Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Stained glass reflects southwest Wyoming

 


Stained glass windows in churches has always been something special.

One can tell a lot about what the members of a church believe by simply looking at the church’s stained-glass windows.

Residents are invited by members of a dual-parish church to look at their new stained-glass windows this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. St. John’s Episcopal Church and Union Congregational United Church of Christ are the two congregations that share the church building at 350 Mansface Street.

Rev. Jenny Boteler of the Union Congregational United Church of Christ, said the members had discussed purchasing stained-glass windows for some time.

“We had a member of the church that made a significant donation to get the ball rolling,” Rev. Boteler said.

In the church’s flyer, a special thank you was made to the late Lee Lev for starting the project with her generous gift and having a vision for the church’s sanctuary.

Rev. Boteler said a couple of members’ memorial funds also contributed to the purchase of the stained-glass windows.

“The funding came together pretty quickly,” she said.

With funding in place, the congregations had to decide what kind of stained-glass designs they would like. They needed to decide if they wanted something traditional or more modern.

The group considered how Mansface Church is already unique because of its structural design and the dramatic cross it displays at the front of it. They wanted to make sure the new stained glass would compliment and not compete with its cross.

With the congregation’s wishes in mind, a committee, comprised of Peggy Smith, Ruth Lauritzen, Angie Bennet, Janet Hoyt, Bob Maddox and Rev. Boteler leaned toward a landscape theme. Artist Megan O’Brien set to work with the group’s vision and incorporated Southwest Wyoming landscape features, including Castle Rock, Mansface, Tollgate and the Green River. She also included Indian paintbrush, a Kokanee salmon and sagebrush.

Of course, there are religious symbols tucked in the stained glass too, Rev. Boteler said.

Some of the religious symbols included are a dove, an empty tomb, a fish and an empty cross. The painted brush are this church’s version of the lilies in the field.

With the artistic design approved, in the fall of 2015, the church contracted with Scottish Stain Glass out of Centennial, Colo., to design and install the three windows in the church’s sanctuary. Company owner Martin Faith and senior designer O’Brien oversaw the project.

Craftsmen from Rayer’s Glass who worked with O’Brien’s designs to create the stained glass were owner, Ron Rayer, Jordan Rarick, Josh Rayer, Mary Ann Rayer and Scott Scheskie.

Rev. Boteler said the toughest part of the project was selecting which colors of stained-glass to use. She said some of the stained-glass they picked isn’t even made anymore. Rev. Boteler said her favorite colored stained-glass in the windows is the rainbow colored glass, which is one of the colors that has been discontinued.

Both congregations will conduct a joint dedication of the stained-glass windows on Nov. 12. Boteler said November was picked because 46 years ago in November, the two congregations decided to share a building.

 

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