The symbolism behind the stained glass windows
The other week, Pastor David Morrow (WBBC) gave a great two-minute talk on the stained glass windows you see in church every Sunday. We wanted to reprint his talk for you here, in case you weren't in church or in case you wanted to revisit these fascinating meanings!
These stained-glass windows are not original to the building. They were installed when the church was remodeled in 1969-70. That was shortly before Immanuel Baptist Church merged with Wenatchee Valley Church of the Brethren to form Wenatchee Brethren Baptist Church. So, these windows primarily reflect Brethren practices and beliefs.
The panels on your left represents the ordinances in the Church of the Brethren, what you would call “the sacraments.” The top panel represents communion. There is the cup, and the grapes and wheat for the wine and bread.
The next panel represents baptism. It includes the chi-rho cross, a traditional Christian symbol that combines the first two letters of “Christ” in Greek (chi and rho). Below is the net with the miraculous catch of fish, which has been associated with baptism and with Jesus’ call for us to be fishers of men.
The third panel represents foot washing. The Brethren practice literal foot washing in obedience to Jesus’ command in John 13. There is a jar of water, a basin of water, and in between the towel that Jesus wrapped around him while he washed his disciples’ feet.
The panels on the right represent important Brethren beliefs. In the top panel, you see the dove, representing the Holy Spirit, descending on the Word of God.
The next panel represents peace. The Church of the Brethren is one of the historic peace churches alongside the Quakers and the Mennonites. There you see a broken sword beaten into a plowshare, as is spoken of in Isaiah 2 and Micah 4.
The middle panel is the personal symbol of Alexander Mack, the founding father of the Church of the Brethren. The heart superimposed on the cross represents the love of Jesus. The grapes represent our fruitfulness when we are connected to the vine, Jesus Christ.
The bottom panel represents our belief in fellowship and reconciliation, including racial reconciliation. You see the black and white hands shaking in friendship.
William Fischer, a deceased member of this church, designed these windows.