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The Chancel Stained Glass Window

The beautiful and unique stained glass window was placed above the altar in 1952 as part of a major remodeling effort to increase the size of worship area, add new offices and meeting rooms to the church. In reading the minutes of the Annual Meeting of January 23, 1951, I found that Mrs. Hugo Heleen stated that money was available to purchase a stained glass window to be placed above the altar. She and Fred Dodge, as well as special memorial funds provided the money to have Charles J. Connick Associates of Boston, MA construct this beautiful Chancel window. The dedication of the new additions to St. Paul was conducted on October 26, 1952. The stained glass window was dedicated to the memory of the Heleen Family, Florence and Bobbie Dodge and Chris Tanberg.

Next time you are in the worship area take a closer look at the window now surrounded by the organ pipes. It tells a wonderful story through the theme of prayer. The dominant central figure represents Our Lord, the recipient of our supplications as He might have stood on the Mount, concluding His sermon with His exhortations to prayer lettered on the open book at the base. “Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” Grouped in the medallions at either side are his modern listeners and supplicants in prayer; while in the medallion immediately below Him are his group of Apostles with Mary, His mother, in the upper room, joining in one accord of prayer and supplication. The medallion in the lower portion of the left panel is devoted to Old Testament prayer, with the figure David, the prototype of Jesus, kneeling before the Ark in prayer and thanksgiving: “Let the house of the servant be blessed forever.” (II Samuel 7:29) The New Testament is represented at the bottom of the right panel by Saint Paul, kneeling before the vision of Our Lord praying “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:17). At the top of the two side panels are angels bearing censors, symbols of prayer, which in the tracery across the top of the window two more members of the angelic hosts bear trumpets of heavenly praise. In other members of the tracery, bells of praise and joy symbolize the heavenly fulfillment of prayer. You will find a picture of the chancel window, taken by Mark Gorseth, and description of the window in a frame to the right of the altar area.

Compiled by Gary A. Sorensen

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