By The Reverend Mrs. Silence DoGood
I knew the meeting was going to be difficult. So I prepared. I put my Sixteenth Edition of Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations on the kitchen table and began researching. I would have to find a quotation which would support my position about the windows. I was preparing for a meeting of the New Church Committee (NCC) and the agenda was to discuss what kind of windows we wanted for our new Church. As you know our old Church was totally destroyed by fire.
Living in the small farming hamlet of Halo, Pennsylvania it wasn’t difficult for me as Senior Pastor of our Church to know what positions each of the five members of the Committee would hold.
I was told by a former client of our retained architect, Mr. Barney Sellman AIA, that he wanted to retain Gerber and Millington, a Boston MA manufacturer of stained glass windows. Barney had worked with them before and always touts that Henry L. Gerber’s work has been cited by the Smithsonian Institute as one of the four greatest in our country. Barney envisions stained glass windows for our Church representing nature in the style of Tiffany.
Our Church’s attorney, Mr. Findley Lyman Rogers, has apparently found on Etsy a collection of fourteen Gothic stained windows from a church in England that he loves. Created by Meir Smithers each of two windows represents a shepherd while the remaining twelve are animals. Findley envisions one shepherd and six animals on each side of the new Church. The cost is $100,000.
Mrs. Helen Baxter is our Church’s most active and powerful volunteer. She is a generous and talented woman but one who strongly objects to my friendship with Alice Bright Light my best friend. Alice is an evidentiary medium and Helen objects that I am close to someone who speaks to the dead and invites them back through her séances. Helen is very strong willed and I was not able to learn her thoughts.
Willie, my darling husband and Vice Chairman of the NCC, was going to agree with me. We debated Church windows for months but he finally agreed with my point of view.
“I want windows with the clearest glass in them. I want the Church to be all glass.” I then read the poem that I found:
But what am I?
An infant crying in the night
An infant crying for the light
And with no language but a cry.
In Memorium A.H.H. by Tennyson
I explained that clear glass allows and eagerly welcomes light into the Church. The Sun’s light warms, nurtures, and enlightens. And clear glass works both ways. The goodness that the congregation creates will flow from inside the Church to the outside world without being filtered.
“I don’t want our congregation crying for the light. Stained glass windows darken the Sun’s light as it comes into our Church. It also darkens the goodness emanating from our congregation to the outside world. I want our Church to radiate in and out.”
Then Helen added: “On very bright days the cows and wild turkeys seek shade under the trees because of the Sun.”
“But they are only seeking shade. We are seeking redemption. The light will guide us and help us to be strong. And our goodness will emanate from our Church into the world where our clarity will make a difference.
And I want our new Church to be built on Molly’s Hill the highest point on the Church’s grounds. From there one has the best view of the beautiful valley and the surrounding hills and farms. With clear glass we will almost be able to be one with the Earth.”
Then our attorney added “It has been called Molly’s Hill for generations but no one knows why.” His family is the fifth generation living in Halo, PA.
My biggest support came from Barney our architect. He said that it would be cheaper to integrate clear glass into the design of our new Church.
The vote was unanimous … clear glass.
The Reverend Mrs. Silence DoGood
Choir Master (part-time)
The First Church of God’s Love
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