St. Thomas the Apostle, Nassau Bay, Receives New Stained Glass Windows

The Whirley family, through their love and faith, and as a memorial of their daughter Ella, gifted St. Thomas the Apostle stained glass windows. They were designed by Chris Alexander and built with the help of her colleagues at Harmony Stained Glass, and installed by Freebird Glass.

The main theme of the windows is the creation story from Genesis. The cycle of each day and night is represented as the chapters proceed; the creation of each element from the light of the moon and sun, the spirit breathing across the water, the creation of the earth and all that grows there, and the creatures of the land, sea and air. The beauty of the world we live in is important in the design, as is an appreciation for the cycles of life we all experience. Each of the trees on the right and left sides of the window represent a different season, and the sun and moon speak to the passage of time. The roses represent the flowers of the earth, but also Christ’s sacrifice, and are portrayed in the varying colors of the liturgical calendar.

The small butterfly playing with the lion represents Ella and how she is loved. The concept of the butterfly has a larger meaning as well, representing our spiritual growth as we walk with God. In the very center of the windows is an area of darker glass that represents the chaos before God created order, but it is in the shape of a chrysalis, speaking to the transformative power of God’s love. The butterflies then become sculptural, flying down the hall, and travel with us as we walk towards worship.

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