The Windows of St. John's

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The Civilization Window

SEVERAL IDEAS lie behind the conception of this window: the dignity of man; the nobility of work; the industrial development. But its main theme is God, the author of civilization. The Spirit of God has directed man in learning to control the forces of nature and use of natural resources. But man has achieved his goals only as the result of hard thinking and hard work, patience and dedication, all under the directing influence of the Holy Spirit. It is not necessary that men be in the Hebrew-Christian tradition for God to use them - only that they be dedicated to the search for truth wherever it may be found: through science, philosophy and/or religion.

The central medallion shows our Lord at work in his shop. He was a working man, probably a carpenter like his father. Jesus by his example extolled the dignity of labor.

The male and female figures at the bottom, center, mark the beginning of the human race. "God created them male and female" - which emphasizes sexuality by which man procreates his species in the spiritual image of God, combats loneliness and stabilizes the family. Between the figures is a monogram of Jesus Christ and the Greek letters Alpha and Omega symbolizing his oneness with God from beginning to eternity.

The small panel at the bottom right of center shows the discovery of fire and above an anvil. At the bottom left of center is a panel depicting the development of agriculture, and above a plow. Above the anvil are weights, balances and coins to indicate commerce and banking together with an hourglass to mark the measurement of time. Opposite, on the left side, is the printing press and above a telegraph key. Next up on the right is a microscope, and above a rocket. Opposite, on the left side, is a tractor, and above a can. When man learned to preserve food he gained the means to abolish famine. At the top on either side of center are scenes portraying the vast industrial complex of modern civilization: the railroad, factories, the steamship and graneries. In the lower background of the window are a stone hatchet, one of man's first tools, a wheel representing one of man's great discoveries, a plane showing man's feat in using the skyways. At the very top of the window is the star of David with the Hebrew name for God in the center; next under, the symbol of nuclear fission; and under that the dove, symbolic of the Holy Spirit by whose guidance man, under God, has achieved all that we call civilization.


This window was Given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Our Fathers by members of the congregation and friends. Dedicated March 8, 1959.