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Conservation And Preservation Of Stained Glass Nationwide
Before Stained Glass Restoration/Relead - Oskaloosa Central United Methodist Church, Oskaloosa, IA Installation of Stained Glass Restoration/Relead - Oskaloosa Central United Methodist Church, Oskaloosa, IA After Stained Glass Restoration/Relead - Oskaloosa Central United Methodist Church, Oskaloosa, IA

Oskaloosa Central United Methodist Church - Oskaloosa, IA

Restoration/Relead, and Wood Consolidation Restoration - 84 Stained Glass Windows

Some original windows date back to 1866 (sanctuary windows)

(1) 192" x 192", (2) 12" x 42", (4) 36" x 64", (7) 26" x 64", (8) 24" x 36", (1) 26" x 41", (1) 18" x 56", (6) 18" x 90",
(4) 36" x 114", (2) 188" x 188", (2) 24" x 12", (1) 18" x 56", (1) 55" x 64", (2) 24" x 40", (3) 24" x 64", (1) 24" x 38", (1) 5 42" x 60", (2) 24" x 62", (4) 32" x 22", (1) 24" x 36", (2) 32" x 60", (2) 68" x 42", (3) 48" x 60", (1) 72" x 24",
(1) 48" x 70", (4) 30" x 70", (3) 30" x 30"

Symbols are a visible representation of something invisible. They feed the mind and spirit and remind us of things unseen. There are furnishings, fabrics, colors, candles, flags, and various signs in the church to help a Christian worship. The stained glass windows are some of the most beautiful and obvious objects to remind us of our faith.

Coming into the nave of Central United Methodist Church, the large rose window facing east over the altar has a central major motif of the Cross and the Crown. The Cross and Crown symbol is most highly regarded by Christians as a reward to those who are faithful unto death. (Rev. 2:10) The shape of the window also suggests a wheel with the spokes radiating from the central axe! Symbolizing the universe and the whole of creation or the Creator and the created world. Other symbols can be found i:n the rose window such as the encircling eight f!eurs-de-lis, each with its three divisions representing the Trinity. The fleur-de-lis is taken from the iris, there are eight alternating figures with bases of three, supporting seven points, suggesting the tongues of fire of the Holy Spirit or its seven gifts of power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory, and blessing. (Rev. 5:12) The rim of the wheel contains sixteen circles with stylized Greek crosses and arms of equal length.

Looking at the north window of three large circles that represent the Trinity, the Cross and Crown are again represented at the top, promising triumph over death for those who are faithful. The Sheaf of Wheat represents the Lord's Supper as well as Christ's body. "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst" (John 6:35) The third symbol is the Ark in the deluge. From the earliest centuries of Christianity, the ark of Noah has been a symbol of the Church and all living creatures found refuge or salvation.

The third large window of the church sanctuary is the south window, representing Father, Son, and Holy Spirit with the large three circles. At the top is the Open Holy Bible, the Word of God. Being open indicates that the Bible is accessible throughout most of the world and that it should be read. On the left is a Latin Cross near the water with a climbing vine and Easter lilies. The cross symbolizes the crucifixion, salvation, and redemption of mankind through the death and resurrection of Christ. The Tree of Life is echoed in the "tree" of the Cross and Christ "the true vine" provides a living link between heaven and earth. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream ..." (Jer. 17:7-8) The accompanying Easter Lilies are a sign of the Resurrection because the brown bulb, seemingly without life is buried in the ground and decays. From this comes new life springing forth from it. A new bulb forms, then stern, leaves and flowers all rise above the soil representing the Easter Resurrection. The third circle contains an Anchor Cross lying among the rocks in the harbor. To the Christian, Jesus Christ is a sure Anchor the 'safe haven' he finds in Christ. In the days of persecution before Constantine, Christians were able to see Christian hope in the anchor cross, while non-Christians saw nothing but an anchor. The anchor cross signifies man's hope, sure and steadfast. (Heb. 6:19)

Two other significant stained glass windows can be found in the southwest second floor classroom. One is the Beehive representing many bees working together, each in its own capacity, for the benefit of the group or entire hive. It suggests the order and organization of many human beings who function for the benefit of a11. This is the most modern of all symbols of the Christian Church. The second window is the All-Seeing Eye which is a symbol of the Father's omniscience: "Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him." (Ps. 33:18)

All the smaller windows of the 1876 church building are of coordinated designs using lilies, fleur-de-lis, geometric shapes and other patterns. Most colors lean toward soft yellow-gold to dark-gold, off-white to pink and burgundy, and pale blue.

In 1972, the large windows were repaired and outside protection panels added to most of the windows. In 2004-2005 more extensive work was contracted for re-leading, cleaning, and removal of the outside panels. The Stained Glass Windows of Central United Methodist Church are a priceless treasure in beauty and tell the story of our faith to all who have eyes to see.

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