zion stained glass —  sanctuary

(We will gradually be adding to this portion of the website as we explore the history and significance of various aspects of our church)


Symbolism of Zion's Stained Glass Windows

by Leonids Linauts — Artist

The whole concept of the stained glass for Zion United Methodist Church is to express the glory of God.

In the Old Testament in the Bible we find many prophets chosen by God the Father to tell the people about His greatness, love and law . . . 

God sent His son Jesus Christ to make the man to be His Child.

King David created hundreds of Psalms which referred to the works of God.

In the new times composer Johann Sebastian Bach created most fine music, devoted to the Creator, making us feel His majestic existence, His power and everlasting presence in the Universe.

Seventeen stained glass windows are composed in one monumental composition in the color and light to express the values which we find in David's Psalms and Johann Sebastian Bach's great manifestations in the music.

In general, colors and "rhythms" in design are of this same emotional value as the great composer's works and can be called the great "Sonata" to God,. entitled: "Glory, Glory, Glory" . . . 

About the artist

Leonids Linauts was commissioned by Zion United Methodist Church to design and execute the stained glass windows in our present church sanctuary in 1974. 

Mr. Leonids Linauts was born in Latvia on July 8, 1914.  At the age of fourteen, he entered a teachers’ institute, majoring in fine arts, including music.  After graduation, he taught fine arts for several years in schools and was conductor of mixed choirs, until he entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Riga, Latvia.  During intensive studies for seven years in various art classes and portrait painting, his interest turned to large-size executions, which led him to the master class of figure painting and murals.  At that time, the Fromhold Stained Glass Studio in Riga, Latvia, a leading studio of stained glass in Northern Europe, was looking for help in their art department.  Mr. Linauts, as a student, parallel to his academy work, joined the studio.

It was necessary to broaden his horizons of knowledge in the new field.Two of his most outstanding teachers in this field were Professor P. Kundsins and Professor A. Antonovs, both professors of church architecture at the University of Latvia. Very soon, special studies of Medieval French, German, and English stained glass were added to his studies, including church architecture, symbolism, and religions.

In 1949, Mr. Linauts arrived in the United States, as a refugee. During the first three years here, he served as the supervisor and head of the art department of a stained glass studio in Reading, Pennsylvania. In 1953, he established his own studio in Mohnton, four miles from Reading. He received recognition from all denominations, and his windows are found in many churches in the eastern part of the United States.

Some of his work is part of the permanent collection in the Fine Arts Museum in Hagerstown, Maryland, and is also found in many private collections.

Mr. Linauts married Dainuvita Pludons of Riga, Latvia, on December 25, 1945 in Germany and they had seven children. They immigrated to the United States in 1949. Mr. Linauts passed away on June 19, 1998.

The First Window west side front

The First Window is based on the text of David's Psalm 19:1, 2

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.

The six pointed star symbolizes God the Creator (six days of His work).

the second window west side front

The Second Window shows God's work in progress: shining sun surrounded by stars set in the turbulent space of the Universe. A small growing and blooming tree represents mankind (tree of life), expanding and getting taller. 

Psalm 19: 3,4 was used as the source of inspiration for this window.

There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them He has set a tabernacle for the sun.

the third window west side front

The Third Window depicts the Ten Commandments and Psalm 19: 7, 8, 9 is used as foundation for expression.

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing in the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

the fourth window west side back

The Fourth Window is dedicated to God's greatness in judgments. In the center of the window we can see the scales as a symbol of judgement. David's Psalm 19:10 is the inspiring text:

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.

the fifth window west side back

The Fifth Window is for praising God, showing David's harp as a symbol of music and song. Psalm 33:1,2,3 was chosen by the artist to interpret same in color and light:

Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is  smelly for the upright. Praise the Lord with harp: sing into him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skillfully with a loud noise.

the sixth window west side back

The Sixth Window is showing the burning candle, a symbol of the promised Messiah, Jesus Christ our Lord. 

Psalm 72:1,2,3,.4 by King Solomon is speaking this in these words:

Give the king thy judgements, O God, and thy righteousness, unto the king's son. He shall judge thy people with righteousness, and thy poor with judgement. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the hills, by righteousness. He shall judge poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressors.