary, there are four windows that grace the dormers.
- The Hand of Blessing is a traditional representation of God the Father. It is reaching out of heaven to touch the earth.
- The Lamb of God represents God the Son. The lamb is resting upon the scriptures.
- The Dove of Peace has long been a symbol of God the Spirit. The dove carries the symbol of peace in its mouth: the olive branch.
- The Gift of Creation reminds us that life springs from the hand of God and is to be celebrated.
The Cupola Windows
The eight windows that comprise the cupola are joined together by “The River of Life.” As it encircles the cupola, it reminds us of our unity.