Our Stained Glass Windows
Written by Kathryn Wood-Shifler
When one enters the Sanctuary of the First United Methodist Church of Carbondale, Pennsylvania, Mother Church of the Wyoming Conference, one is very much impressed by all the beautiful wood, pews, balcony, choir loft, organ, etc. But the things that really catch ones eyes are the large Stained Glass Windows. When sitting in a pew you have the "Jesus with the Children" ahead of you. Over to the right is the "Christ Saying Good-bye to His Mother" window and behind you is "The Resurrection Window". These windows are approximately 90 years old, and it is reported that they were installed by Quaker City Company of Philadelphia. In the last few years we've noticed they are bowing and are in need of attention.
In September of 1995, the United Methodist Women, President Jean Krapf, brought the Stain Glass Windows to light. After much discussion the United Methodist Women, in November, presented it to the Administrative Board. Members of the Church family were encouraged to attend the meeting to form a committee. In January 1996, the Stained Glass Window Committee came into being with Chairman-Joseph E. Wallis, Vice-Chairperson - Ardis Humphrey, Secretary - Judi Marshall, Treasurer - Kathryn Wood-Shifler, Fund Raising - Charlotte Wagner and Jean Krapf, Promotion - Kim Maxwell and Rev. George Zimmermann. Other members are Albert Ruh, Oliver R. Shifler, Charles Crocker, and Jeff Zimmermann.
The Treasurer established an interest bearing savings account at the Jermyn Bank. The United Methodist Women gave $1000.00, our first donation. Kim Maxwell took a wonderful picture of "Jesus With the Children", and we've used it on our Thank You Cards. Thank You Cards are sent out by the Treasurer for each gift that is received "in memory of" or "in honor of" to the donor. The families of the "in memory of" donations are also notified. We have a memorial book donated by Ardis Humphrey in memory of Nancy J. Bartholomay, in which Barbara Connors is recording names of those who are to be remembered or honored and those who have made donations. An oak plaque has been made by Al Blodnikar, that will be hung in the Sanctuary with the names of people memorialized, honored and the benefactors.
About this time our Secretary Judi Marshall re-located, so Ardis Humphrey became our new Secretary and Robert Vandenberg joined our Committee. We then began the process of choosing the right company to do the work. We had representatives from Winslow, Bennington and Baut Studios come and give us their expertise advise on restoring the three windows. The Committee visited Mt. Carmel Church in Carbondale, St. Mary's Visitation Church in Dickson City, and the shop of Baut Studios in Swoyersville, and after careful consideration decided to sign with Baut Studios. Baut is a family run business, 3rd generation- 2 brothers and 2 sisters, Conrad Dismas Baut, Gerhardt F. Baut, Heide Marie Cebrick and Karen Klemm.
"Jesus with the Children" needed the most work, and the day the Baut men came to remove the window most of the committee and others were out in the side yard to watch. They took out the large center piece and the two side panels. The medallions over the top were left in place. It was scary and exciting to see that window removed, lowered to the ground, secured in their truck and taken away to Baut Studios in Swoyersville. The gap had been boarded up, which looked very strange. Meanwhile, we had money coming in nicely. The day they returned the window was just as exciting as when they removed it. The entire outside of the window, medallions included were wrapped with an anodized finish of dark bronze and new storm windows.
The second window, "Christ Saying Good-bye to His Mother", was not in the same shape of the first window, so they only took parts to the shop. The flowers at the bottom on both sides of the window were touched up by Gerhardt Baut. There were also two ventilators mounted in the bottom portion of the side windows. The outside of this window is exactly like the first window.
Both windows were paid for in full by the time they were finished.
"The Resurrection Window" has been done and all the smaller windows in the sanctuary have been done. To date, several small windows have been done elsewhere in the church.
The committee is proud and grateful to the church family for their great response.
I don't think you can beat the feeling one feels when the sun shines through the truly beautiful "Jesus with the Children" window. We hope and pray our church will be here for generations to come.
I would like to thank Ardis Humphrey for her help in this endeavor.
Thank you all for your support and may God bless.
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