Kirkland Congregational Church

A Progressive Christian Voice in the Heart of Kirkland

The Story of the Stained Glass Panels

In the planning stage, the Building Committee and the architect asked Bill Radcliffe, an art teacher and a member of the church, to submit a design for the wall which would divide the narthex and the sanctuary. Following is a quote on his thoughts

" . . . An opportunity presented itself to me during the planning of the present church. Over the years I had made numerous sketches and color studies of the New Testament persons trying to relate them into contemporary feelings and thought. My biases for colors were bold and full rather than running to tints and shades. Lines tended to be dramatic and forceful rather than subtle and restrained. My perception of the Christian event was, and still is, one of intense drama."

The first three panels as viewed from the sanctuary are events in Christ's life. The first panel represents the birth of Christ. The baby Jesus is near the center with diagonal rays radiating upward. Mary is on the left, Joseph is on the right and the three shepherds are kneeling below. In the lower left hand corner is a wise man with a crown, his arms offering an urn.

The second panel is the baptism of Christ. The highest rectangle represents John the Baptist, his arms outstretched. Christ's head in bowed under the area of John. Below are other people watching.

The third panel is the Crucifixion. Christ is hidden by the angry crowd. Three crosses are visible. All the figures with upraised arms show violence and hate. The downward rays and upraised arms meeting create conflict, drama and confusion.

The last panel to the right of the doors is the Church of today. After two thousand years, we are still seeking, searching and filled with hope.


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