It is inspiring and hopeful to watch a seed planted blossom into beautiful creation! This very thing has been happening here.
In early spring, following the loss of a loved one, a member came to offer a donation on behalf of that person. As the conversation evolved, a seed began to take form. The seed was the idea of two new stained-glass windows for the top portion of the windows beside the front en- tranceway. The windows would give balance to the center window over the entrance and would complete the existing stained-glass windows on the front of the church.
Others were brought into the conversation. Remembrances, biblical verses, theology, spirituali- ty, artistic appearance, our parish identity—all of these watered the seed to help it begin to spring to life.
We sought out Andrew Goldkuhle, owner of Goldkuhle Studios, LLC. Andrew has been associat- ed or involved with the craft of stained-glass his entire life. Aside from an extensive career ini- tially in various construction fields including fine woodworking for Colonial Williamsburg and roller coaster construction for Bush Gardens, Andrew worked with his father extensively on windows at The National Cathedral. Since the passing of his father in 2009, Andrew has worked full time on many conservation projects for windows at The Washington National Cathedral, Duke University, Mercersberg Academy Irvine Chapel, Women’s Army Museum, and numerous churches in the greater Richmond area.
At the same time, Cindy Paulin was sought out as our artist in-residence, and together with Andrew, and our donor, the design of the windows began to take shape.
The seeds are nearly fully blossomed! At the end of September, we can anticipate the installation and dedication of these new windows. On September 23rd at 10AM, Andrew and Cindy will be presenting the Adult Forum to give people an idea of the scope of Andrew’s work, and to be able to answer questions anyone might have. The anticipated, but still tentative, date of the dedication is September 30th.
These new windows will offer all of us yet one more possible vehicle of spiritual connection with God. For some, the liturgy or music provide this. For others, the physical surroundings and the beauty of icons found in stained-glass point to the majesty of all of God’s creation and bring them closer to God. And for others, it can be any one of these things. Because of the generous donation given, we can further enhance people’s experiences in the realm of the Spirit – and to provide even more seeds opportunity to bloom!
Your Sister in Faith, Brenda+
I was raised in a Roman Catholic family in Upstate NY the oldest of seven children. Even at an early age the Catholic rituals were all very confusing to me. For the first 10 years of my life all the masses were in Latin, which I didn’t understand at all. Our parish priest emigrated from Ireland and his sermons were all fire and brimstone warning us of the gates of hell that awaited us all if we didn’t follow the straight and narrow. I was molded with a pretty high level of Irish guilt that if you didn’t do certain things you would pay for it dearly.
I was taught Catechism by Nuns who never hesitated to pull out a yardstick to crack you across the knuckles for not falling in line. In elementary school on Wednesday afternoons all the Catholic kids would walk off the campus to the Grange hall next door for our weekly lessons with the Nuns. The rest of the school would go on recess while we were away. It was such a large Catholic community that there were only about 25% of the kids left behind. Can you imagine that happening today?
Some of the rituals I complied with without never totally embraced were no meat on Fridays, weekly confession in a booth to repent for all you sins over the past week (you had to be creative to come up with fresh new sins each week) and saying the full rosary every night before going to bed. I can say a Hail Mary faster than anyone on the planet. On Sunday there were masses every hour on the hour from 7:00 to 12:00 and there was never time for any social connections as you had to head for the parking lot to make room for the next mass.
Building & Grounds is seeking people with the following skills to assist in addressing regular maintenance and keeping St. Matthias in good working order. If you have the time and talent in any of these areas, please reach out to Mike Vandeweghe directly or email Building & Grounds.
Several years ago I felt a calling to be a Stephen Minister, to walk alongside someone who wanted a Christian care-giver. I received the training at my church, but then relocated to Richmond before being assigned to a care receiver.
After my move, I joined Christ the King Lutheran church, and shortly thereafter it formed a Stephen Ministry group. I was welcomed immediately as an already trained minister. My first care-receiver was a beautiful woman with a terminal illness. Due to her illness, she lost her ability to speak… but we found numerous ways to communicate, sharing many precious, intimate moments of faith, a mutual love for reading, and prayers for what lay ahead. I often felt she was teaching me through her patience and unwavering love of God. I was blessed to know this woman, and very deeply strengthened by her example of faith.
Pat Whitmer, Christ the King Lutheran Church
Note: Christ the King’s Stephen Ministry program is shared with our St. Matthias program
We had a wonderful Sunday school year. We had many interesting and fun-filled Sundays. One Sunday Scott Vollmer and John Vance visited us to talk about the prison ministry. We asked if they were scared, what did they eat, who got to come to their weekends. Best of all we made 2 new friends. We talked a lot about our St Matthias Family. We even took pictures and put them on a poster in our room. We did foot washing during Lent. And we had our own communion in the classroom with apple juice and wafers. We went into the church and baptized a baby doll and worked on finding passages in the Bible. We learned the Lord’s Prayer and what it meant. But most importantly we learned to trust God because he is our friend and loves us unconditionally. Hope all the children have a wonderful summer!
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