Dear Seminary Community and Friends, We are excited to begin another academic year. So much has happened already, as we have launched a new MA degree in Theological Studies and roll out a comprehensive distance education program. We have 24 students registered already and have room for more. If you or someone you know would […]
The Class of 2012 Donated a Stained Glass Window for McCausland Chapel at Reformed Episcopal Seminary, the Philip the Deacon Window
This 2012 graduating class graciously donated and raised money for a stained glass window for the chapel. A description and picture of the design of the window from the artist, the Rev. Mark Bleakely follows, along with details on how you can help the class and own beautiful stained glass yourself!
A stained glass window is a support to worship not only transmitting light and color to transfigure space but by transmitting meaning. The purpose of this window is to celebrate the Gospel Mission in the context of the Reformed Episcopal Seminary and to celebrate the Life of Grace in the context of the Chapel Eucharist.
Theology and Symbolism
The RES Chapel window depicts two episodes of St. Philip the Evangelists’ Mission to the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-40)–depicting these as Divine Events by which the Father sends forth the gift of the Holy Ghost in Word and Sacrament.
Identifying with Philip we recognize our Calling and Mission. Philip exemplifies the fulfillment of the Great Commission–“Beginning at this Scripture, [he] preached Jesus” and “baptized him.” Philip is “baptizing the nations” for the Ethiopian’s discipleship answers to Old Testament expectations from the inquiry of the Queen of Sheba to the “baptism” of the Egyptians in the Red Sea. Even so St. Philip “drowns” the Ethiopian (suggested by the water imagery) giving him the glory and riches of Christ (symbolized in the halo.) This is St. Philip’s Calling–the “good works as [God] hast prepared for [him] to walk in.” These are Divine Events executed by the Divine Hand–(symbolized by the central Dextera Dei (“right hand of God”)–as Philip is sent by an Angel and caught up afterwards by the Spirit. As such they are Spiritual Events (symbolized by the descending Dove)–St. Philip is sent to a desert but the Ethiopian discovers water (for the Word of God does not go forth in vain.)
Identifying with the Ethiopian, we recognize the Worship in which our Mission is grounded. Liturgically, these episodes relate what happens in Worship between “Word (symbolized by a tablet-like open Bible)” and “Sacrament (symbolized by Chalice)”: How shall they Believe (Creed) in Him of Whom they have not Heard? (Liturgy of the Word) How then shall they Call (Liturgy of the Sacrament) on Him in Whom they have not Believed? The window calls us to identify with the Ethiopian who with meek heart and due reverence hears the Word of God, Believes, and Responds to God by the power of the Spirit.
Ornament and Style
Ornament (from Gr. Kosmos) is not mere decoration but draws out the essential meaning of a work. As such, a Triune Celtic water motif runs through the borders and entire design, drawing out it’s meaning of Baptismal Mission. The floral motif in this window is Early English Gothic in style representing Spiritual Fecundity. Over-all, the design is contemporary gothic with strong, clean, contemporary lines to suit the architectural setting.
How YOU Can Help!
The Class of 2012 is offering for sale stained glass medallions designed and made by the Rev. Mark Bleakley. Large medallions of the scene of Philip baptizing the Ethiopian from the Window are available. The medallions are approximately 5″ x 10″ and include a hanger on top. Contact the Seminary for pricing and availability.
There medallions of the Reformed Episcopal Church available also.
These are approximately 5″ x 10″ and include a hanger on top. Contact the Seminary for pricing and availability.
The Seminary is also pleased to offer medallions of the Seminary Shield.
These RE Seminary Shield medallions are approximately 4″. Contact the Seminary for pricing and availability.
Please make all checks payable to Reformed Episcopal Seminary and send orders to:
Reformed Episcopal Seminary
The Very Rev. Dr. Jonathan S. Riches
826 Second Ave.
Blue Bell, PA 19422