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Bringing the Gospel to All Nations (Pt.I)

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  - Matthew 28:19

It's not every job where we get to live out Christ's command in Matt. 28 quite as literally as we were blessed to have been able with one of our latest projects.  

In 2015 there began a dialogue between our artists here at the CLA and the Headmaster of Hong Kong International School, a Concordia University, Nebraska graduate, Alan Runge and Pastor Scheiwe at the LCMS Church of All Nations, which ministers to the school there in Hong Kong. 

The CLA has been working since then to design and fabricate a set of 72 stained glass windows to fill an entire two-story wall at the school. With the guidance of Pastor Scheiwe we were able to develop designs that tell the story of Salvation, from Genesis to the Gospels.

Following lengthy design discourse, and with a quickly approaching deadline, the Center took on a crew of student workers that CLA staff carefully trained and from October 2016 to February of 2017 we accomplished our goal of building one window per day! 

Step One: Assembling

Each design was broken down into shapes and each shape designated a number. Carefully student workers traced each shape onto the correctly colored glass and Mark kept them on their toes cutting the shapes as fast as they could trace.

Next, each shape was carefully ground to fit precisely in the design and Mark began to secure them between strips of lead. 

Step Two: Prepping

After the lead of each window was soldered securely, they were transported on wheeled tables that Evan and Austin made specifically for this project into a venerated room where every lead line was securely packed with grout. Once it had dried the windows were carefully buffed and wiped down. 

Step Three: Documenting

Suspended in a dark frame, we set up our own lighting to create the perfect illumination for photographically documenting each 5 by 2 foot window. Spot cleaning all the while, each window was screwed into the frame with care and the camera set up just right.

Step Four: Editing

Every image was then cropped to the same dimension with photo-editing software and edited to make sure that the light and color perfectly represented the true windows. 

Here are a few examples of the colorful windows!

Step Five: Organizing

The windows were kept safely stacked in rows until they could be organized according to the order in which they would need to be assembled, every color was double-checked for accuracy before being snuggly packed between layers of foam insulation to protect them from cracking during transportation.

Step Six: Shipping!

Finally, the crates were bundled together for their long journey! Each one was marked with a fragile warning before being loaded by bobcat and headed to the docks.

 Stay tuned for Part II, we will share Evan's photos from the installation in Hong Kong!

Michael Scheer