BIG RAPIDS – Making stained glass windows with no formal experience is a formidable task and members of the Redeemer Lutheran Church worked together to create eight new stained glass windows for the building’s main room.
The project was originally estimated to take over a year and a half, but community support and hard work from many hands sped things up and every window was completed in six months through weekly sessions.
Pastor Jeffrey Weber helped oversee the project and said it was a group effort.
“Many years ago, they hung up one color of stained glass to cover up the outside and they thought that was wonderful,” Weber said. “Somebody suggested that maybe we ought to get some real stained glass, so the congregation came up with their own design, they kind of voted on it and came up with what was a consensus. Then together, we purchased materials and constructed each of the windows.”
Weber has been with the congregation since being appointed as pastor at the church in 2018 and he enjoyed being a part of adding a new historical moment to the church.
Each window has a unique symbol as the central focus, and the group began the project in February, learning each of the steps in the process of making a stained glass window.
Individuals learned which part of the process they preferred to do, and participated in that portion for each window. In this way, many members were able to participate in the project.
Weber said the group was surprised by the many different steps involved.
“You start out by drawing the pattern out on paper and then you have to cut it out into individual pieces,” Weber said. “You take those pattern pieces and lay them on glass and cut the glass to that shape. It becomes a big jigsaw puzzle that you lay out on the table.
“Once you get it all constructed, and you have to start putting it together with lead solder,” he added. “After you get it soldered, then you have to putty it so that you know pieces don’t rattle, after that, you put rebar on it so that they stay together when once you put them up in the window.”
The public is welcome to come by and view the new windows, which the congregation is very happy with, according to Weber.
“Everyone was so excited when we put that first finished window in that we ended up getting a lot more help on finishing the rest,” Weber said. “We’re quite proud of the new windows and especially the group’s work to complete this great project.”
Prior to the window creation and installation, the entire interior of the church was also remodeled and given a fresh coat of paint.
A thanksgiving and dedication service …….