First Lutheran Church

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Client: First Lutheran Church of Lorain, Ohio

Location: Lorain, OH, United States

Completion date: 2018

Project Team

Artist

Cindy Kessler

Kessler Studios, Inc.

Artist

David Sussman

Kessler Studios, Inc.

Overview

“Sanctuary Window”. 18′ tall x 8′ wide. Opak mouth-blown antique glasses, lead came, double-channel extruded aluminum frame.

Goals

This stained glass window represents the congregation's walk with God, and their interaction with the greater community. At the same time, the opak glasses used to create the window eliminate the harshness of the southern exposure (opak glass has a thin layer of white on the back that immediately tempers bright sunlight). An unfurling circle represents both the nurturing congregational community, as well as their outreach to the greater community. The blue glasses are a nod to nearby Lake Erie, but also suggest baptism and healing. The design flows joyfully upward, imparting a sense of transformation and growth. The border whites form a cupping shape, suggesting a chalice, and God holding us in the palm of His hand.

Process

The congregation had suffered a fire that destroyed their historic church building. It was decided that the new worship space should look forward, rather than try to recreate the look of the old structure. That forward-leaning approach also applied to the stained glass selected for the windows of the sanctuary. At first, some in the congregation struggled with the contemporary language of the windows Cindy designed. As with all her religious commissions, Cindy presented a detailed explanation about design, and how the colors integrated with the liturgy and mission of the revived church.